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Sharp announces 2012 TV line pricing, availability

Consumer Reports News: March 20, 2012 11:08 AM

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As we saw at CES, Sharp is looking to differentiate its 2012 TV lineup by focusing on larger-size sets: 20 Aquos-brand LCD TVs will have screens at least 60 inches. Sharp's emphasize on ever-larger screen sizes is something of a gamble, especially in this economy.

Among the 2012 line is a new flagship 80-inch model (LC-80LE844U) 3D TV, set to arrive next month, that uses the company's Quattron color technology and a full-array LED backlight.

Here's a quick look at the new Aquos LCD series:

5 and 6-series Aquos LCD TVs
There are five different models in screen-size classes of 42-, 46-, 52-, 60- and 70-inch screen sizes. All have edge LED backlights, a narrow-bezel design, and four HDMI inputs. The main difference is that the 6-series sets have built-in Wi-Fi and Sharp's SmartCentral entertainement hub, with access to Internet content and apps, plus Sharp's Aquos Advantage Live online service for remote service capability by a Sharp technician. All the TVs are either available now or arrive by the end of this month.

  • 42-inch LC-42LE540U, $900

  • 46-inch LC-46LE540U, $1,100

  • 52-inch LC-52LE640U, $1,500

  • 60-inch LC-60LE640U, $2,000

  • 70-LC-70LE640U), $3,000

7-series Sharp Aquos LCD TVsThere are only two models in this step-up line of TVs, in 60- and 70-inch screen sizes. These TVs are active 3D models with edge LED backlights, 120Hz technology, and ultra-slim bezels. These sets also have built-in Wi-Fi and SmartCentral, with access to online content and apps. Both are available this month.
  • 60-inch LC-60LE745U, $2,300

  • 70-inch LC-70LE745U, $3,300

8 Series Aquos LCD TVs
Sharp's newest 8-inch model (LC-80LE844U), available next month, is an active 3D set that includes Quattron four-color technology, a full-array LED backlight, and 240Hz anti-blur technology. The TV has built-in Wi-Fi, the SmartCentral interface, and 4 HDMI inputs. All 8- and 9-series sets have Quattron, plus a new Quad Pixel Plus II technology the company claims can produce greater detail, smoother lines and color transitions. The 80-inch model will be availble in April, the other sets arrive this month
  • 60-inch LC-60LE847U, $2,700

  • 70-inch LC-70LE847U, $3,800

  • 80-inch LC-80LE844U, $6,000

9-Series Aquos LCD TVsStepping up to the 9-series models gives you everything you get in the 8-series sets, including 3D, 240Hz, and the Quattron technology,plus a full-array LED backlight with local dimming. The 9-series sets come in 60- and 70-inch screen sizes, and will be available this summer.
  • 60-inch LC-60LE945U, price to be determined

  • 70-inch LC-70LE945U, price to be determined

Let us know if you're considering a TV of at least 60 inches, and if a Sharp model is on your radar.

James K. Willcox

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