Sharp Raises the Bar on Full HD with Aquos Quattron+ at CES
Sharp Electronics has introduced at the 2014 International CES, and will begin selling next month, what it said is the industry’s highest-resolution Full HD TV series which offers the ability not only to upscale 2K content to Ultra HD (UHD) 4K but also to play native 4K content, at around half the cost of comparably sized 4K TVs: the Aquos Quattron+ (or Q+) range.
The series, characterized as a “game changer” by Sharp Electronics Marketing Co. of America president John Herrington, is for what Sharp perceives as an unserved demographic – “the customer who wants to watch 4K content without paying for a 4K TV.”
Q+ technology, with a 16-million subpixel count, offers 10 million more subpixels than Full HD. Sharp senior vice president of strategic product marketing Jim Sanduski said Q+ will be found on two series with 240Hz refresh rates: the SQ series (60- and 70-inch sizes; February availability), and the UQ step-up line, which adds 35-watt audio and THX certification credentials (60-, 70-, and 80-inch sizes; March availability).
Sharp is a strong player in the 60-inch-plus TV market, having sold two million sets in that size range to U.S. buyers in the last two years, said Herrington; 84 percent of TVs sold overall in the market are in those larger screen sizes, he added. He said that Sharp’s 2014 TV introductions are designed to broaden its market appeal by offering models in a total of four series that hit more price-points than merely entry-level and premium.
All Sharp Aquos sets will carry the updated Sharp SmartCentral smart TV platform, Sanduski said. The entry-level Full HD Aquos models are in 60-, 70-, 80 and 90-inch sizes. The step-up Full HD Aquos with Quattron technology line, or “Q” line, adds two million subpixels and a 240Hz refresh rate (60 and 70 inches; February availability). That series is followed by the Q+ series. And the flagship series, Sharp’s new Aquos 4K THX-certified UHD TV range, comes in 70- and 80-inch sizes (available this summer).