Sharp Corp. took the occasion of the CEATEC Japan exhibition held near Tokyo last week to introduce its first three models of 8K LCD TVs with built-in 8K receivers, to be made available Nov. 17 there in advance of the start of 4K/8K satellite broadcasting, slated to commence there on Dec. 1. At the show, Dealerscope was able to get a first-hand look at the models and learn about their features, as well as to view other Sharp introductions.
Three models under the Sharp AQUOS banner will become available to Japanese electronics retailers for sale to the early-adopter contingent on that date. The 80-inch 8T-C80AX1, 70-inch 8T-C70AX1, and 60-inch 8T-C60AX1 carry suggested retail prices of around ¥2 million [$17,756], ¥1 million [$8,878] and ¥750,000 [$6,687], respectively.
A previous model released last year did not feature an 8K broadcast tuner, as final specifications of 4K/8K satellite broadcasting had not been released at that time. Instead, it had a tuner for current 2K terrestrial/satellite broadcasts that enabled watching 2K content upconverted to 8K. These new sets feature 8K tuners, as well as an updated iteration of 8K liquid crystal panels with a higher refresh rate of 120Hz, Kentaro Odaka, Sharp’s supervisor of corporate public relations, explained.
The models’ advanced picture engine, dubbed AQUOS Smart Engine PRO, performs 2K and 4K content upconversion for display on the sets. There is also capability for what the company labeled in its posted descriptions as the “stereophony of 8K broadcasting,” as the sets adhere to the Japanese broadcasting surround sound standard, which provides for up to 22.2 channels of audio.
A companion soundbar/subwoofer system, 8A-C31AX1, will be made available next February in Japan, he said.
The expansive Sharp booth’s theme was AIoT – a word-merge combination trademarked by Sharp of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things meant to draw attention to what the company terms as its vision of how all types of products will connect to AI via the cloud.
Some other technologies on view at the booth were: Bluetooth AQUOS-branded Sound Partner “neckphones;” flexible OLED display prototypes for Sharp’s AQUOS Zero smartphone line slated for possible December release in Japan and to be made available initially through the carrier SoftBank; and pet care health monitoring systems for dogs and cats. For dogs, a device attached to the collar monitors heart rate and breathing; for cats, the litter box analyzes urine output, frequency, temperature and other aspects that are recorded to a smartphone for reference.