Sharp already announced its intention to focus just on big HDTVs, and they are making good on that promise. The company has announced that it has started shipping its 60″ LC-60LE745U and 70″ LC-70LE745U models from their new 2012 lineup. These have 3DTV support, LED edge-lighting, and Smart TV features including WiFi support. The sets have list prices of $2,299.99 and $3,299.99.
Sharp also announced that they will start shipping the 8 Series models next month: these include the LC-60LE847U, LC-70LE847U, and LC-80LE847U, in 60″, 70″, and 80″ sizes. List prices for these will be $2,699.99, $3,799.99, and $5,999.99, and the sets will include Sharp’s Quattron feature that adds a yellow sub-pixel to the typical red, green, and blue elements. Also the 80″ model includes a full-matrix LED backlight instead of edge-lighting. This presumable provides a more uniform backlight but also requires more LEDs, and that probably contributes to its significantly higher price.
Sharp wasn’t kidding when they said big HDTVs! It used to be that you’d only get TVs this large with rear projection technology, but now we have it in flat screens and at a price that probably isn’t far from what a similar size rear projection model cost when it first came out. However, there is a limited market for HDTVs that cost more than $2,000, and I suspect that Sharp’s strategy will result in a loss of market share (not that it has that much to lose anyway).