Sharp TVs Add Recording, Portability
LAS VEGAS -- Sharp wants to reform your TV-viewing habits, with the introduction of expandable, PVR-capable TVs, as well as the first battery-operated digital wireless LCD TV, all at the recent Consumer Electronics Show here.
TV Has Expansion Slots
The Open Aquos series of LCD TVs will feature dual PC Card slots, which let you expand the set's capabilities in a number of ways. The Open Aquos sets ship with a personal video recorder (PVR) card that includes a 5GB hard disk drive for storing recorded television programs.
Two models in the Aquos line will feature this personal video recorder capability, according to Sharp representatives. Both sets offer a 4:3 aspect ratio and feature 480-line progressive scan (480p) resolution, using Sharp's Advanced Super View LCD panel. A 20-inch model, the LC-20PX1U, is scheduled to become available in April and will be priced at $1900. In May, Sharp expects to launch a 15-inch version, the LC-15PX1U, for $1400.
Open Aquos sets will feature additional capabilities intended to turn them into centerpieces of a home media system. Compatible Wi-Fi cards will allow the TVs to connect to your home network so you can view shared images or listen to music; Sharp also promises built-in games. The sets will be able to display digital photos stored on memory cards. Also, a built-in microphone will let users record and play back messages.
TV Without Wires
Another new LCD model will let you carry your TV around the house while you continue to channel surf or watch DVDs.
The 15-inch wireless Aquos LC-15L1U-S is scheduled to debut in February for $1800. It features 170-degree horizontal and vertical viewing angles, and has a 500:1 contrast ratio.
But it's the SmartLink wireless base station that comes with the set that provides its portability. You connect the station to a video source such as your DVD player or cable box, and then you can stream video to the set over an 802.11b network at ranges of up to 100 feet.
An integrated carrying handle lets you tote the wireless Aquos around the house, while a built-in lithium-ion battery provides up to 3 hours of viewing without interruption. And the docking station gives you an attractive spot to place the set while it recharges.
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