Annoyingly we can’t vouch for its claims as we didn’t make the press conference but Sharp says it has produced the first LCD TV specifically designed to make the most of the UK’s PAL broadcast standard.
The Aquos P50 series, which will be available in 26, 32 and 37inch widescreen sizes, captures the 960 x 540 resolution of PAL broadcasts line for line. According to the company rival LCD TVs have either VGA (640 x 480) resolution which obviously loses some picture detail, or WXGA (1366 x 768) which uses processing circuitry to add the extra lines to the images.
This company claims that the set deliver picture quality at least as good as CRT, with a natural, ultra-low noise image outperforming many LCD and plasma televisions costing significantly more.
In addition to its suitability for the PAL signal, the P50 is future-proofed for upcoming HDTV broadcasts, featuring an HDMI input with HDCP. High definition performance is also apparently impressive, with a straightforward half or three-quarter downscale conversion from 1080i or 720p signals to 540 lines. It also has two Scart, Component, S-Video and Video inputs for connection to a wide variety of sources.
The sets, which will be available from July, also include a HDMI input to ensures they are compatible with the High Definition TV broadcasts from Sky slated to begin next year. There’s no word yet on price.
Top UK TV review John Archer did actually make the bash and he’s quite intrigued by the sets – you can read his comments here.