I think the current success of high definition televisions, especially outside the US where we already enjoy an at least semi-decent picture resolution anyway, has a lot to do with the new high defintion games consoles: the Xbox 360 and PS3. Now Sharp has come up with a clever idea that appeals to me as both a gamer and someone who uses a TV solely as a provider of low-budget Australian soaps (which definately don’t need an HD makeover). The idea is HDTVs made for gamers. They are called the Game Players Series, part of the AQUOS range, and will be available in 32″ and 37′ sizes and offer full 1080p resolution.
To distinguish them from other ordinary AQUOS TVs, the LC-32GP1U and LC-37GP1U include a “game mode” which optimises the picture for game playing. You also get a custom remote that will give you fatser access to your console and will swap instantly into the game mode.
The 32″ model boats an impressive 10,000:1 contrast ratio, although the 37″ drops that to 8500:1 – still not really to be sniffed at. Enhanced Fine Motion video circuitry reduces the response time to 6ms, which will definately be an advantage in those fast past online games. If you’ve got some friends round for a multiplayer session, then the 176 degree viewing angle will probably help too.
Both should be available from March and will cost $1,699 and $1,999 for the 32 and 37″ respectively. Again, no news on a UK launch but there doesn’t seem to be much reason why it couldn’t follow on the form the US fairly quickly. And waht with the PS3 due in March, that might provide enough incentive to get them across the pond a little quicker. I’ll certainly be looking out for them.