IFA 2008: Sharp Press Conference – Liveblogging

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Sharp-Ifa.jpgWell, here I am now at the Sharp press conference at IFA to the accompaniment of some soothing lounge jazz and the humdrum of the strangely polite press, waiting for the show to get on the road. The minute it starts, I’ll get tapping away at anything we ought to know.

1pm – Well, we’re under starters orders. On the panel today are Frank Bolten, president of Sharp Germnay and Austria, and Toshijuki Tajima, the president of Sharp Europe, looking very dapper and rather important with a hoard of photographers papping away at their feet, the flash bulbs shining off their gleaming smiles. It’s starting to get quiet.

1.05pm – So far, we’re being treated to a bass-ridden video of Sharp’s achievements over the last year, including the 108″ TV monster.

1.10pm – Mr Tojima is taking the floor and he’s taking LCD TVs. The worldwide market sold 76.5 million last year and should be more like 100 million by the end of 2008. They are expecting 200 million by 2009, 40% of these are expected to be 40″ screens. I hope mine is included in that.

1.20pm – Last year Sharp made LCDs thinner, better quality and bigger. This year they are claiming to have developed the next generation in LCD. This new generation has a new RGB-LED backlight system, a contrast ratio of more than 1million:1 and better colour reproduction – 166% EBU.

The new models will be only 1 inch thick at its thickest. That’s quite impressive, and the third of the developments is in hi-def, digital sound, which they have developed with Pioneer. Lastly, of course, is the environmental concern with the new LCDs features energy saving technology. It reduces power consumption during use by adjusting screen brightness according to input brightness.

This next generation is the Sharp LCD TV-XS1 Series.

1.25pm – So after a very silly demo video they’ve finally unveiled the new LCDs and, actually, the picture is very nice indeed. Now, obviously they haven’t put any other screens up against them as a comparison and I suspect that the colours may be ever so slightly too intense with not enough depth in the palette, but I would say that they look pretty good for LCDs.

1.40pm – OK, it’s question time. Yet again it’s about Blu-ray but this time, unlike poor old Tosh, they will be releasing the HB21S Blu-ray player that we should get some info on very shortly.

That appears to be it of any interest, unless you happen to have a concern about when the products are coming out in the Ukraine. More on Sharp as we get it, including plenty of images of course.

Daniel Sung