The idea of convergence is alive and well at Sharp, which has announced the world's first Aquos LCD TV with a built-in Blu-ray player.

On the one hand, the presence of Blu-ray is a gimmick – it makes the 32-, 37-, 42-, 46- and 52-inch Aquos HDTVs stand out from the crowd.

But the side-loading multi-slot also kills two tech birds with one stone. It provides an all-in-one home cinema solution – the latest 1080p HDTV plus Blu-ray, DVD and CD playback.

Converged convenience

"We created this [BD] series to offer consumers a product that provides the same high-quality, clear picture they've come to expect from a Sharp Aquos, but with the added convenience of a Blu-ray player for a unique combination solution that allows playback of the latest HD Blu-ray movies," said Bob Scaglione, senior VP and group manager, Product and Marketing Group at Sharp.

The BD Series Aquos HDTVs also feature Sharp's newest Advanced Super View (ASV) Superlucent panel for a brighter, sharper picture and reduced reflection.

A new Aquos 'Pure Mode', meanwhile, is designed to automatically sense the content of a Blu-ray disc and intelligently adjust the TV's display settings to optimise the movie image.

"This product is a one-stop, stylish home theatre," adds Scaglione. "The built-in side-loading Blu-ray slot is also a space-saver for style-conscious consumers, eliminating the need for a separate box and extra cables."

The BD Series Aquos TVs include the LC-52BD80U and LC-46BD80U (available in February); and the LC-42BD80U, LC-37BD60U and LC-32BD60U available in January. Pricing and UK availability is TBD.