Kicking off CE Week 2014 in New York, Sharp has unveiled an update to its line of Aquos 4K TVs to hit the market this fall. Doubling down on the 4K trend later this year is the new UD27 line of Sharp's Aquos 4K Ultra HD LED TVs in both 60 and 70-inch varieties.
Naturally, the new screens will put out a 3840 x 2160 resolution and are expected to attain THX 4K certification, just like its Aquos UD1 line of 4K tubes did in 2013. But more importantly, the new hyper-HD TVs will feature Sharp's brand new Spectros Rich Color Display technology, which the company claims provides a 21% wider color spectrum than standard LED TVs.
Another new piece of technology inside the UD27 line is Sharp's AquoDimming (cute), which is essentially an upgrade to the firm's 4K upscaling tech, enhancing contrast and detail in HD images bumped up to 4K.
The company was also keen to point out that these models will be able to stream 4K content from providers like Netflix, and all four of the TVs' HDMI ports will accept UHD signals at up to 60 frames per second.
Smart and stylish, but still expensive
Of course, the 4K TVs would be remiss not to include a Smart TV component, alive and well in the UD27 line as SmartCentral 3.0, replete with a recommendation engine and support for most of the leading music and video streaming apps. There's also an updated mobile app (of the same name) in the works to access all of this functionality on iOS and Android.
All of this is provided within an astonishingly thin 0.4-inch aluminum bezel with a brushed finish. The set sits on a subtle, silver table stand, but it looks rather large to support that immense size.
Now, for the ultimate catch: the Aquos UD27 4K TVs will run you $2,999 (about £1,767, AU$3,193) for the 60-inch model and an even steeper $4,499 (around £2,647, AU$4,791) for the 70-incher. At the very least, we're seeing these outlandish prices trend downward at a steady clip.
High-res audio to match high-res video
Sharp came out from left field with unveiling the first wireless high-resolution audio player, ironically known as the SD-WH1000U. (Get it?) The player can transmit 7.1 channels of digital audio at 24-bit, 96kHz quality wirelessly on the far-less-used 5GHz band.
The players comes sporting a Blu-ray optical drive as well, and supports a wide range of audio formats: SACD, CD, Blu-ray, DVD (video only), FLAC, WAV, MP3 and DSD. Plus, the thing can access all of these file formats through external USB media.
Of course, the first in wireless, high-res audio transmission is going to cost you - more than Sharp's newest 60-inch 4K TV, in fact. The asking price when the SD-WH1000U will launch this September: a whopping $4,999 (about £2,941, AU$5,323).
When asked if this might make a good receiver for a typical home entertainment setup, Sharp SVP strategic Product Marketing James Sanduski referred to the product's high price point.
"It's a completely different market for us. We're positioning it primarily as a high resolution audio product for audiophiles and the installer market, and there will be no Internet retail. We expect to sell hundreds of these per month, not hundreds of thousands."
Sharp also announced its Wireless Bridge (VR-WR100U), designed to enable passive speaker systems to receive the wireless signal from the $5,000 player, for $999 (around £587, AU$1,067). The Wireless Bridge will launch alongside the SD-WH1000U.
HDTVs are still a thing, you know
Finally, Sharp updated its line of Aquos HD LED TVs, the 660 line, with the same ultra-thin bezel found on the 4K models and the newest version of its SmartCentral software.
The 60-inch Sharp Aquos 660 will run at $1,199 (about £705, AU$1,277), while the 70-inch model will cost a cool $1,999 (around £1,176, AU$2,129), when they both launch this September.
Additional reporting by Scott Alexander
- Like hyper-HD TVs and want to know more? Check out our 4K TV primer