Sharp unveils new Android TV-based SmartCentral 4.0 smart TVs

Today at CES 2015, Sharp has kicked things off with announcements about upcoming 4K TVs, SmartCentral 4.0 for Android and an 85" 8K LCD display prototype.

Starting in 2016, Sharp will offer a handful of new devices including the AQUOS Beyond 4k UHD TV — which will offer 42 million more pixels than standard 4k — and add multiple new models to the AQUOS 4K UHD line and three new models to the Sharp AQUOS 4K Ultra HD series. The UB and UH series will also bring Android TV features with the newly redesigned SmartCentral 4.0 for Android.

During the conference, Sharp will also be showing off a 70" Class Super Slim 4K Ultra HD TV with a depth of less than half an inch, and an 85" 8K LCD display model. This new prototype device features a native resolution of 7680x4320 and 120Hz native panel refresh rate. Also demonstrated will be a a 120" 4K Ultra HD Commercial LCD Display (what Sharp says is the world's largest) as well as a 60" professional wraparound LCD display designed for pillar signage applications.

Press Release


Showcases Unmatched Innovations Across Television, B2B, Mobile and Automotive Industries

LAS VEGAS, N.V. (January 5, 2015) – With an astute focus on resolution, form and design, Sharp unveiled the latest innovations in display technology at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas including smart phones, tablets, commercial displays, in car displays and televisions. Sharp announced breakthrough technologies that power the industry's highest resolution television available in 2015, the frameless smartphone AQUOS Crystal, the first spec'd 85" 8K LCD and the world's largest 4K Ultra HD LCD commercial display. Additionally, Sharp's LCD technology takes a new form, allowing displays of virtually any shape to be integrated into consumer products.

"Sharp has always strived to make products that improve people's lives," said Toshiyuki Osawa, General Sales & Marketing Officer & President Sharp Electronics Corporation. "Sharp is a company of inventors who have created the next generation of display technologies that extend far beyond the living room and simply cannot be duplicated by other companies."

All of the innovations touched upon during the press conference will be featured at the 2015 International CES.

Resolution: 4K Ultra HD and Beyond

In 2015 Sharp will offer consumers the highest resolution TV, the AQUOS Beyond 4K UHD TV. To create this revolutionary TV, Sharp has applied proprietary pixel-splitting and QuattronTM technologies, which result in 66 million subpixels—42 million more than standard 4K. With more subpixels, this TV delivers 167% greater resolution than traditional 4K UHD and begins to approach 8K. This television also produces more color than any other television Sharp has ever produced and stunning high contrast.

Alongside the AQUOS Beyond 4K UHD TV, Sharp is offering high resolution in-home television options for every consumer by quadrupling the number of televisions in the AQUOS 4K UHD line-up from 43" to 80" Class, including five new screen sizes. There will be three new series of Sharp AQUOS 4K Ultra HD TVs, the UE, UB and UH series, all offering cutting-edge picture technologies, amazing detail, modern design and consistent color. The UB and UH series will be equipped with Sharp's redesigned SmartCentral, SmartCentralTM 4.0 on the Android TM1 TV platform. Android TV opens the door to a truly smart experience and to the vast variety of TV optimized apps available on Google Play.

Sharp will demonstrate a 70" Class Super Slim 4K Ultra HD Television, which has a depth of less than half an inch and offers a distinctive and novel design, paired with 4K Ultra HD picture quality. By utilizing a glass light guide plate to distribute light through the LCD panel, this TV is able to be designed in large screen sizes with a very slim footprint. Sharp is leading the movement to next generation resolution and will showcase an 85" 8K LCD display prototype at 2015 CES. This TV is the world's first 8K LCD display that is compliant with the standards of the first 8K test broadcasts, expected in Japan as soon as 2016. With a native resolution of 7680x4320, this TV is not only the first to be BT.2020 compliant, but also offers 120Hz native panel refresh rate and has a bit depth of 12 bits per pixel and delivers 400cd brightness.

Forms of the Future

Sharp's design innovation extends to the Sharp AQUOS Crystal smartphone, the first available smartphone in the U.S. from Sharp's AQUOS line of devices. The AQUOS Crystal features a 5" groundbreaking frameless display that goes right to the edge of the phone. It incorporates two innovations: a thin-bezel LCD module and technology that uses the optical lens effect on the front panel to virtually eliminate edges and minimize device size.

Breakthrough LCD innovations in the commercial sector will also be showcased. Sharp will unveil a number of 2015 professional display models, as well as future technology demonstrations that are being exhibited in conjunction with Sakai Display Products Corporation (SDP), the company that owns the only factory in the world to manufacture large-screen LCDs using 10th Generation glass substrate.

Among these demonstrations will be a 120" 4K Ultra HD Commercial LCD Display. As the world's largest 4K Ultra HD LCD display, it is an ideal alternative to video walls in public spaces and projectors in conference rooms and classrooms. This display can showcase detailed text and brilliant high-resolution content. Another commercial technology demonstration is a 60" Class Professional Wraparound LCD Display. Incorporating a convex curve wraparound design (approximately a 150 degree arc), it is designed for pillar signage applications; offering show-goers new possibilities beyond flat panel displays in the growing digital signage market.*

Engineering Iconic Designs

Going even further in the development of LCD technology, Sharp is freeing LCDs from the restriction to be rectangular with its new FFD (Free Form Display) technology, which allows designers to integrate a display of virtually any shape into their products. Free Form Displays move circuitry out of the bezel and into each pixel, opening a new world of possibilities for product design by eliminating the need for traditional rectangular LCD form factors and providing a stylish, ultra-thin bezel.

This new technology will drastically impact automotive displays, since now dashboard screens can be designed in completely new shapes. In the mobile market, the rectangular cell phone or tablet display may soon be a thing of the past. There are also applications in the rapidly growing wearable market. These Free Form Displays are enabled by IGZO®, an oxide semiconductor that Sharp is the first in the world to successfully mass-produce. Sharp is developing an expanding line of IGZO-based display products that increase resolution, significantly reduce power consumption and improve touch response, as compared to traditional TFT-LCD technology. Sharp continues to push the boundaries of innovation and there have been great strides in commercializing MEMS-IGZO displays. By combining Sharp's deep expertise in LCD and IGZO, with the MEMS shutter technology from Pixtronix, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, the display enables high color reproducibility displays that use very low power and perform in a wide variety of environmental conditions. A 7" Sharp tablet, on display at CES, will be the first product in the industry that utilizes this high color reproducibility, low power MEMS-IGZO display.

Adam Zeis
Editorial Director - High Yield

Adam is the Editorial Director of High-Yield content at Future. Leading an outstanding team, he oversees many articles the publisher produces about subscriptions and services including VPN, TV streaming, and broadband. In addition to identifying new e-commerce opportunities, he has produced extensive buying guides, how-to-watch content, deal news, and in-depth reviews. Adam's work can be seen on numerous Future brands including TechRadar, Tom's Guide, T3, TTR, Android Central, iMore, Windows Central, and Real Homes.