Sharp enters 4K TV market with 60-inch model costing US$30,000

The display maker said Japan sales begin in February, and it is still planning an international launch

Sharp is gearing up for its entry into the 4k TV market with a 60-inch set that will sell for over US$30,000 and launch in Japan in February.

The Japanese display maker said Tuesday its "ICC Purios" will include new technology for upgrading high-definition video to its 4K format. This is a crucial feature, because little content currently exists in 4K, also known as Ultra HD, the equivalent to four full-HD screens.

Sharp said its ICC, or Integrated Cognitive Creation, technology processes HD signals to add more depth and richness when they are shown in 4K. The TV's resolution is 3840 x 2160 pixels.

The company is still deciding when to launch abroad, with no fixed schedule yet. The pricey appliance will initially be made-to-order in Japan, marketed to consumers for use in home theaters.

The TV acomes with a Wi-Fi adaptor, so it can hook into a home network or use the DLNA format to stream content from a server in a different part of the house. It also links with Sharp's Aquos smartphones to send Internet links for viewing on the larger screen, and will display alerts when viewers received a mail or phone call to their mobile while watching TV.

It also includes a feature for the growing number of elderly people who live alone in Japan. The TV can be set to send emails to relatives when it is switched on, or send mails when it hasn't been switched on 24 hours.

Sharp said the TV was the first to be given the 4K Display Certification by THK, which runs hundreds of tests on products.

Sharp joins the growing ranks of global electronics firms that are rolling out 4k TVs, including Sony, LG and Samsung. There is still little native content for 4K, named for its horizontal resolution. Sony has said its new 84-inch 4K TV will include a hard disc server for downloading movies, and will come pre-loaded with 10 films.

Last month, Sharp announced it will begin selling a 4K monitor, also in February, for about US$5,500. The monitor features a 32-inch screen based on Sharp's IGZO technology and is just 3.5 centimeters thick, weighing 7.5 kilograms.

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