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Sharp unveils 65-in. LCD TV to compete with plasma screens

Posted: 06 Jun 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:65-inch? liquid crystal display tv? large-sized plasma?

Sharp Corp. will introduce a full high-definition 65-inch liquid crystal display TV in August that will compete with large-sized plasma TVs from LG Philips and Matsushita.

Sharp displayed a prototype of the 65-inch panel last October at CEATEC Japan. The company plans to introduce the TV in Japan initially, but expand sales worldwide over the next year.

The 65-inch TV features a new cold cathode fluorescent backlight, which adds fluorescent material to emit deep red at 660 nm for more natural color representation.

"Only one material is added to the conventional fluorescent blend, so (there is ) no impact on process and cost," said Michiharu Nishihara, deputy general manager of Sharp's LCD digital systems division.

Although some LCD suppliers have started using LEDs for backlights, Ishihara said, "From the viewpoint of efficiency and cost, the cold cathode tube will be the better solution for another two years or so."

The 65-in. unit gives Sharp another pawn in its quest to continue ruling the LCD TV market. Though not the largest LCD panel supplier, Sharp has been ranked by analysts as the largest supplier of finished LCD TVs. The company expects to sell 4 million LCD TVs this year, 1.7 million in Japan and 2.3 million in the rest of the world.

Sharp forecasts the global LCD TV market growing to 150 million units this year. For the current fiscal year, LCD TV sales will triple that of PDP TVs, said Takashi Okuda, group general manager, Audio-Visual Systems Group of Sharp. He predicted that the era when large TVs means LCD TVs will surely come.

That era may be approaching rapidly in Japan. According to the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), LCD TV sales were twice that of PDP TVs in the over 32-inch screen size category in Japan over the last fiscal year.

To meet surging LCD TV panel demand, Sharp started operating a 6th generation LCD fab in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture, in Jan. 2004. The line uses 1500 x 1800 mm glass substrates, from which two 65-inch panels can be cut up.

Next month, Sharp Corp. will begin building a second Kameyama fab with an 8th generation LCD line using 2160 x 2400 mm glass substrates. The fab is scheduled to begin operating October 2006.

Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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