We dropped in on Sharp America's keynote. Here's the lowdown:
12:15 - Mike Troettie, President of Sharp America, takes the stage. He announces the shipment of a 65-inch LC-TV model, alongside plans to open a second Kameyama factory capable of producing 8 45-inch screens out of a single piece of glass.
12:23 - Partnering with NBC, Troettie reveals plans to erect a new Times Square sign in the shape of an AQUOS, part of a 10-year agreement.
12:25 - Troettie points to Sharp's dedication to a major appliance launch in 2006, highlighted by the world's first microwave drawer. 12:26 - Bob Scaglione, Sharp America's Senior VP of Marketing, takes the stage. Scaglione reiterates his company's foucs on the future of LC-TV and referrences the new AQUOS 57-inch model with a 5 wave-length backlight, 176 degree viewing angle, 1500:1 contrast ratio, and a 4-millisecond response time. In addition, the smaller D40, D50 and D90 models will also feature a 176 degree viewing angle, to go with a 1200:1 contrast ratio and 6-millisecond response time.
12:30 - Scaglione highlights Sharp's big three for 2006: megacontrast, two-way viewing angle, and Network AQUOS. The megacontrast feature will display an impressive 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio, and should become popular with broadcasters, production studios, and film studios. Two-way viewing will allow two different video streams to fill the entire screen simultaneously, so that left and right viewers can be watching two separate feeds (think: driver monitoring a navigation system, while passenger watches DVD). The Network AQUOS will make use of PLC technology, and features a built-in web browser, allowing users to watch a video feed and browse the internet at the same time.
12:32 - Scaglione introduces the XV-Z20000, Sharp's first true 1080p DLP projector, featuring TI HD technology. The Z20000 will debut as Sharp's highest priced model, retailing for over $10,000.
12:33 - Scaglione makes vague mention of Sharp's dedication to the Blu-ray format, quickly segueing into a preview of the new 1-bit home theatre audio system.
12:35 - Q & A: Scaglione is pressed for more details about Sharp's plans for a Blu-ray player/recorder. Initially, Scaglione says that a player will not debut until 2007 and no pricing information is available. Later, he suggests that a Blu-ray player could be released by the summer of this year, followed by a Blu-ray recorder sometime in 2007. Scaglione had no informaiton about Blu-ray output specs.