Remember Pioneer's Kuro brand of HDTVs? The high-end plasma line became the benchmark for the home theater market, leaving a rather large void in the hearts of the HD obsessive after it kicked the bucket two years ago. Now, Sharp and Pioneer are bringing back some of the technology used in that line, while leaving the Kuro name to rest in peace. The Elite branding will remain, however, with the new line of LED LCD TVs. Available in 60-inch and 70-inch flavors, the new Elites will only be available through high-end retailers, and will be priced at $6,000 and $8,500, respectively. The Pro-60X5FD will ship in the US next week, and the Pro-70X5FD will hit stores later this month.

Among the sets' features, Sharp promises excellent contrast ratios, high color fidelity, and very low black levels, thanks to zone-based local dimming. The company claims a frame rate of "about 720hz," thanks to 240Hz quadrupling and scanning backlight technology. The TVs also include Sharp's quad-pixel technology, complementing the typical RGB pixel arrangement with a fourth, yellow sub-pixel. This sounds similar to the company's Quattron technology, though Sharp doesn't appear to be using that name with its new Elite line. There's also 3D functionality, and Internet connectivity, with pre-loaded Netflix, Vudu, and social media apps. The TVs also include Elite Advantage Live, for real-time remote technical support. We're at the Elite event in New York City, so stay tuned for more details and a full hands-on later this morning.
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SHARP® INTRODUCES ELITE® LED LCD TVs

Available in 60"class (60 1/32" diagonal) and 70"class (69 1/2" diagonal) screen sizes, Elite TVs will set new standards in ultra high end televisions

NEW YORK, N.Y. (August 4, 2011) – Sharp is bringing back an iconic name in television by introducing Elite LED LCD TVs. Providing the highest caliber picture quality and technology available, Elite TVs are designed for discerning consumers who want the best home entertainment experience.

"Over the past 25 years the Elite brand has developed a loyal and avid fan base of audiophiles and videophiles," said Tom Evans, Sharp's associate vice president and general manager of Product & Marketing for Elite televisions. "We are confident that our new line of Elite LCD TVs will appeal to the Elite purists who expect the highest picture quality and experience as well as today's luxury technology enthusiasts looking for the most innovative products to outfit their digitally connected homes."

Elite LED LCD TVs will be available in 60" class (60 1/32" diagonal), and 70" class (69 1/2" diagonal) screen sizes in late August. Elite LED LCD TVs feature the most innovative video technologies available on the market.

UNIQUE COMBINATION OF FEATURES

Elite LED LCD TVs are designed to provide a superior picture quality to other LCD TVs currently on the market. A unique combination of features and technology developed specifically for Elite televisions deliver deep black levels, depth of color, high brightness and smooth images to achieve an astonishing picture.

Elite LCD televisions incorporate proprietary RGB+Y technology, which adds a yellow sub-pixel to the standard red/green/blue color palette. The addition of the yellow sub-pixel enables the reproduction of a much broader range of colors. RGB+Y technology creates higher brightness using less power and more accurately depicts vivid yellows and vibrant golds. RGB+Y technology makes possible Precision Color Plus, four sub-pixels composed of smaller dots, creating more than 8 million dots per screen for a much smoother, more appealing detailed image.

Elite Televisions feature:

• FluidMotion, which combines an advanced frame creation system with Elite's unique scanning backlight technology creating a greater than 240 Hz effect, improves picture clarity and smoothness;
• Full Array LED, which includes a full array of Light Emitting Diodes, evenly dispersed behind a diffuser resulting in more uniform and brighter lighting versus traditional edge-lit LEDs;
• Local Dimming which allows specific groups of LEDs to be dimmed for greater control of brightness and darkness in different areas of the screen for outstanding black levels;

INTELLIGENT VARIABLE CONTRAST

But what makes Elite televisions Elite is Intelligent Variable Contrast. Developed specifically for Elite Televisions, Intelligent Variable Contrast technology works with all of the other Elite technologies to automatically control brightness and backlight to create depth of color, brilliance, detail and dark areas. The result is a television beyond compare that sets new standards in picture quality.

Additional features complete the state-of-the art engineering and design:

• Elegant form factor, with fine, brushed aluminum finish, precision cut mitered bezel and slim cabinet depth round out the television's premium design
• Connectivity to Netflix®, VUDU™, CinemaNow™, YouTube®, and others;
• 3-D Functionality including two sets of active shutter 3-D glasses;
• Elite Advantage LiveSM, which offers an unprecedented level of support via Internet connectivity where a personal advisor can remotely connect to the TV and provide a variety of services such as setup, picture adjustment, or basic calibration.
• THX® Certified display – reserved for TVs with best in class picture quality, THX Certified displays deliver movie experiences with the same stunning color and detail found in the filmmaker's studio.
• ISF® (Imaging Science Foundation) certification
• Variety of AV modes including Elite Pure Mode, a mode that replicates the settings of previous Elite TVs
• Skype™ ready (Skype camera kit sold separately)

Elite LCD HDTVs will only be available at select high-end retailers and via custom installation companies that have the knowledge and experience to represent the finest TVs on the market. The Elite LED LCD TV 60" class (60 1/32" diagonal) carries an MSRP of $5,999.99, and the Elite LED LCD TV 70" class (69 1/2" diagonal) carries an MSRP of $8,499.99.

Sharp Electronics Corporation (SEC) and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc., two of the leading U.S. audio/video product companies, joined together in a unique marketing collaboration to launch the first Elite LED LCD TVs. For 25 years the Elite brand has provided audiophiles and videophiles with an amazing entertainment experience and a number of high-end audio/video receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ players and speakers made by Pioneer. Sharp has licensed the Elite brand and Elite LCD LED TVs will be sold through the Pioneer authorized Elite dealer network.

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Sharp and Pioneer resurrect Elite with line of LED LCD TVs, pricing starts at $6,000