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Sharp goes ‘Beyond 4K’ with new flagship TV, unveils four new 4K UHD series

Sharp today unveiled its latest gambit to keep up with the big boys in the 4K Ultra HD TV segment, taking the cover off its new 2015 Aquos 4K UHD lineup at CES 2015 in Las Vegas. The sparkling new TVs are available in seven screen sizes across three new series, along with the all-new flagship of Sharp’s 4K UHD fleet, the stunning 80-inch “Beyond 4K UHD TV,” which Sharp is calling “the highest resolution 4K Ultra HD TV available in 2015.”

Beyond 4K UHD 

Sharp says its new Aquos Beyond 4K UHD TV is designed to offer the best viewing experience available. To that end, Sharp has borrowed some tricks from last year’s hybrid 4K/HD TV, the Q+, employing proprietary Quattron Pixel Splitting technology to achieve a “higher effective resolution rate.” Essentially, Pixel Splitting involves the addition of a yellow subpixel to the red, green, and blue subpixels present in traditional LED panels, then mixes in some digital wizardry to create a claimed “167 percent higher resolution” than other 4K competitors. The technology only enhances certain colors like green and gold, however, leaving behind primarily red and blue.

Sharp’s new Beyond ringer adds other technologies to dazzle the eyes as well, however, including Sharp’s proprietary “Spectros rich color display” for a claimed billion more shades of color than any Sharp TV before it, as well as a full-array LED backlight with local dimming to create better contrast in darker scenes. Perhaps most impressive is the new display’s addition of a burgeoning new technology called High Dynamic Range, which is designed to create spectacular contrast between bright whites, and deep blacks on screen — something many feel rivals 4K resolution when it comes to impact on picture quality. Pricing for the flagship remains undisclosed, and it’s not expected to be available until “late 2015.”

A TV this loaded with bells and whistles deserves more attention, so we’ll be taking a private tour tomorrow to get a closer look. Stay tuned for our eyes-on impressions.

Related: Sharp Aquos Q+ review

Sharp Aquos UB30 ($750-2,230)

Stepping down from Beyond 4K ambitions, Sharp also has three new traditional 4K UHD TV series on display at the show, starting with the entry-level UB30 model. The UB30 digs all the way down to a 43-inch screen size (actually, 42.5-inch), scaling up to 50, 55, and 65-inch models. The smallest size starts at a bargain-basement $750, though we usually recommend 55-inch screens or higher to take full advantage of the added resolution offered by 4K UHD displays. The larger sizes are still highly competitive, though, priced at $950 for the 50-inch size, $1,200 for the 55-inch, and $2,300 for the 65-inch size.

Like all of Sharp’s new 4K UHD TVs the UB30 offers basic features such as HEVC (h.265) decoding for streaming 4K UHD content from such popular services as Netflix, as well as the Youtube-preferred VP9 decoding. Other features include Sharp’s SmartCentral 3.0 platform, as well as the company’s Revelation upscaler to step up the resolution of regular 1080p HD content. The 65-inch model adds local dimming for better black levels and contrast

A full list of the UB30 specs can be found below:

  • 43” (42.5” diag.), 50” (49.5” diag.), 55” (54.5” diag.) and 65” (64.5” diag.) Class screen sizes
  • 4K Ultra HD: 4X the pixel resolution of Full HD
  • Revelation™ Upscaler
  • 4K Ultra HD Streaming (HEVC/h.265; VP9)
  • SmartCentral™ 3.0
  • 4K Ultra HD Specs (HDMI 2.0; HDCP 2.2)
  • Local dimming (65”)
  • Modern Design – ultra slim bezel, sleek stand
  • Wallpaper Mode
  • Quad-core processor
  • 3 HDMI, 2 USB [43″ (42.5” diag.), 50″ (49.5”)]; 4 HDMI, 2 USB [55″ (49.5” diag.), 65” (64.5” diag.) Class screen sizes], optical audio output, 8 Wi-Fi
  • MSRP 43” Class LC43UB30U: $750
  • MSRP 50” Class LC50UB30U: $1,000
  • MSRP 55” Class LC55UB30U: $1,200
  • MSRP 65” Class LC65UB30: $2,300

Sharp Aquos UE30

The second tier of Sharp’s new lineup comes in three sizes, including 60-, 70-, and 80-inches, priced at $2,000, $2,800, and a whopping $5,800 respectively — though that still marks a bargain for 80 full inches of 4K UHD. The series tacks on all the marquee features of the cheap-seat UB30 series and adds a whole lot more, including Sharp’s AquoMotion 480, local dimming for improved black levels and contrast across all of the panel sizes, and a slimmer bezel design.

Perhaps most intriguing for the UE30 is Sharp’s new SmartCentral 4.0 platform, which has been improved through a partnership with Google’s intuitive and versatile Android TV system. That alone could make an enticing pitch to move up to the UE30.

Find a detailed list of the UE30’s features below:

  • 60” (diag.), 70” (69.5” diag.), 80” Class screen sizes
  • 4K Ultra HD: 4X the pixel resolution of Full HD
  • Revelation™ Upscaler
  • 4K Ultra HD Streaming (HEVC/h.265; VP9)
  • AquoMotion™ 480
  • AquoDimming™
  • SmartCentral™ 4.0
  • Android TV platform
  • 4K Ultra HD Specs (HDMI 2.0; HDCP 2.2)
  • Modern Design – ultra slim bezel, sleek stand
  • Dual Stand Placement Options (70” diag./80” diag.)
  • Wallpaper Mode
  • Quad-core processor
  • 4 HDMI, 3 USB,  Wi-Fi
  • MSRP 60” Class LC60UE30: $2,000
  • MSRP 70” Class LC70UE30: $2,800
  • MSRP 80” Class LC80UE30: $5,400

Sharp Aquos UH30

Save Sharp’s next-gen Beyond 4K UHD TV, the UH30 series is the best you can get. In typical Sharp fashion, the series comes only in mega sizes of 70 or 80-inches, priced at a hefty $3,200 and $6,000 respectively. In addition to all of the UE30’s spoils, Sharp expects to receive the hallowed THX Certification for this series, the UHD version of a high-performance guarantee, along with a few other extras like a touchpad remote, and an “ultra slim bezel.” Again, apart from its picture performance, we’re most excited to get some eyes-n time with the intuitive new Smart Central 4.0 platform with Android TV.

Take a gander at the UH30 series specs below:

  • 70” (69.5” diag.) and 80” (diag.) Class Screen Sizes
  • THX 4K-Certified Picture Quality (THX certification pending 70” (69.5” diag.) only
  • SPECTROS™ Rich Color Display
  • Revelation™ Upscaler
  • 4K Ultra HD Streaming (HEVC/h.265; VP9)
  • 4K Ultra HD Specs (HDMI 2.0, HDCP 2.2)
  • AquoMotion™ 960
  • AquoDimming™
  • SmartCentral™ 4.0
  • Android TV platform
  • Modern Design – ultra slim bezel, sleek stand
  • Dual Stand Placement Options
  • Wallpaper Mode
  • Quad-core processor
  • Touchpad Remote
  • 4 HDMI, 3 USB, , Wi-Fi
  • MSRP 70” Class LC70UH30: $3,200
  • MSRP 80” Class LC80UH30: $6,000     

Sharp’s new UB30, UE30, and UH30 TVs are expected to be available sometime this Spring. We’ll be taking a closer look at all of Sharp’s new 4K UHD TVs on the showroom floor so check back with us soon.