Sharp ships new 6-series AQUOS LED Smart TVs with one hand and accepts $111 Million from Samsung with the other

LC-60LE650UIt has been a very busy and tumultuous twelve months for Sharp Corp.; one in which the struggling Japanese consumer electronics giant has been forced to seek out capital investment to stay liquid, stabilize its balance sheet, and seek out new partners. Sharp’s purchase and relaunch of the Elite brand from Pioneer was applauded by industry experts who saw it as a bold move to counter the premium offerings from rivals Panasonic and Samsung. But the jury remains out on whether the small, super-expensive premium line will really grab hold. Sharp may dominate the 60-inch + HDTV category, but it’s financial lifeline is its IGZO technology, which is prized by smartphone and tablet manufacturers.

Sharp posted a woeful 36.7 billion yen loss in Q4 of 2012, putting it in dire financial straits and requiring major liquidity infusions from four Japanese financial institutions; a fifth deal with Taiwanese manufacturer Hon Hai Precision fell through and forced Sharp to look elsewhere.

Much to the chagrin of Apple – for whom Sharp has supplied high-resolution screens for the iPhone and iPad – Samsung has come to Sharp’s rescue with a $111 million cash infusion and a 3% ownership stake in the company. Samsung’s modest investment in Sharp makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons: it stops Apple and Hon Hai from gaining exclusivity over Sharp’s technology, it makes Sharp a partner, and Samsung can now use Sharp as a long-term supplier of LCD screens for its Galaxy Note and Tab tablets, laptops, and HDTVs, allowing it to focus more energy on its OLED technology. Cash is king when you are deep in the red.

With all of that going on in the background, Sharp still managed to unveil a new line-up of its AQUOS LED Smart TVs at CES 2013, including the brand new 6-series which begins shipping today. The 80-inch model starts shipping in May.

 The 6-Series includes four different models in screen size classes of 50-, 60-, 70- and 80-inches (LC-50LE650, LC-60LE650, LC-70LE650 and LC-80LE650) and features the AQUOS 1080p LED display with advanced pixel structure for “stunning HD images” with a claimed 4,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 120Hz refresh rate. A smart TV aremed with a dual core processor, the 6-Series features built in Wi-Fi, apps, a web browser and a range of smart control and connectivity options. Its slim design and thin frame mean you can fit more screen in less space. 

Sharp has done a good job with its larger HDTVs; especially its award-winning LC-90LE745U 90-inch 3D LED behemoth, which seems like a bargain at $11,000 compared to the $20,000 that LG wants for its 84-inch 4K/Ultra HD television. The LG may offer better picture quality, but with no 4K content or players available yet, it almost seems silly to invest in it at this early stage in the game. The 90-inch Sharp offers a projector/screen experience with fewer installation issues and excellent picture quality.

All units in the 2013 AQUOS large-screen lineup will be Smart TV’s with dual-core processors, Web browsers and built-in Wi-Fi. Sharp’s SmartCentral Smart TV platform provides a way for consumers to access virtually unlimited Web-based content. SmartCentral includes an expanded selection of apps, Flash and HTML5-supported Web browsing and Android and iOS remote control operation. Also featured is Sharp Beam, a free app that enables users to send content from iOS and Android smartphones or tablets to the big screen with a flick. The new feature gives consumers the ability to split screens for simultaneous TV viewing and Web browsing.

The new 6-series AQUOS products start at $5,000 for th e 80-inch model, $2,500 for the 70- inch model, $1,500 for the 60-inch unit, and $1,050 for the 50-inch HDTV.

Mobile

Tizen 4 arriving on Samsung’s Gear S3 and Gear Sport smartwatches

Samsung is updating the Gear S3 Classic, Gear S3 Frontier, and the Gear Sport to the newest version of Tizen 4. Along with of some little tweaks to usability and quality-of-life, Samsung has added some new features.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus photo leaks with dual front-facing camera

It won't be long now; With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Smart Home

Legrand’s Smart Lighting touts security, interoperability, and simple setup

Near universal connectivity including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings, Nest, Ring, and the Internet of Things is the theme of Legrand's Smart Lighting Radiant collection of switches, dimmers, outlets, and plugs.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Deals

Amazon knocks $50 off the Sonos Beam soundbar and smart speaker

If you're looking to add some oomph to your home audio setup, then through February 3, the Alexa-enabled Sonos Beam is on sale for $50 off, bringing this excellent sound bar down to just $349 on Amazon.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

Stay inside this winter with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Killing Eve'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘John Wick,’ Ghostbusters,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailers for Spider-Man: Far From Home and John Wick: Chapter 3.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘American Crime Story’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, and more.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (January 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The show cost how much?! The priciest original series on Netflix

Netflix has spent big bucks on original series, which might be part of the reason why its subscription pricing is going up. Here's a look at some of the priciest series from the streaming service.
Home Theater

Ikea’s Symfonisk Sonos speaker coming in August, priced to “reach many people”

If details in a newly released video are true, we could be looking at Ikea's new Symfonisk speaker collaboration with Sonos to be in stores as soon as August. And the price? Within reach of "many people."