At a news conference in Tokyo, electronics giant Sharp announced it would throwing its gauntlet into the 3D television arena, saying it planned to deliver its first 3D-capable HDTVs in Japan this summer, with launches following in Europe and the United States before the end of the first quarter of 2011. The company also says it has a number of new technologies that will make its 3D sets stand out from the competition, including clearer and brighter displays with more accurate colors—particularly in the yellow range. But, of course, viewers will still have to don those oh-so-attractive 3D classes to enjoy 3D content.
Sharp had initially downplayed the important of 3D technology, questioning how many consumers really wanted 3D displays in their home and citing the distinct paucity of 3D content in the marketplace. However, as Hollywood has indicated its enthusiasm for all things 3D—both in theaters and in consumers’ living rooms—Sharp has decided to embrace the technology rather than be left out of the market.
Among the innovations Sharp plans to bring to its 3D TVs are higher refresh frequencies to eliminate flickering as the sets switch between the different images sent to the right and left eye.
Sharp has weathered the global economic downturn rather well compared to rivals like Sony, in part because Sharp manufactures LCD panels for other television makers, as well as markets them under its own brand. Sharp sold more than 10 million television sets during its last fiscal year through March 2010; however, the company has been beaten to the punch in the 3D market by the likes of Samsung and Panasonic. Sony plans to launch its first 3D sets later this year.
Last week, Sharp showed off small displays intended for handheld and mobile devices that can show 3D images without 3D glasses.