Sharp, Pioneer Resurrect Elite Brand with LED LCD TVs
LED LCD TVs available in 60- and 70-inch models and are loaded with picture-quality enhancing tech that will appeal to videophiles.
There were bowed heads across the videophile world when Pioneer left the TV business a few years ago taking with it the Kuro plasma TVs that many viewers believed were the best flat panels on the market. Ears started twitching earlier this year when Sharp and Pioneer announced that they were going to be working together to launch a new line of Elite TVs. Well, here we are, and the mating looks pretty sweet.
The TVs, which are 3D and ship with two active shutter glasses, come in 60- and 70-inch models and are LED-based LCD TVs loaded with picture-quality enhancing tech, some of which sounds familiar. First, the TVs incorporate full-array backlighting, rather than edge lighting, creating more uniform screen lighting and localized dimming (by LED groups). All Elite TVs include a yellow sub pixel along with the standard red/blue/green formulation, which, when added together, creates more than 8 million dots on the screen. This sound a lot like the Quattron system Sharp introduced in 2010.
The models are claiming a refresh rate of “greater than 240Hz” due to a proprietary scanning backlight technology.
Videophiles will be pleased to learn that the Elite TVs are THX certified. It also includes ISF certification with Day and Night modes for calibration.
But the feature that the company is most hyping is something called Intelligent Variable Contrast. Found only on the new Elite TVs, it automatically controls both the brightness and backlight to enhance color depth, brilliance and detail in dark areas - sounds like the Kuro effect to me.
Another online feature, borrowed from the Sharp book, is Elite Advantage Live (called Aquos Advantage on Sharp TVs) that allows online tech support directly through the TV. A remote tech can adjust settings in the TV, so you can just hand it over to the experts without letting them in your home.
The Elite TVs, remaining true to the original Elite line, will only be available at select specialty dealers. The 60-inch model carries an MSRP of $5,999.99, and the 70-inch model carries an MSRP of $8,499.99.
Check out this hands on video from Engadget HD.
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Grant Clauser is a technology editor, covering home electronics for more than 10 years for such publications as Electronic House and Dealerscope. He's done ISF-level damage to hundreds of reviewed products and has had audio training from Home Acoustics Alliance and Sencore. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email at email@example.com
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