Sharp's press conference was considerably more business oriented than the others so far today, but there were few interesting tidbits.
Sharp is going to invest $3.5 billion in a $9.1 billion facility in Japan to create 10th generation LCD panels. They have also entered into strategic partnerships with Toshiba and Pioneer to share technologies that each company specializes in. This is the sort of cooperation you don't often see with American companies, but these Japanese companies hope that their partnerships will result in better products all around.
The two major things Sharp did show off (besides an amazing looking 65" prototype LCD with a 100,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, was their new line of gaming LCD HDTVs and AQUOS Net, which can also utilize the Sharp-supported PLC adaptors for a wired network over home power lines.
Sharp's new Gaming Series features three different colors of the GP3 set. The set clocks in at 32" and features Sharp's VyperDrive, which reduces lag.
AQUOS Net is a new feature that allows Sharp's ethernet or PLC connected TVs to access the internet for delivery of specialized information that can be customized by the end user. The new AQUOS sets feature a sidebar widget for this delivery, but can also display the information fullscreen. The most interesting feature of this new tech is that it allows Sharp customer service reps and technicians to connect to, diagnose, fix, and calibrate AQUOS sets remotely.
Sharp will also expand its AQUOS line with the SE94 series, which will launch later this month with 65" and 52". A 46" LCD will launch in February. These sets will showcase a 27,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio, 4ms response time (which Sharp assured us many times is industry leading), 3 HDMI 1.3 ports and 2 1080p capable component ports.
They also had some words about OLED technologies, which they are exploring, but claim aren't going to overtake the LCD anytime soon. They cite the 3-4 year lifetime of OLED displays and the difficulty in mass producing OLED displays in larger sizes as the reasons for not aggressively going after OLED as a potential technology.