Sharp announces 3D TV, Blu-ray player, and smartphone

Sharp has announced three new additions to its growing 3D range, its first 3D LCD TV using quad-pixel technology, a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, and the world’s first 3D smartphone.

The products are Sharp’s latest foray into a rapidly growing market, one where Sharp is keen to demonstrate itself as a lead player.

Sharp’s 3D Quattron TV, which will initially come in a massive 60-inch size, aims to deliver a superior 3D experience to rivals on the market, using a variety of new technologies to deliver a brighter picture, which is one of the main criticisms of 3D. 

Sharp’s Quattron quad-pixel technology adds a yellow sub-pixel to the normal RGB arrangement, which brightens things considerably. Sharp is also employing its UV2A system, which ensures optimal alignment of liquid crystals in the display, allowing maximum light from the Super Edge LED backlight, which Sharp believes should ensure the brightest possible picture.

All of this boils down to a 1.8 times brighter display than other 3D TVs on the market.

Despite the extra brightness, Sharp says the 3D Quattron does not use more power than other 3D TVs, which should please environ-mentalists, some of whom have voiced concerns about the extra power requirements for 3D technology.

One major drawback to the new TV is the requirement of 3D glasses. While we’re all used to that from the cinema experience, no one was ever that keen on having to wear them. Several companies, such as Intel, Mitsubishi and TCL, are working on glasses-free 3D TVs and Sharp even developed the parallex-barrier technology behind Nintendo’s glasses-free 3DS. It begs the question why Sharp decided to use shutter technology for this TV, but it more than likely has plans for glasses-free models in the near future.

The 3D Quattron TV will be available in the UK from October for £3,500, with plans for additional models of different sizes in 2011.

Of course, you’ll need a medium from which to play 3D on your TV, so Sharp has produced a 3D-capable Blu-ray player which can play both 2D and 3D. It’s called the BD-HP0S and also comes with built-in wireless LAN capability.

The 3D Blu-ray player will be available in the UK from November for £379.99.

Ah, but what if you are not at home to enjoy the 3D luxury? Well, there’s not an app for that, but there certainly is a smartphone. 

Sharp is to demo a concept model of a 3D smartphone at IFA, but details are currently slim. Models are planned with screens ranging from 3 to 10 inches. From the picture, courtesy of Pocket-lint, we can tell that it has two cameras on the back, so it can obviously record pictures in 3D. We also know that glasses won’t be needed, as it will be using the same technology behind the 3DS, which is a smart move by Sharp, as we didn’t fancy the idea of carrying a pair of 3D glasses with us everywhere we go. 

It has not been revealed which operating system it will run, but it seems very likely that it will be Google’s Android, particularly considering that Sharp is a member of the Open Handset Alliance, which supports the Android platform.

It is not apparent how much 3D smartphones will really catch on. Recently Rockchip announced a 3D-capable Android tablet which was more like a smartphone in size, so we speculated that it was only a matter of time before the technology ported over to smartphones proper. Watching films on a smartphone isn’t that great an experience, however, due to the small screens, so we would expect that 3D on a smartphone is a little bit on the underwhelming side.

Sharp plans to release its 3D smartphone by the end of the year. Pricing has yet to be revealed.

3D smartphone