Sharp unveils 108-inch LCD TV

Sharp Electronics took the wraps off the largest LCD television: a 108-incher. Sharp realizes, of course, that not very many people will want such a gargantuan TV. Their rebuttal? There is always commercial customers, price drops and those early adopters. It should also be noted that this is yet another blow to plasma televisions: one of their main advantages was sheer size. Not only is this LCD television larger than any plasma one announced (105"), it has a higher resolution than plasmas and a lower power consumption.

"There is no question that LCD is becoming the dominant format in flat panels," Toshihiko Fujimoto, CEO of Sharp Electronics said. Consequently, Sharp plans to increase its marketing and branding efforts for LCD TVs in 2007 as well as apply price pressure to its closest competitors.

Opened in August 2006, Sharp's secret weapon is an eighth-generation plant in Kameyama, Japan. The factory processes glass sheets, which measure just more than 7 feet by 8 feet. Monthly production will go up to 30,000 sheets of glass in January 2007 and should be at 90,000 in March 2008. A single sheet is equivalent to six 52-inch LCDs. Thanks to the plant, Sharp has four separate lines of LCD televisions that differ in technical specifications. For example, Sharp plans to release (later in 2007) televisions with a refresh rate of 120Hz (as opposed to 60Hz) - this is expected to largely increase picture quality.

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