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Sharp's $31,000 60-inch Ultra HDTV Will Be Made-to-Order

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sharp recently introduced its most expensive TV to date: the 60-inch ICC Purios costing a hefty $31,283 USD (Y2,625,00). This high-dollar Ultra HD TV will be made-to-order, Sharp told the paper, and will be released first in Japan on February 20. Currently the company hasn't decided if it wants to sell it overseas.

According to the specs, the Ultra HD TV set will sport a 3840 x 2160 resolution, allowing it to display over 8 million pixels. The ICC Purios is also THX-certified, and provides four HDMI inputs, two USB ports, an Ethernet port, and Wi-Fi support. Other features include a 35-watt speaker system, a headphone jack, and multiple tuners so that users can record two programs simultaneously when using an external drive.

Back in October, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that 4K HDTVs would be officially renamed Ultra High-Definition, or Ultra HD, going forward. The CEA’s Board of Industry Leaders unanimously voted to endorse the consensus opinion of CEA’s "4K" Working Group recommending the term "Ultra High-Definition" and related performance attributes.

"The name and related minimum performance characteristics are designed to help consumers and retailers understand the attributes of this next generation of superior television and display technology beginning to roll out this fall," the CEA stated.

Sharp's Ultra HD offering arrives as the Osaka-based company struggles to overcome "a cash crunch and continued losses from its mainstay operations." Earlier this month, Qualcomm said it is making an equity investment in Sharp Corporation, thus becoming a minority shareholder in Sharp. Qualcomm's equity investment will take place in stages and the consummation of the transaction is subject to certain contingencies.

Given Sharp's current financial troubles, it would seem insane that the company would offer an Ultra HD TV at such a high price. When asked about the consumer cost, a Sharp representative said that some customers are so conscious about the quality of images on their TV that they won't even consider the higher cost a problem.

“There may be other 4K TVs on the market, but our 4K TV offers images that are so realistic that viewers feel as if they were experiencing the scene in real life,”  a spokeswoman said.

Guess we'll find out at CES 2013 next month. Oh, and remember, it's Ultra HD, not 4K TV.


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