Blu-ray may still be a niche product, but it's a sure sign that the technology is going mainstream is that it's being built into TVs. Sharp has announced a full line of LCDs with integrated Blu-ray players, the LC-BD80U series, which is a new product category for CES 2009. While the initial details are scarce on the features of the built-in Blu-ray player, there are at least some specs available for the LCDs.
Key features of the Sharp LC-BD80U series:
- Advanced Super View antireflective screen
- 120Hz refresh rate, with dejudder processing
- Four HDMI inputs (three on the LC-32BD60U and LC-37BD60U)
- Two component video inputs
- PC input
- 32-, 37-, 42-, 46- and 52-inch screen sizes
It's nice to see LCDs with built-in Blu-ray, which can be convenient in locations where you wouldn't want the bulk of a separate player. However, we're anxious to see more details on this series, particularly pricing and whether the Blu-ray profile is fully Profile 2.0 compatible. It will also be a harder sell on some of the smaller screen sizes, where the superior image quality of Blu-ray won't be as noticeable, although it's still nice to have the option to watch your Blu-ray discs on, say, the bedroom TV.
It's also worth pointing out that Sharp explicitly says the LG-BD80Us will have dejudder processing, which is a feature that was missing from last year's LCDs. While not every viewer likes the effect of dejudder processing, it's nice to have the option, especially since it's quickly becoming a standard feature. (More info on 120Hz and dejudder processing here.)
The LC-32BD80U, LC-37BD80U, LC-42BD80U will come out in January; the LC-46BD80U and LC-52BD80U will come out in February. No pricing has been announced for these sets.