Sharp announces budget series of 1080p LCDs

Sharp has announced a new line of budget LCDs, which all feature a 1080p native resolution and PC connectivity, but still cost more than comparable models from Vizio and Toshiba.

Prices continue to fall among pretty much all types of HDTVs, but competition in the budget LCD market is particularly fierce, with companies like Samsung, Toshiba, and Vizio continually cutting prices. Sharp's new SB series of LCD HDTVs--the 42-inch LC-42SB45U, 46-inch LC-46SB54U and 52-inch LC-52SB55U--are aimed at the budget crowd, but in reality the sets are a bit more expensive than comparable sets from Vizio and Toshiba . Let's take a look at the specs released so far:

Sharp LC-42SB45U

Key features of the LC-42SB45U:

  • 1920 x 1080 (1080p) native resolution
  • Three HDMI inputs
  • Two component video inputs
  • VGA-style PC input
  • Available in September, with a list price of $1,400

Sharp LC-46SB54U

Key features of the LC-46SB54U:

  • 1920 x 1080 (1080p) native resolution
  • Two HDMI inputs
  • Two component video inputs
  • VGA-style PC input
  • Available now, with a list price of $1,900

Sharp LC-52SB55U

Key features of the LC-52SB55U:

  • 1920 x 1080 (1080p) native resolution
  • Four HDMI inputs
  • Two component video inputs
  • VGA-style PC input
  • Available now, with a list price of $2,300

The feature set on these LCDs is pretty standard (although two HDMI inputs on the LC-46SB54U feels a bit stingy), so whether they're worth it or not will probably come down to how well they perform. While we can't comment on the performance of these sets until we get a review sample, we're hoping that Sharp has taken steps to reduce banding--a screen uniformity issue we've seen on most recent Sharp LCDs that makes certain parts of the screen appear darker than others. On the other hand, we have been impressed with the black levels on Sharp LCDs, but now the company will have to compete with the increasingly crowded budget LCD marketplace.

 

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