Sharp now shipping 70-inch LCD for $3,800

Billing its 70-inch LC-70LE732U as "the largest LCD television on the market," Sharp announces pricing and availability.

You can't tell from this image, but the Sharp LC-70LE732U is really big. Sharp

At CES, both Sharp and LG announced LCD TVs that hit the 70-inch milestone, and today Sharp has finalized pricing and availability on its beast. The former is $3,799 (list) and the latter is "now."

The 70-inch LC-70LE732U is being billed by Sharp as "the largest LCD television on the market," and until LG ships its 72-inch 72LZ9700, it is--at least as far as we and NPD know.

Your 3.8 grand will buy 2,088 square inches of screen, compared with a mere 1,801, 1,534, and 1,289 inches, respectively, for the 65-, 60-, and 55-inch pipsqueak LCD sold by Sharp's competitors (and Sharp itself). If you're counting, Panasonic's 85- and 103-inch plasmas are even bigger, but they start at 20.1 grand.

Sharp's pricing is pretty aggressive in the ultra-big-screen category. The smaller 65-inch Panasonic TC-P65ST30 ($3300 list) and 64-inch Samsung PN64D8000 ($3,800 list) plasmas are in the size ballpark but lesser values if you just want the biggest screen for your buck. The only TVs that can compete with the Sharp in that arena are the rear-projection DLPs from Mitsubishi, like the 73-inch WD-73738 ($2,100) and the 82-inch WD-82738 ($3,500).

Of interest to videophiles is the fact that the 70-inch Sharp will have a full-array LED backlight, which might improve its screen uniformity compared with edge-lit models. Unlike smaller full-array LEDs from companies like Vizio, LG, and Sony, however, the LC-70LE732U lacks local dimming.

Though it's also not a 3D TV, the LC-70LE732U is a Quattron-equipped model with Sharp's proprietary extra pixel technology , a 120Hz refresh rate, and the requisite Internet services.

The company is unleashing three more 70-inch LCDs this summer--the "LC-70LE735U (3D), LC-70LE734U, and LC-70LE733U," but details were scarce on how they otherwise differ from the 732U. We do know they'll get built-in Wi-Fi, however, and we strongly suspect they'll be more expensive.

 

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