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Sharp: We've developed thinnest, lightest LCD TVs

Trying to pre-empt OLED TVs, company announces 52-inch LCD that is less than an inch thick, under 60 pounds, power-efficient.

Sharp said it has developed the world's thinnest and lightest LCD TVs with enhanced picture quality, in a pre-emptive move before the release of organic light-emitting diode TVs, known for their thin displays and crisp images.

The prototype 52-inch liquid-crystal display TV, which is just over three-quarters of an inch thick and weighs 55 pounds, consumes half as much electricity as comparable existing models, the Osaka-based company said on Wednesday.

Sharp's conventional 52-inch LCD TV measures 3.15 inches in thickness and weighs 67 pounds.

Sharp, the world's No.3 LCD TV maker behind Samsung Electronics and Sony, declined to comment on the price for the new model, but said it aims to start output when its newest LCD factory in Sakai, western Japan, comes online by March 2010.

The new LCD TV has a contrast ratio of 100,000 to 1, compared with 2,000 to 1 for Sharp's existing models, meaning the prototype can produce a much deeper color black on the screen than conventional TVs.

Its light weight also has advantages, Sharp said.

"A TV set weighing 25 kilograms (55 pounds) or lower will make wall-mounted TVs possible at many households without reinforcing the wall," Sharp director Takuji Okawara said.

"In Japan, by promoting wall-mounted TVs, we can address customer concerns about earthquakes knocking over TV sets."

Sony said in April it planned to start selling organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TVs by the end of the year, making the new technology a promising contender in the flat-TV industry.

The Tokyo-based electronics and entertainment conglomerate has , with the former coming with a thickness of 3mm, or about 0.117 inch.

Sharp President Mikio Katayama said the supplier of Aquos brand LCD TVs plans to launch a 108-inch model, the world's largest flat TV, late this year or early next year.

Shares of Sharp, which plans to spend $3.32 billion to build the world's biggest LCD plant in Sakai, closed up 2.3 percent at 2,005 yen (about $17.52), outperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index, which gained 0.76 percent.