Sharp Prices Its XS-series Thin LCD TVs

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Sharp has finally put a figure on thinness. The company launched its slim XS-series televisions in Japan on Tuesday and for the first time disclosed the price of the sets, which were originally launched at the IFA show in Germany.

The 65-inch model will cost ¥1.28 million (US$12,225) and the 52-inch model will cost around ¥980,000, Sharp announced at the Ceatec trade show. Prices for other markets were not announced. In Japan that's a roughly 30 percent premium on Sharp's current 65-inch model, and a 60 percent premium on the 52-inch model.

Despite the substantially higher price tag Sharp is confident that some high-end customers will be willing to pay a premium for the sets, which are the thinnest LCD (liquid crystal display) TV sets yet produced by the company.

The XS-series TVs are 23 millimeters deep, thanks to a new LED (light-emitting diode) backlight and offer a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1. In comparison Sharp's thinnest TV to date, the X-series launched earlier this year, which is 34mm at its thinnest point and has a contrast ratio of 200,000:1, the new sets are thinner and offer a picture that should appear better to most users.

Many of the leading players in the competitive LCD TV market are now concentrating on making their sets thinner. To date, the thinnest LCD set yet announced comes from Sony, which unveiled a 9.9 millimeter thin set at IFA. The Sony ZX-1 will be on sale by the end of the year with a 40-inch screen size and will cost ¥490,000.

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