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Sharp unveils new Quantum Dot 4K TV range for 2022

Japanese manufacturer Sharp will release its first Quantum Dot TVs in Europe during the first quarter of 2022

With IFA having been cancelled this year, manufacturers have had to find alternative means of showcasing their latest products. I joined Sharp at the Williams F1 Conference Centre near Oxford for what was the fourth and final stop of its European roadshow and got to run the rule over an extensive range of TVs, audio accessories and smart home appliances due for release in the next 12 months.

It was clear from the event that Sharp has some ambitious plans. Not only is Sharp expanding the choice of products available in its core categories but, more significantly, it is seeking to reposition itself as a brand that offers options in the premium space. While value for consumers will remain at the heart of what Sharp does, you should expect to see it releasing pricier products boasting cutting-edge features in the coming years.

This new approach was best evidenced by its new EQ series of 4K Android TVs, all of which feature a ‘frameless’ (slim bezel) design and Quantum Dot technology the company is calling Q-COLOUR. Both LG and Samsung use Quantum Dot technology in some of their TVs but this is the first time Sharp has incorporated it into sets available in Europe.

Sharp EQ series: Frameless, Quantum Dot 4K Android TVs

The EQ series, which is made up of the EQ3 (black) and EQ4 (silver) models, will be available in Q1 2022 in four sizes: 50in, 55in, 65in and 75in. The cheapest model will cost £650 with prices rising to £700, £950 and £1,300 for the larger variants.

The range of Android-powered sets all sport UHD 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160), 12-bit colour depth and brightness of up to 400 nits. There’s support for HDR10, HLG and Dolby Vision, along with Sharp’s AQUOS Motion smoothing technology and an Ambient Light Sensor to adjust brightness to best suit the lighting conditions the TV is in.

In terms of connectivity, the EQ series comes with four HDMI ports (including one eARC connection), two USB-A ports and a micro-SD reader. All four of the EQ series’ HDMI ports are of the 2.1 specification and support gaming features such as Variable Refresh Rate and Auto Low -Latency Mode. However, the panels only have a refresh rate of 60Hz so those after 4K at 120Hz will need to look elsewhere.

Sharp has partnered with Harman Kardon to produce a 24W two-way speaker system for the EQ range. Built into the TVs are front- and down-firing speakers, which the company says are around three times larger than most TV audio solutions. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X are both supported meaning you’re covered when it comes to object-based surround sound formats.

The Android 11 smart platform comes with several streaming services pre-installed, including Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, while the Google Play Store provides access to countless more apps. Google Assistant is integrated into the EQ series and Google’s Stadia game streaming service is also supported.

The EQ series will sit at the top end of Sharp’s 4K TV lineup, which features a few other entries that were on show at its IFA Xperience event.

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Sharp DN series: New 70in model revealed

The Sharp DN series launched earlier this year in 50in and 65in screen sizes but a 70in variant is set to be released before the end of 2021.

The new 70in model offers similar specifications to the entries in the flagship EQ series but won’t offer quite the same level of picture quality as the panel is only 10-bit and doesn’t use Quantum Dot technology. Its specs are far from shabby, however, with the set boasting 4K resolution, support for HDR10, HLG, Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X and DTS Virtual:X.

Like the EQ series, the 70in DN5EA features a frameless design, is powered by Android 11 and comes preinstalled with a number of key streaming services and apps. Google Assistant is integrated, Chromecast is built into the set and there’s also Bluetooth for wireless streaming.

It houses four HDMI 2.1 ports, one of which is eARC, and all of which support VRR and ALLM. The panel is certified to handle 4K resolutions at its maximum refresh rate of 60Hz. It’s important to note that the older, smaller models aren’t quite so well kitted out. They both use the Android 9 operating system rather than Android 11 and don’t feature HDMI 2.1 ports, nor do they offer DTS:X.

Sharp didn’t confirm the price of the new 70in model but this page will be updated with that information as soon as it becomes available.

Sharp DL series: Frameless 4K Android TV but no Dolby Vision

For those wanting the ‘frameless’ design of the EQ and DN series but willing to forgo Dolby Vision, there’s the DL series. Using Android 9 as its operating system and with support for HDR10 and HLG (but not Dolby Vision), it’s a cheaper alternative to the DL series options detailed above

Audio is provided by Harman Kardon but there’s no support for either the Dolby Atmos or DTS:X 3D audio formats, with DTS Virtual:X instead offering virtual surround sound audio enhancement. All four of the HDMI ports are of the 2.0 specification – the same as they are on the smaller models of the DL series.

Streaming and smart support are pretty comprehensive, however, with Chromecast built-in, Google Assistant onboard and a huge range of apps and services available through the Android TV platform.

Sharp confirmed that review samples of its impending television releases will be available in the coming months, so be sure to check back to read full reviews of the newest additions to the manufacturer’s TV lineup.

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