Sharp Aquos DX Series LCD Television  (Source:
Sharp combines Blu-ray Disc Recorders with its LCD television technology

PC World reports that Sharp will begin selling the world’s first LCD televisions with a built-in Blu-ray Disc recorder in Japan next month. The televisions should go on sale in the United States before the end of this year and will begin selling in Europe in 2009.

The Aquos DX-series models will be available in 26-inch to 52-inch models and will include dual digital tuners, so it will be possible to watch one channel while recording another.

The Blu-ray Disc recorder embedded in the televisions will support the more efficient MPEG4 H.264/AVC digital encoding format, which means up to 5 times more video content can be recorded on a standard Blu-ray Disc than with earlier models that support just the MPEG2 format. In the case of a 25GB disc, almost 11 hours of high-definition (HD) TV can be recorded using the more efficient compression.

According to Nikei Net, Sharp Corp. is on track to sell 11 million liquid-crystal-display televisions in the global market during its fiscal year ending March 2009 despite a global economic slowdown.

Sharp President Mikio Katayama emphasized at a Wednesday press conference that Sharp is embarking on a strategy to distinguish its products from rivals. "With high-functional products and cost-cutting efforts, we'll differentiate ourselves from others," Katayama said. The release of the Aquos DX series appears to be one of the first steps in implementing this strategy.

For Sharp, which last week slashed its earnings estimates for the fiscal half and full year due to its deteriorating mobile handset business, its LCD television products have helped them to survive in the competitive electronics industry.

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