Sharp stuns IFA with 20mm-thick TVs

IFA 2007: Super flat LCD TVs have 100,000:1 contrast ratio

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At the IFA expo in Berlin this afternoon, hundreds of journalists gasped as Sharp revealed its next-next-gen 1080p LCD TV technology.

With a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and an astonishing thickness of just 20mm, all attending the Sharp press conference were stunned to silence as two prototypes rotated at the front of the arena.

Unfortunately, Sharp's CEO Toshiyuki Tajima, who led the press conference, would not reveal any details regarding when the new TVs would go on sale or how much they would cost.

Needless to say, mass production of those panels is still a good while down the line, but still, to see the technology up close was enough to impress onlookers.

Amazing new super-flat LCD TVs

The press conference began with four HD ceiling-mounted projectors displaying a spectacular video show on all four walls of the arena, and as the main lights went out and the music stopped, a large curtain fell at the front revealing the new TVs.

The TVs measured 50 inches across, and Tajima says they have a power usage of just 140kWh/year. Amazingly, that's about half the amount of power used by current generation LCD TVs.

During the press conference, Sharp revealed its vision for the future of the LCD TV market. It said that by 2011, LCD TVs would make up 90% of flat panel sales.

"When we think of flat panel TVs these days, we think of LCD TVs," said Tajima. He was also keen to point out that "Europe is the market of the future".

"LCD TVs dominate the market and the scale of flat-screen television sets is right at the focus of our activities," he added. "Today almost 40 per cent of all LCD TVs sold worldwide are purchased in Europe."

He said that by 2011, 40 per cent of all flat-panel TVs bought would be larger than 40 inches, with more people searching to future-proof their homes with larger 1080p sets.