Video and Audio Center Blog

Monday, November 10, 2014

Video & Audio Center Presents the Sharp THX-Certified 4K UHD TVs

Joseph Akhtarzad welcomes crowd at unveiling as co-owner Mayer Akhtarzad and Futurist Tom Campbell look on.
Video & Audio Center is well known for bringing the latest technology to eager eyes, and the recent reception held at the Santa Monica Superstore was no exception. As hosted by President and co-owner Joseph Akhtarzad, accompanied by co-owner Mayer Ahktarzad and Chief Futurist Tom Campbell, Sharp representatives unveiled their new 60" and 70" AQUOUS 4K Ultra HD TVs.

An enthusiastic crowd filled the store and reveled in an atmosphere where high resolution viewing was now part and parcel of anyone's home theater. The stunning pictures being displayed were bright and colorful - and BIG - but the prices were not. Those who have followed 4K TVs since their introduction a scant 2+ years ago expected the costs to be competitive but the lack of "sticker shock" meant an affordability that caught most unaware. Not that there were any complaints when viewing the lush colors and distinctive landscapes playing over the Sharp displays.

Sharp representatives were on hand to highlight the features - many of which were world-class, such as the 4K TVs having an extremely thin chassis belying their physically large display size. 4K decoding is built in, so Netflix streaming high resolution certainly occurs, as does up-scaling of images, be they off a Blu-ray player or streamed from online video sources. Other "Smart TV' features involve an innovative central "hub" for accessing features such as apps and gaming. But one of the assets of these Sharp 4K TVs stood out alone and above: their being THX-certified. To hammer this point home, Xavier Nicolas, President, THX Ltd., was in attendance so that he could personally add to the comments being made because of this. As explained by Nicolas, THX-certification, in the case of the Sharp 4K TVs, involved the sets passing over 400 tests so that what was being seen would line up with those producing the video being seen (i.e., the director of a movie on Blur-ray, for example). This high cinema quality is not something to take for granted - which is why Sharp's being handed the first 4K THX-certification means so much. But being THX-certified means more than that: the Sharp THX-certified 4K TV can be turned on and it will produce its "work" looking as good as if a team of technicians were on hand to personally tune the image for the person viewing. Because, in a real sense, THX has already done this.

Also being displayed was the Sharp Wireless High Resolution Audio Player. Everyone knows that wireless streaming of music through Bluetooth or WiFi comes with its own limitations. Not so with the Sharp player; through the use of a dedicated waveband not used by home networks, baby monitors, cordless phones and the like, a stable signal is achieved. But what is even better is that this stable signal can transmit a high resolution audio stream. One that is lossless and which contains all the richness of the original broadcast. As if to prove this point the Sharp representative played Paul Simon's "Graceland," and those listening were awed to hear the nuances coming from speakers provided by audio without wires.

The specifications for the Sharp player are almost as interesting as the music being played is: a dedicated radio receiver "listens" in to the special bands of radio waves being used to send the music in case a government or emergency transmission occurs which would cause interference with the music being sent. Should that occur, within milliseconds the audio signal is moved to another channel so that the music can play on. For the listener, it's like nothing has happened. We should add that the player is not the only thing needed in order to have wireless music of the caliber previously unavailable: there is a Bridge which "receives" the audio being sent by the player and delivers it to the amplifier connected to the speakers. And that is 7.1 audio too. Even more interesting is that a special, and included, video pack connects to the player for transmitting 1080p video/audio as well - should you play a Blu-ray in the internal Blu-ray player, rather than use an external device, the audio transmits wirelessly separately from the video. In other words, the Sharp Wireless High Resolution Audio Player is a truly unique and highly valued product that any audiophile - or someone who wants wireless music to sound as good as it IS good - will appreciate.

The evening was capped with one lucky person being given a Sharp THX-certified 4K UHD TV to take home and enjoy. But she was not the only one, as many of the Sharp 4K TVs were sold to eager customers that night. Plus the light of soon-to-be ownership of a Sharp 4K TV could be seen in many of the eyes of those leaving.

1 comment: