As Editor of a leading consumer electronics publication you can be sure that my Oregon home has many high tech amenities--though they are all somewhat hidden. You are not likely to find a piece of furniture aside from my couch that isn't an antique. My walls are rich with flyfishing culture from creels to bamboo fly rods to black and white photos of yesterday's catch. My house probably isn't what most folks would expect.
That all changed the day I unboxed the latest AQUOS 30-inch '111 LCD display from Sharp. From the moment I set the 28-pound unit on my wife's 150-year old curio cabinet--instant high-tech-home.
Sharp has certainly created quite a stir with its new AQUOS line of LCD displays. However, it wasn't until the price dropped nearly $3,000 from their initial offering that I decided to call one in for review.
To bring you up to speed on the AQUOS offering, I think it's important that we revisit the history of LCD IF1' technology. Liquid crystal was discovered by Austria botanist Fredreich Rheinizer in 1888. But it wasn't until the mid 1960s that scientists discovered a viable use for liquid crystal. They found that liquid crystals, when stimulated by an external electronic charge, could change the properties of light passing through the crystals. Although early prototypes were too unstable for mass production, that soon changed when a British researcher proposed a stable liquid crystal material--biphenyl.
Inevitably, the discovery of biphenyl--its controlled manipulation and the marriage of TFT (Thin Film Transistor)--made LCD displays a part of our everyday lives.
There is plenty about the Sharp AQUOS that is unique. Overall, the entire line seems to stem from one root idea--simple high-tech home.
Every display in the AQUOS line features a small pedestal that pivots up and down and left and right (optional wall mounting brackets are also available). On either side of the LC-30HV2U are cloth-covered speakers and the rest of the unit looks relatively simple from the front. On the top edge of the unit are switches On/Off, Input, and Volume/Channel Up/Down. Around back is a removable panel that reveals RGB, Terminal and Power connections.
Three simple wires connect the AQUOS to an external AVC (Audio Video Computer) component that features all the necessary inputs for well-rounded systems. The AVC has a built-in tuner and also a Serial HD input for use with an external HDTV decoder. There are also two component video inputs, two coaxial (antenna), four S-Video, one analog RGB, three composite video, one RS-232, and three RCA audio inputs. (One S-Video, composite and analog RGB are located on the front panel of the AVC.)
The LC-30HV2U '1'r 1' LCD display is capable of producing a WXGA resolution of 1280x768 that enables viewing of HDTV programming (720p) in a 16:9 format.Read more on Page 2.