Sharp has granted Reading specialist PSCo the rights to distribute what it claims is currently the world’s largest screen at 108 inches to high-end customers including the exclusive yachting set in Monaco.
Stuart Holmes, managing director at PSCo, said the main market for the massive screens is in fact high-end consumers, especially owners of luxury yachts and the like.
As CRN went to press, PSCo and its reseller, Hull based Advanced New Technologies , were preparing to jet off to Monaco to show the screens and other related products to the international yachting fraternity at this year's Monaco Yacht Show.
“These guys aren’t so much into the video-conferencing although they do a bit of that. The main thing is screens in the gymnasiums, or they have a cinema room, or in the lounge area,” Holmes said.
“They might have two or three on each boat and they are not really fussed about the price. We are talking about supplying to the £450,000 sort of yacht.”
While a corporate market is possible for the screens, in the current economic climate Holmes conceded he did not think many would sell.
Sharp’s 108inch LCD is priced at around £100,000 per unit and just two have been allocated to UK based distribution. Holmes said that PSCo and its reseller might well return from Monaco having sold both of them.
The nearest similar item in PSCo’s screen inventory is the Panasonic 103inch plasma – relative bargains at around £50,000 each, Holmes said.
Pricing for the Sharp 108inch is expected to fall once production increases, probably next year. PSCo next year expects to have 15 to 20 of the 108inch Sharps to sell.
“Even though we are the UK distributors there is nothing that says we can’t sell them in Monaco or anywhere else,” Holmes said.
A larger display than the Sharp LCD has been made – measuring about 150inches – but had not yet been produced in commercial quantities, he said.
The 195kg Sharp 108inch, first unveiled 18 months ago, has an expected lifespan of just 30,000 hours, compared with the Panasonic 103inch’s 80,000. But, Holmes pointed out, that still meant 10 years of use if the Sharp was turned on all day every day.
PSCo has also invested in specialist lifting equipment and accessories to make the installation safer, simpler and cheaper for their clients, as well as a demonstration unit. The giant flatscreen will also be available via PSCo’s rental service.
Sharp showcased the 108 inch screen at Las Vegas’ massive Computer Electronics Show (CES) this year. According to Sharp, it is a full HD 1080p LCD featuring Sharp’s Advanced Super View LCD panel.
“It is manufactured at Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No. 2, the first facility in the world to produce panels from eighth-generation glass substrates.
"The success of this development means that it is now possible to produce LCD TVs in all sizes from 13-inches to the super-large-size class,” Sharp said in a statement.
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