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CES: Sharp Bets Big on Big Screens

LAS VEGAS (TheStreet) --Sharp may be running into some some financial troubles, with rumors swirling that nearly every tech company is looking into investing in the firm, but that hasn't stopped the Japanese consumer electronics giant from placing major bets on the television market.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Sharp demonstrated its new line of televisions for 2013, including the 8, 7, and 6 series, largely focusing on screens 60-inches and above.

The entire lineup will feature sets in the 60-inch, 70-inch, 80-inch, and 90-inch range. The company noted it will have 21 models alone in the 60-inch and above range. This is with good reason, as the 60-inch market doubled in 2012, and Sharp is expecting 40% growth in this segment in 2013. My own personal feeling is that 21 models for 60-inch televisions seems a bit excessive, giving consumers way too many choices when it comes to selecting a new television set.

In addition to the larger displays, Sharp announced a 32-inch IGZO display, with primary uses in healthcare and financial trading, as screens become more powerful.

The Japanese company also touched on its revolutionary IGZO semiconductor, which has been developed with the help of Qualcomm (QCOM) and Corning (GLW). IGZO is a game changing semiconductor, and has the ability to save power by more than 80-90%, coupled with better screen resolution, said Sharp Chairman and CEO Toshi Osawa. "Whether in your home or in your hand, display technology is everywhere," he said, in a press release. "From game changing IGZO, to stunning Ultra HD products, and large screen televisions, the introductions we are making at CES 2013 will advance people's lives at home, work and everywhere in between."

Coupled with the best glass from Corning, IGZO is a very powerful tool, and Corning and Sharp are happy to keep collaborating, said Corning CEO Wendell Weeks, during the presentation.

Though Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) aren't here at CES, everyone's paying attention them, and Sharp is no different. Sharp's Smart Central has iOS and Android remote controls, and allows your iOS or Android devices to become remotes for Sharp TV sets. Smart Central also includes built-in WiFi, and popular apps such as Netflix (NFLX), Hulu and Vimeo.

Sharp's 2013 lineup of television sets is due out later this year, with some models coming in March, and others available this summer.

--Written by Chris Ciaccia in Las Vegas

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