CEATEC Japan 2009: Sharp eyes the eco-future, and finds new uses for the TV

The Sharp focus here at CEATEC is on a greener world, and the main platform of its stand is a demonstration of a Solar DC Eco-House concept: a house with an independent power supply, virtually zero carbon dioxide emissions and of course lots of Sharp technology, from its solar panels to low-energy lighting and LED-lit LCD panels.

Even its 60in Full HD 3D TV concept is LED-lit, and this sits alongside a complete LED Aquos LX TV range, ranging from 26in right up to a good looking 60in model, an energy efficient mainstream line-up, and another series in all sizes complete with onboard Blu-ray recorders.

These models, and the company's standalone Blu-ray recorders, boast an extended full-HD recording time of up to 8.5 hours, thanks to some nifty coding.

Unfortunately for the moment those models are just for Japan, but it's good to see the company is playing close attention to sound as well as vision: it showed new compact bass modules for its TVs, and demonstrated how well they worked with glasses of water standing on them doing the old Jurassic Park footsteps thing!

Sharp's also committed to making maximum possible use of the home TV, with everything from a direct Yahoo news feed to the ability to read your daily newspaper via the TV, zooming in on or searching for stories of interest.

There's also a facility to order books to be read on-screen, or even indulge in a spot of cloud computing via your telly.

Intuitive menus make recording, or just surfing the ever-growing amount of TV available via both broadcast and internet, simpler, and it's possible to network an entire home's entertainment and information, with the 'televi' at the core of the system.

It wouldn't be Sharp without some great portable technology, the company being one of the leading phone manufacturers here, and alongside its concepts for solar-powered cities and factories, it's also showing mobiles with built-in solar panels to keep the batteries going.

But we couldn't help but be grabbed by the tiny NetWalker sub-netbook computer, a fully-featured miniature PC able to surf, email, and really do anything else you'd really want to do on the move.

Linux-based, it comes in a huge range of colours and finishes, and would be a real object of desire – if only our fingers were small enough to operate the tiny keyboard.

Click on the 3D TV picture below
for our video tour of the Sharp stand, including 3D TV, newspapers on-screen and that tiny pocket PC.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.