Sharp's first OLED TV goes on sale in Japan

Mike Wheatley

Japanese TV brand Sharp has launched its first ever OLED TV in its home country. The new Sharp CQ1 series OLED TVs (pictured) are available in 55- and 65-inch sizes, with prices starting at around 280,000 yen (around £2,139).


Sharp is just the latest in a long line of TV makers that have sought to compete in the higher-end OLED market, at a time when companies are increasingly abandoning older LCD display technology. Companies including LG Electronics and Sony have sold OLED TVs for several years already, and the likes of Acer, Huawei, Konka, Xiaomi and Vizio are all planning to sell their first models later this year.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s biggest TV manufacturer, is also planning to embrace a special flavour of OLED with the development of its new Quantum Dot OLED TVs.

Sharp desperately needs a high-end offering if it’s to turn around its struggling TV business. Earlier this year, Japanese newspaper Nikkei said the company’s struggles at the high-end are the main reason why it’s embracing OLED, following the failure of its first 8K resolution LCD TVs to excite buyers.

The Sharp CQ1 OLED TVs look fairly decent in comparison with rival products, offering 4K resolution and support for High Dynamic Range formats such as Dolby Vision and HDR10. Although Sharp is said to be working with Foxconn to develop its own OLED display panels, the company is using panels from LG Display for this particular model. The TV also boasts a new Medalist S1 image processing chip and a Smart Active Contrast algorithm that’s able to adjust the contrast according to the content on display, so as to eliminate overexposure or underexposure.

Unfortunately there are no HDMI 2.1 ports, as Sharp instead opted to use the older HDMI 2.0 standard.

Sharp’s OLED TVs run Google’s Android TV operating system, similar to many of the company’s high-end LCD TVs. Other notable features include a Front Open Sound System Plus, which uses directional speakers to make it appear as if the sound is coming directly from the screen. The Sharp CQ1 OLED TVs have a classic center stand design that’s becoming less common on high-end TVs today.

Sharp didn’t say anything about availability of the CQ1 outside of Japan, but if it does decide to bring the TV to Europe, we expect to hear about it before or during IFA 2020 in September.