CES: Sharp Debuts Bluetooth-Enabled DTV Sets

At the 2009 International CES in Las Vegas this week, Sharp announced a collaboration with Broadcom to integrate Broadcom’s wireless Bluetooth technology in Sharp Aquos LCD TVs.

The Sharp Aquos XS1 LCD TVs, which were recently introduced, are available in 65- and 52-inch models, and feature a Bluetooth remote control that uses a touchscreen display. Primarily dominant in cell phone technology, Broadcom said its Bluetooth technology fulfills two key roles in the next generation of DTV designs, primarily in the development of remote controls and the user interface.

The remote control take advantage of Bluetooth to allow viewers control over all aspects of the TV set while also receiving feedback from the set for display on the remote’s display. And since Bluetooth is RF-based, the remote control does not require a line-of-sight connection with home electronics devices. This will allow the remote to be used from any room in the house.

Bluetooth’s second key role in DTV design is as a media transfer device. Since Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones can perform a “picture push” function (transferring images from the handset to another device, DTVs, PCs or other devices can receive and display images via Bluetooth. Additionally, consumers can listen to TV programs over wireless stereo headsets with the latest Bluetooth technology, allowing multiple headset users to listen to the same audio stream simultaneously.

The Bluetooth-enabled Sharp Aquos DTV sets will initially be available only in the Japanese market.