At CES, both Sharp and LG announced LCD TVs that hit the 70-inch milestone, and today Sharp has finalized pricing and availability on its beast. The former is $3,799 (list) and the latter is "now."
Your 3.8 grand will buy 2,088 square inches of screen, compared with a mere 1,801, 1,534, and 1,289 inches, respectively, for the 65-, 60-, and 55-inch pipsqueak LCD sold by Sharp's competitors (and Sharp itself). If you're counting, Panasonic's 85- and 103-inch plasmas are even bigger, but they start at 20.1 grand.
Sharp's pricing is pretty aggressive in the ultra-big-screen category. The smaller 65-inch Panasonic TC-P65ST30 ($3300 list) and 64-inch Samsung PN64D8000 ($3,800 list) plasmas are in the size ballpark but lesser values if you just want the biggest screen for your buck. The only TVs that can compete with the Sharp in that arena are the rear-projection DLPs from Mitsubishi, like the 73-inch WD-73738($2,100) and the 82-inch WD-82738 ($3,500).
Of interest to videophiles is the fact that the 70-inch Sharp will have a full-array LED backlight, which might improve its screen uniformity compared with edge-lit models. Unlike smaller full-array LEDs from companies like Vizio, LG, and Sony, however, the LC-70LE732U lacks local dimming.
The company is unleashing three more 70-inch LCDs this summer--the "LC-70LE735U (3D), LC-70LE734U, and LC-70LE733U," but details were scarce on how they otherwise differ from the 732U. We do know they'll get built-in Wi-Fi, however, and we strongly suspect they'll be more expensive.