Also of interest is the new 50 Series which is aimed at current SECAM and PAL 625line transmissions. Pixel count of 960 x 540. Sharp hedging their bets and anticipating that HDTV is not going to take off as fast as some expect.
Some googling learned that it will be produced by Loewe in Germany.
It has DVB-S and DVB-T tuners. However, this is usually a limited and expensive solution as you have to add a CAM (access module) for encrypted signals.
This usually costs more than a DVB-T tuner with embedded CAM, and for satellite this results in a quite limited setup compared to a Dreambox, for example.
And of course for Sky UK you can't get a CAM at all.
Sharp actually took over 29% of Loewe not long ago. Financially Loewe is (or was?) in bad shape. Without Sharp it wouln't probably exist anymore. Their first baby will be the Aquos GD7E (with three models).
I don't suppose there's any chance they'll do a more affordable 1920x1080 display, is there? When you look at the price difference that used to exist between an LC37GA3E (or GA4E) and an LC37GD1E, it seems likely that, if they had done an LC45GA4E, it would have been at least £1000 cheaper than the LC45GD1E is, maybe even £1500 cheaper. That, at internet prices, would have been a really attractive buy. As it is I won't be buying an LC45GD1E because I resent having to pay that much more for features that are no practical use.
The problem with the 45GD1E is that the GD range cannot be distance sold by dealers signed up with Sharp, unlike the GA series that Sharp does allow to be distance sold. So they do not benefit from internet pricing. However, I suspect that even if the display could be distance sold, it would not be discounted as must as other displays since I believe that the markup on this product is not as much as others in the same range. The implication of this is that the screen is indeed much more costly to produce at present and that Sharp are keeping margins low to keep it relatively competitevly priced. If a GA version was produced, I would suspect that the difference would not be as much as the difference as say between 32" GA3/GD versions.
But there are plenty of internet vendors offering sizeable discounts on the LC45GD1E. If you buy one at high street prices it costs £6500. Online there are now several places charging £4800-£4850. Compare that with the LC37GA4E when it was still available. (New price ~£3500, online price ~£2300). Okay, it's not quite such a big reduction on the 45" screen, but it's comparable.
And look at the difference in the retail prices for the LC37GA4E and the LC37GD1E: the GA4 is almost £1000 cheaper. If there were an LC45GD1E that cost £1000 less than the LC45GD1E, and you could only get the same discount on it as you can get on the LC45GD1E, it would still cost barely £4000. If you could get the sort of discount you used to get on the GA4 series that'd obviously be even better.