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CES Report: Sharp Adds Netflix and Split-Screen Mode

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Purchasers of smart TV's from Sharp will be able to surf the web and watch TV—on the same screen and at the same time.

The use cases for this are not entirely clear, but Sharp has upgraded its TV web browser and boosted the power of its screens with a dual-core processor to support HTML5 and Flash enabling the split screen mode.

It announced a partnership with Netflix which will enable subscribers to select a film on their smartphone for instant viewing on Sharp's connected TV platform Smart Central.

In a theme that is being played out across CES, iOS and Android smartphones can also act as a remote control, in this case of the Netflix content.

Sharp's range of connected devices, including tablets and phones, now have a "beam" app that enables the transfer of content such as videos and photos over Wi-Fi to the main TV.

Still, smart functionality is not Sharp's focus. Compared to the blitz of product announcements from rivals Sony, LG, and Samsung, the Korean TV brand has nailed its market strategy to the size and image quality of its displays.

It claims to have driven the market for large screen TVs beginning in 2010 by introducing a raft of 60- to 90-inch models.

“Screens at 60 inches or higher in 2010 represented 4% of the market, now they are 20%,” claimed John Herrington, the firm's North American marketing chief. “Sharp is the fastest-growing TV brand in the industry, and our market share has doubled.”

At CES it unveiled screens based on a new semiconductor dubbed Igzo, which is said to achieve twice the resolution of conventional LCDs.

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