Sharp LC-60LE857U Review (LC60LE857U)

60" AQUOS LCD/LED 240Hz Quattron HDTV

by , Senior Editor

Sharp LC-60LE857USharp's new LC-60LE857U is the 2013 early 2014 replacement for the LC-60LE847U series from last year. It has a complete set of features as Sharp continues to strive to succeed in the super large LED TV realm. A new dual core processor helps with multitasking the Smart TV options. It has the 4th yellow pixel to make it a Quattron panel and a 240Hz refresh rate for speed during fast action, important for a large screen like this. Active 3D rounds out the features. There is a new technology included here as well called the Super Bright Technology which is only included on the LE857U series.

Strengths

  • Bright Peak Whites and light flow
  • Colors pop with HD content
  • Strong menu setting options
  • Value Proposition for size
  • Pure size is a strength
  • Reliable over time
  • 240Hz for less motion lag

    Weaknesses

  • Lack of depth perception from 2D picture semi-matte screen finish
  • Off-center viewing angles both from above and sides
  • Remote keys too small and not backlit
  • Tinny muddled sound quality

    Neutral

  • Appearance and Design
  • Smart TV options
  • 3D performance

    Picture Quality Rating: 8.6/10

    This years Quatton panel from Sharp has a bit better side angle viewing and depth perception than last years. It's still not a strong suit of the LC60LE857U, but it's better. The picture is still what I could describe as on the flatter side – less 3-dimensional. A good calibration helps. We're not big fans of the semi-matte screen finish technique. It provides some anti-reflection but not anti-glare and can actually add to it. Black levels continue to improve and from front and center the black bars top and bottom of 16:9 content look black.

    Sharp LC-60LE857U
    This shot of the 857U series is a good example of the the realistic color rendition. Also notice the silver stand and silver bezel

    Brightness and Peak Whites

    A strong suit of this TV is its Brightness levels and this will no doubt catch your eye in the stores. But it's also very useful for rooms with lots of windows and natural light flowing in. You can definitely use those powerful LED side lights in that situation. It's one of the outstanding characteristics of this TV. It will help on gameday Sundays!

    240Hz — De-judder Mode - Important

    The 240Hz helps with 3D, fast action and sports and those are its best benefits. This setting smooth the picture. It's a good idea to turn off the Film Mode when watching movies, or other film-type based content as it creates what some call the “soap opera” effect, but is better described as an overactive processor and backlight eliminating too much background blur. It can make a picture look artificial.

    Motion Enhancement Fast Action Feature Settings (Optimizes Video Motion)

    • 240Hz AquoMotion – We prefer this setting for fast action.
    • 240Hz – There is something unnatural about the way motion looks in this setting.
    • 120Hz High
    • 120Hz Low
    • Off

    From our testing we did not denote much difference between the bottom 3 options listed above. We saw a slight smoothing quality improvement from the 240Hz AquoMotion and a somewhat violent change in the 240Hz settting, but the 120Hz options did not have much effect on the picture.

    Game Mode

    There is dedicated game mode on the LC60LE857U which is super hyped to enable the 240Hz panel to process that fast action gaming.

    3D Active Viewing

    While you will not get the 3D viewing quality of the latest LG LED TVs, 3D viewing is good on the LE857U. 3D viewing should be done from front and center and with little to no room light or window light in front or on the sides when viewing. Otherwise, you will likely get some nasty flickering from the 3D glasses. This years AN-3DG40 Bluetooth 3D Glasses are much lighter and thinner than last years and 2 pairs come in the box with the TV which is nice because they run around $50 per pair. From side angles you lose some of the depth perception of 3D images. From front and relatively near the center the picture looks good in 3D. Colors are greatly enhanced and the 3D effect is nice on this TV which has an otherwise slightly flat picture.

    2D to 3D Conversion

    Though this feature is included, it's not a strong point and adds little depth.

    Colors

    Colors look good and natural, but as we said slightly flat. That could mean there is not enough gray-scale going on in the TV since contrast and black levels look fine.

    Sharp LC-60LE857U
    This shot is a good example of the contrast and black levels. It really does give off a flat appearance

    Features Rating: 8.2/10

    Smart Central TV (Sharp's Smart TV)

    The small Smart Central button on the remote places you directly in the Internet TV settings in the LC60LE857U. The menu that pops up initially includes Vudu HD Movies, You Tube, Hulu Plus, Cinema now, Aquos Advantage Live (support), Vudu Apps, Netflix, and then scrolling right one time provides access to a web browser, FilmFresh, Skype, USB Media Input, and Home Network (which changes depending on your favorites selections).

    Here is a run down on some of the options provided with Sharp's Smart Central Smart TV:

    Vudu Apps – Provides links to TV shows such as TrueBlood, CNBC, Nova, Discovery, flickr, CBS Nightly News, Facebook,. This is the central App which creates most of the choices for Sharp's TVs.
    CNBC App that's free through the Vudu Apps platform is basically clips from the TV show so a very worth App. There is a list of stocks which can be edited and selected on-screen while watching the clips.Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
    Discovery – Short Clips from Discovery about 30 of them in all. Rating 2 out of 5.
    Today – Clips of the Today that experienced an error and would not load.
    Picasa – 1000 featured Photos on the big screen – unfortunately in 4:3 format so therefore not that great to make your TV a piece of wall art (the TVs aspect button will not stretch). Some of the photos are nice though. Rating 3 out of 5.

    Vudu Apps – Provides links to TV shows such as TrueBlood, CNBC, Nova, Discovery, flickr, CBS Nightly News, Facebook,. This is the central App which creates most of the choices for Sharp's TVs.

    The Vudu Apps that are available for free the primary Apps available through Sharps Smart Central TV. Sharp has not bothered to create their own and I'm not sure that I blame them or that is wasnt a smart move to enlist the Vudu Apps and let them do the work.

    Remote and Menu Function

    The long slender remote control has some very tiny buttons such as the Input button located just to the rigtht of the small channels control. It takes a little getting used to finding the small buttons. Even the 5-way controller arrow keys are small which makes browsing and toggling between choices a little slower than normal. Interestingly, the Sharp remote recognized the Sony Blu-Ray player and was able to turn it on and control playback. The menu categories run across the top of the screen and then down the right hand side for breakdown choices leaving a large area for the content you are watching. The system is not attractive but work well.

    Appearance and Design

    The LC-60LE857U is an upgraded model and as such, receives the attractive Aluminum Diamond Cut framing bezel. The frame is about .5” in width and the design is very nice – understated with nothing flashy but very nice.

    Reliability

    Sharp has one of the highest if not the highest reliability rating. They are quality built products and Sharp seems to be more conscientious than other manufacturers about making sure they work over time.

    Audio/Sound Quality – Not so great

    I suppose Sharp thinks you will be using a home theater system or sound bar with this TV since the LE857U size choices are so large. I guess they are right in most cases but it would be nice to have the option. As with many LED and Plasma TVs, Sound quality is tinny and muddled and the TV struggles to separate voice from background/music. Peak volume is also an issue.

    Value Rating: 9.1/10

    This is what Sharp is shooting for, your mindshare on the very large TVs with good value and the LC-60LE857U is a strong value at around $1999. They somewhat succeed again for 2013/2014. Only plasma TVs can match the size/value equation of Sharp. Competition is from the LG 60LA7400 the Samsung UN60F7100 the Panasonic TC-P60ST60.

    Overall Rating: 8.6/10



    Robert Wiley Having reviewed and written about Television Technology for over 10 years, Wiley never tires of researching the newest qualitative trends related to the technology. Most people do not get excited about possibilities behind the latest video engine...Wiley does. Read more about Robert
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