Sharp LC-70LE847U Review
70" AQUOS LCD/LED 240Hz Quattron HDTV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
- Bright Picture Capability with strong Peak Whites
- Solid Calibration
- With HD content colors Pop
- Strong menu choices
- Good looking appearance and design
- Value Proposition
- Black Levels not as strong as some
- Somewhat flat picture from the matte screen
- Off-center viewing angles both from above and sides
- Remote keys too small and not backlit
- Sound/Audio Function tinny and muddy
- Film Mode with DVD,Blu-Ray
Picture Quality Rating: 8.7/10
A colorful shot from HD Blu-Ray SI Swimsuit showing good flesh tones and vibrant color on the LE847U
Flatter appearance does not a better picture make
That's my Yoda-esque way of saying the TV lacks picture depth perception. LED-LCD screens often do have this problem, though it can be more pronounced on some than others. That's the case with the Sharp LC-70LE847U. I would say this is one of the flattest screens we've seen in a couple of years. A good plasma TV for instance will look substantially better in this area when comparing side to side.
Peak Whites – Very Sharp
These large Sharp LED-LCDs have very bright whites so they eye-catching in the store. Plasma TVs by contrast look dim as the peak white do not compete. But take the TVs home and put them in a dark room with a colorful movie and you will see a much stronger picture performance on the good plasma screens or the better LED-LCDs that have overcome many of the negative picture symptoms of LCDs. But then if you need that super brightness and high whites for a brightly lit room, especially on football Saturdays and Sundays, then the Sharp 70LE847U will look very good. In fact, this or a better version of this is the type of TV you are looking for. The lack of picture depth could be overcome in that situation with the Film Mode's smooth motion 240Hz de-judder action.
Film Mode – De-judder Mode
After watching a bit of the Blu-Ray of The Fifth Element we immediately noticed the depletion of natural background blur. We've seen this before in other brands and it's always distracting when done to excess. In the Sharp, it's done to excess in 2012. It's actually a de-judder mode in that it removes that jerky motion you see when watching movies during motion scenes – thus Sharp's naming it the Film Mode. The tradeoff is not a good one in our opinion. Turn it off for all film based content. Otherwise, you get a “soap opera” effect during films as background blur is eliminated. When you turn it off, you will likely notice some judder effects for a slight time until you get used to it. Ironically, you may want to leave the feature on for live action sports or other live fast motion programs. It will delivery a smoothing quality.
A shot of the Blu-Ray of Days of Thunder on the LE845U
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
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 do much.
Preset Picture Mode Evaluation
Auto – Automatically converts the picture into advanced Film Mode and does not allow adjustment of many of the individual settings within picture settings such as Black Level, Film, Active Contrast. Since you cannot adjust the Film Mode setting from this mode we recommend staying away from it. It sets the various setting depending upon what content is playing.
Standard – Sharp Standard setting is pretty good though colors are oversaturated and the setting comes with the Film Mode set to Advanced. So you will want to immediately turn that off when watching movies, film or the like. It's fine for live sports if you want the color to be juiced a bit.
Movie – We used the Movie Picture mode setting to calibrate the TV since it allows for 10 point white balance adjustment and the User Picture Mode does only allows 2 point WB adjustment. We found it to have a green push especially from side viewing angles even after calibration.
Game – Obviously this hyped mode should be used only for Gaming. It has a red push.
PC – For PC use
User – As mentioned above we did not calibrate from this mode due to it only allowing 2 pt. White balance adjustment. There is lots of light flow-through to the picture. Setting the Color Temp under the User Mode setting to Mid-Low produces a nice picture with lots of light. I like this mode a lot. Also take the Sharpness down to -10 and make sure the Film Mode is turned Off. I like this mode because it adds depth to the picture through use of the LED lighting.
Dynamic – Just stay away from this which creates false edges and over-saturated colors and extreme unrealistic brightness.
Dynamic Fixed – Same with this setting which does the same and does not allow adjustment. Think “Store Mode” setting. You cannot turn off the Film Mode which creates the Soap Opera effect.
3D Viewing Active Viewing
First off, the active 3D glasses we purchased were the Sharp AN-3DG20-B. They are expensive (around $50 per pair – not 2 pair!). They are also uncomfortable, heavy and slip off the nose easily. Other than that they were also set to 2D out of the box and had no juice. As a last note, users must use the Sharp active 3D glasses. They are not in cahoots yet on the shared active 3D promotion of interchangeable glasses with Panasonic, Samsung and Sony. Therefore, Sharp TVs will not sync with the universal glasses or those from other manufacturers.
So how about the viewing/ If there is any room light in front of the glasses from a window or lamp or a computer you will immediately notice flickering from the glasses.
Once we eliminated any light front facing light that could distract us, we enjoyed the active 3D picture from both Cloudy and SI Swimsuit. We did not note much crosstalk or any blurring in the corners. Colors are also greatly enriched and enhaced from our calibrated picture settings.
Once accessing 3D there is an option to give the TV a 3D Brightness boost should you want that option. Since 3D is best watched in a darker room, this should not be necessary.
2D to 3D Conversion
This feature is included on the LE847U and LE845U however lives up to expectations for poor performance. The 3 dimensional effects are very slight, the picture much darker, and considerable judder and jerky motion elements. It's not a feature you will use much.
Matte Screen Type Finish
This TV has a semi-matte type screen finish which is not our favorite. We prefer the clearer coated screens even though they have a bit more reflection. Matte finish screens do still have glare from in-room lighting– just less reflection. The higher end TVs in the market have clearer screen finishes with more expensive screen filters that help reduce glare even though the panel is clear. It's surprising to us that the 70LE847U would have a matte-type screen finish rather than clear since this is a 2nd tier model from the company. Only the Sharp Elite is currently a higher model.
The strong contrast is shown in this picture on the 70LE847U
Color rendition looks good, but just a touch on the unnatural side and with a green push from our fully calibrated Movie setting after 10 point white balance adjustment (see Picture settings on next page). Again, plasma TVs are much better in this area. The LE847U is a Quattron model which means it contains that extra yellow pixel and Sharp's best picture quality.
Side Angle Viewing
Off center viewing quality is severely compromised in the large Sharp LED TVs. Since the TVs are large there is some leaveway with this issue since there is more physical movement needed to get off center of the TV. From 15 degrees and on the saturation of colors starts fading and it gets worse the more off center one gets
Features Rating: 8.2/10
This middle tier 2012 edge lit LED from Sharp has an upgraded Smart TV Central suite, while including Sharp's patented Quattron quad-color technology which adds the Yellow pixel to RGB. This very large and surprisingly thin 70" LED from Sharp has almost all the features Sharp has to put forth in 2012 except their newest panel drive system which only the top end models receive. 240Hz AquoMotion, 3D Ready, and a Vyper drive option for gaming are just some of the features. Sharp's next generation X-Gen panel in this LCD helps to deliver a very good light flow through to the screen surface. That's one of the purposes of this type of top layer LCD panel, which has more control over sections of the twisting crystals to enable better light. It does not however help black levels and this is an area that could use some improvement. Side angle viewing is another area we will be stringently testing in 2012 on this TV.
Remote and Menu
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 broad categories runs 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.
To get to the important Film Mode setting: Click menu, picture settings, scroll down to the Advanced Settings option at the bottom, scroll down again to the bottom to click on Film Mode. The TV comes with the setting on. For any kind of film based material you will want to turn it off.
Smart Central TV (Sharp's Smart Internet TV)
The small Smart Central button on the remote gets you directly to the Internet TV settings. The menu that pops up initially inclueds Vudu HD Movies, You Tube, Hulu Plus, Cinema now, Aquos Advantage Live (support), Vudu Apps,. Netflis, and then scrolling right one time provides access to a web browser, FilmFresh, Skype, USB Media Input, and Home Network. That last one is the favorites section which will change per your choice.
70LE847U Smart Central
Vudu Apps – Provides links to TV shows such as TrueBlood, CNBC, Nova, Discovery, flickr, CBS Nightly News, Facebook,
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.
A news program shows some vibrant bright color on the LE845U
So the Vudu Apps that are available for free are the other Apps available through Sharps Smart Central TV, they have not bothered to created 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.
Sharp Smart Central Web Browser – Disfunctional
Sharp makes certain to have a large ad for the products listed there. After painfully typing in your search term through the diminutive browser keyboard, click “Done” and then the word you've labored to type in appears in the search bar top right. But your still not done, you must then scroll right to the magnifying glass and again press enter to conduct your search. Then an annoying pop up screen appears “Foresee” asking you to give customer feedback (I'm giving mine here).
A few clicks get rid of it. But wait, you're still not done, now you are on a Sharp search page where that your search term has been transferred. You must again click the seach button. It took 5 clicks to get there. Disappointingly, we got 0 results for the term “lcdtvbuyingguide.” Ups. But wait, this is Sharp's proprietary search engine – let's try “Google.” 18 results came up, all PDFs related to Sharp. All with Sharp titles.
You can actually read the verbage of the promise, but it's not so, it's not free
The results from a search for “Google”
I'm starting to feel deceived. The first PDF would not open as the MIME type not supported. But wait, isnt this Sharp's search engine. They cant even open their own results? You guessed it, same for the other 17 results. OK, you've guessed it by now – the built in web browser is utterly useless and worthless.
Here's what gets me though, when going to the Smart Central options and accessing the web browser there is a screen that pops up that states, “Enjoy the freedom to access the whole Internet on your TV with the embedded web browser. Visit your favorite web sites while watching TV. No need to use a PC with a small monitor.” That's the exact quote! What a joke. How disingenuous. What a sham. It's similar to Sony's proprietary “search”. It gives us joy to have something so obviously flawed to pick on.
Sound Quality – No, Not at All!
Meaning, no it's not quality. Sound is tinny and struggles to separate the voice even though it does have a Clear Voice feature it hardly seems to help. Therefore you struggle to hear the dialog. It's muddy and unclear and the TV generally has insufficient volume especially for this size TV. Even at 80% capacity we struggled to make out words.
Value Rating: 9.3/10
One of the reasons I've mentioned plasma TVs throughout this review in comparison with these new huge Sharp LED TVs is that they compete in price and value. Sharp has really set the benchmark in these very large LED-LCD screen sizes with compelling pricing. Panasonic and Samsung have great plasma TVs with some superior but very different picture attributes. It really depends on your needs. Regardless, there are plenty of 60” plasma choices and even some 65”. Competition is from Panasonic's plasma offerings like the Panasonic TC-P60GT50 and Samsung's PN60E8000. Samsung also has a couple of slightly more expensive models in 60” like the UN60ES7100 with similar features. Pricing is around $2199.
Overall Rating: 8.7/10
|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|