Sharp LC-70SQ15U Review (LC70SQ15U)

240Hz 70 Inch Edge Lit Smart LED TV 1080p

by , Senior Editor

Sharp LC-70SQ15U LED TVThe Sharp LC-70SQ15U LED TV sits in the middle of the 2014 Sharp LED TV lineup. It's the larger of the two SQ15 offerings, with the smaller one being 60-inches. It's lost a lot of the premium features of the UQ series like a fast Aquomotion Rate and THX certification, but is packed with plenty of useful picture quality featrues and smart TV options to suit just about anyone. The most interesting feature of all is the ability to play 4K content on the 1080p screen. It carries a price tag of around $3,300 which may be getting into the too pricey range compared to Vizio's 70-inch 4K going for less.

Strengths

  • Bright Peak Whites and light flow through makes for a brilliant picture
  • Quattron+ technology displays and upscales 4K content thanks to extra sub-pixels
  • Colors are strongest with HD content
  • Value for the screen space is excellent
  • Reliable product life
  • 240Hz for games and sports programming
  • Future-Proof ability for 4K playback
  • Improved, easy to use Smart TV interface

    Weaknesses

  • Semi-matte screen finish creates a flat looking picture
  • Horizontal and vertical viewing angles are weak when off-center
  • Remote keys too small and not backlit
  • Built-in speaker performance is lacking with no built-in subwoofer

    Picture Quality Rating: 84/100

    A bright and colorful picture is the highlight of the picture of the Sharp SQ15 series of LED TVs. The new Quattron+ color technology adds more subpixels to the display for a higher level of detail. Built-in upscaling works to provide a higher level of sharpness that a traditional 1080p screen can achieve. This model sports active 3D playback. We've favored all the passive 3D we saw last year, but the benefits of active 3D persist. It uses the AN-3DG40 Bluetooth 3D Glasses which are comfortable but run around $50 per pair. Front and center viewing yeild the best results. The 60SQ15U is ideal for bright room viewing.

    AQUOS Quattron+ (Q+)

    Quattron + or Q+ Aquos TVs from Sharo add 10 million more sub-pixels to the display. They call this a "4K-like" TV. The feature works by pixel splitting on vertical resolution. As a result the TV accepts 4K content even though it's a true 1080p TV. This is the only 1080p TV to display dedicated 4K content. It is much more competitive price-wise than a 4K UHD TV. Very interesting offering that Sharp is calling future-proofing. We'll see how it holds up as the price for true 4K TVs continues to drop.

    Side Viewing Angles

    We've always seen a weakness with side viewing angles when it comes to these large format Sharp LED TVs. I will say that things are improving slightly. It definitely isn't going to compete with the high end LED TVs on the market, but it will be just fine in the right viewing room. The TV loses some contrast and color saturation due to the edge lit LEDs and the pure size of the TV.

    240Hz Screen Refresh Rate

    The Sharp LC-70SQ15U boasts an excellent refresh rate of 240Hz. The jump to 240 from 120 is not as noticeable 60 to 120, but it a welcome addition that adds a great deal of value to the TV. Fast refresh rates are ideal for live sports programming, video games, and fast action scenes of all kinds.

    Features Rating: 82/100

    Sharp Smart Central Smart TV Features

    Sharp has redone their Smart Central Smart TV platform once again. They seem to be moving in the right direction, but haven't caught up to LG and Samsung. An interactive guide has been implemented that compiles information from the cable/sattelite box and streaming services for viewing available content in one place. All the standard apps are here as well. Netflix, Hulu Plus, Vudu, YouTube, Pandora, Rhapsody, and all the social media you need. The web browser features split screen viewing so you can surf the web without interrupting your favorite program. That one is a pretty big deal as not everyone is doing that yet.

    Sharp Smart Central 3.0 Smart TV
    This shot of the new interactive guide shows off the slick new interface Sharp has built into the Smart Central smart TV platform

    Sound Quality and Speakers

    Utilizing home theater system or sound bar is going to be the best option when it comes to getting the best sound from the SQ15 series. These don't have the built-in subwoofer that the UQ17 series has. It's not a big loss since home theater systems are far superior anyway, but if that isn't an option things are not so good on this TV. Volume is decent with the biggest problem is the overall quality sounds tinny and muddled. The biggest issue is separating voice from background/music. Sound quality for TVs of this size should be more important

    Wallpaper Mode

    This is an interesting feature for the 70SQ15U that doesn't add a lot of real value to the TV, but we see it as something fun. Sharp’s claimed exclusive Wallpaper Mode gives users the ability to choose any image they would like for the screen to display when the TV is OFF. They claim the energy levels are extemely low and the brightness simulates museum conditions. This isn't going to be a selling point for the TV, but it's a neat idea that could provide some fun results.

    Sound Quality and Speakers

    Utilizing home theater system or sound bar is going to be the best option when it comes to getting the best sound from the SQ15 series. These don't have the built-in subwoofer that the UQ17 series has. It's not a big loss since home theater systems are far superior anyway, but if that isn't an option things are not so good on this TV. Volume is decent with the biggest problem is the overall quality sounds tinny and muddled. The biggest issue is separating voice from background/music. Sound quality for TVs of this size should be more important

    Appearance and Design

    Sharp LC-70SQ15U LED TV Design

    The appearance of the 70SQ15 series is plain and simple, but it works well. The thin black bezels and the black crescent shaped stand are typical when it comes to TV design for this class of TV. You don't get any of the avant-garde looks of the OLED and 4K models here. The overall thin depth is a welcome additions as well. The frame is aluminum, which is a nice touch and speaks to the known reliability of Sharp's TVs.

    Value Rating: 87/100

    The Sharp LC-70SQ15 LED TV has plenty of high points and a similar feature set to the top tier UQ17. All of these make it a good buy for your TV room if you want a big screen for a value price. Future-proofing with 4K content is also a big plus. Flat picture depth and less than stellar sound quality are hits to the overall package, but don't take it out of the running. A retail price of $2,699 (sometimes less from online retailers) put it in pretty close competition with LED TVs from Samsung and LG. The most redeeming quality about the UQ17 is the ability to accept and play 4K signals on a 1080p TV.

    Overall Rating: 84/100

    Standout Features

    • 69-1/2" Diagonal Screen Measurement
    • 240Hz Refresh Rate Panel
    • 4 (4K Ready) HDMI inputs
    • 2x 10 Watt down-firing speaker output
    • Bluetooth Audio
    • Dual Core Processor
    • Dimensions without stand (w x h x d): 62-39/64” x 37-21/64” x 3-9/32”
    • Dimensions with stand: 62-39/64” x 38-45/64” x 14-21/32”
    • Weight without stand: 77.2 lbs
    • Weight with stand: 83.3 lbs


    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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