Sharp LC-70LE650U Review (LC70LE650U, LC70C6500U)
70 Inch, 1080p, Smart TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
- The LED backlights create a bright and colorful picture as well as great peak whites
- The design is simple and attractive
- Vudu Apps are included with the Smart TV, and that's about all that is needed
- The Web Browser is solid, though it can be hard to locate at first
- Strong Size vs Value performance
- Side Angle Viewing Contrast Degradation
- The type of screen (matte) leaves the picture looking flat
- No 3D available on this model
The primary differences of the LC-70LE650U and the like-named LC-70LE657U is that the latter is a Costco model and contains both 3D and 240Hz AquoMotion features. The LE650U still has the same 120Hz panel but not the 240Hz AquoMotion nor 3D compatibility.
Picture Quality: 7.9/10
There are two things we have seen when reviewing Sharp LED TVs that are important to note. First, side angle viewing quality is the major weakness of these TVs. Second, the lack of depth in the picture makes for a somewhat flat image. There LC-70LE650U is particularly good is from front and center in brightly lit rooms with lots of windows or lighting. The LED backlighting provides very good brightness and color accuracy is pretty strong. HD sports action looks good despite the lack of depth. Other positives are the very thorough menu system and the Smart Central Internet TV Apps which cover the needed essentials in Internet TV programming through the built in Wifi connection in the TV. Black levels are decent but do fade rapidly at side angles.
This shot from a fast action sequence shows how the 650U series handles fast action. The motion blur performance is great but notice how detail gets washed out in the bright areas
Here's a further explaination of the weakness in side viewing angles for this TV. The LC-70LE650U loses color saturation from the sides. There are several settings which are important to understand when to use and when to turn off to prevent negative viewing characteristics.
While this mode is fine for watching normal cable or broadcast TV, it does not perform well with DVDs or Blu-Ray discs. It's a de-judder mode that removes judder for movies but also removes too much of the natural background blur that is supposed to be there. So we recommend turning it off for film based content. Otherwise, you get the dreaded “soap opera kitchy cardboard cutout” 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 as it delivers a smoothing quality.
A vivid colorful shot from the Blu Ray of Days of Thunder on the 70LE650U
To adjust 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.
Features Rating: 7.5/10
Smart TV, Wifi
Sharp's built in Wifi comes in handy in the LC-70LE650U to connect to the Smart TV Internet options for 2013. There is a dual core processor to allow you to watch TV, while toggling among Smart TV options. The processor also speeds the Smart TV functions somewhat.
The small Smart Central button on the remote gets you directly to the Internet TV settings. 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. That last one is the favorites section which will change per your choice.
Vudu Apps — Provides links to TV shows such as TrueBlood, CNBC, Nova, Discovery, flickr, CBS Nightly News, Facebook.
Remote and Menu Considerations/Setting the Film Mode
The 70LE650's long thin remote with small non-backlit keys
The long thin remote control has some very small 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 too small which makes browsing and toggling between choices a little slower than normal.
Appearance and Design
For all intents, you will have a difficult time initially making out the difference between the LE650U and the more expensive models with its very thin charcoal frame. But this model has a plastic bezel frame where those are Aluminum. They are both matte type finish black so it's hard to tell.
Sharp has finally realized that with very large TVs you need more volume so they have upgraded this model with 20W speakers – a welcome addition.
Value/Bang for the Buck: 8.5/10
Price is probably one of the best features for the 650 series. You get an enormous 70 inches for less than $2000. It's amazing that you can get 70 inches of quality viewing for that. The Vizio E701i is really one of the only TVs out there that can touch that deal. The Samsung UN65F6300 comes close, but is more expensive for less screen.
Overall Rating: 7.9/10