Sharp LC-70LE657U Review (LC70LE657U)
70 Inch, 1080p, 3D, Smart TV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
The LC-70LE657U is the 3rd tier replacement for the LC-70LE640U from 2012. This 2013 and early 2014 model will be available in early spring and will be the most “price considerate” model of Sharp's huge edge lit LED TVs. This model does not lose many features from the two top models above it. It has a 120Hz panel rather than 240Hz and it does not have the 4th yellow pixel in the panel to make it a quattron screen. Other than that it has the ultra slim design, active 3D, and Smart TV with a dual core processor.
The LC-70LE657U is a good TV for use in brightly lit rooms with lots of window light due to the peak whites. Another situation is live HD sports action which we feel the LE657U does a very nice job displaying as the 120Hz panel and internal processing helped to smooth action scenes. 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 657U series handles fast action. There is very little motion blur. Notice how detail gets washed out in the bright areas
On the less positive side, we were not impressed by the side viewing angles on the TV as the LC-70LE657U loses color saturation from the sides. We also found the audio to be tinny, and struggled to make out voices clearly. There are several settings which are important to understand when to use and when to turn off to prevent negative viewing characteristics.
The active 3D on this TV adds a lot of depth to images for a nice change from the typically flatter type of picture the LE657U produces.
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.
Smart TV, Wifi
Sharp's built in Wifi comes in handy in the LC-70LE657U 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.
Appearance and Design
For all intents, you will have a difficult time initially making out the difference between the LE657U and the more expensive models. 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.
Value/Bang for the Buck
This is what the LC-70LE657U is all about. By dropping a couple features you may be able to live without. The 120Hz refresh rate may cause some alarm, especially if you are a gamer. But who would have thought a couple of years ago that you could purchase an very nice looking 70 inch LED edge lit LCD TV for $2000. There is slightly more competition this year in this range with Samsung's UN75F6400 75 inch model.
|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|