Sharp LC-80LE650U Review (LC80C6500U)

80 Inch, 1080p, Smart TV

by , Senior Editor

Positives

Sharp LC-80LE650U LED TV
  • The LED backlights foster colorful images and push bright peak whites
  • Simple yet attractive appearance
  • Many of the included Smart TV apps are all that is going to be needed
  • Decent, but hard to find web browswer

Negatives

  • Side Angle Viewing Contrast Degradation
  • The type of screen (matte) leaves the picture looking flat
  • No 3D available on this model
  • Expensive

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 performance is the biggest weakness on this TV. Second, the screen produces a seemingly flat image. The LC-80LE650U is notably 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.

Sharp LC-80LE650U Motion Blur
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-80LE650U 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.

Film Mode

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.

Color Reproduction on the Sharp LC-80LE650U
A vivid colorful shot from the Blu Ray of Days of Thunder on the 80LE650U

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-80LE650U 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


Sharp LC-80LE650's Remote Control
The 80LE650'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.

Sound Quality/Audio

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: 8/10

Nearly $4,000 can be a very hard pill for swallow for many out there. The LC-80LE650U is about a $2,000 jump from the 70 inch model. That's quite a lot more screen space, but is it worth it? Samsung's UN75F6400 is smaller by 5 inches (which is a lot when measured diagonally), but has a better feature set and picture quality for the same price. Vizio's 80 inch, the M801d-A3 is another competitor at the same price. That one includes Theater 3D, but doesn't have the reliablility that Sharp's TVs have.

Overall Rating: 7.8/10



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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