Sharp LC-80LE857U Review (LC80LE857U)
80" AQUOS LCD/LED 240Hz Quattron HDTV
by Robert Wiley, Senior Editor
Sharp's top of the line 80” LED TV model is the LC-80LE857U which has Sharp's best features until you enter the 4K UHD TV arena (and pay a lot more money). This mammoth 80 inch edge-lit LED has a metal Aluminum frame that is very refined in appearance. It has a 240Hz panel for processing fast action and gaming, a dedicated game mode, a dual core processor for helping with speed during Smart TV operation and multitasking, and the 4th yellow pixel to make it Quattron.
Picture Quality Rating: 8.6
Black levels and contrast appear well on this TV but are certainly not it's greatest strength. That distinction lies in the very bright peak whites from the LED edge lighting. Sharp calls this the Super Bright Technology and it's only present on the LE857U series. It also allows this TV to stay very slim at only 2 inches in depth even though it's 80 inches in diagonal viewing area. Colors can be slightly flat as a result of the LED side lighting and depth perception suffers a bit as well until you put on the 3D glasses.
This shot of the 857U series is a good example of the the realistic color rendition. Also notice the silver stand and silver bezel
240Hz — De-judder Mode
The 240Hz helps with fast action and sports and those are its best benefits. It does smooth the picture. It's a good idea to turn off the Film Mode when watching movies, or other film-type based content. The feature can take out lots of the natural background blur.
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 have much effect on the picture.
There is dedicated game mode on the LC80LE857U which is super hyped to enable the 240Hz panel to process that fast action gaming.
3D Active Viewing
3D viewing should be done from front and center and with little to no room light or window light in front or on the sides when viewing. Otherwise, you will likely get some nasty flickering from the 3D glasses. From side angles you lose some of the depth perception of 3D images. From front and relatively near the center the picture looks good in 3D. Colors are greatly enhanced and the 3D effect is nice on this TV which has an otherwise slightly flat picture. From front and relatively near the center the picture looks good in 3D. Colors are greatly enhanced and the 3D effect is nice on this TV which has an otherwise slightly flat picture.
This year's AN-3DG40 Bluetooth 3D Glasses are much lighter and thinner than last years and 2 pairs come in the box with the TV which is nice because they run around $50 per pair.
2D to 3D Conversion
Though this feature is included, it's not a strong point and adds little depth.
Colors look good and natural, but as we said slightly flat. That could mean there is not enough gray-scale going on in the TV since contrast and black levels look fine.
This shot is a good example of the contrast and black levels. It really does give off a flat appearance
Features Rating: 8.2/10
Smart Central TV (Sharp's Smart TV)
The small Smart Central button on the remote places you directly in the Internet TV settings in the LC80LE857U. 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 (which changes depending on your favorites selections).
Here is a run down on some of the options provided with Sharp's Smart Central Smart TV:
Vudu Apps – Provides links to TV shows such as TrueBlood, CNBC, Nova, Discovery, flickr, CBS Nightly News, Facebook,. This is the central App which creates most of the choices for Sharp's TVs.
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.
The Vudu Apps that are available for free the primary Apps available through Sharps Smart Central TV. Sharp has not bothered to create 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.
Appearance and Design
The LC-80LE857U is an upgraded model and as such, receives the attractive Aluminum Diamond Cut framing bezel. The frame is about .5” in width and the design is very nice – understated with nothing flashy but very nice.
This is an interesting point that should to be addressed. Sharp has one of the highest if not the highest reliability rating. They are quality built products and Sharp seems to be more conscientious than other manufacturers about making sure they work over time.
Audio/Sound Quality – Not so great
I suppose Sharp thinks you will be using a home theater system or sound bar with this TV since the 80LE857U size choices are so large. I guess they are right in most cases but it would be nice to have the option. As with many LED and Plasma TVs we've tested out this year, sound quality suffers. Everything ends up sounding tinny and muddled with the TV struggling to separate voice from background/music and sound fx. They also don't pump out enough volume to fill a room.
Value Rating: 8.4/10
At around $4999 there is certainly a premium attached to the 80” size. That's a $2000 jump over the 70 inch version LE857U. As Sharp's top end LED for the year you also get the reliability you will want with an 80 inch TV. The only competition currently available without delving into 4K is the Vizio M801d which sells for less but is 120Hz.
Overall Rating: 8.4/10
|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|