Sharp LC-80UQ17U Review (LC80UQ17U)

240Hz 80 Inch Edge Lit Smart LED TV 1080p

by , Senior Editor

Sharp LC-80UQ17U LED TVThe Sharp LC-80UQ17 is the largest of the UQ series and second largest in the entire Sharp lineup. The 90-inch 650 series TV is the largest Sharp has to offer this year. The TV gets Sharp's new picture technology, Quattron+. Combined that with THX certification and Revelation Technologies to give it a real edge over the SQ series that features Quattron+ as well. This TV can accept 4K signals thanks to Quattron+ making it "future-proof." Active 3D playback and a new take on Sharp's Smart Central make this one solid offering. Prices for this massive 70-inch TV begin around $5,499.

Strengths

  • Bright Peak Whites and light flow
  • Accepts and upscales 4K content on a 1080p resolution TV due to increased sub-pixels
  • Colors are strongest with HD content
  • Plenty of menu options for optimizing picture performance
  • Screen space for the money is the best around
  • Sharp's brand is a reliable one for 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
  • Overall on-board sound quality is lacking

Neutral

  • Appearance and Design are mediocre
  • Smart TV options work, but don't compete with the best out there
  • 3D performance is average
  • Subwoofer helps with low end sounds

Picture Quality Rating: 85/100

A bright and colorful picture is the highlight of the picture of the Sharp 80UQ17 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. Combine this feature with THX certification for excellent picture settings right out of the box. This model sports active 3D playback as well, with 2 pairs of glasses included in the box. 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 80UQ17U is ideal for bright room viewing.

Side Viewing Angles

Side viewing angles for LED TVs are certainly getting better, and the LC-80UQ17 shows better performance than the lower models. Color and contrast begin to fade as the viewing point moves further from front and center. Large screens like this allow for wider fields of view, so faults need extreme viewing angles to really hurt the picture quality.

Sharp LC-80UQ17 LED TV
This shot shows off the bright whites and contrast as well as color on the UQ17

Brightness and Peak Whites

A strong suit of this TV is its Brightness levels and this will no doubt catch your eye in the stores. But it's also very useful for rooms with lots of windows and natural light flowing in. You can definitely use those powerful LED side lights in that situation. It's one of the outstanding characteristics of this TV. It will help on gameday Sundays!

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.

240Hz Screen Refresh Rate

The Sharp LC-80UQ17U 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 usually the best option when it comes to getting the best sound out of your movies and games. Since the UQ17 size choices are so large that still remains as the best way to go. If that is not an option, there are (2) 10 watt speakers and a 15 watt subwoofer on board. They have the ability to push out some volume and bring some of the lows out, but they end up sounding 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 that doesn't add much 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.

Appearance and Design

Sharp LC-80UQ17U LED TV Design

The appearance of the 80UQ17 series features the same thin bezels and super thin profile, but with a brushed silver color. The two legged stand is a nice touch as it doesn't take a lot of attention away from the screen itself. The stand does add a few inches of depth. Wall mounting this TV would really highlight just how thin it is. The frame is aluminum, which is a nice touch and speaks to the known reliability of Sharp's TVs.

Value Rating: 85/100

The Sharp LC-80UQ17 LED TV has plenty of high points to make it a good buy for your TV room, especially the future-proof ability to display 4K signals. Flat picture depth and shoddy sound quality are hits to the overall package, but don't take it out of the running. A retail price of $5,500 (sometimes less from online retailers) may make it hard to compete with TVs from Samsung and LG with similar feature sets (minus the 4K playback). 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

  • 80" Diagonal Screen Measurement
  • 240Hz Refresh Rate Panel
  • AquoMotion 960
  • 4 (4K Ready) HDMI inputs
  • 15 watt Subwoofer
  • Total Output Power: 10W +10W+ 15W(Sub)
  • Bluetooth Audio
  • Dual Core Processor
  • Without Stand (WxHxD): 71-27/32” x 42-3/64” x 2-3/8”
  • With Stand (WxHxD): 71-27/32” x 44-3/32” x 18-1/32”


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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