The major connectivity options of the Sharp are four HDMI ports, two USB ports and onboard wireless. There are some legacy ports--twin AV inputs and a component--for if you still have older machines hanging about, and so most users should find the TV will accommodate most setups. For a complete list of inputs and outputs, check out the specifications tab on this page.
At this price the Sharp is basically a "cost is no object" purchase, but it doesn't behave like one in terms of picture quality. Poor black levels and inaccurate color mean that while everything may seem "rosy" the pictures lack the punch of TVs a fraction of the price. Even its stablemate, the 70-inch LC-70LE732U, is capable of better pictures at less than half the cost.
Still, there's something intangible about the Sharp's huge image that left me a little in awe. Being able to fill my vision with screen means program material, especially high-quality sources like Blu-ray, becomes more immersive and enjoyable in nearly every way.
Click the image at the right to see the picture settings used in the review and to read more about how this TV's picture controls worked during calibration.
|Comparison models (details)|
|Sharp LC-60LE640U||60-inch edge-lit LED|
|Sony Bravia KDL-55NX720||55-inch edge-lit LED|
|Vizio Razor M3D550SR||55-inch edge-lit LED|
|Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD (reference)||60-inch full-array LED|
Black level: As I've already mentioned, black levels are not the strong suit of this television. If that's what you're after, then the amazing Sharp Elite is the same price, if not quite as giant. Like many LCD TVs the Sharp 60LE640U uses global backlight dimming to give the illusion of a darker black level, but it also played merry havoc with our testing equipment. While the geek box may indicate very good blacks, in real-world usage the 80-incher was the most washed-out-looking in our lineup, especially during dark scenes with letterbox bars.
On the other hand, shadow detail was great in intricate scenes, like the fly-by of the darkened Romulan ship in "Star Trek," showing plenty of detail.
Color accuracy: Despite our best efforts at adjustment, colors didn't look as natural as on the comparison TVs. Further, the offset red meant that skin tones looked too rosy. The modern Captain Kirk gets around in his underpants a lot more than the '60s version, and this combined with the movie's vibrant color palette makes a good tester for natural colors. Unfortunately, most of the Enterprise crew members--with their clothes on, of course--looked like they'd been jogging recently, as they looked a little too flushed.
Grays were also shot through with small flecks of color, but as you'd only see this in title screens or test patterns, it's not too big of a deal.
Video processing: Though it's a bare-bones set in terms of features, the company hasn't skimped on processing power. The TV was able to convey 24p content in a natural way without any stuttering judder, and 1080i content was delivered without jaggies.
Activating 120Hz mode can improve motion resolution without adding additional smoothness, so there's no reason not to. When I did turn on smoothing, via the Film Mode setting, the hazy artifacts around moving figures proved too distracting for critical watching.
Uniformity: As a full-array set, the Sharp isn't plagued by the backlight uniformity issues of the edge-lit sets. However, due to the sheer size of the set another issue arises. Unless you're a football field away you're going to be sitting off-axis to more than a fair chunk of the screen. At a distance of the 1.5x the diagonal screen size (10ft), which is recommended for the most immersive image, you'll have a sweet spot that fills only about a third of the screen, and then a subtle gray patina emerges over the edges, particularly in dark scenes.
Bright lighting: The Sharp has a matte screen, which is ideal for using in a well-lit room. As the TV has lower-than-average blacks it also looks better with the lights on and would suit larger groups watching the game, or even a gaming session, if Xbox is more your thing.
Power consumption: Thanks to the Energy Star ratings system, most LCDs use little more energy than a common lightbulb, and from here on in you won't actually see CNET power consumption data for them. The Sharp is a specialized case though: it's huge. Therefore it sucks up more power than most and is worth testing. Uncalibrated, the TV used 179W, while when calibrated to our 40 Fl light output standard, this behemoth only used 120W.
|Black luminance (0%)||0.005758467||Good|
|Near-black x/y (5%)||0.3008/0.3132||Average|
|Dark gray x/y (20%)||0.3129/0.3318||Good|
|Bright gray x/y (70%)||0.3131/0.3292||Good|
|Before avg. color temp.||7032.425||Poor|
|After avg. color temp.||6451.7595||Good|
|Red lum. error (de94_L)||1.1536||Good|
|Green lum. error (de94_L)||1.7887||Average|
|Blue lum. error (de94_L)||30.0183||Poor|
|Cyan hue x/y||0.2245/0.3283||Good|
|Magenta hue x/y||0.3237/0.1574||Good|
|Yellow hue x/y||0.4193/0.5028||Good|
|1080p/24 Cadence (IAL)||Pass||Good|
|1080i De-interlacing (film)||Pass||Good|
|Motion resolution (max)||620||Average|
|Motion resolution (dejudder off)||330||Poor|
|PC input resolution (VGA)||1,920x1,080 pixels||Good|