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New Sharp Elite TV not all that Elite

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#1
I was invited to a "public unveiling" of Sharp's new Elite TV at a local A/V store last night, and I thought I would share my initial impressions with the community.

For starters there should be some background on the TV:
  • It is being manufactured by Sharp who hired on a lot of Pioneer's engineers after the Elite line was discontinued 2-3 years ago
  • It comes in 2 sizes of 70" ($8,000) and 60" ($5,500)
  • It has added a yellow subpixel in addition to the standard RGB sub pixels to give more accurate color representations
  • It is claimed by Sharp that its processor allows it to go beyond a 240hz refresh rate
  • It is 3d capable
  • It is a full LED array backlight divided out to over 100 subgrids for better levels of backlight leveling

They had fool's gold showing on it when I saw the demo and the biggest thing Jamieson's staff was trying to show is that the black levels on this unit can rival that of most plasmas. So I'll have to base my initial impressions off of that movie and the small 5 minute tech demo blu ray they showed.

So for starters, the black levels were good. The salesman said it was better than plasmas, which I find hard to believe since plasmas have no backlight therefore they can get true black, but it was a very good black with almost zero light bleeding from around the edges. The whites were equally as impressive with no blue hue to them that you run into in the <$3000 TVs (precalibrated at least). The TV's shining achievement was its ability to produce extremely accurate color representation with very good vibrancy without over-saturation that a lot of LCDs struggle with. The skin tones on the characters were spot on, water was the right kind of blue etc, etc... And despite its mammoth 70" size, it did not have any bluriness. The picture was very sharp and clear and almost appeared like it had depth within the TV itself more than likely because of its stellar representation of colors.

As we continued watching the movies something began to strike me as odd. For anyone that has a TV with image smoothing (such as Samsung's automotion plus feature or another company's comparable feature) you will understand what I am going to describe. The image of anything moving appeared like it had been put into slow motion but then sped back up to normal season. I felt like it had a very bad motion processing thing on, but the rep told me that all the features were turned off. So that leaves one of two explanations: he was wrong, or this TV is terrible for anything that moves. In addition to the unnatural looking movements, there were also some serious ghosting issues that I noticed. One of the characters had dred-locks and each time he moved his head he appeared to have 4,5 and sometimes 6 separate sets of dred-locks. I typically exaggerate my things, but the glaring response time issues are not being exaggerated. Motion blur would render this TV just about useless for gaming or any high-motion movie. Another issue that I noticed were input lag. It could have been caused by their set-up but at times I would estimate the lip-sync delay to be at ~20-30ms. It seems like the TV was trying to do too much processing and held the image up to much before displaying it.

These are just my personal opinions on the TV but I wanted to share them with you all and see if any of you have any other thoughts on it.

In summary

The Great
  • Color recreation was the best I've ever seen on a TV
  • Images seemed to have depth even in 2d mode

The Good
  • Black Levels

The Bad
  • Price
  • Input Lag

The Ugly
  • Motion Blur
  • Horrible image processing making the movements seem very unnatural

All in all for the price that this TV is commanding I expected A LOT more performance out of it than what was perceived. Especially when there was a Panasonic 65" plasma for $3,500 in another room that was matching everything but the phenomenal colors (still dang good though). I left feeling like there was a lot more that the Elite TV line could have lived up to than what they showed for their coming out party.

Overall rating 6.5/10
 

erocker

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#2
Thanks for the info! My old man is looking to get a large extravagant TV soon and this won't be it.

Whatever happened with OLED TV's?!
 
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#3
Yeah, if there's anyone I trust to get everything about a TV figured out in less than a week it'll be the guys at Jamieson's that did the showing. Some of them agreed with me about the motion issues and they said they were going to dive into it and figure out why it seemed to be so shoddy. So I will definitely update this if I get word from them that they figured out Sharp's "Elite operation mode (like movie or game mode settings)" had some things on that shouldn't be causing the image issues
 
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#4
It has added a yellow subpixel in addition to the standard RGB sub pixels to give more accurate color representations
these increase the saturation a lot, but since most movies and Tv shows are done in RGB format it has a tendency to reduce the actual accuracy most of the time
 
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#5
Whatever happened with OLED TV's?!
2012 will be the year of the OLED TV... Samsung & LG will have the first consumer versions and they will be very expensive. Probably by 2013-2014 they will be competitive with LCD.

Been following Universal Display Corp since 2004
 
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#6
I think your being picky. these are specialty televisions. the Pioneer 60" Elite PRO-151FD cost $6500 when it launched and it has problems of it's own.
 
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#7
I never understood this washed out over-saturated issue with hd tvs and monitors. This wasn't a problem on crt. Do they actually think there's anyone that likes severe eyestrain? And it really does seem to be all about the default config, not the tech. I see it on plasmas too. Though even after proper calibration on my ST30 sometimes leaves me yearning for my old crt. When I got my lcd monitor I sat the crt next to it and tried to match the tone and color accuracy and I ended up at 25% contrast and 70% brightness for a pretty good match. Most people seem to have gone the exact opposite route and then they wonder why they get headaches on the computer.
 

FreedomEclipse

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#8
It could be the TV they used for the demo had a bad panel.....

but if that is the case, then they should have tested everything before the opening to make sure it worked perfectly so if it was a bad panel, they could have swapped the tv out with another one.

theres nothing worse they trying to promote sales with a borked demo
 
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#9
I should probably google this, but going to ask here anyways, what is OLED? and what is it's properties compared to LED/LCD?
 
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#10
I think your being picky. these are specialty televisions. the Pioneer 60" Elite PRO-151FD cost $6500 when it launched and it has problems of it's own.
$6,500 (or worse $8,000) and problems of its own should not be in the same sentence. If a company wants to release a product of that caliber then it should be worth the price.

I would much rather spend $3,500 on a 65" plasma than $5,500 on a 60" elite after comparing the two.

Obviously these are my own opinions though and everyone should still do their own research on the TV (i.e. going to look at it in person) before making their own judgements.
 
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#11