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First Look: Sharp Elite PRO-X5FD
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First Look: Sharp Elite PRO-X5FD

2:49 /

The overpriced Sharp Elite LED-based LCD produces the best overall picture quality of any TV we've reviewed since 2008.

Hi there. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET. I'm standing with the Sharp Elite Pro X5 FD series. This is the 60 inch version. There's also a 70 inch member of the series... The main thing you know about this TV, it's the best picture quality test this year and it's also the most expensive... This is Sharp's high end elite television. Actually borrows the elite name from the old Pioneer Kuros of (your?) and actually has a lot of influence from those Plasma TVs. We'll get to that in a little bit but the first real influence here is the styling on this TV. It's a real no nonsense design. Around the edge you have a pretty thing vessel of metallic black... The stand does not swivel. The only real exterior feature is that elite brand name. Other than that this is pretty much a black box. We really like that look. It's extremely no nonsense. This TV does have an excellent feature set. Sharp includes 2 pairs of active 3D glasses. We love that you can actually switch the glasses to 2D mode. So if one person doesn't wanna watch in 3D, you can actually have one of each... in the audience. The selection streaming services on this TV is pretty good. You do get Netflix and Voodoo but you don't get Amazon Video on demand or Hulu Plus found on a lot of the competitors. There's also no app store but again you're not really buying this TV for the streaming. It does have built in Wi-Fi, however which is pretty nice. (Making?) the TV's feature set is an excellent selection of picture settings. There is a bunch of presets including THX mode for both 2D and 3D. There's also a 10 point adjustment for the gray scale as well as a full color (manual?) system that works very well. So I'll tell you you can tweak this TV pretty much any way you like it. Of course the main highlight of this TV is its picture quality. It's starts with the local dimming LED, full array back light. This TV has more zones in that full array back light than any other competitors according to Sharp that are currently on the market. That local dimming back light is the main reason why this TV scored at 10 in picture quality in our test. It's really the best we tested this year. Better even that the very best plasmas from Panasonic and Samsung. The key is that really deep black level. Again the dark areas in the picture stay extremely dark while the bright areas maintain their nice... bright contrast which equals extremely good pop and when you're looking at the picture, it really does make a big difference especially in a dark room. When you move off angle, those black levels do get a little bit lighter and the color fidelity goes slightly south but again the elite maintains that excellent color fidelity even from a couple seats to left or right of the sweet spots. So it does have excellent on and... or off angle performance for an LED TV but if you're... extremely far off angle, the plasma still win. We appreciate this excellent screen uniformity on this TV as well as the solid video processing. Color wasn't quite as accurate as some of the flagship TVs we've seen although it was still extremely good and not inaccurate enough to spoil our excellent overall impressions. Finally, the 3D on this TV was excellent and those deep black levels and punchy contrasts stayed true despite having the glasses on. Anyway that's a quick look at the Sharp Pro X5 FD which is again the best picture quality of the year and also the most expensive we tested.

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