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Sharp goes big with 70-inch full-array local dimmer

The high-end Sharp 945 series will offer full-array local-dimming backlights in a 60- and 70-inch screen size.

The Sharp 945 series will be the first non-Elite Sharp with full-array local dimming. Sharp

Update March 2, 2012: Company reps have told me only that the status, and indeed the model name and prospective features (eg local dimming) of this model, are now uncertain. For that reason I have removed it from the company lineup chart until I hear more.

LAS VEGAS--We love the picture quality improvements wrought by full-array local-dimming backlights, so color us excited that Sharp is migrating the technology down from its awesome Elite TVs to these new models.

The 945 series will offer that sweet backlight configuration in two screen sizes that will be familiar to fans of the Elite: 60 and 70 inches. We doubt the picture quality of these sets will quite reach Elite levels, but with those backlights it might come close. We don't have word yet on the number of backlight "zones" between the Elite and 945, but we're guessing the Elite will have more.

The 945 is also a 240Hz-resolution TV, Sharp's newest version of Quad Pixel Plus, said to take advantage of its Quattron four-pixel technology to smooth resolution. Our experience with the 2011 version of QPP is that its effects are nearly invisible. Happily, we can say the same about Quattron itself; the TVs we tested in 2011 had ample color controls to "calibrate out" any errors the yellow pixel introduced.

This set also has the same new Smart TV extras as the 80-inch LC-80LE844U.

Sharp LC-LE945U series features:

  • Full-array LED backlight with local dimming
  • Active 3D compatible
  • Quad Pixel Plus II
  • 240Hz refresh rate
  • Smart TV with SmartCentral
  • Onboard Wi-Fi

Sharp LC-LE945U series models:

  • Sharp LC-60LE945U 60-inch, available June, $TBD
  • Sharp LC-70LE945U 70-inch, available June, $TBD