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What about SHARP HDTV's?

by sdebeaubien / March 22, 2011 11:45 AM PDT

Why in HECK hasn't CNET reviewed Sharp's Quattron technology? They did a cursory review on it when it first came out, but then NOTHING. They don't list it in the "best" HDTV list, or the best LED HDTV list, and I say the technology in Sharp's new Quattron is superior to anything else out there on the market - including Plasma. I looked at a TON of TV's to make my purchasing decision, I weighed in the energy consumption and BY FAR Sharp rises to the top. The picture quality on a Quattron is absolutely TOP FLIGHT in my book too - better even than Plasma because of the great contrast and super bright whites.

I just haven't seen that much sharpness or crispness in plasmas as I see in the Quattron, things appear to "shimmer" when they're supposed to, and color reproduction is great as well. I hadn't seen a plasma or LCD TV prior to this one that will show that "shimmery" effect, it so shocked me that I started to really investigate it, and then finally decided it's the best out there.

Is CNET taking kickbacks from the other manufacturers or what? I haven't seen them review any of the Quattron line of TV's - and they've been out for well over a year now!

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Think again
by Pepe7 / March 23, 2011 1:47 AM PDT

You say 'conspiracy', and I say otherwise. For the record, Sharp isn't known for producing the HDTVs that provide the highest PQ, although their newer lines are a heck of an improvement over what they used to sell IMO and E.

Some folks like the 'shimmering' effect, adn I respect that- although to be honest, it is not a particularly natural appearing phenomemon for a flat panel IMHO. I prefer a less gimmicky approach that resembles the great PQ I always received on my old Sony Trinitrons. This means accurate, deep colors, with good black levels/excellent contract with no 'distractions' (a la things like motionflow, etc. on LCDs) other than the action of a movie I intend to enjoy. Plasma is still the better choice in this regard. My guess is you still haven't been around the block enough times and spent ample enough time with different models outside big box stores where they can appear quite horrible vs one that has been properly calibrated. You are truly missing out, amigo.

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I did (think again) - I thought a lot about it
by sdebeaubien / March 24, 2011 2:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Think again

I've looked at the Vizio XVT3SV series (that tops the "Best" LED TV list) and found that the Sharp blows that TV away for picture quality. The Sharp has 120Hz refresh and it rarely (if ever) displays any what folks commonly call "pixelation" (what I've always referred to as aliasing). A good friend has that Vizio and I've seen it do the pixelation behavior. I'm telling you the Sharp is really a top-notch performer. The color reproduction is accurate and tunable (if desired, I haven't touched mine). And the viewing angle is strong - at least as strong as the Vizio - if not better. The thing that really tells you whether your contrast is good or not is the brightness of whites in varying light conditions. The auto-sense of the Sharp is darned good at that and it keeps the whites bright - BRIGHT - under most every lighting condition in the room!

If the Vizio came out "top of the heap" for LED TV's, then the Sharp should either be ahead of it or just behind it. I could not EVER in good conscious purchase a plasma TV. They are just too power hungry. Can you imagine a TV that consumes over 1/2 a KWatt per hour (some are up to 600 W / hr!) when you could get nearly as good of performance out of an LCD based TV (with LED's for enhancement) that consumes less than 90 Watts per hour? Then, there was the problem that I used to live in Denver, and I saw many Plasma TV's that didn't even make it a year! They just don't hold up, maybe they've gotten better. But what the heck is "fade" and why would I want a TV that's gonna fade and not perform on day 1,123 just as good as the day it was new?

I say again, that by not doing a comprehensive review of Sharp's new Quattron technology that CNET is displaying a bias towards other manufacturers - and that's not fair. Sharp has done a good thing, gone out on a limb with this new tech, and they should be highly regarded for their efforts. I'm telling everyone it's not just a gimmick, it really works well, and really does improve the overall quality of the TV (or HDTV) viewing experience.

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I have replaced all the light bulbs in my home already, so..
by ahtoi / March 24, 2011 3:34 AM PDT

I hope that compensate part of my power hog plasma tv. I saw the quatron; it's not bad and I liked it, but why are you shouting so loud on this issue? You like it, then buy it. You don't have to be convince by Cnet..or us.

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Your information is out of date, unfortunately
by Pepe7 / March 24, 2011 4:00 AM PDT

I'd also suggest your methodology is somewhat silly as well (others may chime in here, I think.)

I'll start with the lowest hanging fruit in your arguments/comments. You seem to be hung up on energy consumption ratings and not actual increases in the electric bill at the end of the month, where it counts the most for consumers. For example, my friend added two plasma HDTVs in his home (50" & 42"). Guess how much his electric bill went up? Roughly $3-5. And that was two or three years ago. FWIW, the latest models use less power than those two models do. Next years models will be even better at power management.

So you are implying also that current plasmas somehow magically 'break down' faster than LCD-LED models(?) Perhaps you believe in unicorns too(?) Time to actually update your knowledge base, amigo. If you also step away from the interwebs for half a minute, you will actually discover that some of the "fade" that you somehow haven't yet grasped technically is somewhat related to hype. The reduced black levels sometimes observed on some plasma models _still_ are much better than the majority of LCD HDTV stock.

I have to ask- why would you even bother to mention a 120Hz refresh rate as a prominent feature when it's going to be a standard feature on most high end LCD-LED models (120 or 240, really)(?) What does your Sharp look like when you do a side by side vs either a Sony or Samsung LCD-LED model? I honestly feel you might be surprised with a little more testing. Inquiring minds...

[Full disclosure- I actually have started to *like* some of the current crop of LCD-LED models(!) ]

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Now we have a discussion!
by sdebeaubien / March 24, 2011 9:39 AM PDT


First, I shout sometimes, because it seems some people are "deaf" on the Internet. There are those who assume (wrongly) that just because they have the larger audience, that theirs is the only opinion that matters.

Be that as it may, my other reason for shouting is to get CNET off its butt to review (formally!) the Quattron technology. I say it's superior to ordinary LCD, and is darned near as good as Plasma. Sharp has "kept up" and introduced 2011 models that are much improved over the set I bought. I also followed your advice and looked at some of those modern Plasmas and it does indeed show that power consumption is coming down (there's been tremendous improvement in fact). Power is a secondary concern though I assure you. Of primary concern for all of us is color reproduction, color accuracy, contrast, video quality when there is motion in the picture and so forth.

I've been around long enough to remember "green" screens on CRT's, I started with IBM PC XT's in the tech business. I've seen the progression through the various levels of improvements. I know enough to say that there are limits to what the human eye can perceive in terms of refresh. For instance, when Macintosh first came out, the screen was fine when you viewed it up close (as normally sitting in front of the unit), but if you were across the room and walked a couple of steps the screen would appear to "jerk" or flicker. That was a refresh issue that the human eye could perceive, but only under certain circumstances.

When it all comes down to it, the human eye can really only perceive about 1/100th of a second (depends on the person) - any more and it becomes very subjective. There are those who argue that video motion "appears" much smoother at higher refresh rates, but again, this is subject to interpretation. Much depends on the actual speed of the video processor and whether it's actually keeping up and truly providing a new image for the screen / monitor at a 120hz (or higher) refresh rate. The newer TV's out there with 600hz refresh rates are pulling people's legs - I mean really, you expect me to believe that a TV video processor is really producing 600 different images per second? That's silly and completely ridiculous. The very fastest processors on PC's are only capable of producing about 60 different frames per second (what is referred to as the "frames per second" or fps for short or just "frame rate").

There may be some (video processors) out there that are faster, but it becomes very fuzzy in reality. A TV may be capable of producing 600hz refresh in a 1080p picture (probably not at 1080p, but at 720p or 720i in reality), but does that mean that it really refreshes the screen that often (10x per second)? No - in fact, it only theoretically (in most cases) can.

What really matters is response time, and manufacturers (again as is typical) don't always give you true numbers on that measure. They're apt to give you the best possible times for black - white - black of individual crystals on the screen, or they'll give you the gray - white - gray numbers instead. Those can be very misleading. The best measure is still your own eyes. Accordingly, I'm reporting that I see no pixelation on my Sharp at 120hz, and I see no ghosting at all. That is, the processor in the Sharp is keeping ahead of what my eye would perceive as "blurring" and it works well enough that I can detect no problems with it whatsoever. Of course, it probably helps that I have a decent Blu-ray player from Pioneer, and we have HDTV via cable that we watch most of the rest of the time.

Now, I will grant that Plasma screen TV's have always looked better (and in fact performed better) than most LCD screens out there. I think that with this innovation from Sharp (again, my subjective analysis) that LCD (Backlit LED LCD HDTV's if you want) are getting very close to the performance of those Plasma TV's.

As I said, one of the reasons I have shouted is that it appears there is some bias at CNET towards other technologies and they have not done a comprehensive review or study of this new Quattron technology from Sharp. I expected more from an organization that prides itself on technological prowess. I expected they wouldn't turn their noses up at a new innovation just because they already had their "favorites" in the industry.

In reality, what Sharp has done in my mind is to open up the middle ground of the HDTV market. There's plenty of low-end fodder out there, cheap sets with very marginal performance (at best, as you said, most of the junk pedaled by Best Buy, and others) and there have been high end sets, but not much in between. I think this new technology from Sharp has found itself a niche in the market and is a very good solution for folks like myself who want quality and performance, but cannot afford to pay for "the best."

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More homework
by Pepe7 / March 27, 2011 6:50 AM PDT

Under no circumstances should you be directly comparing the 600Hz sub-field drive ratings on a newer plasma with the 120/240Hz LCD-LED refresh rates. The two types of panels use different technologies so there is no one-for-one comparison in this regard. Keep in mind plasma manufacturers started marketing this number to compete with the 120 & 240Hz ratings the big box stores were touting for their off the shelf flashy LCD models. The response times of plasma still spank the daylights out of LED-LCDs. Again, due to different tech involved. LCD still has to catch up more.

FWIW, my understanding is the Sharp has a partnership now with Sony to make some of their LCDs. In this sense I don't feel CNET has any sort of hell bent mission on excluding anything Sharp has to offer since they work with a few other HDTV manufacturers already in producing many products, some of which are reviewed here & elsewhere. Personally, I just see anything ground breaking in their Quattron tech yet. But will will seek out another mom n pop shop in the near future to give them a second look.

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