Sharp LCDs save energy, double Hz

Today Sharp announced two new lines of LCD-based flat panel HDTVs, one with a special energy saving mode and another with a 120Hz refresh rate.

Sharp's LC-D85U series of LCDs feature a 120Hz refresh rate and a variable backlight to help save energy. Sharp

Today at CEDIA, Sharp announced two new lines of flat-panel LCD HDTVs, one with a special energy-saver function and another with the company's first iteration of true 120Hz processing. Full details are available after the jump.

Sharp LC-D65U series

The less-expensive D65U series keeps the active backlight but drops 120Hz. Sharp

Models (availability, suggested retail price)

  • Sharp LC-42D65U (now, $1,599)
  • Sharp LC-46D65U (October, $1,899)
  • Sharp LC-52D65U (October, $2,399)

Key features of the Sharp LC-D65U series

  • 1080p native resolution
  • Energy saver mode
  • Five HDMI inputs

The claim to fame of the company's new D65U models, available in 42-, 46- and 52-inch sizes, is the new Energy Saver mode, which "enables active contrast and active backlight to reduce the energy consumption of the television while in use" according to the press release. We applaud the effort to curb TV-power use from a conservation perspective, but from a picture-quality perspective we can't help but wonder if the active backlight will prove as distracting on these Sharps as it was in our review of Philips' Eco TV. We'll also have to wait for a full review to see if the backlights appear as uneven as we've seen on previous Sharp LCDs, such as the LC-52D64U.

Sharp LC-D85U series

Models (availability, suggested retail price)

  • Sharp LC-42D85U (now, $1,899)
  • Sharp LC-46D85U (October, $2,199)
  • Sharp LC-52D85U (October, $2,599)

Key step-up features of the Sharp LC-D85U series

  • 120Hz refresh rate
  • New design with angled edges

Sharp has offered what it calls "120Hz Frame Rate Conversion" on previous LCDs, including the LC-52D94U we reviewed last year, and according to that review it really didn't make much of a difference. Now, the company is putting a 120Hz refresh rate in its step-up D85U series of LCDs, available in the same three sizes as the D65U series. We asked a Sharp representative whether that meant the D85U models have the kind of smoothing de-judder processing found on many other manufacturers models, and the answer was "no," although apparently the 120Hz processing can be turned off anyway. Regardless, 120Hz should help clean up some blurring in motion, although we'll have to wait till the review to find out how effective Sharp's version can be.
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