The Good Inexpensive for an LCD with LED backlighting; extremely energy efficient; effective video processing that can separate antiblur and dejudder functions; intriguing selection of interactive widgets; superb built-in support including live help with remote access; solid selection of picture controls; plenty of connectivity with four HDMI and one PC input.
The Bad Black levels not as deep as LED and some non-LED-based LCDs; less-accurate grayscale; glossy screen reflects ambient light; minor backlight uniformity issues.
The Bottom Line The Sharp LC-LE700UN's LED backlighting doesn't elevate its picture quality beyond the LCD norm, but does help make it the most efficient TV we've ever tested.
Editors' note (March 4, 2010): The rating on this product has been lowered because of changes in the competitive marketplace, including the release of 2010 models. The review has not otherwise been modified..
LCD TV makers have always charged a premium for LED backlighting. In fact, the first LED-based LCD TV Sharp released, the inch-thick XS series, debuted last year at a cool $11,000 MSRP for the 52-inch model. LED has become a lot more mainstream since then, and so have Sharp's ambitions for the well-marketed backlight technology. The Sharp LC-LE700UN series encapsulates that progress toward the mass market: it's the least-expensive LED-backlit LCD available today, it measures the standard 3-odd inches thick, and as a result its owners will have a tough time convincing visitors that it's anything more than a normal, CCFL-based LCD.
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