The Good The Sharp LC-LE745U series delivers relatively accurate color and a matte screen that works well in bright rooms. The no-nonsense black metal design has a higher-end feel. Its feature set includes excellent help and support options, built-in Wi-Fi, and a remote with three programmable keys to easily access favorite apps.
The Bad This Sharp performed worse overall than its less-expensive linemate, with lighter black levels and less even lighting across the screen, both especially obvious in dark scenes under home theater lighting. Itc picture controls didn't work properly. The Sharp also failed to properly handle film-based (1080p/24) sources, causing slight stutter in certain scenes. 3D glasses cost $50 each and are not included.
The Bottom Line Although priced well for a large 3D TV, the Sharp LC-LE745U series can't muster the 2D picture quality to earn our recommendation as a good value.
Earlier this year I lauded the Sharp LC-LE640U as potentially one of the most popular big-screen TVs of 2012. That opinion arose from its mix of good-enough picture quality and killer pricing. Now that I've reviewed its more expensive brother, the LC-LE745U series, I'm even more confident in my positive evaluation of the 640. The 745 is a rare creature in TV land: a step-up model that actually has worse picture quality.
Sharp endowed the 745 with the same pair of prodigious screen sizes as the 640 -- 60 and 70 inches -- and added 3D compatibility and a handful of apps, namely Hulu Plus and Skype. The 745U also has a more aggressive contrast ratio specification, but that spec doesn't translate into deeper black levels; in fact, along with color, they're worse.
At press time that worse 2D picture will cost you at least $200 more at the 60-inch size, making my recommendation of the 640U even easier. Unless you really want 3D (and I doubt you do), go with the Sharp 640U series, which remains one of the best big-screen values around.
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