We found HP's unique-looking remote very stylish and ergonomically well designed. Someone obviously put a lot of thought from a user's perspective into this clicker. It fits like a glove in the hand, whether you are a righty or a lefty, and all the most important keys are reachable by the thumb. There is no backlighting, but that isn't a surprise on a flat-panel display that will likely be viewed in high ambient light most of the time.
One glance at the internal menu system told us that the HP LC3760N has more than a little in common with Sharp's LCDs--it's identical to the one found in the Sharp LC-37D40U, for example. The menu was relatively intuitive and easy to navigate and make adjustments.Like most LCDs, the HP LC3760N has a native resolution of 1,366x768. That's plenty of pixels to resolve all of the detail of 720p HDTV broadcasts. All sources, including HDTV, DVD, standard-def TV, and computers, are scaled to fit the pixels.
The HP LC3760N offers relatively few features, whether related to convenience, such as PIP (picture-in-picture), or performance, such as a color-management system, which could really benefit this panel. In fact, its feature set is essentially identical to that of the aforementioned Sharp LC-37D40U. HP included an ATSC tuner for receiving over-the-air digital and HDTV broadcasts via an antenna, but like many HDTVs this year, it lacks CableCard--not a big loss as far as we're concerned. You can choose from four aspect-ratio modes with standard-def sources, but you can't change modes at all with high-def.
The coolest feature from a picture-quality standpoint is the backlight control, which shows up as the first item in the video menu. Backlighting actually controls the amplitude of the lamps driving the panel, and by bringing it down, you can improve black-level performance. Picture modes include Dynamic, Dynamic Fixed, Standard, Movie, and Game, and there's a separate User mode for each input. There are also selectable color temperatures, including Low, Mid-Low, Mid, and High, with Mid-Low providing the best overall grayscale but one that still begs for improvement (see
Connectivity is pretty comprehensive on the HP LC3760N, and the two HDMI digital inputs are the most important. Two is the minimum for us, now that HD-DVD and Blu-ray players as well cable or satellite high-def sources are available, both of which usually look best with HDMI. There are also a number of analog inputs: two each for component and composite video, as well as one for S-Video. All are shared between three A/V inputs, so you can't connect all six at once. In addition, there's one RF input that handles any over-the-air and cable sources, both analog and digital (ATSC and QAM), and an optical digital audio output for routing off-air digital sound to an A/V receiver.
Surprisingly for an HDTV produced by a PC manufacturer, the HP LC3760N does not have a dedicated VGA-style computer input. You can use one of the HDMI inputs, in conjunction with an HDMI-to-DVI adapter and a computer's DVI output, to display computer content, but we'd have liked to see a dedicated input like the one found on Dell's input-heavy W3706MC.Overall, the video performance of the HP LC3760N leaves a little bit to be desired, but it still outclasses the majority of LCD-based HDTVs out there. We were surprised that in the crucial area of grayscale performance--the color of black, white, and gray, which forms the basis for all colors--the HP didn't do as well as its near twin, the Sharp LC-37D40U. That's why we gave the HP a lower Performance score.
The HP LC3760N's Mid-Low color-temperature position produced the most neutral grayscale, although it became too blue in darker areas--a sign of inconsistent grayscale tracking. The Low setting went way too warm or red in the midrange of the grayscale to be usable, and the others are simply blue scales and not grayscales. We did not perform a calibration since it's extremely difficult to do so, and in our experience, the results aren't worth it with Sharp LCDs.
In its favor, the LC3760N can produce a deep, convincing color of black, thanks to the backlight feature. We ended up setting it at -8 for a dimly lit room. You can take it lower for even darker environments, but beware that it brings down the light output significantly, which can rob the image of too much impact. We were also impressed by the HP's clean video processing. The LC3760N did a better job than many LCD panels of reproducing the difficult opening sequences of Alien: The Director's Cut on DVD with little visible video noise and only very minor false-contouring artifacts.
Brighter scenes from the Superbit DVD version of The Fifth Element had plenty of snap, thanks to a solid contrast ratio, and were rendered crisp and full of detail. Some of the colors had kind of a false look that's due to the HP's poor color decoding, which, like the Sharp's, suffers from red push. Color management, which can correct color decoding, is a feature this panel sorely needs. Considering that its primary color values are closer than those of most HDTVs (see the geek box), if the color decoding and grayscale-tracking capabilities were significantly improved, HP would have a product worthy of an Editors' Choice Award.
The LC3760N does deliver all the resolution of 720p signals via its HDMI inputs as measured with a Sencore VP403 HDTV signal generator. The Chronicles of Riddick from our Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player looked fine in terms of detail and clarity. Color needed to be backed down considerably in order to achieve a reasonably natural look, which unfortunately causes all of the colors to appear duller, but otherwise high-def performance was solid.
|Before color temp (20/80)||8,550/7,275K||Poor|
|Before grayscale variation||+/- 841K||Poor|
|Color of red (x/y)||0.637/0.333||Good|
|Color of green||0.263/0.598||Average|
|Color of blue||0.146/0.066||Good|
|Black-level retention||All patterns stable||Good|
|2:3 pull-down, 24fps||Yes||Good|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||Yes||Good|