How big is 70 inches? Actually, that's rounded up: the Sharp Aquos Quattron LC-70LE735X TV measures 'only' 69.5 inches. Which, in modern Australian, is 176.6cm.
A big LCD TV is typically 55 inches (140cm), so this is a big step up, considering that we have reviewed projection screens measuring 75 inches.
And seeing as how this TV is roughly the same price as some 55-inchers that we've been reviewing lately, it makes it pretty good value. That is, if what you want is just a big TV, and not much network stuff or 3D. This TV is firmly limited to 2D operation.
The depth of the screen, over the bulk of the panel, is a little less than what the specifications imply, since the quoted 89mm refers to the swelling at the bottom that is needed for its non-swivelling desktop stand. For the most part, it is 52mm thick. The frame surrounding the picture is 35mm wide.
The normal connectivity is offered: four HDMI inputs, plus composite and component video and analogue audio. There are three USB sockets and an RJ45 for Ethernet. Wi-Fi is not built in, but the TV supports it with an optional Sharp USB Wi-Fi dongle. Audio out is provided via optical digital and a 3.5mm headphone socket.
Aside from sheer size, the point of difference that Sharp has over all other brands is suggested by that 'Quattron' designator. This TV uses four sub-pixels, per pixel, unlike the three used by everyone else. Each pixel in a TV is created by three (or in this case, four) sub-pixels of different colours, normally one red, one green and one blue, thus the common RGB designation. Different intensities of these sub-pixels render the single combined dot of colour that we see; a colour that might be olive, puce or apricot.
The Quattron offers RGBY. That's the same RGB, to which it adds yellow.
As it happens, the RGB palette offers a 'gamut' of colour shades somewhat less than what we are capable of seeing, so, ideally, the addition of a fourth colour could make for a bigger gamut.
As it happens, the Quattron system can't really help here, for two reasons. First, yellow is the part of the colour gamut where the RGB system offers quite close to complete coverage. Had the additional colour extended the gamut beyond the green/blue gamut boundary ... well, there's a lot of room there for colours that we do not see on our TV screens.
Second, the great bulk of the video source content you are likely to see — including DVD, digital TV and Blu-ray — use the RGB model. Any extension of this gamut by the TV's processor must be a guess, because the information isn't there.
That's the theory. How does it looks?
The default settings gave the colour a very slight yellow caste, overall, but not a particularly objectionable one. But, at the same time, it added a certain luminous quality to greens in particular, having them almost glow, while reds also seemed unusually rich.
We wouldn't regard this as super accurate in delivering what was on the disc. But it was engaging and quite enjoyable.
These colours were layered over a very good level of black. The TV uses a LED array backlight, which can provide illumination to relatively small areas of the screen. So it allowed small bright spots to be bright, while leaving the screen, where required, appropriately dark.
By default, the TV has a video process called 'Fine Motion Advanced' switched to 'High'. This is one of those systems that takes the incoming video frames and generates new ones to be inserted between them. Some systems do this well. This one generated an objectionable 'heat haze' distortion around moving objects. Best to switch this off.
The TV has some smarts — just, not too many of them. You get support for DLNA media from your network, and from the Internet you can get YouTube, Picassa, Facebook and Twitter. The virtual keyboard for entering text was a horror to use. We took more than a minute to enter a password into Twitter. We were unable to find a Sharp TV iOS remote app either, so there were no shortcuts there.
You also don't get catch-up TV services, apps, games or any of that other stuff. If you (sensibly) prefer to use a computer or tablet, that won't worry you.
But you do get the ability to plug a USB memory stick in for time-shifting TV, which is something that is actually useful.
The Sharp Aquos Quattron LC-70LE735X LCD TV is all about a very big, high quality 2D picture. If you want lots of advanced networking stuff, I'd suggest you look elsewhere. But remember: the picture you get will be smaller.