Sharp enters 4K fray, for realzies this time

Up till now, Sharp had one 4K TV and a bunch of psuedo-4K models known as Quattron Plus. Now the company has announced a pair of new TVs with full-fledged 4K resolution.

David Katzmaier Editorial Director -- Personal Tech
David reviews TVs and leads the Personal Tech team at CNET, covering mobile, software, computing, streaming and home entertainment. We provide helpful, expert reviews, advice and videos on what gadget or service to buy and how to get the most out of it.
Expertise A 20-year CNET veteran, David has been reviewing TVs since the days of CRT, rear-projection and plasma. Prior to CNET he worked at Sound & Vision magazine and eTown.com. He is known to two people on Twitter as the Cormac McCarthy of consumer electronics. Credentials
  • Although still awaiting his Oscar for Best Picture Reviewer, David does hold certifications from the Imaging Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Standards and Technology on display calibration and evaluation.
David Katzmaier
2 min read

The Sharp UD27 is the company's first true 4K TV introduced in 2014. Sharp

TV makers from Samsung to TCL are scrambling to profit introduce new 2014 4K TVs even while the "old" 2014 4K TVs have barely cooled on store shelves.

Sharp, thus far, has been selling only a holdover 4K model from 2013 and a passel of "="" sets"="" shortcode="link" asset-type="review" uuid="13d9e54f-2d6f-42f2-a9ec-2ba95285ffc6" slug="sharp-lc-70uq17u" link-text="underwhelming " section="products" title="Pseudo 4K not convincing enough" edition="us" data-key="link_bulk_key" api="{"id":"13d9e54f-2d6f-42f2-a9ec-2ba95285ffc6","slug":"sharp-lc-uq17u","contentType":null,"edition":"us","topic":{"slug":"tvs"},"metaData":{"typeTitle":"In Depth","hubTopicPathString":"Home Entertainment^TVs","reviewType":"In Depth"},"section":"reviews"}"> with psuedo-4K resolution.

Now Sharp will increase its selection of non-psuedo 4K TVs by 100 percent, introducing a pair of sets with actual 4K resolution. The new UD27 line consists of the 60-inch LC-60UD27U ($2,999) and the 70-inch LC-70UD27U ($4,499). The company lists their arrival date as September of this year.

We figure those prices will have to fall between now and then, if only because this fall is when we expect Vizio's highly anticipated P-Series to arrive (Vizio is still officially mum about release dates). The pricing for those sets is $1,799 and $2,599 for 60 and 70 inches respectively, and if the M-Series is any indication, they should offer excellent picture quality.

But back to Sharp. Aside from 4K resolution the UD27's main picture quality bullet point is "THX Certified (Anticipated)," which is no guarantee of picture quality awesomeness whether or not that certification actually happens (hint: it will), but still worth a mention. The press release also mentions fancy names for the TV's color and upconversion, for what it's worth, and like most 4K sets the UD27 uses an edge-lit LED backlight scheme.

There's also a new feature called AquoDimming. Unfortunately it's not actual local dimming, according to the company. Instead it's processing that "enhances contrast to show more detail in dark scenes, which is also a benefit of local dimming technology."

Like all big-name 4K sets this year, the UD27 can handle 4K sources at 60 frames per second (aka HDMI 2.0), and also decode HEVC streams, like 4K Netflix. It also gets Sharp's new Smart TV suite, which seems identical to what we saw on the UQ17 .


Sharp also took the opportunity to introduce a pair of 1080p (non-4K) sets, the 60-inch LC-60LE660U ($1,199) and the 70-inch LC-70LE660U ($1,999), both also coming in September.

With 120Hz refresh rates and a more basic Smart TV suite, they look like successors to the LE650 line, albeit with a thinner bezel and swankier styling (above). We're looking forward to reviewing them, mainly because the 650 was one of our favorite TV values of last year.