CNET First Look
The relatively inexpensive 60-inch Sharp TVWith decent picture quality and great pricing, the Sharp LC-LE640U series makes a strong case for mainstream TV shoppers who want to go bigger.
Hi there. I'm David Katzmaier from CNET and I'm sitting next to Sharp's 60-inch LC60LE640U. This is Sharp's least expensive series of large screen televisions this year. There's also a 70-inch size, actually bigger than this thing and a 52-inch are just for the guys who can afford either those really big screens. To give you some sense of how big this TV is, here is the standard Blu-ray case. So you can see it's pretty much gigantic, pretty much as big as anybody would want in their living room. Of course, if you wanna get bigger, you can go 70. This TV is also roughly inexpensive at the time. Its video is about $1,500. We expect that price to fall even later in the year as we get near to the holidays. The design on the 640U is very basic. Around the edge of the screen, it's got a mat black finish. It's also very thin around the edge of the screen. So despite being such a large TV, it's pretty compact. Sharp's entry level 640U series doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its step-up models although it does offer a Smart TV internet suite as well as built in WiFi. There's no 3D on this model or faster refresh rates. However, it does have an edge LED screen which means that the LEDs are aligned along the edge of the TV that allows the set to be relatively thin. It doesn't really help picture quality though. We'll get to that in a little bit. We did appreciate the mat screen on this TV however with a great big size like this. It's really nice to have a mat finish that can do a little bit to reject some of that ambient light glare that you get in some very well lit rooms. Sharp's Smart TV suite is actually a little bit less equipped than some of the other competitors. It's missing Hulu Plus and Amazon as well as Pandora or pretty much any audio streaming. The plus side is you get Netflix, Youtube and Vudu and we did like the fact that the little strip along the bottom is real so as to be intrusive and easy to get to. Speaking of, you can program the remote controls 3 favorites keys to jump immediately to one of those Smart TV apps and you can also immediately jump to Netflix with the big red Netflix button here. Sharp does offer full suite of picture controls on this set. You can actually adjust the smoothness of the adjuster processing. That's a new feature this year. Of course you can also play over a CMS and get the 2-point grade scale adjustment as well as adjustable cam. So most of the things that we require for calibration are right there and CMS actually works relatively well. Speaking of calibration, this TV actually did pretty well in the lab. It doesn't have quite as deep a black level as some of the other LED, LCD TVs that we compared it against. But it's not terrible. On the plus side, it does have very good color accuracy. So the set, once you dial it in, you can get a really natural color that is pretty much right up to the HD spec. One down side however was it didn't process 10EVP24 film-base sources correctly. So we did see a little bit of stutter around some other TVs. You'll see a nice smooth pan for film. Of course not. It's too smooth. We did appreciate that mat screen for ejecting ambient light in. All told, the picture color in this TV is good, not great. But for pretty good value for the price. Another issue, this set was a little... less uniform and some of its competitors meaning that the screen showed some subtly brighter areas amid some darkness although it really wasn't all that visible at most scenes. In terms of inputs, the Sharp's pretty well equipped with 4 HDMI. There's also one component video and a few other analog video inputs as well as 2 USB for video, photo, music files. That's a quick look at the Sharp LC640U series. I'm David Katzmaier.