After wowing consumers during this year’s CES show in Las Vegas, Sharp has finally released their 70-inch LED HDTV behemoth onto the masses, in the form of the LC-70LE732U; an entry level set that is sure to give anyone looking for a new TV the itch to give it a go.
The set boasts full 1080p resolution on its LED backlit LED with a 120Hz refresh rate and a formidable dynamic contrast ratio of 6,000,000:1. Though 70-inch sounds like quite large, seeing it in person is a whole different story. Comparing it with a 55-inch set, it’s very apparent how large this TV truly is. The LC-70LE732U easily dwarfs the 55-incher with 62% more viewing space, giving consumers more than enough real estate to enjoy any blockbuster movie or the latest games. And truly, this set has the gamer in mind with its proprietary Vyper Drive technology that enhances games by reducing lag times. Essentially, the TV allows a gaming console to handle all of the video decoding, thus eliminating the need for the TV to do it again, and resulting in faster gameplay.
With many manufacturers now including WiFi technology in newer TVs, this set is no different. However, consumers will be glad to know that this unit doesn’t need any WiFi dongles to work, but rather the WiFi is built into the TV. Sharp has added over 200 widgets that can be accessed via WiFi, with such favorites as Twitter, Pandora, Netflix and Cinema Now being included. Another great use for WiFi was a customer support option that easily impressed. Sharp has added the AQUOS Advantage Live feature which is an online support system that lets consumers get immediate assistance with issues plaguing their TV. Technicians can essentially take control of the TV to make any necessary adjustments to get things rolling again. Of course this doesn’t mean if the TV short circuits, that can be fixed on the spot, but it’s a cool feature that will surely help owners to get help for easy-to-fix problems. Concerned with a fee for the service? Not to worry, the service is included for free for the lifetime of the TV.
The TV also includes 4HDMI ports, 1 PC input and 1 Optical Output, while also being IP-control ready and is DNLA enabled to allow for streaming wirelessly from a PC. 2 USB ports will also be found which support DIVX HD, standard video and photo viewing.
Sharp uses its Quattron technology for this set, which adds a yellow sub-pixel to the usual RGB (red/green/blue) scheme. Yellow is used as a color agent to mix with magenta and cyan and reproduces a wider range of colors. While watching Iron Man 2 on Blu-ray, you could also see how well yellows and golds stood out; gold specifically having a nice looking shine to it.
Picture quality in general was pretty decent considering it’s not a high-end TV and is a 70-inch LED. For a TV of this size, I’d recommend sitting back at least 20 feet, though more would be best. Sitting too close makes things like minor artifacts and noise appear worse. Contrast was good, giving ample black reproduction even in night scenes, though the picture seemed a bit washed out overall, even with high picture settings. Though most consumers will be content with how the LC-70LE732U performs, it still doesn’t compare to other LED TVs such as Samsung’s line which offers much greater detail.
As for the TV’s remote, it also has programmable controls for a DVD player, satellite and audio device. There are also three color-coded buttons near the bottom that allow users to select their three favorite apps/widgets to activate on the fly. However, the remote is not backlit, save for the device buttons near the top which is a bummer since a TV of this size would be enjoyed best with the lights turned off.
Not surprisingly, the TV can be mounted and only weighs about 121.3 pounds with the base and 114.6 pounds without it. Due to the sheer size of the set however, we’d recommend using a mount that has dual arms to support it properly.
Overall, the LC-70LE732U is a formidable, entry-level TV and should be enticing to consumers with its $3299 price tag – a bargain for something that large. To get the best performance out of a set like this, we’d also recommend hiring a technician to perform a proper calibration which will not only add more lifespan to the TV but increase the picture quality, regardless of the type of lighting in a room. Retail stores such as Best Buy offer such a service for around $199 from an ISF certified tech.
While there are better looking HDTVs on the market, it will be tough to find something of this size for the price, making it a very tempting option.
Sharp tells us a higher-end model is in the works with a 3D version being a possibility sometime down the line.