December 01, 2011
| by Grant Clauser
Sharp offers two avenues to smart TV content. On the right side of the remote is an Apps button which brings a menu on the bottom of the screen for the premium services like Netflix, Pandora, CinemaNow, Blockbuster, Napster, Vudu and AQUOS Advantage Live (Sharp’s online help). On the other side of the remote you have a button for AQUOS Net which pops up a menu taking up half the screen for quick access to traffic info, news, weather and other online widgets. I like this interface because it lets you check out quick info while keeping your TV program onscreen in a large window—being that this is such a big TV that picture window is still 34 inches!
On test patterns and video content the TV showed itself to be very adept at issues like diagonal motion which can introduce jagged edges. Across the wide field, brightness was consistent, and subtle gradations in blacks, grays and colors displayed smoothly without any awkward blockiness. I’ve seen better contrast on plasmas and LEDs with local dimming, but even without the dimming feature, blacks look good. Also, you’ll find that this TV is very bright, making it a good choice for rooms with windows where light might be an issue. The matte anti-glare screen also helps. Keep in mind, there are several 55- and 60-inch TVs that cost as much as this one.
One issue the TV did have was in how it handled less-than-perfect picture signals. While Blu-ray movies and good FiOS HD TV signals looked great, lesser video (such as Netflix or SD TV) suffered. Processing a low-quality signal to look good on such a big screen is bound to be a challenge, but I’ve seen better.
I also wasn’t a fan of the Sharp remote. First, there’s no backlight, making using it in the dark completely impossible. Some of the important buttons like Input and Apps and Picture Size are small and hard to fine.
Overall, Sharp put together a strong package. A 70-inch screen is an impressive sight in any living room. Add the good performance match, plus a reasonable price, and the only problem you’ve got is how to keep the neighbors from looking in your window.
Check out this home theater featuring three Sharp 70-inch TVs.
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