CEDIA Expo 2011: Sharp rolls out Elite LCD displays. Game changer in flat panel industry

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Nelson Au, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I was hoping to see this new display being discussed here. Great video interview Kevin with the Elite rep at CEDIA! I have a Pioneer PRO 1130HD plasma from late 2005 now that suddenly lost both HDMI inputs. So I am looking at a new set. The plasma is still good and works, so I could fix the HDMI problem. But I thought I'd consider seriously to get a new larger and fully 1080p capable set. I didn't know about this new Sharp Elite until I saw it last weekend at Best Buy Magnolia. And my reaction is wow! I was extremely impressed with the picture quality. And I compared to the VT30 Panasonic new by and the Samsungs too. I plan to have another look at this set at the store before I commit. I do like how an LCD is not prone to some issues plasma have. Such as potential image retention. Because I watch a mix of 4:3 and 16:9, I do see a ghost of the 4:3 image now. Not s huge deal, but unfortunate. Both LCDs and Plasmas have pluses and minuses I am learning about now that I have been researching this set. I like how the LCD is brighter during daylight conditions. I like it will not likely suffer from image retention. But I want to see how the off axis viewing like on this LCD. At the Best Buy Magnolia, it didn't seem too bad. I'd be curious if any members here got one and what they think. From what I've seen of it, it looks like a worthy addition to the Elite lineage. The reviews I've read on other forums are mainly great! My own impression from the one time I saw both the 60 and 70 inch models is that it sold me! I saw the pre title sequence to Quantum of Solace and it performed like nothing I've seen before. Of course I've not looked closely at any new sets since 2005. The high speed car chase look amazing! I also saw scenes from The Dark Knight and Iron Man 2 and both looked great!
     
  2. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings It is nice but not without its own issues. Viewing angles are still an issue. Sharps have had the weakest viewing angles of all the major LCD players. LG having the best ... then Sony ... then Samsung and Sharp bringing up the rear. The LED/LCD display is no guarantee that it is better in a brightly lit room versus a plasma set. All have reflective surfaces ... and the ones on many LCD/LED units are sometimes more reflective than on a plasma. YMMV. (My top of the line 2010 LG LED/LCD is much worse than 2009 Samsung plasma in my living room with the sunlight coming in. Max backlight is not enough to overcome the reflection on this TV. ) The CMS controls on the Sharp elite currently do not work right. That might be a FW fix away or it might not be. Regards
     
  3. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Hey Michael, Great to get your insight, thanks! I hear you about the pluses and minuses of an LCD verses a plasma. I will go and look at the off-axis performance and see how it is for myself. The reports I read from owners is that it's not that bad. The brightness issue isn't that big a deal, I've lived with a plasma for 6 years in a room with cathedral ceilings that have have large windows at the ends plus walls of glass on either side! If I go with a LCD, it's probably going to be a delightful bonus that it's a little brighter. :) You comment about reflections is interesting. My Pioneer is glossy, yet with all that light, I sometimes see a reflection, but nothing distracting. I definitley read about the cyan issue and that Sharp is addressing it with a firmware update. I understand its coming soon and is said to address the color issue. Hopefully it will do it well. Your signature indicates you are a calibrator. And I sense concern in your post about the color calibration. From my limited time viewing the 60 and 70" version in the store next to a Panasonic VT30 (which was one plasma I was interested in till I saw the Elite) and Samsung 7000 and 8000 plasma and LCD units, I thought the Elite looked great. Once I asked the sales guy to reset each set from torch to THX or movie modes. Of course, I am not trained in color calibration. This was the first TV I looked at new TV's in years. It was hard not to be dazzled by what I saw. All the displays were pretty darn seductive. But the Elite called to me. So given I'm no pro at this, but I do design for a living, so I develop color and review color chips as part of the job, I sensitive to colors being off. But I didn't see anything too out of whack. If I got a new TV, I was only going to get a plasma. But this Elite surprised me! So if you were me, you wouldn't necessarily opt for this TV just quite yet. If I could wait a year, I would. But given the HDMI ports on mine just went bad, I'm interested in something now.
     
  4. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings The issue with the sharp is not that it cannot produce nice images ... it can. It's just that one of the controls does not work as expected and when you are using instruments, you hope the controls work right and then the instrument tells you what you need to do. However, what happens is that when you follow only what the instrument is telling you, you end up in the wrong place. The picture that looks good on a graph ... looks nothing of the sort in real life so one has to "eyeball" it to what looks right from memory. Graphs be damned ...!!! End result ... a pleasing picture, but don't expect the computer to back you up on that. When things get fixed, the end result will still look very similar, but the computer read out should agree that it is actually right. This is for a person that knows what they are doing of course.
     
  5. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Michael! I feel better now that i understand what the issue with the color calibration is. Surprised about the controls not functioning as they should given what the Sharp rep said to Kevin in the video above. She said this set has all the controls to allow for proper calibration. If I get this set, I was going to wait for the firmware update and then have it calibrated.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Michael or Kevin, or anyone else, I've seen the Elite 60 and 70" models again at Best Buy Magnolia. I saw a mix of Quantum of Solace again, Avatar, some of The Transporter and some SD cable programing. What was good is I was able to see the Panasonic plasma VT30 and Samsung Plasma and LCD 8000 models and a Sony 929 on the same wall to compare. It's really tough to judge not being an expert. So I can only rely on what I like and compare to what I am used to on my Pioneer plasma at home. None were calibrated at the store. Most were on torch mode. What I am confused by is that I saw a lot of noise on the screen on all the displays, what looked like edge enhancement of the film grain. This wasn't happening on the Elite. The Elite gave a nice smooth image. It wasn't in torch mode, but one level less with motion controls turned off or lowered. Not sure about that since I don't know how to set it. Off axis was okay to me. If I stood near the edges of where I think my room would be between 30 and 45 degrees, it was acceptable. If I got on the floor and looked up at it, it was okay. In Quantum of Solace, motion looked okay to me too. During the high speed car chases, if there was any motion blur, I didn't see it, or could not catch it. On slow pans over textured stone walls after the car chase, I couldn't see any smearing of the textures on the stones or terra cotta tile roofs. Skin texture and hair on actors looked solidly rendered too during motion as far as my limited skills to find issues go. Since my plasma is 720 resolution, seeing the same film on this 1080p display is really amazing for someone not used to it. So it's overwhelming visually. So I don't know if I am missing anything that you experts look for. Some shots look so real and life like! Was this exaggerated because it was on LCD? On the Panasonic and the other LCD sets I compared to looked similar to the Elite. And I saw this all on the 60". The 70" near by was playing Avatar. I felt that wasn't a fair thing to judge the display by. It's incredible to see on that set. I thought it was unfair as it was all CGI, so it was looking great! So I sought out filmed material to judge the 60" by. Which is why I chose the Bond film. Avatar really looked amazing. The shot where they tame and capture the flying creatures was amazing to watch. Flawless. And in 2d. About the noise I mentioned above that I saw on the other sets, I figure those sets were set to full torch mode and was probably exaggerating the film grain. Could that be the case? Even on the Panasonic plasma? So I am really on the fence and about ready to order an Elite. But as I said above, I am so overwhelmed by the imagery on this set and it's 1080p, am I seeing something exaggerated because it's LCD verses plasma? I wanted to get another plasma, but this LCD from Elite is really swaying me over to LCD. So I am curious if I am making the right choice if I go this way over plasma. Is the ability to render a film like image happening? It looks great to me! But I'd be curious if you guys agree or not the Elite can be nearly plasma like if calibrated properly. ( ignoring the off axis issue ) Thanks!
     
  7. Michael TLV

    Michael TLV THX Video Instructor/Calibrator

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    Greetings The colors are still messed up but can be tweaked that last step by eye ... at least at the moment. It's a good bet that even the store TVs are all pumping out an effective 720P quality ... on all their 1080p displays. All sets come out of the box set to a picture mode that reduces resolution by 50%. A THX mode on any display would show the whole 2 million pixels ... A panasonic THX certified display set to VIVID mode would no longer be displaying a THX certified image and the resolution would likely be at half. There are no bad sets here ... and there is no perfect set either. Each has its own set of flaws that are different than each other. Perfection does not exist ... and expecting that is not realistic. Hard to compare sets in a store in any critical manner. Apples to oranges to lemons. Base it on what you like ... get the Elite ... nothing here is awful ... regards
     
  8. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Thanks Michael! I wanted to be sure I was making the right choice, the Elite is a lot of cash! More then the other sets. That's interesting info Michael about the sets being at half resolution while being displayed at the store. I would never have known that. About the color adjustments on the Elite, if what I hear is true, a firmware fix could be out soon. Thanks again, I'm glad the options are all good! :)
     

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