Sharp isn’t the only flat panel HDTV maker going this route (some recent Samsungs come with 3.5mm/RCA adaptors in their accessory kits, for example). The same type of adaptor is used with many camcorders, and isn’t impossible to find nor is one terribly expensive, but I still think Sharp should have included one with the set. On the plus side, there’s an RGB PC input that supports resolution up to 1920 x 1080, and two USB ports on the side (one could be used for a wireless LAN adaptor, while the other can be used for transferring music or picture files).
On Screen Display
One of the best in the business, the Sharp OSD provides lots of useful information, crisp text and graphics, especially for the Advantage Live and Aquos Net screens. When making picture adjustments, a vertical window opens up on the screen’s right side and thankfully doesn’t “run and hide” after just a few seconds of non-adjustment. That frees the rest of the screen from menu clutter, so it’s easier to see the effect of picture adjustments as they’re being made.
For a premium-priced set, the Quattron could have a little bit better remote. It’s slim and slender, so it doesn’t weigh much, and there’s backlighting, but only for the four source function selector buttons. The rest of the keypad makes do with white lettering on black plastic, although the number keypad buttons are visible enough. The two up/down rocker buttons for the volume control and channel selector functions could be bigger, and the input selector is a tiny button just off to the right of the channel rocker and is all too easy to activate unintentionally.
The remote can control some source components, such as a cable box, VCR and DVD player, but there aren’t any codes for popular satellite tuners such as those from Dish Network or DirecTV.
Like many sets, the Sharp has a Retail mode, which calibration techs routinely refer to as “torch mode”, but even when the Sharp is set to Home mode, the picture is still what I’d call “hot”, with high brightness along with excessive color saturation that makes everyone look like they just came from the tanning salon.
Switching to the Movie mode definitely was a wise choice as that fixed a number of picture-degrading gremlins, and dialing back on the color somewhat helped fix the unnatural flesh tones.
• Color: -10
• Tint: 0
• Sharpness: 0
• Picture Mode: Movie
• OPC: Off
• Power Saving Mode: Off
• Color Temperature: Low (measures 6561° Kelvin)
• Gamma: -1 (measures 2.15)
• Backlight: +16
• HD size (pixel-to-pixel): Dot by Dot
• Motion Enhancer: Off
• Active Contrast: Off
• Film Mode: Off
• Black Tone: Off
• Dynamic Contrast: Off
• Digital Noise Reduction: Auto
• Monochrome Mode: Off
Blu-ray Evaluation: Up In The Air
A beautiful transfer, with lovely crispness and with just enough grain to look film-realistic, the movie’s subject matter about professionals who travel the country firing people isn’t exactly light and frothy subject matter with real-life unemployment numbers reaching staggering levels, but a nuanced performance by George Clooney prevents the movie from being a total downer. The Quattron provides the detail you would expect from a top quality Blu-ray 1080p transfer, with the most detail to be had in the Dot by Dot (1:1) picture size mode.
At the default settings, the color was way over the top, and everybody had the “fake tan” look. Dialing the color back, and changing to the Movie mode certainly helped provide a more realistic look.
LED-edgelit LCD HDTVs like the Sharp are getting better at delivering solid blacks, noticeable here with the dark business suits that Mr. Clooney wears. Turning off the power control function helped stabilize the blacks (the difference in consumption with the feature turned on isn’t that much anyway, as the set is fairly miserly, power-wise).