Sharp E77U Series -- THE Gaming LCD -- in-depth lag review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-18-2009, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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The short story is that the Sharp E77U series will give you 2 frames of lag (480i composite), potentially down to less than 1 frame of lag (1080p hdmi), when the AV mode is set to GAME. If you wish to know more and see the actual measurements, read on.

Also, if the images are not showing up, click here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Background

I recently decided to finally replace our broken Samsung HDTV with a new LCD TV. I was looking for a set around 52" and under $2000 and came across the Sharp LC52E77U (specs). It was cheaper than similar TVs and since it's part of their new 2009 lineup and has all of the newer features (120 Hz, 10-bit panel, etc...), after checking it out at a nearby store, I decided to buy it.

I play games a lot, and the input lag caused by the image processing in HDTVs is the biggest selling point for me. I don't play games a whole lot, but when I do, I want it to be 100% lag-free. People say, "with gaming mode turned on, the lag is imperceptable," or, "humans can't detect under 100ms." Balderdash. I notice even the tiniest bit of lag and it is extremely detrimental to game playing, especially in fast-paced games (Smash Bros., any space shoot-em-up) or rhythm games (DDR, Guitar Hero). Although at this point I think nearly all manufacturers advertise gaming modes that reduce lag to imperceptible lag or remove it completely, NONE actually do it. Samsung, especially, is the worst.

I've spent a lot of time researching this problem. I was originally going to replace the old Samsung last year, but I got an opportunity to study abroad in Japan for a year, so I've waited until now. I've researched the gaming lag in both English and Japanese, and though the Japanese results were better (they had actual lag measurements, similar to here), the Japanese models are all different and often irrelevant. What I did find. though, is that among the HDTV manufacturers in Japan, Panasonic, Sharp, and Mitsubishi seemed to produce the most lag-free televisions with input lag down to only a few frames. Mitsubishi was the best with several models that had only 1-2 frame lag times.

After testing multiple displays, Panasonics and Sharps seemed to be the best here in America, but since I wanted an LCD and not a Plasma, I decided to go for Sharp. My conclusion is that the Sharp AQUOS E77U series is the best possible LCD for gaming. Additionally, the Sharp AQUOS E67U series comes in smaller sizes and is equipped with Sharp's "Vyper Drive" gaming mode specifically to reduce input lag, so I would expect that it should perform similarly or, perhaps, better than the E77U's. Read below for my measurements and conclusions.


Tools

For starters, after seeing some nice input lag measurements done by Japanese game enthusiasts, I decided to make a really nice app to accurately measure the input lag of HDTVs. Here is a screenshot preview of my testing app:

It was created in Flash and you can download it in RAR format or ZIP format. It comes with two versions -- 60 Hz and 120Hz -- and with a stand-alone flash player to view them with. Anyone who is able and willing, please supplement your personal HDTV input lag experiences with this or a similar app in the future so we can have real numbers for TVs instead of subjective, "I don't feel any lag," opinions.


My Setup

Input lag is caused by mainly four things, two of which are controllable, and two of which are uncontrollable. The two uncontrollable factors are any video processing that the TV does and some anti-ghosting measures explained in detail here. The two controllable factors are upscaling and deinterlacing. Thankfully, most current-gen HDTVs come with some form of "Gaming Mode" which should reduce or eliminate the two controllable factors. Additionally, it's always best to try to input signals to your TV that match the native resolution of your TV. For instance, if your TV is natively a 1080p television, you should try to input at least a 1080i signal into your TV. That eliminates the need for the TV to upscale your video to its native resolution. Better yet, input a 1080p signal into your TV which will eliminate the need for the TV to deinterlace the video, as well. I've been told that deinterlacing takes much longer than upscaling, so given a 1080p TV and the option to input a 1080i or a 720p signal, it may be better to choose the 720p signal, though I cannot confirm these claims.

My laptop has both composite and HDMI-out ports. To test the true input lag of the TV, my initial tests are all using the standard composite out and seeing how well the TV can upscale and deinterlace a 480i signal. After that, I switch to HDMI and check the best-case scenario of a 1080p inputted signal.


Measurements

The Sharp E77U series TVs are 1080p and 120Hz. The two AV modes I focus on are "STANDARD" and "GAME". Additionally, for each input, I test turning two menu options, "Fine Motion Enhanced," and "Active Contrast," on and off.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

480i
Connected using a standard yellow composite video cable, output at 640x480


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 14 frames
"Fine Motion Enhanced" is basically Sharp's word for "120 Hz." Everyone here says that it increases lag, so here I turn it off. "Active Contrast" actively changes the contrast depending on the scene on the TV. To my eyes, it makes the blacks blacker and the whites whiter, and I like it on. I figure that it takes some processing power to calculate the contrast for each frame, though, so I turn it off.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 14 frames
Here with Fine Motion turned on, I expect to see increased lag. We're still looking at 14 frames of lag, but the elapsed time counter shows 1 millisecond more lag. 1 ms doesn't really mean anything since these measured lag times are prone to changing plus or minus a few milliseconds, but at best it shows that 120 Hz on this TV doesn't affect the input lag. At worst, it slightly increases it.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 14 frames
Once again, 14 frames of lag and the elapsed time difference is identical. It appears that Active Contrast does not affect the input lag.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 14 frames
Here with both Active Contrast and Fine Motion turned on, the lag is identical to when both settings are turned off. It's probably safe to say that Fine Motion doesn't affect the input lag.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 4 frames
With both turned off, the lag is at 4 frames. It's not great -- the good displays in Japan can get below 3 frames, with Mitsubishi even down to 1 -- but it's certainly better than most displays in America (especially Samsung).


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 4 frames
It starts to get a little weird, here. The lag is minutely less than 4 frames as you can see that the computer is still busy trying to display the 15 when the TV is already at 11. Additionally, the elapsed time is exactly the same.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 2 frames
It's really weird, here. The lag has decreased to 2 frames when Active Contrast is turned on.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 2 frames
The lag is still at 2 frames compared to 4 frames when both Fine Motion and Active Contrast are turned off. I've retaken the picture several times and always end up with 2 frames of lag, so this is the correct number.

1080p
Connected with an HDMI cable, output at 1680x1050

Between the previous STANDARD and GAME AV mode tests, it looks as though having both Fine Motion Enhanced and Active Contrast turned on will actually decrease the lag, so I've decided to just keep them on for my 1080p tests. The worst case scenario is that they don't affect the lag at all, and the picture looks better when they're on, anyways.


AV Mode: PC
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 8 frames
PC Mode consistently shows 8 frames of lag. It's a bit surprising since PC mode reduces lag the best on many sets.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: less than 1 frame
Wow. This is measured with the view mode set to Dot By Dot, which displays the same amount of pixels on screen as is in the input signal, so this is at my laptop's native 1680x1050 and not stretched. The TV shows that this is a "1080p" signal. As you can see, the elapsed frames are identical, with the laptop just slightly ahead of the TV, but overall there is less than one frame of lag. Additionally, the elapsed time shows what looks to be maybe a 4 ms, which is actually the response time of this TV.


Conclusion

I've searched for a long, long time trying to find an adequate LCD for gaming, and I've finally found and bought one I'm happy with. It's not perfect, but no digital TV is. At the very least, it's among the best on the market for games. The AQUOS E77U series is part of Sharp's 2009 LCD TV lineup, so it comes with a 10-bit panel and 120 Hz with film mode. It obviously can't compete picture-wise with some of the Samsung LED TVs coming out on the market, right now, but I'm satisfied with the picture and the very minimal input lag on this TV blows any Samsung set out of the water (Samsung's beauty comes at a laggy price). Additionally, I've had only bad experiences with Samsung's quality (dies after less than 2 years), and I haven't had any problems with Sharp, yet, so I'm hoping they'll deliver a higher quality product.

The E77U series comes in 65", 52", 46", and 40" sizes. If you're looking for a smaller size, the E67U series comes in 40" and 32" sizes without the 120 Hz. I haven't personally tested an E67U, but it comes with Sharp's "Vyper Drive" game mode (E77U does not) which is specifically supposed to decreate gaming lag, so I imagine that these sets should perform similarly, if not better, than the E77U series.

Between the price (E77U / E67U) and its gaming performance, in my opinion, the Sharp AQUOS E77U is THE LCD TV for gaming.


Hope you found my review useful, and in the future, please use mine or a similar app (RAR / ZIP) for actually testing HDTVs so that others can see actual numbers instead of having to rely on subjective opinions.

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-24-2009, 03:24 PM
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As much as I would love to believe the E77U Series is nearly lag free, there is a flaw in your testing process. Your laptop screen which you compare it to has lag itself. So all you are really showing is how much more lag the LCE77U has than the laptop screen. In order to get better data, you need to compare your laptop to a CRT monitor to figure out the inherent lag of the laptop LCD.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-24-2009, 05:36 PM
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My Panasonic LZ800(LCD, IPS Alpha) do 1 frames in 1080P & 2 frames in 480i.

Setting do not increase or decrease the input lag number.
Ultimate HDTV lag test

Panasonic LZ800(The ultimate gaming panel)


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post #4 of 16 Old 07-28-2009, 11:54 AM
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masamunecyrus: How was using the panel as a monitor? For normal day-2-day needs? I'm looking to grab a 32 in TV rather than 24 in monitor for my Design/Photo/Gaming needs...

(I'd grab the 67U)
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post #5 of 16 Old 07-28-2009, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePhilz View Post

masamunecyrus: How was using the panel as a monitor? For normal day-2-day needs? I'm looking to grab a 32 in TV rather than 24 in monitor for my Design/Photo/Gaming needs...

(I'd grab the 67U)


As mentioned previously, it couldn't differentiate between the darkest dark and the lightest light on this LCD test.
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

Outside of that, this is a TV, not monitor; I would think that there are better options that are actually meant for use as a monitor. It's definitely not the prettiest set (though it isn't bad, by any means); I find that Samsungs are usually the prettiest, but I will no longer buy their products due to way too many quality issues that I've personally experienced (i.e., breaking just outside of their warranty). I personally got this set for its all-around specs and its gaming performance. If you do end up getting it, there is still always some lag on all resolutions except for 1080p connected via HDMI, which has at most 1 frame of lag.

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post #6 of 16 Old 07-28-2009, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Deap View Post

My Panasonic LZ800(LCD, IPS Alpha) do 1 frames in 1080P & 2 frames in 480i.

Setting do not increase or decrease the input lag number.
Ultimate HDTV lag test

Panasonic LZ800(The ultimate gaming panel)
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y12...1/IMG_1321.jpg

Panasonic Plasma sets are just as good with input lag as their LCDs, maybe even better, gotta love how good Panasonic is when it comes to input lag.

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post #7 of 16 Old 07-28-2009, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

Panasonic Plasma sets are just as good with input lag as their LCDs, maybe even better, gotta love how good Panasonic is when it comes to input lag.

Definitely. A few years back when I was testing big TVs, the rear-projection Pannys were always the best. Flatpanels were good, too, but they were expensive. It might also be worth noting that Nintendo always uses Panasonic displays at their game shows.

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post #8 of 16 Old 07-29-2009, 03:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by masamunecyrus View Post

The short story is that the Sharp E77U series will give you 2 frames of lag (480i composite), potentially down to less than 1 frame of lag (1080p hdmi), when the AV mode is set to GAME. If you wish to know more and see the actual measurements, read on.

Also, if the images are not showing up, click here.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Background

I recently decided to finally replace our broken Samsung HDTV with a new LCD TV. I was looking for a set around 52" and under $2000 and came across the Sharp LC52E77U (specs). It was cheaper than similar TVs and since it's part of their new 2009 lineup and has all of the newer features (120 Hz, 10-bit panel, etc...), after checking it out at a nearby store, I decided to buy it.

I play games a lot, and the input lag caused by the image processing in HDTVs is the biggest selling point for me. I don't play games a whole lot, but when I do, I want it to be 100% lag-free. People say, "with gaming mode turned on, the lag is imperceptable," or, "humans can't detect under 100ms." Balderdash. I notice even the tiniest bit of lag and it is extremely detrimental to game playing, especially in fast-paced games (Smash Bros., any space shoot-em-up) or rhythm games (DDR, Guitar Hero). Although at this point I think nearly all manufacturers advertise gaming modes that reduce lag to imperceptible lag or remove it completely, NONE actually do it. Samsung, especially, is the worst.

I've spent a lot of time researching this problem. I was originally going to replace the old Samsung last year, but I got an opportunity to study abroad in Japan for a year, so I've waited until now. I've researched the gaming lag in both English and Japanese, and though the Japanese results were better (they had actual lag measurements, similar to here), the Japanese models are all different and often irrelevant. What I did find. though, is that among the HDTV manufacturers in Japan, Panasonic, Sharp, and Mitsubishi seemed to produce the most lag-free televisions with input lag down to only a few frames. Mitsubishi was the best with several models that had only 1-2 frame lag times.

After testing multiple displays, Panasonics and Sharps seemed to be the best here in America, but since I wanted an LCD and not a Plasma, I decided to go for Sharp. My conclusion is that the Sharp AQUOS E77U series is the best possible LCD for gaming. Additionally, the Sharp AQUOS E67U series comes in smaller sizes and is equipped with Sharp's "Vyper Drive" gaming mode specifically to reduce input lag, so I would expect that it should perform similarly or, perhaps, better than the E77U's. Read below for my measurements and conclusions.


Tools

For starters, after seeing some nice input lag measurements done by Japanese game enthusiasts, I decided to make a really nice app to accurately measure the input lag of HDTVs. Here is a screenshot preview of my testing app:

It was created in Flash and you can download it in RAR format or ZIP format. It comes with two versions -- 60 Hz and 120Hz -- and with a stand-alone flash player to view them with. Anyone who is able and willing, please supplement your personal HDTV input lag experiences with this or a similar app in the future so we can have real numbers for TVs instead of subjective, "I don't feel any lag," opinions.


My Setup

Input lag is caused by mainly four things, two of which are controllable, and two of which are uncontrollable. The two uncontrollable factors are any video processing that the TV does and some anti-ghosting measures explained in detail here. The two controllable factors are upscaling and deinterlacing. Thankfully, most current-gen HDTVs come with some form of "Gaming Mode" which should reduce or eliminate the two controllable factors. Additionally, it's always best to try to input signals to your TV that match the native resolution of your TV. For instance, if your TV is natively a 1080p television, you should try to input at least a 1080i signal into your TV. That eliminates the need for the TV to upscale your video to its native resolution. Better yet, input a 1080p signal into your TV which will eliminate the need for the TV to deinterlace the video, as well. I've been told that deinterlacing takes much longer than upscaling, so given a 1080p TV and the option to input a 1080i or a 720p signal, it may be better to choose the 720p signal, though I cannot confirm these claims.

My laptop has both composite and HDMI-out ports. To test the true input lag of the TV, my initial tests are all using the standard composite out and seeing how well the TV can upscale and deinterlace a 480i signal. After that, I switch to HDMI and check the best-case scenario of a 1080p inputted signal.


Measurements

The Sharp E77U series TVs are 1080p and 120Hz. The two AV modes I focus on are "STANDARD" and "GAME". Additionally, for each input, I test turning two menu options, "Fine Motion Enhanced," and "Active Contrast," on and off.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

480i
Connected using a standard yellow composite video cable, output at 640x480


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 14 frames
"Fine Motion Enhanced" is basically Sharp's word for "120 Hz." Everyone here says that it increases lag, so here I turn it off. "Active Contrast" actively changes the contrast depending on the scene on the TV. To my eyes, it makes the blacks blacker and the whites whiter, and I like it on. I figure that it takes some processing power to calculate the contrast for each frame, though, so I turn it off.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 14 frames
Here with Fine Motion turned on, I expect to see increased lag. We're still looking at 14 frames of lag, but the elapsed time counter shows 1 millisecond more lag. 1 ms doesn't really mean anything since these measured lag times are prone to changing plus or minus a few milliseconds, but at best it shows that 120 Hz on this TV doesn't affect the input lag. At worst, it slightly increases it.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 14 frames
Once again, 14 frames of lag and the elapsed time difference is identical. It appears that Active Contrast does not affect the input lag.


AV Mode: Standard
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 14 frames
Here with both Active Contrast and Fine Motion turned on, the lag is identical to when both settings are turned off. It's probably safe to say that Fine Motion doesn't affect the input lag.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 4 frames
With both turned off, the lag is at 4 frames. It's not great -- the good displays in Japan can get below 3 frames, with Mitsubishi even down to 1 -- but it's certainly better than most displays in America (especially Samsung).


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: Off
Lag: 4 frames
It starts to get a little weird, here. The lag is minutely less than 4 frames as you can see that the computer is still busy trying to display the 15 when the TV is already at 11. Additionally, the elapsed time is exactly the same.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: Off
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 2 frames
It's really weird, here. The lag has decreased to 2 frames when Active Contrast is turned on.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 2 frames
The lag is still at 2 frames compared to 4 frames when both Fine Motion and Active Contrast are turned off. I've retaken the picture several times and always end up with 2 frames of lag, so this is the correct number.

1080p
Connected with an HDMI cable, output at 1680x1050

Between the previous STANDARD and GAME AV mode tests, it looks as though having both Fine Motion Enhanced and Active Contrast turned on will actually decrease the lag, so I've decided to just keep them on for my 1080p tests. The worst case scenario is that they don't affect the lag at all, and the picture looks better when they're on, anyways.


AV Mode: PC
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: 8 frames
PC Mode consistently shows 8 frames of lag. It's a bit surprising since PC mode reduces lag the best on many sets.


AV Mode: Game
Fine Motion Enhanced: On
Active Contrast: On
Lag: less than 1 frame
Wow. This is measured with the view mode set to Dot By Dot, which displays the same amount of pixels on screen as is in the input signal, so this is at my laptop's native 1680x1050 and not stretched. The TV shows that this is a "1080p" signal. As you can see, the elapsed frames are identical, with the laptop just slightly ahead of the TV, but overall there is less than one frame of lag. Additionally, the elapsed time shows what looks to be maybe a 4 ms, which is actually the response time of this TV.


Conclusion

I've searched for a long, long time trying to find an adequate LCD for gaming, and I've finally found and bought one I'm happy with. It's not perfect, but no digital TV is. At the very least, it's among the best on the market for games. The AQUOS E77U series is part of Sharp's 2009 LCD TV lineup, so it comes with a 10-bit panel and 120 Hz with film mode. It obviously can't compete picture-wise with some of the Samsung LED TVs coming out on the market, right now, but I'm satisfied with the picture and the very minimal input lag on this TV blows any Samsung set out of the water (Samsung's beauty comes at a laggy price). Additionally, I've had only bad experiences with Samsung's quality (dies after less than 2 years), and I haven't had any problems with Sharp, yet, so I'm hoping they'll deliver a higher quality product.

The E77U series comes in 65", 52", 46", and 40" sizes. If you're looking for a smaller size, the E67U series comes in 40" and 32" sizes without the 120 Hz. I haven't personally tested an E67U, but it comes with Sharp's "Vyper Drive" game mode (E77U does not) which is specifically supposed to decreate gaming lag, so I imagine that these sets should perform similarly, if not better, than the E77U series.

Between the price (E77U / E67U) and its gaming performance, in my opinion, the Sharp AQUOS E77U is THE LCD TV for gaming.


Hope you found my review useful, and in the future, please use mine or a similar app (RAR / ZIP) for actually testing HDTVs so that others can see actual numbers instead of having to rely on subjective opinions.


I did exact same thing and decided on exact same TV.... and I spent 3-4 months looking... and comparing...

Boky
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post #9 of 16 Old 07-29-2009, 03:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

Panasonic Plasma sets are just as good with input lag as their LCDs, maybe even better, gotta love how good Panasonic is when it comes to input lag.

I recently bought a tc-p46g15. Well it will be compared in 1080P & 480I to see how it stack up against the LZ800.

The LZ800 lag is incredible low that I have doubt that this Plasma will beat it. The plasma will come tonight.


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post #10 of 16 Old 07-29-2009, 06:14 AM
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Nice test - looks like you put a lot of work into it. Do you have any plans to check your laptop against a CRT like AmnesiacOpera suggests?
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post #11 of 16 Old 07-29-2009, 10:10 AM
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Poky why would you quote his whole post when its thats long for a response that is 1 sentence?

Anyways back on topic-

I purchased this TV with the intent to use it as my PRIMARY PC monitor @ 1080p and play games via PC and PS3 as well as use it for my DISH HDTV box

overall (my 1-10 scale, 1 being absolute trash, 10 being perfect)

Picture : 8
Black levels: 7
Contrast: 8
Brightness levels / evenness : 7.5
PQ: 8
usability overall with PC : 9
PS3 / bluray : 9

Im VERY HAPPY with this tv for the price, ive owned a 40" sony , 40" Samsung, and now this sharp

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post #12 of 16 Old 07-31-2009, 03:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gprophet View Post

Boky why would you quote his whole post when its thats long for a response that is 1 sentence?


2 reasons:

1. I quote the posts routinely to closely refer my answer to exact content
2. I like this LCD TV a lot AND I respect the amount of work that went in to the test... so I think the full result's listing deserved to be shown again

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post #13 of 16 Old 08-28-2009, 11:10 AM
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Anyone seen any tests for the Sharp 700un for gaming. I know it doesn't have a game mode, but if these things are that good normally, it may not need it.

Btw, I saw one of these at Sears the other day, amazing. As good, if not better than the samsung b750 models. Plus it's led backlit.

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post #14 of 16 Old 12-16-2009, 10:02 AM
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Hey guys,
This is a total n00b question, and I apologize in advance, but why not set it to GAME mode all the time? Seems like, based on the OP's findings, that game mode with Fine Motion and Active Contrast both on would be the best settings for this TV, no?
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post #15 of 16 Old 01-13-2010, 07:32 AM
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Just picked up the 40" version of this TV myself (your guide really helped make my decision as I use it for gaming) and I had a LAG related questions. I have my Xbox 360 hooked up to it with component cables (don't have a HDMI 360) and set to 1080p with AC=on, FMH=on and Game Mode on. Is there some sort of lag due to the TV having to processes the analog signal that would make the response time increase? I just played MW2 for the first time on it yesterday and it just didn't feel right (used to play on a CRT=no lag), it seemed laggy. Would it be too much of a hassle to ask you try a new test with Component cables at 1080p to see your results? That or ask anyone to advise/comment on my situation as I cannot seem to find anything specifically about analog 1080p lag compared to digital 1080p.
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post #16 of 16 Old 01-24-2010, 07:17 PM
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Volasko, any update on your 77u with the component 360? I am considering the 46 and 52 inch versions and I also only have a non-hdmi 360. How do you feel after another 10 days?
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