Originally Posted by pywackett
I was all set to get the 60 inch 640u model but the last one sold at sears ( i am limited to buying a tv at Sears) last week. I was in yesterday and they had the new 650u model. I have always been a Samsung gun and was considering the 6100 model but the Sharps really popped when viewing them in store. Should I be hesitant in buying a new model such as the 650u? I have looked all over the internet for reviews but have found none. Not sure how long it takes for reviews to come out on new products but I may just pull the trigger anyways this weekend.
As I was mentioning above, I wouldn't expect much difference between 640 and 650 model. The features could possibly see some updates, like maybe added apps (which would be no big deal), or what I would hope for the most, better motion processing. This is what often happens: the manufacturers are practically forced to declare a new model each year, so they give most of the models just a "face-lift", but in reality it's often more or less the same TV. Kind of like with the cars: every year there is a "new" model, but in reality they just change the headlights slightly for a fresher look, but you are really getting the same engine and performance as the predecessor model. However, every few years, they might indeed come up with a true novelty, like a new panel with new depth of blacks, or higher contrast, redone interface and programming, etc. But this doesn't seem to be the case with the 650U...
Based on the specs on Sharp's website, following seems to be the case:
- Slight "face-lift" in the bezel and the stand, but barely noticeable
- 650U is actually cheaper (MSRP)
- Full smart central features (apps displayed over the entire screen rather than along the strip at the bottom of the screen). Potentially access to a few more apps and a web browser (surely useless as on any TV), which I find to be no big deal...
- 640 has surround sound, 650 has "simulated surround sound", I don't think either one matters as you'll need a proper sound system to get a decent sound anyway
- actually the most important difference I noticed is in the specification of the panel
640U shows "X-Gen LCD panel" (which is on every other model too, including the most expensive one - 847U)
650U shows only "LCD panel" (the only model without the X-Gen)
This could potentially explain the lower MSRP on the new 650U.
Sharp's definition of X-Gen: "Sharp's X-Gen LCD Panel is designed with advanced pixel control to minimize light leakage and a wider aperture to let more light through, providing the industry's highest contrast level."
Since 650U has the "normal" LCD and not X-Gen, the question is if this is something noticeable in terms of contrast (although they state the same 4mil:1 for both models), potentially differences in colors, brightness level and panel uniformity. From their definition above, it would seem these aspects would be affected, and potentially negatively, unless this "normal LCD panel" somehow turns out to be better than their X-Gen panels. I'd wait for a pro-review on CNET, as they will measure all these aspects with pro equipment and state clearly any differences from 640U. I hope this doesn't turn into one of those examples I kept mentioning, where the new model performs worse than the old one.