I spent some time today at the San Francisco BB checking out the all-new 90 Sharp, and here are my observations.
It is a beauty. I realize this sounds weird, but my favorite thing, beside the enormous size, was the skinny, dark black, matte aluminum bezel. The 70inch Elite has a dark charcoal bezel, which is stupid because it competes with the image. I think Sharp did this to exaggerate how black the blacks are on the screen, but it doing so, it creates a two-tonality or unnecessary contrast I don't like. To be even more specific, years ago, it was common to find Plasma TVs with silver bezels, like the Fujitsu. I hated silver bezels, because elementally they compete with the image. For instance, if you are in a room with ambient light, the silver bezel reflects the light and takes away from the immersive experience. This is why in movie theaters, why the big screen is only ever surrounded by dark black material that is non-reflective.
All the other 70 and 80 inch Sharps have a glossy dark black bezel, which is also stupid because they bounce/reflect back light. ALL FLAT SCREEN TVs SHOULD HAVE MATTE BLACK BEZELS, so when you look at the TV all you see is the image, not light bouncing or a bezel that is lighter than the set!!![/rant]
Is the 90 inch Sharp worth 10k without local dimming!?!?!? I don't know. It just seems if Sharp is going to go that large, and charge such a high premium price, it should be an Elite with local dimming. Another thing I can't seem to stop thinking about is if it is worth paying more than twice as much as for an 80inch. I mean you could buy 2 80 inchers, and still save an additional $1000.
I thought the image was impressive, particularly with good HD content. With standard content, it looked a little fuzzy, but this could have to do with the fact it has a video signal that had already been split 40 times.
I would love to draw a conclusion about this TV, but I think I have to spend more time with it. Also, they plan to move it into a special room and wall mount it, which should make a huge difference. Time as they say will tell.
If you look carefully in the photos above and below, (click images to enlarge) you can see on the left side of the Sharp there is a 42 or 50 Samsung, and it is completely dwarfed by the 90!!!
Just to give you an additional frame of reference for perspective, notice how tiny the iPad looks, which is sitting on the table below the 90 incher. It is located on the left side of the table stand. Also, in this photo, you can see the standard size BlueRay player in the cabinet, which also adds perspective.
Off angle viewing was surprisingly good. This may be because the 90 incher is just so big. Colors were very good and accurate. If you like watching TV in the daytime in a brightly lit room, the semi-matte screen finish would be great, because online the 70inch Elite, it does not reflect much light.
Black levels were surprisingly good, as you can see above and below. In the image below, you can really see the benefit of having a matte black aluminum bezel that reflects almost no light. Since the 90incher has very good black levels, it appears the bezel is part of the image when it is on dark screens, which in my mind is a big plus with the design of this set. There are many things that are very right about the Sharp 90inch, and somehow, this one simple feature seems to just really make it that much better.
The TV was surprisingly skinny, and when Sharp says it is only 5 inches deep, they mean only on the bottom 10%, so the rest of the back is pretty thin. This means that if you wall mount it, you will be able to get it pretty flush with the wall.
It says it is controllable with an iPhone which is pretty cool. I wonder who this works? Can an iPhone or iPad turn the TV on and OFF? That would be cool. I can't believe this thing only uses $28 worth of electricity a year, and that is if you watch it 5 hours a day!?!?!? I think we average maybe 5 hours a week, so it is bizarre to think it only costs us $3 a year in electricity!!!
I will conclude with this next image of Michael Jordan on the screen of the 90incher. Methinks it is fitting because the new 90 inch Sharp is the new Michael Jordan of TV sets...