Sharp Q+ TVs: Are They HD, Ultra HD, or Something Else Entirely? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 01:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Sharp Q+ TVs: Are They HD, Ultra HD, or Something Else Entirely?



Last year I took a trip to Consumer Reports TV testing lab and met with Jim Willcox, the magazine's Senior Editor/Electronics. At the time, Jim mentioned that if he had an article that was of specific interest to the AVS community, he'd share it. This morning, I received an email with a link to just such an article.
 
Claudio Ciacci, the Electronics Testing Program Leader at Consumer Reports, worked with Jim Willcox to produce an article that takes an in-depth look at Sharp's new Quattron Plus TVs, which feature pseudo-UHD/4K resolution. It's an interesting read that drills down into the details of how the new tech affects image quality; here's a hint, it's not necessarily an improvement.
 

"The new Sharp Quattron Plus TVs have an awesome number of subpixels. But does it matter?" - photo from Consumer Reports
 
Quote:"Can more subpixels and clever video processing make a 1080p HDTV perform like an even higher-resolution set? To anyone who knows how a TV display works, that seems like an impossible proposition, but it's pretty much what Sharp is proposing with its new Quattron Plus series of televisions. But does it work?  
 
That's what we've been wondering since January, when Sharp announced its new Aquos TVs with Quattron Plus technology at CES. At its press conference, Sharp pitched these sets as a more affordable bridge between standard 1080p models and pricier true Ultra HD TVs." Claudio Ciacci - read more at consumerreports.org
 



 
Check out the full article and when you are done, let me know what you think in the comments.
 
 
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post #2 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 02:16 PM
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The price on the Sharp sets has dropped 25% and is now in the same range as the 3D Quattron sets of 2 years ago.
I will replace a 2 year old set with the new top-of-the-line set in about a week, due to a warranty-covered defect.
If the new set can duplicate the old set for basic competence of signal processing, I will be happy.
Nothing is so annoying as gimmicks that don't work. More set for the same money? I'll find out very soon...
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post #3 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 04:20 PM
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I though the review was mostly positive showing some demonstrated benefit to the Q+ technology. These TVs seem to be a good choice for those that don't want to fork out for 4K sets that are in their infancy. I've seen a variety of the Q+ models on display. Some looked no better than regular 1080P, but one display showing the 70" UQ model looked fantastic. Very sharp - better than normal 1080p, very detailed and with good color. Must have been set up with more care than the other displays I saw. If the picture quality of this 70" is indicate of what rolls off the factory floor, the UQ seems like a good deal if you can find one at a good price (on sale).

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post #4 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 04:46 PM
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The price versus the quality is always a conundrum.
Some 4K sets are now cheaper than this model -- even with this model's 25% price reduction.
I will soon find out if the Sharp has kept its quality over the past 2 years when I trade a
70LE845U for a new LC70UQ17U. There are specs and then there is implementation.
I have been blown away happy with the mid-line TV for the past 2 years, so a better model
should make me even happier -- right? Unless it tries to do too much and fails at it.
If it will render as photographic-like as the current model and with the negligble clouding
and non-existent flashlighting, I will be ecstatic. If the power supply doesn't periodically
hiccup and reboot, I will call it a keeper. The review did say that the compressed format
that 4K broadcast has settled on is not featured in the TV, but that seems futuristic anyway.
I have a feeling I will keep all the enhancements turned off and play it straight.
The fact that it can quadruple the strobe rate of the LEDs is great news for flicker control.
I'll report my intimate reactions to losing an old friend and getting an upgrade. Stay tuned...
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post #5 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 04:52 PM
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iMagic,

Is there any way you can get the calibration settings from consumer reports for the uQ panel? I wouldn't mind trying these out on my 80uq.

Thanks!

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post #6 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 05:16 PM
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Why do these companies continue to pull this? Remember EDTV and HDTV? Nothing like confusing the consumer. If it's not 4K, they should not try and sell it as something "enhanced". It's a 1080p tv.
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post #7 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfull View Post

The price versus the quality is always a conundrum.
Some 4K sets are now cheaper than this model -- even with this model's 25% price reduction.
I will soon find out if the Sharp has kept its quality over the past 2 years when I trade a
70LE845U for a new LC70UQ17U. There are specs and then there is implementation.
I have been blown away happy with the mid-line TV for the past 2 years, so a better model
should make me even happier -- right? Unless it tries to do too much and fails at it.
If it will render as photographic-like as the current model and with the negligble clouding
and non-existent flashlighting, I will be ecstatic. If the power supply doesn't periodically
hiccup and reboot, I will call it a keeper. The review did say that the compressed format
that 4K broadcast has settled on is not featured in the TV, but that seems futuristic anyway.
I have a feeling I will keep all the enhancements turned off and play it straight.
The fact that it can quadruple the strobe rate of the LEDs is great news for flicker control.
I'll report my intimate reactions to losing an old friend and getting an upgrade. Stay tuned...


I look forward to your opinion!

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post #8 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 05:49 PM
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Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me

Fascinating article, the net of which is that the sharps are now mid to upper tier quality 1080p TVs overpriced by a good bit.

My brother bought one of the very first Quattron sets, when the claim then was that the Quattron tech improved color quality. Well tests then didn't bear that out, and now it's been rebranded as pseudo 4k. Well guess what, yet again it's marketing BS....

I'm sort of ok with my 60 inch 15Q+ as it is an improvement over my older Samsung, but its disappointing that the primary reason I bought it turns out to be crap.

I discovered that truth on my own with a real 4k video source (tears of steel, played back from a macbook pro) when I compared it to a true 4k LG TV and also a Vizio that costs half the price. I was hoping for the sharp to be a solid 2nd place , ahead of the Vizio by a good bit, but not equal to the LG. Instead what I got was a set that at best had a picture equal to the Vizio with a slightly nicer case and smart TV interface

Where's a class action lawyer when you need them?
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post #9 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 08:31 PM
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And what about that Yellow Sub Pixel? It's my understanding, calibrators turn it OFF before starting. Now with all this extra stuff turning on and off, it will drive even a professional crazy!
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post #10 of 53 Old 06-09-2014, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
1080p TVs have about 2 million pixels, or individual picture elements, with each pixel made up of three subpixels—one red, one green and one blue, or RGB—for a total of 6 million subpixels. A video input signal then drives each pixel to a specific brightness and color to create the image you see on your TV.

missing the part that BD are YCbCr 4:2:0 and that that usual YCbCr 4:2:2 is send. so a good picture cpu is needed to turn this into RGB. in this case RGBY with a strange resolution.

so it's true that the picture on the BD can't be used the way it is so doing something with it is not wrong. but doing so much extra processing is in my eyes not a good choice for high PQ these are not needed! if some people like this fine but orignal PQ is something else. same goes for 1080p at 2160p with "super resizer"it's not possible to create details that are not there these "super resizer" are simply sharp resizer with anti aliasing. looks like these TV use them to get 3840x1080...

so i don't see a good reason this should be better then 1080p but this should be better with a 4k source(if done well) but still not as good as 4k. so they are good for something i don't get.

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post #11 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 12:05 AM
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It's a cool concept, but it seems to do almost as much harm as it does good. That, and prices on true 4K UHDTVs are coming down rapidly enough that I doubt that TVs with Quattron+ will even make sense next model year.

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post #12 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 03:42 AM
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I found the article more informative than many Consumer Report reviews I've read about A/V equipment and the final conclusion is one that I agree with. I'll wait until true 4K sets become affordable in price. By then 4K content should be more widely available as well. Until then, I'll stick with 1080p technology.

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post #13 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 05:26 AM
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look at the sharp 2014 topic. tons of settings. as with all sharps looks like crap out of box but with correct set up these sets look amazing. lol don't even compare than to a vizio. not even close. the new vizios I have seen look worse than any tv at the store. read the vizio topics and see all the problems. full array isn't working worth a crap[you can see the lights shadow] not right. and lots of problems. google the q+ you will see 10 articles that love the q+ to 1 that doesn't. is it 4 k nope but a real 4 k at 60 is 2 times the money. seiki doesn't count. you get what you pay for. there are stores by me [abc warehouse for 1] that wont even carry vizio because of the problems and returns.
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post #14 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 05:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by emmonsh View Post

look at the sharp 4014 topic. tons of settings. as with all sharps looks like crap out of box but with correct set up these sets look amazing. lol don't even compare than to a vizio. not even close. the new vizios I have seen look worse than any tv at the store. read the vizio topics and see all the problems. full array isn't working worth a crap and lots of problems. google the q+ you will see 10 that love the q+ to 1 that doesnt

 

I'm not sure where you read that Vizio's 2014 TVs have picture quality that is deficient. The only series to come out already is the E series, which is the bottom of the line and already garnering extremely positive reviews. The Q+ will have to compete with the forthcoming 2014 Vizio P series, which is a formidable television—and the yet-to-be-released 2014 M series.


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post #15 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 05:35 AM
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Why would Sharp waste the R&D money and time on this instead of putting it into an actual 4K panel. Sharp trying to produce something as being an "affordable bridge" is a bad joke considering I think they're TV's already a little overpriced and definitely more expensive than other similarly performing TVs from their major competitors. Don't get me wrong I think Sharp does make an excellent product (my parents have an old 37" 1080i aquos that still looks absolutely gorgeous) but I don't know who they think they're trying to kid here. Anyone that's looking for enhanced resolution probably knows enough (like we do on here) to just wait it out for a 4K. If not there's plenty of excellent 1080p sets out there.

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post #16 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 06:27 AM
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I'll pass. Why buy this when you can get a real 4K set for a little bit more?
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post #17 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by KidHorn View Post

I'll pass. Why buy this when you can get a real 4K set for a little bit more?
My sentiments exactly.

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post #18 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 07:01 AM
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Hi, guys, here are the settings for the UQ-series (60-inch) set we tested:

PICTURE SETTINGS.
Picture Mode: Movie
Contrast (Picture): 31
Brightness: 0
Color: 4
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0
Color Temperature: Low
Backlight: 14
Aspect Ratio: Dot by dot
Miscellaneous: Motion Enhancement = 120Hz High, Film Mode = Standard, Color Gamut Range = Standard, Light Sensor Adjustment (Max = 16, Min = 3) (All remaining settings set to OFF, or 0)

TV FIRMWARE. All TVs are evaluated using the latest firmware version available at the time of testing.
Firmware version for Sharp Aquos LC-60UQ17U is: 163U1402071

Thanks for the discussion here; over the past few years we've been trying to put out more technical info on leading-edge models. Not everyone at Consumer Reports believes that our readers want/need/understand this level of detail, so there is some internal resistance to this kind of article. Claudio and I are trying to show that there is a demand for these more detailed articles, so feel free to pass the link along to anyone you think might be interested. --Jim Willcox
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post #19 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by BNestico View Post

Why would Sharp waste the R&D money and time on this instead of putting it into an actual 4K panel. Sharp trying to produce something as being an "affordable bridge" is a bad joke considering I think they're TV's already a little overpriced and definitely more expensive than other similarly performing TVs from their major competitors. Don't get me wrong I think Sharp does make an excellent product (my parents have an old 37" 1080i aquos that still looks absolutely gorgeous) but I don't know who they think they're trying to kid here. Anyone that's looking for enhanced resolution probably knows enough (like we do on here) to just wait it out for a 4K. If not there's plenty of excellent 1080p sets out there.

I think this tv was decided on well before the price of 4k TVs dropped. In their mind this would be a bridge between the $1500 TVs and the $5000+ 4k sets. The problem is they are now the same price as 4k sets.
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post #20 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 07:34 AM
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I've spent a good bit of time with an 70SQ and the image is very sharp and I never noticed any issues with the resolution enhanced feature on. On the other hand I didn't notice any obvious visible improvement.

The TVs at the MSRP are overpriced yet for the street prices they are going for they seem to be a decent option. They definitely need a true calibration to actually look good which means more than just popping in a disc like that Disney WoW and setting contrast and brightness and colour. The colour temp of these is through the roof. I measured something like 8000-8500k on the default low preset.

ROB
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post #21 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattopotamus View Post

I think this tv was decided on well before the price of 4k TVs dropped. In their mind this would be a bridge between the $1500 TVs and the $5000+ 4k sets. The problem is they are now the same price as 4k sets.

You can get the 60SQ for I think 1600-1700 bucks. Where are the current 60" 4k sets for 1600-1700?

People shouldn't be comparing Sharp MSRP with 4k street prices.

ROB
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post #22 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by rlindo View Post

You can get the 60SQ for I think 1600-1700 bucks. Where are the current 60" 4k sets for 1600-1700?

People shouldn't be comparing Sharp MSRP with 4k street prices.

60" q+ is $1899 at best buy

60" 850a (sony 4k) hovers between $2400 and $2700 right now.

Samsung 2014 4k flat set is $2700 for the 60"

The point is the price difference is not what they were expecting.
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post #23 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 08:06 AM
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That's the UQ. The SQ does the same thing as the UQ so it's better to use in your comparo. It is 1700.

So 1700 is equal to 2400 or 2700 in your mind since you said you can get a 4k set for the same price not "a 4k set for not much more." Gotcha.

Interesting people ignore other brands' top high end FullHD sets and their prices (excluding Vizio) are around the same as the Sharp prices.

Samsung 60" 7150 1800
Samsung 60" 6400 1600
Sony 55" 950B 1800
Sony 60" 850B 1688

Basically if Sharp's pricing is so bad when you can get a 4k set for "the same price" then by logic so are at least Samsung and Sony's higher end FullHD prices.
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post #24 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by rlindo View Post

That's the UQ. The SQ does the same thing as the UQ so it's better to use in your comparo. It is 1700.

So 1700 is equal to 2400 or 2700 in your mind since you said you can get a 4k set for the same price not "a 4k set for not much more." Gotcha.

Interesting people ignore other brands' top high end FullHD sets and their prices (excluding Vizio) are around the same as the Sharp prices.

Samsung 60" 7150 1800
Samsung 60" 6400 1600
Sony 55" 950B 1800
Sony 60" 850B 1688

Basically if Sharp's pricing is so bad when you can get a 4k set for "the same price" then by logic so are at least Samsung and Sony's higher end FullHD prices.

Sorry, close to the same price. I wasn't ignoring the other top 1080p sets. I also think those make little sense to buy today. I just think these sharp TVs have no place. Someone looking to spend roughly 2k on a tv should be only looking at a 4k set.
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post #25 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Mattopotamus View Post

Someone looking to spend roughly 2k on a tv should be only looking at a 4k set.

I mainly agree with you unless for that price one could get a super performing set but that doesn't seem to be the case. I'm looking to upgrade my bedroom set and basically have the view you do: If I am willing to drop 2-2.5k (Canadian prices here smile.gif) I may as well just spend another grand and get one of these new 4k sets.

ROB
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post #26 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JakeNY28 View Post

Hi, guys, here are the settings for the UQ-series (60-inch) set we tested:

PICTURE SETTINGS.
Picture Mode: Movie
Contrast (Picture): 31
Brightness: 0
Color: 4
Tint: 0
Sharpness: 0
Color Temperature: Low
Backlight: 14
Aspect Ratio: Dot by dot
Miscellaneous: Motion Enhancement = 120Hz High, Film Mode = Standard, Color Gamut Range = Standard, Light Sensor Adjustment (Max = 16, Min = 3) (All remaining settings set to OFF, or 0)

TV FIRMWARE. All TVs are evaluated using the latest firmware version available at the time of testing.
Firmware version for Sharp Aquos LC-60UQ17U is: 163U1402071

Thanks for the discussion here; over the past few years we've been trying to put out more technical info on leading-edge models. Not everyone at Consumer Reports believes that our readers want/need/understand this level of detail, so there is some internal resistance to this kind of article. Claudio and I are trying to show that there is a demand for these more detailed articles, so feel free to pass the link along to anyone you think might be interested. --Jim Willcox

I would think that anyone reading this thread would want write-ups like the one you've given us here. Those at Consumer Reports who are afraid of alienating their readers by providing the information you've discovered are doing their subscribers a disservice. Surely the answer is to give the short easy-to-read version and at the same time provide more details for those who want to know as much as possible. In print there might be economic reasons for keeping every report brief, but online there's no reason to provide only the non-technical version. The simple point here - don't underestimate the intelligence of your readers.
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post #27 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnfull View Post

The price on the Sharp sets has dropped 25% and is now in the same range as the 3D Quattron sets of 2 years ago.
I will replace a 2 year old set with the new top-of-the-line set in about a week, due to a warranty-covered defect.
If the new set can duplicate the old set for basic competence of signal processing, I will be happy.
Nothing is so annoying as gimmicks that don't work. More set for the same money? I'll find out very soon...

At the 80" you're still paying a $2K premium for a set that several reviews have said is not much different than the already pretty good non-Q+ 80" Sharp set. That's a big price jump to get "sub-pixels" but no HEVC decoding (so there goes your ability ot get professional 4K content for the most part) or HDMI 2.0 . The set seems nice. If it was a $500 premium over the regular panel I could see it.
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post #28 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by dubusduck View Post

I though the review was mostly positive showing some demonstrated benefit to the Q+ technology. These TVs seem to be a good choice for those that don't want to fork out for 4K sets that are in their infancy. I've seen a variety of the Q+ models on display. Some looked no better than regular 1080P, but one display showing the 70" UQ model looked fantastic. Very sharp - better than normal 1080p, very detailed and with good color. Must have been set up with more care than the other displays I saw. If the picture quality of this 70" is indicate of what rolls off the factory floor, the UQ seems like a good deal if you can find one at a good price (on sale).

I didn't get the same take away from the article. It concluded that the sub-pixel processing improves horizontal but not vertical resolution, introduces smearing/blurring effects to the processed image (though only noticeable close-up) and actually produces less than FULL HD (1080P) pixel-to-pixel imaging -- meaning it somewhat degrades 1080P. WHile it does make images look smoother and more "sharp" (pun intended), that's not different in concept from the edge enhancement processing LED's use to create the "soap opera effect" and not necessarily a good thing.

In it's "bottom line" it starts with: "In our opinion, these Quattron Plus models, while interesting, are not really an answer for those looking for a significant performance boost over 1080p, or for those hoping to future-proof their TV purchase for 4K..." then proceeds to suggest that people are better off either getting a good conventional 1080P set or if they want to future-proof for 4K getting a true 4K set.
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post #29 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Citivas View Post

At the 80" you're still paying a $2K premium for a set that several reviews have said is not much different than the already pretty good non-Q+ 80" Sharp set. That's a big price jump to get "sub-pixels" but no HEVC decoding (so there goes your ability ot get professional 4K content for the most part) or HDMI 2.0 . The set seems nice. If it was a $500 premium over the regular panel I could see it.

I think Sharp will take longer to get to 4K because of their Quattron technology, which they are loathe to drop. Their 90" set is without the yellow pixel to keep its price down.
It may be unfeasible to make a yellow subpixel in the microscopic size of a true 4K screen. It will certainly be more expensive. The yellow pixel has given them an edge of
distinction over the competition, especially in 3D brightness and in skin tone fidelity. It works great with the blue-LED/yellow phosphor backlight scheme because yellow falls in
the middle of the peak band. Sharp has some brand loyalty, based on their Quattron technology. I count myself in that group. The fact that they are replacing a 2 year old
mid-line 70" (that was MSRP $3,000 at the outset) with the top-of-the line set on warranty obligation, indicates to me that they are about to go full 4K. I hope they keep the yellow!
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post #30 of 53 Old 06-10-2014, 03:02 PM
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I think Sharp will take longer to get to 4K because of their Quattron technology, which they are loathe to drop. Their 90" set is without the yellow pixel to keep its price down.
It may be unfeasible to make a yellow subpixel in the microscopic size of a true 4K screen. It will certainly be more expensive. The yellow pixel has given them an edge of
distinction over the competition, especially in 3D brightness and in skin tone fidelity. It works great with the blue-LED/yellow phosphor backlight scheme because yellow falls in
the middle of the peak band. Sharp has some brand loyalty, based on their Quattron technology. I count myself in that group. The fact that they are replacing a 2 year old
mid-line 70" (that was MSRP $3,000 at the outset) with the top-of-the line set on warranty obligation, indicates to me that they are about to go full 4K. I hope they keep the yellow!

Sharp announced a full/true 4K line above Q+ at CES in January and reference it on their website, they just haven't released them yet or pricing. But they are expected this year. http://www.sharpusa.com/ForHome/HomeEntertainment/LCDTV/ExperienceAquos/4K.aspx
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