Sharp has five model series for their 2014 LCD sets (note; LCD not LED);
LE, EQ, SQ & UQ series. The LE is a carryover from 2013 (it is a large step down from this model).
Not too many would try a third, let alone a fourth sample, but I did in the hopes the 4th was the winner. But, I lost again.
The 1st was the worst, by far. A dark area in the middle half of the panel. The 2nd & third better, but still bad with similar dark and light areas. The 4th was the best, but it still was not acceptable.
There is a obvious pattern to the uniformity issues. On all four, the center is the darkest and the rest varies widely. One has a hot spot in the upper right, another, the opposite corner; bottom left.
Not wanting to give up, I decided to try a SQ model which uses a slightly different panel. I wasn't interested in the extra so called 'features' and gimmicks, but just reasonably even uniformity. Well, it was better, actually the best of the bunch, but that was offset with a quirk in their "Resolution Enhance" settings.
When you switched from the default "Mode 1" to off, the gray scale shifted to a distinct greenish yellow.
Apparently the set was aligned in that mode since it was mostly correct. Switching to Mode 2 cause no change, but turning that 'gimmick' (I took a close look at the differences on and off; (it basically is a edge enhancement setting in spite of what the hype says viewing static test patterns). Off clearly showed the problem
I did contact Sharp this time which was a positive experience. Their support for the larger sets is separate from the smaller models and it appears the support is in the US. After the 1st call, I received a call back the next day which I wasn't expecting looking for more details. I did send in numerous screen shots of both this problem and their panel problems (all sets). After the 2nd contact I had an e-mail and a call asking what I would like done. It was too late, the last set already went back since the time limit on the set I wound up keeping expired. It was more than obvious, this would not fly, even if this other quirk would be 'fixed'.
The odd thing about all of this is, Samsung uses Sharp panels on many of their models and on their 6350 model I wound up getting, it has almost no issues with poor uniformity. One reason may be that model uses direct lit (full array) vs edge lit. That and/or Sharps QC standards are far lower with their own sets.
1. Detail level and motion handling rivals Samsung,
2. Inputs; 4 HDMI, 2 composite, 1 component NONE SHARED! The only line of LCD sets that has this that I know of, just about all the others have the lame, single shared composite/component setup. Needed for legacy equipment, CCTV cameras and it also give your a 5th HD input (though analog).
3. Ability with an optional programmable remote for direct input selection. No more jumping through inputs to get to the device you want to use.
4. Sturdy base. The panel slides in from the top unlike many where you have to screw it together before you stand it up. Far better than Vizio & Samsungs' design,
5. No 3D or other questionable, so called features including that 4k input ability on a 1080 set,
6. Manual firmware updating. You choose if you want the update or not. Far better than it automatically happening without your knowledge. Also, I believe with files from their website you should be able to revert back if there is a issue.
7. Fairly easy access to the picture adjustments menu, though it could of been better with a single button shortcut.
8. Service literature is available, unlike some other importers where the manual isn't even available to 3rd party service shops. How can you fix something properly w/o a service manual? To the importers that don't offer one; what are you hiding? This is a nice plus,
9. Decent sized owners manual (downloaded from their website, not supplied), though it could of been composed better, combining pages to reduce the overall number,
10. Full menu functions are available on the set itself (backup if the remote or IR receiver goes south), not just power, volume & channel change, unlike Vizio, (note; the 2015 models apparently will not have this)
11. Ability to add channels without doing a scan. Saves time, eliminates removing unwanted channels in your channel list later on,
12. Separate US based support for sets 60" and above along with call backs the next day. A real nice surprise here.
13. Well packaged, wider box than others. Nylon straps securing the bottom to the top (instead of those plastic 'clips' that are inserted through the upper carton) making it easier to carry.
1. Screen uniformity is the deal breaker. (see photos)
2. Edge lit, more chance of flashlighting and 'hot spots' over a back lit panel though in spite of the other defects, that hasn't been the problem with the four sets I have had,
3. Between two and three times the current draw than the M60 Vizio,
4. Limited light output. Darker than other manufactures sets even at the highest settings. The warmest color temperature drops the output even more,
5. Unnecessary picture modes. Why do we need two 'Vivid' settings. No ability to rename modes or bypass ones not used,
6. Slow boot time (17 seconds) and slightly slow channel changing.
7. Buried channel signal level indication. Why it's not in the info bar is beyond me,
8. When you are in a input other than 'TV', accidentally hitting the channel up or down automatically switches to the tuner input,
9. Menu times out too quickly. Annoying when you are doing picture adjustments,
10. That wasteful "wallpaper mode" "quick on" function defeats the concept of energy saving. Consumption is around 45 watts, even more of a waste if no one is there to see it. (yes, you don't have to use, it but it's the principle of this 'gimmick' which is counterproductive)
11. Non lighted remote (I use a learning/programmable remote, so it's not a issue),
12. Note sure this can really be called a negative, but Sharp is not one of the more popular names here.
13. On the SQ model a quirk in the Resolution Enhance setting. Switching it 'off' caused the gray scale to shift to a greenish-yellow tint. Upon closer inspection of numerous patterns and program, there was no improvement with this so called feature, only a increase in edge enhancement. That can always be done using the sharpness control.
Believe me, I realty wanted this to be the choice after the major disappointment with Vizio. Unlike so many here that don't even try a 2nd set. (Real stupidity there). At least give the manufacture/importer a 2nd chance. These are mass produced consumer products. There will be differences and defective unit sold. Two, maybe, just maybe three bad ones? But, six? Sorry, that is neither bad luck nor is it a coincidence.
Even if the uniformity was not a issue, the viewing angle was worse than Vizio & Samsung running VA panels.