Joined the ranks of Elite owners - Purchase thoughtsHello everyone! After 6 months of research into a new HDTV for my living room, I finally made the committment and settled on the SHARP ELITE PRO 60X5FD. First time joining the AVS forum and look forward to hearing your thoughts.
IMHO there are only 2 great TVS on the market today and one very close runner up. These are
1. Sharp Elite Pro series - 60" and 70"
2. Pioneer VT50 plasma (GT also)
3. Sony XBR 929
I dont beleive anything other than those would be considered videophile quality. That being said there is no such thing as the perfect TV. So dont nitpick or those of you are still on the fence will never buy. I found what was the most important thing to me was the following.
A. Deep off state blacks
Hands down this is elite territory. Local dimming pushes the blacks very dark.
B. Bright picture.
Owned by LCD. I had to turn down my backlight because the TV was too bright. I watch in a lit room. Plasma white is noticeably dark. Plasma just cant generate the peak white. I constantly notice this in all plasma sets and this has become a dealbreaker for me.
C. Detail in the low bits (dark level detail in movies)
Best I have seen is with the elite. Cant wait for calibration. Typically a bane of SONY sets. Sony likes to "crush" the gammas in the low bits. Calibration would probably solve that however.
D. No pixel defects and no buzz from the TV
Elite must use hand picked Gen X LCD panels from sharp. I could care less about the yellow pixel, very tough to notice the difference. The yellow might come in handy for stabilizing white point. My set arrived flawless. No pixel defects, no bezel defects. I also love the pioneer VT50 but I can not get over the possibility of haveing burn in or buzz from the TV. I did not notice any of these while viewing in store, and dont expect any problems, but the risk is there with plasma and that keeps me up at night.
E. Uniform colors (white in particular) - Eliminates ALL edge lit LEDS.
Only plasma has better uniformity. VT50 wins here. Elite is better than ALL edge lit LCDs. Not perfect in corners, but still very good and you have to look hard.
I am a SONY HDTV fanboy and it is a shame to see the company, who in my opinion the absolute best picture processing / out of the box performance, start to falter. I own a 10 year old Sony WEGA LCD with a auto dimming CCFL backlight, and a SONY XBR6 I use for an XBOX360. Both TVs run flawlessly and are used every day. Unfortunately todays's Sony seems not to be interested in making cutting edge LCDs anymore. The XBR 929 is aging, but still is a great local dimmer TV with a great picture. Just not great enough to beat the ELITE.
Problems seen so far with the ELITE. (just another opinion)
Havent seen the cyan anomoly. Colors are hard to judge unless using a side by side comparison. also havent run avatar on blue ray through the set yet. If cyans are off, avatar will look like bad.
Im not too picky about viewing angle. Looks fine to me. i dont notice significant changes going off axis. I have 3 LCD sets and I havent heard a complaint yet about the off axis viewing angle from friends.
Reflective screen. Yes, it is very reflective. The plastic LCD front layer is not antireflection coated. (if it were, you would see a maroon or purplish reflection) Fresnel reflections will be ~ 4% and its not diffuse, the outer layer is smooth so you get a nice mirror like reflection from lights. Watching a dark movie with bright windows or lights in the back of the room will bedistracting. I find I have to adjust my viewing position to avoid reflections. This is an area SHARP needs to work on. Will I be returning my set for this. HELL NO! Just rearrange your viewing conditions. If you can not do this, then you may want to look closely at another TV. One that has an antireflection coating (much better on glass surfaces than plastics - Does SONY XBR929 with gorilla glass have this coating?). None of the high end sets have diffuse outer layers. Probably because this diffusion will degrate the sharpness of the image.
Out of the box setup.
I can not understand why such a great LCD tv comes with such crap settings out of the box. Sony is typically much better in this area. That being said, its not too hard to quickly get at least a few of the standard viewing selections on the elite to produce a supurb image. Calibration of this TV is a must. Here is what I found useful. For watching TV (HD and Standard DEF) I use STANDARD Av mode. After adjusting the color temp, backlight brightness, and turn down to low nearly all the processing, and adjusted the tint, the picture is darn good. In fact, what I noticed is that the contrast, brightness, hue and all that are excellent out of the box. What ruins the picture is all of the additional processing levels that are preset way too high. For watching blue ray, I use the THX Movie setting. Thats really good for watching blu-ray movies and I left the setting alone with maybe a very slight tweak or two. Still think the color temperature is too low. (I just dont like 6500K). I know its the standard, but its too yellow for me.
- I'll post my simple settings for STANDARD that I found works best if anyone is interested.
I have not yet tried to tweak ELITE PURE and the other settings (give me some time).
I thought this was bull and then I saw it. What I saw was a fluctuating backlight effect not a steady "pulse" in scenes with a grey sky with clouds. This was over about 20% of the screen at the time. It was annoying, but its rare to see it. I think the conditions of the input signal have to be just right. It appears that a noisy or grainy scene with whites and grays may set it off. i would think this a problem with the local dimming backlight software analyzing noisy or apparently noisy input and "overreacting". Do I see this often/? no, rarely. Will I send my set back for this. NO WAY.
One last thing. The NETFLIX button on the remote is awesome. Netflix works really well on this TV and I dont mind the HD picture quality. Its noce to have built in Wi-FI and the app so handy.
Rant over. Thanks for reading.