Build Quality and DesignAt first sight, this Sharp TV looks strangely like it comes from Philips, with the same rounded frame and stand as the Dutch manufacturer's 2010 collection.
One look at the onscreen menus confirmed it once and for all: the LE630E is a Philips TV, rebranded with a Sharp logo on the outside. The only real change is a few slight tweaks to the icons used in the menus, which are now colour instead of in black and white.
In the same vein, the Aquos Net+ services offered by Sharp are similar to those provided by Philips' own online platform, and the interface is identical. There are a few changes in the line-up of content, though, with some big names missing on this new TV. Other multimedia features include support for the DLNA 1.5 standard via the Ethernet port and a media player for accessing content stored on a USB device.
The media player does a good job of handling codecs like DivX 5 and DivX 6, x264, VC-1 and more, but struggles with container formats. It only bothers with AVI, MP4 and WMV. More disappointingly still, it can't handle multiple audio tracks or subtitle files.
The selection of inputs and outputs is pretty lightweight, with just three HDMI ports, one VGA input, a SCART socket, a composite video input and a headphone jack. The digital audio output uses a coaxial cable.
It would have been better if Sharp had borrowed Philips' remote control as well. The one it provided for the LE630E uses roughly the same layout, but is finished to a much lower standard. It would have been for a good old-fashioned CRT TV from thirty years ago, but these days we expect a little more.
Matte finish doesn't suffer from reflections
Inputs and outputs
Ghosting and Input Lag
Unlike the excellent results we've seen recently from other ASV displays, the unit inside this TV has a very disappointing ghosting time. It takes an average of 16.5 ms to get rid of the previous frame, compared to an industry average of 12 ms according to our results. The input lag is no better, and with an average lag of four frames, we can't recommend this TV for gamers.
Image QualityIt's hard not to spot the problems with this TV when it's still using its factory settings, with everything washed out with a blue tinge. We measured an average colour temperature of over 10 000 K, poor colour reproduction with an average deltaE of 10.8 and disastrous gamma with underexposed blacks and light greys totally burned out.
However, all of these problems can be fixed by switching from 'standard' mode to 'cinema' and then tweaking a few of the settings. To get perfect gamma and colour temperature, we suggest you adjust these settings to '1' and 'normal', respectively.
Once you've made these adjustments, then colour handling is almost perfect. Our equipment measured a new average deltaE of 3.4, which is a radical improvement. However, that disguises the fact that there are still big problems with certain colours, with red, yellow and green registering values of 5.4, 7.3 and 11.0 respectively, resulting in rather garish colours.
As we mentioned above, the ghosting time is only just acceptable for an ASV display, but the LE630E manages better contrast than many of its colleagues. With deep blacks of 0.04 cd/m² and whites as bright as 200 cd/m², the contrast ratio climbs to 4160:1, a new record for ASV technology!
We recommend turning on the 100 Hz filter for viewing films. It reduces ghosting so that there is only a very minor trace beyond fast-moving objects. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to add the 'smooth motion' filter on top. It does a great job of getting rid of jerkiness and flicker in films, but it makes them look like they've been shot on a camcorder and can introduce unwanted visual artefacts.
The LE6303E's tech spec claims that it has two 5 W speakers and a 10 W subwoofer. In theory, the subwoofer's job is to handle the lowest frequencies, below 100 Hz or even 50 Hz.
But here, the two speakers are so pathetic that they're only trusted with the very highest notes, with the so-called subwoofer handling everything else. It almost sounds like you're listening in mono, rather than stereo, which is a real shame as the woofer itself is pretty decent. If there were two of them instead of just one, the LE6303E would have got four stars in this section.
Unsurprisingly, the Edge LED backlighting brings down energy consumption. When switched on, the 40'' version of the LE6303E only needs 57 W. On standby it's even better, with consumption of less than a single Watt!
- Excellent contrast ratio and deep blacks: 4160:1 and 0.06 cd/m²
- Accurate colour reproduction: average deltaE: 3.4
- Matte finish doesn't suffer from reflections
- No problems with clouding on our test unit
- Low energy consumption: 57 W
- Narrow viewing angles: 1.7/5
- Media player doesn't support enough video formats
- Less responsive than average
- Poor quality remote
The Sharp LE6303E turned out to be a pleasant surprise: it's one of the few TVs with Edge LED backlighting not to suffer from clouding, for instance, and it produces a great picture with a high contrast ratio and accurate colour reproduction. It will suit anybody who wants a slim TV but can do without 3D.