Review: Sharp Aquos LC-60LE636E

 
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Published: December 4, 2011 6:22 PM
Updated: December 4, 2011 6:26 PM
By Pierre-Jean Alzieu
It's been a while since we've seen such a big TV from Sharp, but now the firm is back in business with this new 60'' monster.  It's absolutely enormous, but if you've got a big enough sitting room to be able to sit four metres back, then why not go for it?  If the large size of the screen doesn't convince you, then perhaps the relatively small price tag will ...

Build Quality and Design

The LC-60LE6356E has everything you'd expect from a modern television—apart from support for 3D.  For instance, the LED backlighting is lodged in the frame, keeping it to a very slim 3 cm for 90% of the surface, only widening to 7 cm to include the speakers.
 
Sharp's new design is generally pretty minimalist, and involves glossy black plastic.  The only weak spot is the stand, which doesn't allow any adjustments to the position of the screen but still feels too flimsy.  A wall mount is a much more attractive option.

Unlike most of its rivals, Sharp has fitted a decent anti-glare coating to the display, making it 'semi-glossy'.

For multimedia features, you've got the full house, including DLNA support, a PVR that records onto a hard drive or USB key and a media player.  As is often the case, the media player software isn't worth too much of your time.  It can handle MPEG-4 ASP codecs (DivX and XviD), meaning you can watch SD films.  But MPEG-4 AVC files like AVC-HD, H.264 and X.264 leave it confused.  If you've got some more recent films, this media player won't be much use to you.

You can also access content from the Aquos Net+ platform, which uses the same design as Philips' online services but with a different selection of content, with popular apps like Vimeo falling by the wayside here.  For the time being, there's no VOD service on Aquos Net+.  Given that Sharp has included an SDHC card slot for that very purpose, it's a bit disappointing.


The remote control is really nothing to write home about, and we're disappointed by the boring designing and the poor-quality materials.  The icing on the cake on our test unit was the up arrow, which kept getting stuck!

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The semi-glossy display doesn't pick up many reflections

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Inputs and Outputs

Ghosting and Input Lag

Responsiveness
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This graph shows the ghosting time, measured in ms, that the TV takes to entirely remove the previous frame. The shorter the time, the more fluid moving images will appear

Sharp has once again demonstrated that it knows how to make a responsive TV.  The panel used in the LC-60LE636E has an average ghosting time of 8.5 ms, which is an excellent result given that the benchmark for a great TV is usually around 10 ms.  However, we still can't recommend it for gamers because of the heavy input lag.  With an average delay of 66 ms between a new frame leaving the hardware source and appearing on screen, the picture you're watching is delayed by around four frames.  That's enough to put high-powered gamers off their stride.

Image Quality

Whether Sharp uses a Quattron display or not, the picture on its TVs is always too blue under the default settings, with gamma all over the place.  We suggest that you switch to 'Cinema' mode, and turn the gamma down to 1 and the backlighting to 5.


Colour reproduction in 'Cinema' mode: average deltaE: 3.9

With those adjustments made, the picture looks much more natural.  We measured a deltaE score of 3.9.  That's good, but the most attentive viewers will still notice a problem with green, although that's rarely the most important colour on screen.


Average contrast ratio in 'Cinema' mode: 4900:1

The gamma suffers from the dynamic backlighting which still fluctuates a little even when you try to turn it off, leading to slight overexposure of the lightest parts of the screen.  It's hard to understand why Sharp insists on leaving it on when the TV already has a contrast ratio of 5000:1, a more than satisfactory result when most of its competitors are stuck at 3000:1.

The 100 Hz AquoMotion interpolation filter does a good job with films, and by setting the 'Advanced ending' to low and the 'film' mode to standard, ghosting and flickering are all but removed without a negative impact on the picture quality.

Watching a HD film on such a huge screen is a real treat.  Upscaled SD content is a little less sharp, as is so often the case.  A recent games console or a DVD player will do a better job at upcaling and send the TV an 1080p signal directly.

Clouding


Alas, the LC-60LE6356E is not immune to clouding.  Light leaks onto the edges of the screen, and can be annoying if you're watching a film in the dark.  If you have a lamp on somewhere in the room, you can't spot it.

Audio Quality

Given the space occupied by the speakers, we were expecting much better sound quality, but we ended up disappointed.  There's little sign of the bass, and the treble is missing too.  A 5.1 speaker system or a sound bar are a wise investment if you want to enjoy a film.

Energy Consumption

There's no use hiding it: we were very impressed by the energy consumption of this TV.  Despite the huge size, it only needed 100 W while switched on, which works out at 101 W/m².  Standby is equally economical with less than 1 W.
4/5 Sharp Aquos LC-60LE636E DigitalVersus 2011-12-04 19:22:00

Pros

  • Excellent contrast ratio and deep blacks: 4900:1 and 0.03 cd/m²
  • Excellent responsiveness: average ghosting time of 8.5 ms
  • Decent colour reproduction: average deltaE: 3.9
  • Semi-glossy panel keeps most reflections in check
  • Low energy consumption: 100 W

Cons

  • Some slight clouding on the unit we tested
  • Media player doesn't support many container formats
  • Mediocre remote

Conclusion

The Sharp LC-60LE636E is a good giant TV. It will be a big hit with most viewers, but real Home Cinema fans will probably prefer a plasma TV to avoid problems like clouding, an uneven performance across the whole surface of the screen and slightly disappointing viewing angles.

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