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Sharp LC-52D65U Review

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Description: Full HD 1080p 60Hz 52" Diagonal LCD TV
Resolution: 1920 X 1080
Power Consumption: 285W
Reviewer: Jack Burden
Date: April 2009

Test and Optimum Viewing Distance: 14 feet

Up conversion from 480i and 480p: The Sharp has stellar processing in some cases. Horizontal and Vertical line information was displayed with no dithering in our HQV Film Resolution Loss Test. The processing was better than even many very high end TVs and one of the only units testing that did not exhibit strobing during this test in at least one of the test boxes.

Up conversion from a 480i signal was solid but the picture went a little soft. With a common 2:35:1 DVD one needs to use the Zoom aspect ratio feature which weakens definition in the picture even more.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
The blinds in the background in this scene from Step Mom displayed with no dithering movement and artifacts. This is an impressive result verifying excellent internal processing boards.

720p/1080i/1080p Picture Quality: The HD picture on the LC-52D65U was very defined once we calibrated the unit. There was a certain lack of depth as the picture information appeared somewhat flat to me. I believe this was caused in part by an overactive anti-glare screen, which also decreases the appearance of contrast in a brightly lit room. There was also a evident lack of dark shadow detail. Color information appeared natural and not over saturated.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Though the Sharp LC-52D65U wasnt overly bright after calibration these images from The Manchurian Candidate are impressive with vivid detail.

Black Level: Black levels look good front and center but off to the side at 40 degrees blacks begin fading to a dark purplish hue and this effect remains at further angles.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Note the difference in the top and bottom bars from the front and at a 40 degree angle. In the picture at right from this scene from Perfume it's easy to note the dark purple hue creeping into blacks.

Dark Shadow Detail: The LC-52D65U had relatively weak dark shadow detail which would be expected with the deficient contrast ratio we tested. See Calibration measurements and contrast here.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
The LC-52D65U struggled with dark shadow detail as in this scene from The San Fransisco Philarmonic playing in our Dolby Test DVD. Note the lack of detail in darker areas of clothing.

Color Rendition/Color Accuracy: Once calibrated, color information on the LC-52D65U appeared realistic and vibrant.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Sharp LC-52D65U Review
We felt colors were very realistic overall but that flesh tones were slightly washed out as in these two scenes from the HD version of comedy Benchwarmers.

Viewing Angle/Off Axis Viewing: As noted in black level section above, contrast begins to degrade at around 40 degrees on this LCD. Sharp is known for having high quality LCD panels which they manufacture at their own factories, so I was surprised at this result. We suspect it has to do with the anti-glare screen contained on this LCD.

Motion Lag: With fast motion the Sharp performed relatively well for an LCD. In scenes when the camera panned from side to side there was obvious jerkiness as if there camera was hitting bumps along the way. Though this is common with LCD TVs, it is never pleasant. This was also apparent in our HQV Stadium seating test. No moire' pattern appeared but the jerkiness as the camera tracked from one end of the stadium to the other was apparent.

False Contouring/ Mapping: There was some false contouring and mapping apparent in 480i test content. Lack of detail in dark areas also accentuated blotching.

Exceptions: While the anti-glare screen on this LCD does reduce a lot of glare from ambient lighting, it causes contrast and black levels to degrade at early angles.

Features: And I quote from the manual, "When using the remote control unit, point it at the TV." Despite inclusion of this comment for the vapid, the manual is clear and concise. This is not the high end Sharp with the latest and greatest features such as 120Hz processing (this unit has 60Hz processing) but it does have a fast response time for an LCD reducing motion lag in fast moving objects. It also has some interesting features such as a Monochrome setting for black and white content, and a difficult to use color management system. It also has an unusual picture Freeze feature.

Audio Output: The Sharp had good voluminous sound and relatively crisp compared to most inbuilt speakers. It had good pop in the high and mid ranges as we could even discern fret buzz during replay of our Dave Matthews Dolby Digital test DVD. The bass however was weak even with the bass enhancer feature cranked all the way to 10. Overall though I thought the audio performance for TV speakers was excellent.

Video Aspect Ratio Sizing: With most inputs there are 4 options S. Stretch, Zoom, Side Bar, Stretch. You will want to use the Zoom setting for 2:35:1 DVDs. With HDMI input signals there is the addition of Dot by Dot and Full Screen options. The Sharp manual gives excellent instruction about which setting to use with varying content.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review
Using the Zoom setting while viewing the 2:35:1 480i DVD Step Mom rendered images a little soft as in this picture of the horse farm. Notice the blurry edges around the horses.

Inputs: As with most all TVs these days the Sharp has plenty of inputs. There are 5 HDMI inputs with one of these housed conveniently on the side of the TV. There is also a USB port placed there which allows the user to quickly load and view pictures or other content. To see the full input options for the LC-52D65U click here.

Aesthetic Considerations: The Sharp LC-52D65U scores very well in this category with nice clean lines and small non-distracting bezel. There is a thin gray metal speaker grill strip accented in the bottom of the unit. We measure the depth at an impressively sleek 3.8" making this TV ideal to wall mount.

Sharp LC-52D65U Review

Remote Control/Menu Functionality: There is a convenient set of controls placed on the side of the TV, out of view, but easily accessible should you misplace your remote control or need this option for a trade show. The accompanying manual gives clear instruction.

Price/Quality Considerations: At a $1449 average price the Sharp LC-52D65U delivers a big value for a 52" LCD. Picture performance is slightly above average in the crowded LCD TV market while aesthetically the Sharp has a big advantage. Compared with the Samsung LN52A550 the sharp is priced very competitively, about $400 less. The Sony 52XBR6 is priced well out this category and the Sony 52V4100 is of less quality and still about $250 more than this LCD.

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Rating scale from 70 (denoting poorest quality) to 100 (signifying the very best quality). A rating in the 60s for any particular category of a product review indicates a serious defect which causes the product not to operate properly. Picture quality is double-weighted in the Overall Rating Score calculation.

Review Equipment Used: Sony Blu Ray BDP-S1 High Definition DVD player, Sony Playstation 3, Sony DVP-S50 DVD player, Sencore Color Pro 5000, Sencore Auto Cal Pro, Sencore signal generator.

This review format and all of the headings, sub headings and paragraph titles are part of a copyrighted process. Any unauthorized reproduction or use, either in full or in part, of this product review format is expressly prohibited.

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