The Sharp Aquos LC-60LE650U dispels the notion that buying an inexpensive big-screen HDTV means settling for a stingy feature set. For $1,499.99 (list) you get a well-designed 60-inch edge-lit LED TV with a 120Hz refresh rate, built-in Wi-Fi, and a very generous catalog of Web apps. Skewed color accuracy and narrow viewing angles are part of the deal, but this set still represents a good value for the price.
Design and Features
A nice looking HDTV, the LC-60LE650U uses thin (0.8-inch) glossy black top and side bezels and a 1-inch bottom bezel in a black textured finish. Below the bottom bezel is a thin panel containing remote and ambient light sensors and Sharp’s illuminated upside-down ‘V’ logo.
The cabinet is a little more than 3 inches thick, and weighs 55 pounds. It can be mounted on a wall or you can use the included black rectangular stand, which is sturdy but doesn’t let you swivel the set. Power, Volume Up/Down, Channel Up/Down, Menu, and Input buttons are mounted on the lower left side of the cabinet. A pair of front-facing 10-watt speakers sit below the screen; they’re sufficiently loud and full-sounding, and deliver a decent virtual surround sound effect.
At the rear of the cabinet, facing left, are four HDMI ports, one USB port, and one 3.5mm audio output. Outward facing ports include a VGA port, one set of component A/V jacks, two sets of composite A/V jacks, and a 15-pin RS-232 serial port, while a secondary USB port, a LAN port, an antenna/cable connector, and two audio ports (digital-out and analog-in) all face downward. The LC-60LE650U integrates 802.11n Wi-Fi.
The included 9.5-inch remote has 54 buttons and four arrow keys. None of the buttons are backlit, but there is a dedicated Netflix button along with a Smart Central button that opens a Favorites bar along the bottom of the screen that you can populate with frequently used apps. The bar also gives you access to a Web browser and popular video services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, CinemaNow, Vudu, and YouTube. It also includes music and social networking services like Pandora, Rhapsody, Flickr, Picasa, and Skype, along with hundreds of Vudu apps including a Facebook app. The set also supports mobile device integration, with both Android and iOS versions of Sharp’s Sharp Beam app that lets you stream photos, videos, and music to the HDTV.
The LC-60LE650U offers seven AV modes (picture presets) including Standard, Movie, Game, User, Dynamic, Dynamic (fixed), and Auto. The Dynamic (fixed) setting restores everything to a factory default setting and cannot be tweaked, while Auto optimizes the picture according to ambient light and image signal.
Basic picture settings include Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, and Sharpness, and there are several advanced settings including C.M.S. (Color Management System) settings for Hue, Saturation, and Value. You can fine-tune the white point in the advanced Color Temperature menu, plus adjust gamma levels and enable or disable Film Mode and Noise Reduction options when needed.
The LC60LE650′s 1,920-by-1,080 panel delivers a generally good picture, but colors are a oversaturated out of the box. After basic dark room calibration, the CIE chromaticity chart below shows red and blue landing just outside their corresponding boxes (inside the box is ideal, according to CIE standards) while green is off by a significant margin. As a result, there is a slight green cast in highlight details; for example, in Piranha on Blu-ray, Elizabeth Shue’s blond hair has a subtle green tinge to it. The hot greens aren’t saturated to the point where they affect skin tones, however.
The panel produced a decent peak brightness reading of 333.89 cd/m2 and a middling black level reading of 0.0719 cd/m2, as measured with a Klien K-10A Colorimeter, SpectraCal’s CalMAN 5 software, and images from the DisplayMate HDTV diagnostic tests. The corresponding contrast ratio of 4,643:1 is relatively low when compared to more expensive sets like Toshiba’s 55L7200U (17,290:1) but is pretty much in line with, but brighter than, budget sets like Vizio’s E601I-A3 (5,017:1).
Off-axis viewing could be better; greens shifted to a slight brownish-green when viewed from an extreme side angle (around 75 degrees from dead center) and the image lost some of its pop, but the picture is still watchable. In my tests, image detail was sharp with only a minor loss of shadow detail in Piranha’s dark underwater scenes.
The LC-60LE650U used 146 watts of power with power saving disabled. In Standard power-saving mode it used 114 watts and maintained good luminance levels, while the Advanced power saving mode drew only 47 watts but made the picture way too dark. These numbers are comparable to the 60-inch LED Vizio E601I-A3 (118 watts), but pale in comparison to the 55-inch LED LG 55LM6700 (67 watts).
All things considered, the Sharp Aquos LC-60LE650U is a good deal, just not a spectacular one. On the one hand you get a big 60-inch screen, lots of features, and a bright, sharp picture, all at an affordable price. On the other hand, out-of-the-box color accuracy is off and you can expect some color shifting when sitting off to the side. If you can part with another $250 or so, our Editors Choice midrange large-screen set, the Vizio M3D651SV gets you a bigger screen (65 inches), a much wider viewing angle, and a solid feature set, including passive 3D and four sets of glasses.
|Video Inputs||Component, Composite, HDMI, USB|
|Diagonal Screen Size||60 inches|
|Pixel Refresh Rate Speed||120Hz|
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc