updated 12:00 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2011
Sharp Elite TVs pack intelligent contrast, refresh
Sharp took advantage of its rights to Pioneer's Elite name by launching its own range of Elite TVs. Now using LCDs, the 60-inch Pro-60X5FD and 70-inch Pro-70X5FD both have a unique scanning backlight effect that goes beyond 240Hz; the company claims an equivalent to about 720Hz. Both have an Intelligent Variable Contrast system that purportedly goes beyond usual dynamic contrast to tune the brightness and the backlight for maximum effect.
Support is also a unique touch: the Internet access can be used by special agents to setup or make basic picture calibration online instead of an expensive home visit.
All of the current setts have Sharp's signature Quattron panel, which adds a yellow sub-pixel that should help improve the overall accuracy. The Elites have a true LED backlight with diffusing and local dimming to both produce a more even lighting and improve the contrast in dark scenes. As with other sets in the class, it supports active shutter 3D as well as Internet apps like CinemaNow, Netflix, Vudu, and YouTube.
The new Elites will be available before the end of the month in higher-end stores and custom installers. Prices will start off at $6,000 for the 60-inch Pro and move to $8,500 for the 70-inch version.