Sharp LCD TV Review
Model: Sharp LC-46D92U LCD Television
Description:46" diagonal LCD flat screen Television, Widescreen 16:9 Format
Resolution:1920 X 1080 (1080P)
Dimensions with Speakers and Stand:44.18 X 31.23 height X 12.17
Dimensions without Stand but with Speakers:44.18 X 28.87 height X 4.9
Includes: Detachable Speakers and table top stand. 2 HDMI inputs as well as RS232, component and 2 component. 5 device universal backlit remote control
Color: Black lacquer finish all the way even the stand
Reviewer: Robert Wiley
Date: June 2007
Entering the competitive flat panel world in January of 2007, the Sharp LC-46D92U is Sharp's top of the line LCD TV. The D92 series includes only a 46" and a 52" model. This is a gorgeous TV and is a serious upgrade from Sharp's D62 series, which is also a very strong product.
Sharp is as cutting edge as manufacturer's come in the video flat panel (especially LCD) world. They focus attention on LCD products and improving particular (weakness) aspects of LCD products such as response rate time, black levels, and viewing angle and the end products show it. Samsung, Sony, and LG are all LCD competitors as well as some burgeoning 2nd tier manufacturers. Sharp is working on the introduction of the worlds largest LCD at 108".
All of Sharp's LCD panels are produced in Japan in a new state of the art factory before the parts are shipped to Mexico for final assembly.
The first input signal I tested with this magnificent 1080P TV was a lowly 480p signal from a simple old Sony DVD player. After all, not everyone is going to purchase a Blu Ray or HD DVD player right now. I was very impressed by the work the 46D92 did with the up conversion and processing of the signal. There was some slight video noise from 6 feet away – just a little mapping in the shadows and neutral colored background with my trusty City of Angels test DVD. It was virtually undetectable from 10 or 12 feet. I also noticed that the LCD lost some detail in very dark areas in a few scenes but this is common with LCDs. Black levels were very impressive for an LCD – giving a much more cinema like quality to the picture than other LCD brands.
Next I tried my Blu Ray DVD player at full 1080p resolution. Very impressive again, vibrant and spectacular even while watching the 1080p version of The Departed. Just a beautiful picture and as I scrolled through the video format button on the Blu Ray player - changing from 480i to 480p to 720p and on up to 1080i then 1080p. I felt the Sharp was superb at handling the signal conversion from all of these resolutions. If I had one complaint with the performance it is that the colors often seem too saturated even after calibration. The colors really pop, but is the picture real? Surreal seems to fit the description better at times. It’s a common problem for all LCDs in my opinion. The owner of this set will get tremendous color, but at the sacrifice of some realism.
For instance, during The Departed I noticed the over saturation of color in the police uniforms during the graduation ceremony. The counter point to that is that during the close-ups of the faces, every protruding peach fuzz hair can be seen on Matt Damon’s neck. It’s really unbelievable.
Calibration is important with the Sharp LC-46D92 LCD due to the oversaturated colors. You can receive the same results that we did using our Sencore test equipment by following these instructions. The LCD is preset out of the box to the Dynamic preset picture option and this needs to be toned down. The following instructions give you the keys to (close to) D6500K calibration with this Sharp TV:
First press the menu button and scroll to the Advance settings. Adjust the color temp to the low setting (reddish white). This got us closer to grayscale optimum D6500K before starting. Next, turn the OPC feature off. This feature adjusts brightness automatically depending upon room light conditions. Then, back in the normal picture menu scroll down to each of the following and adjust as follows to reach our final calibration setting of D6735K (without going into service menus):
|The Backlight Feature is preset to +16.||Tune the backlight to +5|
|Contrast||Lower to +28|
|Brightness||Lower to –10|
|Color||lower to +3|
|Tint||Lower to –1|
|Sharpness||Lower to –7 (sharpness is particularly important to lower to create a more realistic picture)|
Post calibration, we measured contrast on an ANSI checkerboard pattern at 155 to 1 which is respectable and at the high end for an LCD.
The viewing angle of this LCD TV was very good but certainly not 100% at 170 degrees as advertised. Sure, a viewer can see the picture image from side angles but the picture, as with all LCD TVs, starts to degrade at an off axis angle of around 90 degrees. The viewer will lose a lot of contrast and saturation after that. This is one area in which plasma TVs just have LCD Televisions beat despite improvements by the LCD manufacturers.
On the up side, the natural anti glare technology worked excellent in a brightly lit room. The backlighting for the Sharp D92U LCD is adjustable to room light conditions. However, we recommend that you turn off the OPC setting (in the picture menu) which automatically adjusts the backlight of the LCD to match room light conditions.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: 92/100
Are neat aspect ratio adjustments and options with the Sharp LC-46D92U and the LCD did a great job of scaling and processing to the optional sizes. The options are Side Bar- for 4:3 content, S. Stretch allows for some vertical stretch but very well done, Zoom which fills the entire screen while cutting off some of the sides, and Stretch which gives a great natural looking picture. There is also a Dot by Dot or Full Screen option depending upon the input signal.
The backlit remote control is limited to 5 devices for universal use. There is a full array of input options including 3 HDMI inputs and a DVI input (nice to have both).
The 46D92 has a "fast motion advanced" setting which purportedly increases response rate time for fast moving images. Keep this option in OFF position, as it will introduce false edges and video noise.
The LCD comes with a detachable (actually it is shipped unattached in the box) bottom speaker. It’s always a positive attribute to have a detachable speaker so that you can use that new sound system! Assembly of the stand and speaker were not as easy as some. The LCD must be lowered onto the stand.
The LC-46D92 comes with several alterable preset picture modes in addition to a user mode. The preset modes are standard, movie, game, PC, and dynamic. Scrolling through the input selections in search of your source signal can be painful and annoying. The user must use the input button in conjunction to the up/down arrow keys to perform this everyday function. As well,the input button is poorly placed on the remote - not close to the arrow keys. The input selection feature will not win any ease-of-use awards. It's a real flaw so a few points must be deducted in this section for these shortcomings.
The speakers on the Sharp LC-46D92U are 15W X 2. Power consumption is listed at 287W (at what settings we do not know). The LCD weighs 65 pounds.
Aesthetically, there is not much room to improve on this LCD television. It’s urishi black gloss finish is just gorgeous. The bottom-mounted speaker is so slim (about an inch an a half) it is hardly visible. The included stand is also top dollar with matching gloss black finish. Whether in a home theater or living room – this is a piece of functional art.
In summary, the Sharp LC-46D92U produces a great but at times oversaturated picture and is especially strong in converting lower end DVD signals to its native resolution. Black levels are excellent for and LCD - the best I have seen. There was little video noise and just slight mapping problems from just 6 feet away when upconverting a 480p DVD signal. From a normal viewing distance of 12 feet or more there are no discernible artifacts. As well, the algorithmic interpolation to "stretch" 4:3 images to full screen size is done superbly. High definition sources can look over saturated, but this LCD television is a processing workhorse. The unit has a few weaknesses as mentioned above but nothing too extreme.
This LCD TV competes with very few. The top end Sony Bravia XBR LCD televisions are about the only close LCD competition. Perhaps the best competition is found in Pioneer or Panasonic plasma. LCD’s are still priced at a premium over plasma in the larger sizes, so a few value points get deducted there. Current prices are around $3000 for the 46D92.
In my opinion 1080p doesn’t get you much over 1080i. 1080p is not a value proposition right now. It’s the up sell. After viewing both signals quite extensively I must say that the margin of difference is slight and hardly noticeable. It’s for this reason that I can’t give the Sharp LC-46D92 a great value rating – not because it’s not a very advanced TV.
OVERALL RATING (WITH PICTURE DOUBLE-WEIGHTED): 90.25/100*
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.