Sharp’s new 70 inch Aquos Quattron 3D TV isn’t the biggest 3D TV out there, but it’s the biggest one from Sharp. They’ve been making flat screens since the dawn of time, and here’s my hands-on… er, eyes-on.
3D looked surprisingly good. Frankly, 3D TVs are kind of pointless under a certain size, because if it’s not immersive then there’s really no point. This 70 inch monster has hit the sweet-spot where you can be far enough away so that you won’t see the pixels, but it will still engulf you (in a good way). It’s a full array LED-LCD which means that lighting is pretty consistent and there’s no light leakage around the edges. Playing the first-person shooter KillZone 2 was pretty mind-blowing. It also has built in Wi-Fi and access to a bunch of applications like Netflix, Blockbuster, and even Facebook and the New York Times. It’s also DLNA compliant for attaching more gizmos.
Full disclosure: I don’t like active shutter 3D. Wearing glasses that artificially blink your eyes one at a time back and forth really fast produces significant eye-strain, and this TV is no better than the rest. The other problem with it is that because your eyes are effectively closed half of the time, it makes the image appear darker. Sharp thinks they alleviated that by including a yellow pixel in addition to the RGB, but there wasn’t a noticeable improvement. A lot of details get lost in the shadows, even though the movie I was watching was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (which is pretty un-dark). It claims to be 240Hz, but it accomplishes that by doing the same horrible thing Samsung does with their Auto Motion Plus. Basically, they take 120Hz video and interpolate it. It’s supposed to make it look smoother, but it will take a beautiful cinematic image and make it look like crap video. You can (and should) turn this “feature” off.
It’s a big cool TV, but the active shutter technology is a deal-breaker for me. I just don’t like it. While it produces a good 3D effect, it’s just not as comfortable as passive 3D technology. If you don’t mind it, if you have an extra $4,799 (MSRP) burning a hole in your pocket, and if you want to show those girls who laughed at you in high school how cool you are now, then this will probably do that. Maybe. Or it will just give them 3D headaches.