Sharp LC40LE831E 3D LED LCD TV Review

2D Calibration

Before calibration, we did our usual “pre-flight checks” and configured the Sharp LC40LE831E in a way which gave it the best chance of producing an untampered-with picture. We do this with each review, remembering that the majority of users will probably not calibrate the HDTV (or pay someone else to), so it’s important for us to figure out what the best picture quality that will be available at no additional expense to these readers. We selected the Movie mode, used the TV’s aspect ratio control to select “Dot by Dot” (to disable overscan with a Full HD 1080 input), and disabled the auto contrast and noise reduction systems. We then took these measurements from the Sharp LC40LE831:

Note: Our Sharp LC-40LE831E review sample was calibrated using Calman Professional, the industry-leading video calibration software.

2D Mode Greyscale

Pre-calibration RGB Tracking
Pre-calibration RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs)

In this configuration, we could still detect an excess of blue making up the greyscale shades in the image, and this was apparent in the measured data. With actual content, this had the effect of making the all-important flesh tones appear a little misty. We’re not sure if this is deliberate or not – some TV manufacturers often intentionally emphasise blue in this way to make the picture seem superficially brighter (at the expense of colour reproduction).

Post-calibration RGB Tracking in [Movie] mode
Post-calibration RGB tracking and dEs in [Movie] mode

Unsurprisingly for a television with a 10-point Greyscale calibration control, we achieved near-perfection in this area. We adjusted all 10 measurement points, and once we were finished, we double-checked the result with a smooth black-to-white gradient test pattern, and were pleased to see that there were no unwanted colour tints appearing inbetween the intervals we adjusted. This is as perfect a result as we could hope for, so well done to Sharp.

Gamma curve in [Movie] mode Gamma tracking in [Movie] mode
Gamma curve in [Movie] mode Corresponding gamma tracking

There were also no huge gamma tracking errors – in other words, the amount of lightness being put out by the screen was correct relative to the amount of lightness specified in the video signal. Shadow details appeared a little on the dark side (notice the slight bump upwards at the 10% stimulus section on the rightmost chart), although we could perhaps have improved this if we had sacrificed a little bit of Greyscale mixing quality (and put up with slight colour tints in the shadows) during that part of the calibration. This is a very good result.

2D Mode Colour

Pre-calibrated colour using the Movie mode was fairly good, with only slight exaggeration of saturation to green and yellow primaries (although the latter was nothing near as extreme as the non-correctable yellow over-cranking present on last year’s Quattron display). Some colours were too bright (excessive luminance), which was actually a relief compared to the last Quattron LED LCD TV we reviewed, which, even after calibration, could never produce very bright greens, cyans, and, ironically, yellows (although it did produce a highly saturated yellow, which is something different).

Post-calibration CIE chart in [Movie] mode
Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to HD Rec.709

Although we couldn’t always achieve perfect saturation or hue, things appeared to align perfectly with Sharp’s 2011 attempt. Test patterns appeared correct, and accordingly, so did our measurements. However, we found that the story with real-world content was a little different… read on and find out why in the “High Definition” section.

Post-calibration Luminance levels in [Movie] mode
Post-calibration colour luminance (coloured bars = targets; black bars = measured values)

Using a combination of the Saturation and “Value” adjustments, we managed to achieve measured perfection in terms of colour luminance on the Sharp LC40LE831E.

3D Calibration

3D Mode Greyscale

3D Pre-calibration RGB Tracking
3D Pre-calibration RGB tracking and delta errors (dEs)

Even using the “MOVIE-3D” mode, we found that pre-calibrated 3D images from the Sharp LC-40LE831E had a visible excess of blue. Fortunately, it was fairly consistent: an excess of blue from dark to bright is easier to ignore than multi-coloured tints at different brightness levels.

Fortunately, the 10-point Greyscale control is also available in 3D mode (Samsung, for example, hasn’t implemented this and leaves us with the more basic 2-point control for 3D calibration). We managed to make an improvement using this, but greater range would have been appreciated (we sometimes had to set the controls to their maximum levels, such was the large excess of blue before calibration).

3D Post-calibration RGB Tracking in [Movie-3D] mode
3D Post-calibration RGB tracking and dEs in [Movie-3D] mode

Unfortunately, we also ran into a bug whereby the 10-point Greyscale control simply stopped working. Our attempts at “un-sticking” the control failed, meaning that we’d probably have had to perform a full factory reset (or more) to finish the job. The above result could surely have been somewhat better if this hadn’t happened, but it’s a big improvement, in any case. We hope this is something that Sharp will look into.

3D Mode Colour

All of the colour management controls are also active in 3D mode, so we made use of them to improve colour for extra-dimensional content:

3D Post-calibration CIE chart in [Movie-3D] mode
3D Post-calibration CIE chart with reference to HD Rec.709
3D Post-calibration Luminance levels in [Movie-3D] mode
3D Post-calibration colour luminance (coloured bars = targets; black bars = measured values)

Benchmark Test Results

Dead pixels None
Screen uniformity Good for an LED LCD, corners brighter than middle
Overscanning on HDMI 0% with aspect ratio set to “Dot by Dot”
Blacker than black Passed
Calibrated black level (black screen) 0 cd/m2 (LEDs turn off)
Calibrated black level (ANSI checkerboard) 0.06 cd/m2
Black level retention Stable
Primary chromaticity Measured as excellent; yellows inaccurate with real content
Scaling Excellent
Video mode deinterlacing Very effective jaggies reduction
Film mode deinterlacing Passed 2-2 PAL with [Film Mode] “Standard”
Viewing angle Gamma, greyscale and colour all shift from sides
Motion resolution Around 800 with Scanning Backlight enabled
Digital noise reduction Present, optional, not forced
Sharpness Defeatable edge enhancement
Luma/Chroma bandwidth (2D Blu-ray) Full Luma, Chroma slightly blurred
1080p/24 capability No judder in 2D, 3D judders
Input lag 31ms compared to lag-free CRT
Full 4:4:4 reproduction (PC) Yes, in Game mode

Power Consumption

Default [Normal] mode (2D) 73 watts
Default [Normal] mode (3D) 75 watts
Calibrated [Movie] mode (2D) 73 watts
Calibrated [Movie] mode (3D) 76 watts
Standby 1 watt

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