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Pretty Good Basic TV, but has lots of limitations for AV enthusiasts. Does not work well with Harmony Universal Remotes.
on July 7, 2014
My review is about the 48" version. This is an Objective review of the capabilities of this TV as per my observations - some will find it useful while others who are "pro sharp" may not completely agree.
Its a decent TV, specially for the low price. I bought this TV from BB Retail Store, using a 10% off coupon from the Movers Package at my local post office, thus making this even more of a Bargain. After some basic settings, I was able to get a decent picture. I was fine to buy a non smart TV, since i have multiple streaming devices and did not see a need to pay extra money for those - all i cared was to get a TV which would be good as a "TV".
Even though the picture was fine, and my expectations were in line with the low price tag regarding the features - there were some shortcomings in this TV which i tried hard to ignore but eventually I got frustrated and returned the TV after 14 days of ownership. Instead I picked up a Sony 48W590B and the difference is huge (though I ended up paying $150 more to get that TV)
Here are some of my observations about the Sharp:
The Black Levels were fine (though not spectacular) and the colors look natural after a little tweaking - very much in line with what i expected for the price I paid. For a normal everyday consumer, the black levels are adequate to good, specially in a normally lit room. (Remember, the perception of black (level) will vary depending on the ambient light level of the room)
The TV is thin and light which is a good thing in my book.
Another outstanding feature is that this is a full array back lit TV, not edge lit. and sports 3 HDMI inputs, which again, at this price point is good. Its not a smart TV, but I think a "TV needs to be good, before it tries to be smart " :P
Now the bad (and source of my frustration) - I have multiple devices and TVs/Projecters/Home Theater Equipment, so I prefer to use Harmony Universal remotes for all my setups - Unfortunately, the Harmony database does not have this model in their database and hence one has to work around by inputting a different model which enables basic functionality to control the TV. I had to input the model # of the 39" version of this TV and then Harmony database suggested an alternate, which seemed to work with this TV, although it was very limited. I spend a lot of time online researching the forums to see if anyone else had reported a similar problem - and I was surprised to see that nearly everyone who owned a Sharp TV and a Harmony remote (including the earlier models from Sharp) had a lot of problem. Sharp, for some reason does not have discreet codes for various functions, like to turn the TV "ON" or "OFF" or a discreet code for each of the inputs - it instead relies on "cycling through" various inputs until the desired input is reached. For those who understand what all this means will figure out that no Universal remote will be able to completely control this TV, specially as a "Function". For example, If I have a function on my remote to "Watch DVD" then the remote turns on the tv (though in Sharp's case, if the TV is already on, it gets turned off, since there is no discreet code for turning the TV "ON"), then turn on the DVD player and last, set the right input on the TV (to which the DVD player is connected). Unfortunately, the remote is not able to set the TV to the right input, since again, there is no discreet code for each input - it tries to cycle through, but not knowing which input the TV currently is at, it cannot accomplish this successfully. It was pretty frustrating ! IF you are a multiple remote kind of person, you will be just fine.
The other not so great feature is the placement of the rear inputs - even when the TV is on the stand (not wall mounted) its a fight to get the cables connected to their respective inputs.
Since this is not a smart TV, it does not connect to the internet, and hence does not connect to any smart phone etc, if you wanted to play back your kids videos/photos on the TV directly from the phone.
Eventually i returned this TV and picked up a Sony W590B at a slightly higher cost - it has worked out perfectly for all my needs - including optical sound output, 4 HDMI inputs and a dedicated headphones jack (3.5mm) which can be set as external speaker jack, headphone jack or dedicated subwoofer output via the sound menu. (I use it as a headphones out and have connected a small bluetooth transmitter so I can use my bluetooth wireless headphones for night viewing while madam is asleep)
Again, this is a great TV for the non techie types, specially for older regular folks who want a good basic TV at a decent price point and they will be happy for years to come - but if you are an AV enthusiast walk away if you want to avoid buyers remorse.
Feel free to ask any questions you may have, and I will try my best to answer from memory.
EDIT Feb 20, 2015 : Some people, in their comments to this review have mentioned that Now, Harmony has this TV model in their database - so I stand corrected on that aspect - However, I still don't believe that the "Discreet ON/OFF" code exists till date - and since I have already returned the TV and do not own it - I cannot confirm that fact. If you don't own an "Activity Remote", you can disregard my review.