importing a sharp LC70LE735U from the US

hagaisela

Novice Member
Hi,
I am thinking about buying a sharp LC70LE735U. I live in Israel and it costs about 6000$ here. Buying it in the US and importing it here will save me about 2500$.
The big problem is the whole PAL / NTSC issue (there is also an issue with the 110 and 220 volts but that can be solved using a transformator). I emailed sharp about it and they said that PAL is only supported in the composite inputs.
I have a feeling that they are not telling me the truth and that the TV supports PAL in all inputs. Does anybody know if this is correct?
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
Support for PAL and just as importantly 50Hz inputs (does Israel use 50Hz, I'm assuming they do if they use PAL) is practically non existant on US TVs which expect 60Hz feeds even for HD by HDMI (NTSC for SD etc) plus the tuners are a different system too and won't work etc. It is there sometimes though if you can confirm it with absolute certainty and realise it will be a costly mistake if you find out to the contrary after youve bought ti.

General advice is don't do it. It might look cheaper but by the time you factor in all the things that don't work it usually is just not worth it.
 

hagaisela

Novice Member
Thanks.
What if I use an hdmi converter like the Atlona AT-HD560? does it lower the picture quality in any way?
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
If you accept the TV is effectively going to be a monitor only (no tuners) and will probaly only accept 24Hz or 60Hz inputs (it probably won't accept PAL colour signals or 50Hz feeds on any input). Then anything PAL or 50Hz you are going to have to feed through a converter. The problem is the converter (certainly the better ones) aren't cheap and the results are not always particularly desirable. 50 doesn't convert to 60 simply, you either drop frames or do a lot of fancy interpolation to generate new frames which can casue all sorts of artifacts and image judder.

Also have you checked the cost of the size of voltage converter you're going to need. A screen of this size is going to soak up some serious wattage and a step down transformer of that kind of power is not cheap.

Seriously DON'T do it, you will almost certainly regret it, plus warranty cover will almost certainly be an issue and have you allowed for both shipping costs, again a screen of this size is immensely heavy and bulky with packaging and will cost a ton to ship and insure against damage which is a big factor for something as potentially fragile as a TV screen plus there maybe import charges which you should allow for in working out the costs. Once you take accout of all the extra costs which you don't see simply looking at the retail price it often is not actually cheaper either.

I have a number of import bits of kit, several European, US and Japanese running in the UK, and they are all things that simply were not available domestically, so importing was the only option. Given the costs/compatibility issues I would unfortunately generally never recommend importing when there is a domestic version especially for TVs as it's a nightmare that almost always goes wrong.
 

hagaisela

Novice Member
Thanks for the details.
Is there any chance what so ever that they sell the same tv in europe and in the us or that I can hack a US to work in PAL using a different firmware or something like that?
 

AndyCob

Well-known Member
The UK/European models are almost always a modification of the US model to add PAL/50Hz/Scart inputs etc. The result is the UK/Euro stuff almost always supports 24,50,60, PAL, NTSC etc, apart from those countries using SECAM where it's sometimes SECAM only but often PAL, NTSC & SECAM for SD.

US kit is almost always 60Hz and NTSC for SD only. There is almost no call in the US for 50Hz support. It is present very rarely where manufacturers have made 'worldwide' units that require minimum tweaking for individual markets. Unless you can confirm absolutely that the the particular US model you are looking at has 50Hz support, most unlikely but not impossible, and I wouldn't take someones word for it, I wouldn't accept anything less than a writen confirmation in some sort of product documentation you are almost certainly out of luck. There would be almost no chance whatsoever of modifying or hacking the set.

Have you actually worked out the true cost of the import.

Purchase price
+ Shipping and insurance, given wieght size, i'm guessing $500-1000+
+ customs/import charges, do you pay thes in Israel, in the UK that would add 30-35% to the cost and that's added to the cost including shipping, so that's +$1000-1500+
+ step down trasnformer $500+
+ video processor anything from $300-$2500+ depending on qaulity.

Suddenly your import TV now actually costs you $1000-3000+ more than the local one and you have lost a lot of functionality and a warranty in the process.

Its' NOT a good idea.
 

hagaisela

Novice Member
I have worked out the actual cost:
We have special companies that handle shipping of US products here. One of them charges only 200$ for this tv.
customs and VAT are 34%.
I don't know what transformer you are talking about, but the shipping company recommends one that costs about 100$ including shipping and VAT.
The atlona video processor I talked about is on sale on tigerdirect for 150$.
total added cost for a 3000$ TV - 1450$. In Israel it costs 6600$.

I downloaded the TV manual here:
http://files.sharpusa.com/Downloads/ForHome/HomeEntertainment/LCDTVs/Manuals/tel_man_LC70LE735U.pdf

It says it supports the pal-n and pal-m on the composite inputs. nothing about 50hz.
Again, I find it strange that the TV they sell here has exactly the same spec as the american one (no scart inputs) I talked to one of the importers and he said they bring it from the same factory in mexico.
 

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