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Sharp Aquos 30" LCD screen: my review

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Fingolfin, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin
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    Hello everyone!
    On Friday I've finally got my first LCD screen so I thought I would post a mini review and share my impressions and thoughts about it with you hoping it'll be interesting.

    I had the change to see it in action at a local shop and between the Samsung 29" and the Philips it seemed the one with the best picture and wider viewing angle. The guy at the shop was saying the Philips was so great but looking it from a left angle (not 180°!!) the picture appeared all white.

    So I brought back home the "baby" and set it up. :)
    I must say at first one can think the external a/v box might seem not so convenient 'cause it's another "box" to find some room for but on the other hand it hides all the cables that would have gone directly to the tv like SCART etc...so you get just 2 small cables plus the small power supply cable to the tv, giving it a neat look.
    The a/v box offers a great deal of connections. Composite/s-video/component/vga/scart as well as an s-video and audio output. The box looks very well made and sturdy even if the front sockets might be not so good if one has to keep it in a place where anyone could see it.
    I'm gonna keep it in a hidden place so there's no prob with me.
    The TV itself is very beautiful looking and I really love its clean and stylish design. On the back there's a panel that covers the connectors and two fans (which are very quiet btw).
    The speakers are nice but quite big for my room so I decided to remove them.
    I turn on the tv and I'm amazed by the huge amounts of settings.
    Especially for picture quality you can adjust each colour singularly as well as the usual brightness, contrast, sharpness etc...
    You can also adjust colour temp and black level, dnr, film mode (which should be equivalent to set progressive mode on) and choose between interlaced or progressive mode.
    As for audio you can choose to enable the SRS mode and Focus mode for a virtual surround experience.
    There is also a whole bunch of controls for screen size setting as well as power mode which can be set in different ways to save the lamp and power. There is even a special light sensor that adjust the lamp power depending on the light in the ambient.
    This way you can save up lamplife.
    Other controls are for tv channel settings and sources. There is even a cold climate function that should improve pq for temps under 15°C.

    Impressions:
    I must say at first I had to get used to the different kind of picture this kind of screen can delivered when compared to a CRT tv. When you feed it with aerial signal the result is not so impressive. When instead you pass to signal from sat receiver fed via Scart in RGB mode the situation changes and you can enjoy detailed picture with good colours and nice definition.
    Also, it's nice to see how the geometry is perfect compared to a 16:9 CRT tv.
    I tried then to connect my Denon 2200 via S-Video cable.
    Here it's where the Sharp gives its best!!!! Picture quality is so sharp and detailed that I was blown away!!! :eek: (and I'm used to an LCD videoprojector pic quality) Colours are vibrant but not smearing and there is no sign of chroma/luma misalignment like I have on my Panny 300 when in interlaced mode.
    Blacks are good but obviously not as good as my old CRT tv.
    Here is where I'm not so satisfied 'cause when I saw the tv there was light in the shop so at first I didn't notice this but I kind of expected being this a limit of the LCD technology. From what I read the Sharp is the best one as far as black level is concerned since it's got an exclusive kind of panel that enhances black level.
    This is just my first impression tho with the screen just out of the box. I'm waiting for DVE DVD to set everything up properly and I'm sure things will improve significantly!
    I tested it with another dvd i have and it showed really good results for colours, geometry etc...
    I tested it also with the infamous "Hulk effect" I get with my Panny 300 in interlaced mode and there is no trace of it thankfully.
    I connected it also to my PC via VGA cable and it's great too with a lot of settings especially for this kind of connection.
    I tried it also with my Playstation 2 and via S-video is great to play games with quite a big screen and great pq!
    For last I tried to see pictures from a flashcard connected into my Panny DVD recorder connected via Scart RGB to my tv. Again I was blown away from the picture quality that showed amazing colours, sharpness and definition.

    Conclusion:
    Concluding, I can say I am very happy with my purchase even if every now and then I think if plasma screens are better than lcd's.
    Seems as if this dilemma is too hard so for now I can just be happy for what I could get. Do you think I made the right choice?
    I'll have to find a way to connect my tv to the dvd player via component cable. My dvd player has component output but i need it for the videoprojector too. I've read it's possible to buy just cheapy rca stereo splitters and solve the things. What do you suggest?
    Also I need to know how I can connect a pair of speakers to the audio output to get some sound from the tv if I can't be bothered to turn on the amp. Are there some speakers around I could just that are not amplified? Other ideas how I could solve this!?

    Anyway! I guess it's everything for now!
    Feel free to ask me if you want to know anything about this tv!

    Cheers.
    F.
     
  2. iandrews

    iandrews
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    Hi,

    I've had my Sharp Aquos 30" LCD screen for about 3 weeks now, and am very pleased with it, however I connected up my Laptop to it for the first time last night, and because I was sat close to the screen, and a mostly white screen was showing I noticed 2 dead pixels :( :(. Both of them are in the bottom right of the screen, one is bright red while the other is dull green. I switched back to TV viewing and moved further away from the screen, the red one was quite noticeable most of the time until just before my normal seating position.
    Does anyone know what Sharps policy regarding dead pixels is. All it says in the manual is that there are over 2 million of the things, and sometimes some fail leaving a red, green, or blue spot but it doesn't effect viewing.

    I know I can't see it at normal distance but I'm annoyed that it's there, and on something I have paid a lot of money for, and while I was watching TV last night my eyes kept wondering to the bottom right to check that I could/couldn't see the red one.

    Ian.
     
  3. loonatic

    loonatic
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    I have the 30" Sony LCD and much prefer it's image over that of plasma's. It seems more natural to me...more like my old CRT. This may also be down to size as well I guess.

    Have either of you noticed any image lag ? I have only really seen this as a problem when viewing fast moving sports such as football. It does not bother me in the slightest as I hate football and have not seen any sign of it when whatching normal TV shows or movies and DVD playback is grreat.

    As for your dead pixels I think you'll find that Sharp would deem your unit to be within spec. They usually have a policy whereby you need quite a few dead pixels within a certain area for it to be replaced...plus you've had it for a couple of weeks also - if you complained to your retailer the day you got it that would have been better I guess.

    Cheers, Lee
     
  4. iandrews

    iandrews
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    Lee,

    The only real image lag I have seen is like you on football. Mostly noticeable when they have a close up of a player who is moving with the crowd behind them. The crowd can look quite blurred, but this also may be due to the Sky picture quality.

    I have watched a couple of DVD's and bits of others with fast action in them and have to say I haven't noticed any lag at all.

    As to the pixels, I'm sure the screen is in spec, but it's just annoying, especially the red one.

    Ian.
     
  5. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin
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    hello!
    Ian: I know it's sad when pixels die or get stuck. I asked my dealer when I've got my TV and he said Sharp allows up to 4 dead/stuck pixels. If you have 5 you get it replaced/fixed.
    It also depends on the position...if they're right in the centre I guess it would only take 2 but I'm not so sure about that.
    They are very annoying indeed. I've noticed I'm using tv so much less since I've got this one not to "consume it". I'll have to change my attitude though!
    I've got 2 stuck ones on my 17" Acer LCD the very same day I've got it! I even had tested it at the shop before buying it and it was perfect! Like you, for days I would always go and see in that point but right now after almost a year I don't even notice them anymore. I guess dead pixels is something we all have to be ready to face when we choose LCD screens. I've heard though, correct me if I'm wrong, that plasma screens can get dead/stuck pixels too right?
    Yesterday I've connected the screen with the Denon 2200 in component/progressive mode and played Shrek. I was amazed and agape by the beautifulness of the picture!!!
    How have you connected your devices to the Sharp?
    I have DVD now via component
    DVD recorder via RGB Scart
    Ps2 via s-video
    PC via VGA.
    I guess I'll need a component router 'cause I also need component connection for my Panny 300.
    I've noticed that the signal via component progressive was 580p...shouldn't it be 625p??
    Apart from that, since you own already the screen do you have any other tip on how to adjust picture or other settings in general?

    Cheers!
    F.
     
  6. LV426

    LV426
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    It's pretty rare for pixels to fail during use. Those that do either do so within a few hours only, or were actually there from the start (but went unnoticed).

    So, if you don't have any, it will almost certainly stay that way.

    The big difference with failed pixels on Plasma vs. LCD is that the natural (undriven) state of a Plasma pixel is dark. Whereas the natural state of an LCD pixel is light. So a failed pixel on a plasma is much more likely to be dark. And dark pixels are rarely noticeable, whereas bright ones most certainly are obvious.
     
  7. iandrews

    iandrews
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    My kit is connected up as follows:

    SKY - RGB Scart - AV1
    Video - Scart - AV2
    DVD (Pioneer 717) - RGB Scart - AV3

    I got Thor scart leads (about £16 each) after hearing about them on here.

    I'm still trying to find info on setting up the screen as well, there is a thread at the moment that is on about set-up disks and I have seen them on Play.com, but only NTSC not PAL.

    Ian.
     
  8. Fingolfin

    Fingolfin
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    Nigel: thanks for your precious info again!!! Thanks to you I have decided to get an LCD! So thank you again!
    What you say about dead pixels is good to hear for me! I have decided to get the screen that was exposed at the shop in the end 'cause at least I was sure it didn't have any dead pixels and knew they usually appear on the first day. So if you say it's gonna be this way for good this makes me really happy! Very interesting also your explanation about plasma screens. Thanks!

    Ian: I've ordered Digital Video Essentials PAL from Play.com.
    It should have been released on the 20th of October but got delayed a bit...can't wait to have it to set up everything correctly!
    What do you use as for energy save mode? I tried save 1 and seems pretty good. Auto seems to go a tad too dark.

    Cheers
    F.
     
  9. iandrews

    iandrews
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    I have mine set on Save 1 as well. I set mine to Auto for a while to see what happened but found that it had to get quite dark in the room for it to dim the screen from full brightness. Save 2 was defiantly too dark, and Standard was quite bright, Save 1 seems fine to me either in daylight, or at night with most of the lights off. I did find it a little dark the other day while watching something so I just set the AV mode to Dynamic (I think) which brightened the picture.

    Ian.
     
  10. Techromancer

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    I believe that stuck pixels, unlike dead pixels, can be fixed via a firmware reset. I'm not yet sure how to do this... the guy at the store tells me that their techies have to do it using very proprietary software from Sharp, but not sure if he was just saying that to sell me the extended warranty. Hope that helps. I just bought the 37" Aquos w. 1080p input. :thumbsup:
     

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