Sharp LC40E77UN 40-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV - Great Picture

By W. Cose

This review is from: Sharp LC40E77UN 40-Inch 1080p 120Hz LCD HDTV (Electronics)
On the plus side, the Sharp Aquos LC-40E77U 40-inch TV is well packaged with interlocking Styrofoam - in fact, the best I have ever seen for a large LCD TV. The image quality is fabulous: just what should be expected from a 1080p 120Hz HDTV; it is a bit better than the Toshiba 42XV540U 42" 1080p 120hz HDTV. The freeze frame mode is full screen, unlike Sony models that do a tiny freeze frame with another tiny window for the ongoing action. The Sharp's freeze frame is quick with little delay between the button press and the frozen image. This is superior to the slow (as in too late) activation for a Sony. The LC-40E77U is light, about 10 pounds lighter than the "old" Sharp LC-40C37U 37" 720p LCD TV I had intended it to replace.

On the plus and minus side, the screen's antiglare feature is so-so. The inferior antiglare coating means a sharper image (no pun intended). On the other hand, you will not want a light beside or behind you as it will reflect too much on the screen.

The minuses range from minor to deal breaker. The shiny bezel (the frame around the screen) reflects room lighting and is a fingerprint magnet. The channel changing and switching from input to input (or input to channel) is slow: too slow for me at about 3 seconds. If you are a guy and like to channel surf (or are a surfer girl) this is an eternity compared to the 1.5 to 2 seconds for a Toshiba or Sony 120hz LCD TV. It doesn't sound like much in print, but it is horrible in practice.

Then there is the wimpy tuner. Other tuners kick sand in this tuner's face. Sharp and Toshiba LCD digital TVs have signal strength graphics so you can see the signal strength for over the air digital broadcasts. My Sony KDL-52WL135 52" 1080p 120Hz HD LCD TV has a fine tuner. The tuner on my old Sharp LC-40C37U 37" 720p LCD TV is inferior to the Sony, but not by too much: some tweaking with the roof top antenna and it was able to get the job done. The tuner on the new Sharp Aquos LC-40E77U TV drove me crazy. Eighteen trips to the roof later, I finally got all the broadcast stations to come in that the other TVs could get, but just barely. A "70" signal strenth on the old Sharp 37" was a "60" on the new, and a "60" was around a "45" on the new. One broadcast station has occasional hiccups in the sound, lasting no more than a finger snap: hardly noticable on the Sony or old Sharp. A word sylable might be lost every 20 or 30 minutes. On the new Sharp LC-40E77U, the sound would stop. That's right: full stop and no automatic recovery. The only way to get the sound back would be to switch inputs or tune in another station and then flip back. Couple that with the slow switching, and Jay Leno's punch line would be completely missed.

Now if you: don't mind missing Jay Leno's punch lines (some are pretty lame), don't switch inputs/channels much, and use a cable or satellite box -- the low price, low weight (was tempted to use as a Frisbee), Sharp Aquos LC-40E77U 40-inch TV with its great picture may be for you. Me? I reused the great box and packaging the unit came in and took it back.