Sharp AQUOS LC-46E77U LCD HDTV Reviewed

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The E Series, new in 2009, is one of Sharp's mid-level AQUOS lines and includes screen sizes of 65, 52, 46, and 40 inches. The E Series LEDs don't have quite as many features as some of Sharp's higher-end displays (such as AQUOS Net Web connectivity, an integrated Blu-ray player, a super-slim profile, or wireless HD transmission), but they employ many of Sharp's advanced imaging technologies and offer a nice complement of HD-capable inputs. We have not performed a hands-on review of the LC-46E77U, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 46-inch, 1080p LCD uses a traditional fluorescent backlight (as opposed to the LED backlighting found in the Limited Edition Series) and Sharp's new 10-bit Advanced Super View (ASV) Superlucent panel with the Spectral Contrast Engine XD (Extreme Dark) that purportedly offers better blacks, improved brightness, and reduced haze and reflectivity, compared with earlier panels. The TV has 10-bit processing and a 4-millisecond response time, and it features Sharp's Fine Motion Enhanced 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and film judder.

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The generous input panel includes five HDMI 1.3, two component video, and one RGB/PC input, plus an RF input to access the internal ATSC, NTSC, and Clear-QAM tuners. The HDMI inputs accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and one is side-facing for easy access. The component video inputs also accept 1080p/60. The TV lacks picture-in-picture functionality, and it does not include an SD card slot or Ethernet port for media playback/streaming. One side-panel USB port is offered, but it's for firmware upgrades only, not media playback. An RS-232 port is available to integrate the TV into an advanced control system.

The LC-46E77U has a thorough assortment of picture controls. Among them are: seven preset AV Modes; an adjustable backlight and an OPC function that automatically adjusts the picture's brightness based on your room's lighting conditions; five preset color-temperature options plus RGB gain controls (no offset controls) to fine-tune white balance; advanced color management that lets you adjust the hue, saturation, and value of the six main color points; gamma adjustment (new this year); and digital noise reduction. The Fine Motion Enhanced 120Hz menu includes on and off options to deal with motion blur; this year, Sharp has also added to the Film Mode menu an Advanced option (with high and low settings) that adds motion interpolation to reduce judder in film-based sources. The LC-46E77U has four aspect-ratio options for SD content and five options for HD, including a Dot by Dot mode for viewing 1080i/1080p images with no overscan. Finally, the LC-46E77U has a Power Saving Mode that enables active contrast and active backlight to reduce the TV's energy consumption while in use.

The TV sports a gloss-black cabinet with a champagne accent along the bottom panel and a round, removable base. The speakers are recessed into the bottom panel, and the limited audio-setup menu includes bass, treble, and balance controls, plus a generic surround mode and bass enhancer. There is an option to turn off the screen and just listen to audio, a nice feature for those people who like to listen to the digital music stations offered by their cable or satellite provider.

Read about the high points and the low points of the LC-46E77U.

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