The BD Series is the first Sharp LCD TV line to feature an integrated Blu-ray player, and the lineup includes screen sizes of 32, 37, 42, 46, and 52 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the 52-inch LC-52BD80U, but here is an overview of the TV's features.
Beginning with TV-based features, this 1080p LCD has most of the same performance specs as the new E Series. It 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.
The input panel includes four HDMI 1.3, two component video, and one PC input, plus an RF input to access the internal ATSC, NTSC, and Clear-QAM tuners. Most of Sharp's newer TV lines offer five HDMI inputs; then again, the addition of the internal Blu-ray player negates the need for that extra input. The four 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. A side-panel USB port is offered, but it is for firmware upgrades only, not media playback. An RS-232 port is available to integrate the TV into an advanced control system.
The LC-52BD80U 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; 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-52BD80U 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. The TV's Power Saving Mode enables active contrast and active backlight to reduce the TV's energy consumption while in use.
The TV has a gloss-black cabinet with a blue accent along the bottom panel and a round, swiveling 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, which will come in handy when playing music-only discs through the integrated Blu-ray player.
Read about the high points and the low points of the AQUOS LC-52BD80U on Page 2.