Sharp formally introduced its Elite LED HDTVs at a press event August 4. Under a license agreement with Pioneer Electronics, Sharp is resurrecting the moniker that cemented Pioneer’s reputation as maker of some the finest plasma TVs in the industry. Pioneer left the TV market in 2009.

The new Elites come in two screen sizes: the 60-inch PRO-60X5FD ($5,999.99) and the 70-inch PRO-70X5FD ($8,499.99). The 60-inch ships to participating Pioneer Elite dealers next week, while the 70 incher will ship later this month.

 

 

The Elite TVs use Sharp’s four-color (red, blue, green, and yellow) LCD panels and feature full-array local dimming LED backlights. The sets have 1.55 and 1.984-inch depths respectively.

Major features: 120 Hz refresh and scanning backlight, Internet streaming (including Netflix, Cinema Now, and YouTube), 3D functionality (2 pairs of active 3D glasses included), brushed-black aluminum frame, anti-reflective screen coating (shiny type) and Skype video ready (camera not included).

There are a number of new features that differentiate the Elite models from other Sharp LED HDTVs. They include: Sharp’s Intelligent Variable Contrast (which controls image brightness, contrast, and LED zone dimming) THX Certification for 2D and 3D modes (link) and ISF ccc calibration capability.

Screen Image of Elite PRO70X5FD

How They Looked

Manufacturer-controlled demonstrations of pre-production product are not the same as a full review with a production sample using our content and standardized tests, however a number of observations were worth noting. The local dimming was very effective producing deep blacks without the halos usually associated with zoned-local dimming LED LCDs. The off-axis viewing was good along with brightness uniformity.

Unlike in-store presentations of Sharp’s four-color panel, we saw no exaggeration of yellow or gold tones, so it’s likely the colorimetry will fall very close to the industry Rec. 709 standard, as required for THX certification.

Sharp provided two 70-inch sets during its presentation. In another demo room, Sharp had set up a 60-inch PRO-60X5D against a 65-Inch Panasonic TC-P65VT30 and a 55-inch  Sony XBR55HX929 .  Being fully aware of who set up the demo, we were still impressed by the level of performance created by the new 60-inch Elite and we have no doubt it will set a new benchmark for Sharp picture performance and accuracy when we get hold of a review sample.

To learn more go to elitelcdtv.com.  The owner’s manual download and specs can be found at here.

 

 

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