Sharp LC-70UD1U Ultra HDTV: First Hands-On Review

September 20th, 2013 · 7 Comments · 3D HDTV, 4K LED LCD, News


Sharp this week announced the availability of the LC-70UH1U ($5999.99 UPP), its first Ultra High-definition Television (UHDTV) and the only one sold in the US with a 70-inch screen. The set has 3840 x 2160 native resolution and an LED edge-lit LCD panel, but Sharp also includes a number of UHD firsts. A listing of its exclusive features, along with our first impression, appears after the break. 

The Sharp LC-70UD1U is the first UHDTV with THX 4K Display Certification. While THX will not disclose all of its new tests, they build on the firm’s HDTV certification program. THX states that a UHDTV must pass over 400 tests to be certified. For more on THX check our article here.

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The Sharp also includes the company’s proprietary Revelation 4K upscaler, a dual-core processor than upconverts SD and HD content to the panel’s native UHD resolution in two steps. First, it analyzes the signal and enhances detail. In step two, upconversion is performed, with 3 new pixels created for every native HD pixel.

We were treated in our demo to native UHD content sent to the Sharp via a RED UHD media player. Image uniformity, detail and especially the wide viewing angle (as compared with a number of other UHDTVs we’ve seen) were all impressive. To date, all UHDTVs use LCD panels.

Sharp LC-70UD1U uhd image 580Unretouched photo of LC-70UD1U screen with RED media player providing content


The LC-70UD1U is full of features: 10-bit UHD LCD panel (all others to date are 8-bit), Smart TV with web browser (with dual-core processor and built-in Wi-Fi), 35-watt Duobass audio system. Active 3D, 120 Hz refresh plus scanning backlight, 4 HDMI 1.4 inputs (including 1 with ARC), component video input, 2 composite video inputs, MHL, built-in HDTV tuner, 2 USB inputs, PC input (15 pin D-sub connector), RS-232, Ethernet input. There’s also an optional Bluetooth-powered keyboard and mouse.

Sharp LC-70UD1U jack pack 1 580

We asked a Sharp spokesperson if the HDMI inputs are upgradeable to HDMI 2.0. Their response was that they are looking into it and will have an answer in the near future. We will report Sharp’s plan after it’s announced. The Sharp spokesperson also said the recommended viewing distance for the set is 6 feet.

HD Guru requested a review sample of the LC-70UH1U. Based on our hands-on look we have very high expectations.



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7 Comments so far ↓

  • ed

    I think a lot of people are unaware of the big points to look for in a UHD TV. 1 Does your panel support Rec2020 color space. 2 Will you be able to view live UHD brodacasts ?.What part of HDMI 2.0 will your tv support. 3 is your tv a 10 bit 0r 12 bit panel. I have yet to hear of what the broadcast standards are for UHD.I would expect HD GURU to explain why all these things are very important when buying a new UHD tv so you dont get sucked in to paying for a advertised FUGAZI UHD panel that cant deliver UHD standards…..

    A few points to clarify. The rec in rec. 2020 is “recommended”. It has not been adopted by any standards organization such as SMPTE or ATSC. While practically conforming to human perception of color space, there is no current TV technology that comes close to meeting it and we do not expect to see it as an industry standard for the foreseeable future.

    Your items 2 and 3 are very important and we will be covering it as we begin reviewing more 4K TV this November.

    We’ve already provided the industry’s most in depth look at HDMI 2.0 and we will continue to parse all the new industry 4K standards as they are created.

    We have budgeted for a 4K signal generator with HDMI 2.0 functionality and units are near availability, and we will order one once it is ready to ship.

    We are also developing new test procedures to evaluate 4K upconversion and verify companies performance claims. Please stay tuned.

    HD Guru

  • Yum

    When you see this as TV in person, the 4k video looks decent. The hen the rep at best buy put on a Blu-ray it looked terrible. The motion was awful and there was so much artifact in that it looked like people were swimming in mud. It also had the worst blacks I’ve seen on a 4k panel

    Unless you know the TV/player settings i.e. was it in the showroom mode or the THX mode, the evaluation is irrelevant. Unfortunately, more often than not, the Blu-ray player and/or display is not set-up for an optimum picture.

    HD Guru

  • Yanagi

    It is confirmed that at least the Japanese version will get the HDMI 2.0 firmware upgrade by the end of the year.

  • Flat Panels Over Projectors

    – wide viewing angle
    – price drop
    – Active 3D
    – 10 bit panel

    premium price yet
    – No superior HDMI 2.0 – no upgrade
    – No superior full array local dimming
    – No superior MothEye’s coating

    The funniest issue (however true) is view from only 6′ to see all the resolution, with all the competing displays are 65″ or less!
    Please test the Blu-ray 3D as this is one of the major benefits of 4K panels.

    The new Sony 4K projector is disappointingly firm priced $15K, still way out of the reach of 99% of consumers. Further they are going proprietary source playback. a failed strategy from decades past.

    The expected 4K flat panels will rapidly mature. to be announced at the January 2014 CES. I will purchase then, to not have to upgrade in 6 months!

  • Who Knows...?

    Any update on the HDMI 2.0 issue?

  • Robert Zohn

    I’ve always admired Sharp’s guts to bring to market some of the best and definitely largest TVs.

    I loved the Elite 60″ & 70″series, and Sharp’s 90″ 745U all of which feature full array local dimming.

    And now a 10-bit UHD panel!!! Thank you Sharp for leading the way in design and manufacturing.


  • NLPsajeeth

    The use of a 10-bit panel is awesome. I hope this becomes a standard for all UHDTVs soon. It is too bad that HDMI 2.0 doesn’t have enough bandwidth for 4K 60p RGB 4:4:4. At least DisplayPort 1.2 does, hopefully such ports will also become standard.

    It is too bad they took out the MothEye screen that is found in the Japanese LC-70UD1.

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