A Review of Sharp LC-70UH30U 70-Inch Aquos 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – LC-80UH30U
While Sharp doesn’t command exactly the same level of respect as LG or Samsung do, or Sony and even Panasonic for that matter, the company is definitely a creator of solid consumer electronics technology. As far as their 4K Ultra HD TVs go, this rule holds particularly true and the LC-70UH30U 70-Inch Aquos 4K is not only a superb model, it also has some genuinely unique features to offer for a price that’s one of the most affordable to be found right now for this level of quality and screen size.
The LC70UH30U may not be in the same field as a top shelf Samsung SUHD or LG 4K OLED TV but for a price that will buy you a mere 50 inch or even smaller screen among these models, the LC-70UH30U delivers superb 4K resolution, great color and a massive 70 inch display.
To put it simply, for those of you who are on the lookout for a 4K TV that comes packed with all the essentials of great 4K home entertainment but doesn’t shatter your discretionary budget, the LC-70UH30U is a top level candidate.
Let’s do a brief overview of the finer features in this particular 4K TV model because there are a surprising number of them packed into the LC-70UH30U.
For starters, this is one of Sharp’s 2015 Aquous models, so you can count on it coming with excellent features on top of all the essentials of modern 4K connectivity. Basically, as far as the core specs that make a solid ultra HD TV in 2015 go, the Aquous is no less the 4K TV than even the best that Samsung or LG have to offer with their much more expensive SUHD and OLED models. Some of these TV’s fancier technologies may be lacking here but connectivity options, modern 4K display essentials and everything you need for completely satisfactory UHD home entertainment are all present in the LC-70UH30U.
However, the quality of this Aquous TV doesn’t end with it simply having the essentials. Like we already said, the LC-70UH30U offers some genuinely unique features that are completely its own and these really deliver excellent value at the price it’s selling for. The most fundamental and singular of these features is Sharp’s THX certification. We’ll cover this slightly more under our visual specs section below but essentially, the engineers at THX have analyzed the LC-70UH30U and the company has certified this Aquous model as one which delivers visual quality on par with that intended during the original filming of major movies by THX affiliated studios.
Secondly, there is Sharp’s Spectros Rich Color Display technology, which is designed to enhance LED/LCD Display color quality by 21% over conventional LCD 4K displays, at least according to Sharp. However, given that more high-end 4K TVs are now coming with HDR and quantum dot technologies, we have to wonder how normal color vibrancy is even defined anymore. SPECTROS doesn’t actually use quantum dots to deliver its vibrancy but it certainly takes it to a level that goes beyond what most lower end, conventional 4K TVs can deliver.
Finally, Sharp is giving you all of the above on a 70 inch screen for a price that would get you little more than a 55 inch screen on any 2015 Sony, LG or Samsung 4K TV. If you want screen size without spending a fortune, the LC-70UH30U is one of the best 4K TVs on sale today.
3.8 - 24 Reviews
The Sharp LC70UH30U offers a wonderful package of features for the price at which it sells, so it certainly doesn’t have any glaring defects to hide. You are getting more than enough value for what you’re paying with this particular Aquos model.
However, what Sharp could certainly have invested in is some improved internal smart TV coordination on the 70UH30U. While the issue is something that Sharp is claiming will be resolved as of the end of July through an upcoming firmware update, the TV might still have some issues with connecting smart functions on the remote with what’s on the screen. This problem has resulted in Netflix and similar apps not opening when instructed to and other minor to moderate glitches in how well the Android-based smart TV system on the 70UH30U offers interactivity.
Furthermore, the off-angle viewing quality of the 70UH30U is less than ideal and certainly nowhere near as good as what anyone accustomed to a higher end LG or Samsung 2015 4K TV would like to see. Anywhere beyond 25 degrees off center and you can except some image dimming with this model.
Sharp has really delivered the goods with the Sharp LC-70UH30U 70 Inch TV Aquos and at an excellent price for a 4K TV of this size. No, you don’t get some of the more advanced features like Quattron technology and pixel splitting for “near 8k” resolution found in even higher end Sharp 4K models like the slightly more expensive Aquos LC-70UD27U but per dollar spent, the LC-80UH30U delivers some of the best value and 4K display space on the market right now.
Screen size: 70 diagonal inches - LC-70UH30U, 80 inch - LC-80UH30U
Smart TV: Yes
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes, all HDMI ports
Refresh Rate: 120Hz AquoMotion 960 native refresh rate
Screen Lighting: Edge-lit LED backlighting with Local dimming
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes both built-in WiFi and Blutooth
Remotes: standard universal remote plus remote control apps for Android and iOS
Connectivity: 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 USB 3.0, Ethernet, MHL, Antenna, RF in, Component/composite, optical digital audio output
Sound: 10W+10W + 15W downfiring speakers with subwoofer
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
Other Display Features: THX Certified, 4K Upconvert engine, SPECTROS Rich Color
TV weight with stand: 86.0 lbs
Dimensions: 61 35/64” 37 3/32” x 14 39/64” inches with stand/ 61 35/64” x 35 3/4” 3 7/16” inches without stand
The chief highlights of the Sharp LC-80UH30U 70-Inch Aquos model revolve around its connectivity and display features.
For starters, this TV offers the now well-known THX Certification seal that Sharp invested a lot into gaining. This means that engineers from THX itself put the LC80UH30U’s display technology through an estimated 400 different tests to make sure that it delivers the same grade of picture quality that was intended during the original production of studio movies affiliated with THX itself. This includes a lot of high-level Hollywood movies.
Secondly, the LC-70UH30U comes with Sharp’s own Revelation Upscaler engine. While not as good as the upscaling systems found in Sony’s 4K TVs or those of LG, the Revelation system still delivers the goods more then adequately and works particularly well with Blu-ray HD content. Upscale movies and other videos from an HD Blu-ray disc and you will get video that looks better even than the native 4K streaming content that Netflix and Amazon Prime also can deliver to the LC-70UH30U.
Furthermore, as far as display features are concerned, we refer again to the SPECTROS Rich Color Display technology of this model. Sharp claims to augment its color vibrancy by 21% with this technology and the results are certainly notable. What you get doesn’t look as vibrantly impactful as the different quantum dot technologies found in higher end Sony or Samsung 4K models from 2015 but it’s certainly better than the color of an average 4K LED display.
Finally there is the connectivity package of the LC-70UH30U. It offers the full SmartCentral Sharp smart TV package with the added power of Android TV and with access to a full host of apps for Netflix and others. Furthermore, the TV delivers four HDMI ports with full HDCP 2.2 compatibility for access to content from external 4K set-top media players.
3.8 - 24 Reviews
The visual specs of the LC-80UH30U are excellent to say the least. THX played its hand in certifying this and the visuals of movies and shows seen on the TV’s screen definitely reflect the certification. It's not just a little gimmick designed to move sales.
Things get helped along further still by the aforementioned SPECTROS Rich Color Display technology. By adding red and green phosphorus filters to the existing yellow phosphor of its LCD panel, Sharp manages to broaden the spectrum of colors visible on the screen. This technology isn’t quite on the level with quantum dot nano-crystal color enhancement like that found in Samsung, Sony X850C's and possibly LG TVs but it’s certainly cheaper to produce and does deliver a notable increase in vibrancy.
While the Sharp LC-80UH30U doesn’t offer HDR capability, the contrast ratio of the TV goes beyond 1 million: 1 and both light and dark areas looks pretty good when viewed from directly in front. Edge-lit LED backlighting somewhat spoils the contrast through a lack of local dimming and enhanced brightness in lit areas of the screen but the TV still creates at several hundred nits of peak brilliance and for most consumers will be more than good enough.
Finally, let’s not forget the beautifully large 70 inch screen this baby comes with. No, it’s not a curved screen but curvature is 95% gimmick anyhow and we suspect that Samsung and LG offer it more as a price boosting feature than for any value it supposedly imparts to a 4K display.
Connectivity on the Sharp LC-80UH30U is as good as it gets for even the best 4K TVs of 2015. This has become pretty standard for all newer model 4K TVs and Sharp doesn’t shirk on anything you’d need for access to a full range of 4K and other content.
In terms of digital connectivity options, you get full internet access via Ethernet and WiFi with out-of—the-box availability of Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video and Hulu, along with the 4K video content options some of these apps offer to paying subscribers with at least 20 Mbps of internet bandwidth.
To back up these digital content systems, the LC80UH30U offers a full range of HDMI, USB and MHL ports for access to external media and external 4K media devices like the SONY FMP X10 4K media player or the soon-to-arrive 4K Blue-ray players we’re all waiting for. For these latter devices and their broad range of 4K movies and other content, having HDMI 2.0 with HDCP 2.2 Content copy protection is crucial and this Sharp definitely comes with that.
The Sharp LC-70UH30U Aquos is currently retailing on Amazon.com for just $1,999.98. This is a superb price for such a large and feature/spec-rich 4K TV. Even Vizio’s famously affordably 4K TVs, the M-Series and P-Series in this general screen size category sell for only slightly less than this. You can also take a look at the new Samsung JU7500 line or the JU7100 line.
3.8 - 24 Reviews
To summarize quickly, the less than ideal aspects of the Sharp LC-80UH30U are its lack of full-array LED backlighting, poor off-angle image quality and the minor bugs and glitches that are apparently still happening with some models until a firmware update comes along.
• THX Certification
• color vibrancy with SPECTROS Rich Color Display
• Android TV
• Full, future-proof connectivity
• Excellent 70 inch screen space
• Great price
• Narrow viewing angles
• No full-array LED backlighting
• Some Smart TV interactivity problems