A Review of the Sharp LC70UE30U 70-Inch Aquos 4K Ultra HD Smart LED TV – LC-60UE30U, LC-80UE30U,
Combining the ultra-resolution of 4K UHD with Sharp’s array of image enhancement technologies and Revelation Upscaler engine for increasing the clarity of HD and even SD content, the LC70UE30U delivers a remarkably powerful, vibrant display that really shines on its roomy 70 inch screen.
Furthermore, the addition of Android TV and SmartCentral to this model’s internal user interface software creates a powerful, easy to use smart TV platform that’s wonderfully well designed for some of the best and latest 4K content viewing and browsing of thousands of apps and the wider web itself.
The Aquos LC70UE30U is in effect, an excellent home entertainment system among its peers on the 4K TV market and while it lacks some of the more advanced technologies of a few premium competitor models, this model still manages to deliver some of the best visuals on the market. Basically, it stands out from many more run-of-the-mill LCD 4K TVs even though it’s not even one of Sharp’s top tier 4K models.
We can start this off with the fact that the LC70UE30U, despite is very generous screen size and wonderful load of features, is one very reasonably priced 4K TV. What makes it particularly attractive at the price its selling for is its screen dimensions. 70 inches results in a 4K display on which you can genuinely appreciate 4K resolution.
While 4K always physically enhances resolution with the several million extra pixels it offers, the differences between high quality HD and ultra HD can be hard to notice on smaller 55 inch or less screens. This definitely isn’t the case with this TV. Here, you can genuinely notice the bigger resolution even at something of a distance.
Next, the LC70UE30U isn’t just built to effectively render native 4K content. Because this kind of video is still comparatively rare, many users still spend most of their viewing time in front of the TV watching programming that’s delivered in HD resolution. Sharp has anticipated this trend and the LC70UE30U thus delivers an excellent upscaling engine that manages to do a genuinely good jo of augmenting Full HD content and even SD content so that both look better than they normally would on an ordinary HD TV.
Finally, to sum some of the good features of this model up, the UE30 comes with the power of a quad core processor and Sharp’s well designed Aquo Dimming technology for local dimming of on-screen content for the sake of superior contrast. Both of these features deliver the goods nicely on this particular model.
3.3 - 5 Reviews
The LC70UE30U is definitely not one of Sharp’s best 4K TV models and unfortunately, it thus lacks some of the better features of its UH30 cousin which represents a higher tier of TV from this manufacturer.
Thus, what’s lacking on this specific model includes the now famous THX Certification that a number of premium TVs come with. The lack of this seal of approval from THX means a TV with a lesser degree of precision in how it renders colors and other display specs on the screen.
Furthermore, the LC70UE30U also doesn’t feature the same quality of Aquo Motion local dimming technology as that found in the company’s UH30 model. In this case, you get less dimming zones and as a result the precision of this contrast technology is somewhat inferior in this particular model. Furthermore, if you’re looking for the kind of extremely high quality local dimming found in the best Son or Samsung 4K TV models, forget it, the UE30 simply doesn’t manage something like that.
Finally, while this may not be something that some consider a defect, the fact that the LC70UE30U doesn’t include full-array LED backlighting is a bit annoying. Vizio has managed to include this technology in its own highly affordable M-Series and P-Series 4K TVs and there’s no real reason why Sharp couldn’t manage to do the same. Having this feature would certainly enhance both contrast and brightness as a whole.
In general, the Sharp LC70UE30U represents a very decent value for its sheer size and the price its selling at makes this a highly affordable 4K model that even people just starting in 4K might want to seriously consider. The screen size alone is a big selling point of the LC70UE30U.
Weight: 77.2 lbs wo stand/ 83.8 lbs with stand
Dimensions: (WxHxD): 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
Screen size: 60 inch LC-60UE30U, 70 inch - LC-70UE30U, 80 inch - LC-80UE30U
Smart TV: Yes, Smart Central 3.0 with Android TV
HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes (all 4 HDMI ports)
Refresh Rate: 120Hz with AquoMotion 480
Screen Lighting: edge-lit LED backlighting
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160 pixels UHD
Wireless Connectivity: Yes, includes WiFi, Ethernet port
Remotes: Standard button remote
Connectivity: 4 x HDMI 2.0 ports, 3 x USB 3.0, Ethernet, MHL, Component/Composite, Digital Audio out
Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
Audio: 10W x 2 Sharp HT-SB602 2.1 Channel Bottom firing speaker setup
Processor: Quad Core
Overall, the UE30U series of 4K TVs from Sharp doesn’t feature the same broader range of unique highlights as its more expensive, higher-shelf cousins the UH30 series. However, it does have a few great items in particular going for it.
For starters, there is the Revelation Upscaler we’ve already covered before with the other Sharp TVs we’ve reviewed. This particular upscaling engine is excellent by the sometimes variable standards of others in the industry and it does an excellent job of making Full HD and 720p HD content look much clearer than it would in a normal HD TV. The effect is especially notable with Blu-ray HD video content, which will actually often look BETTER than native streamed 4K does from a source like Netflix. Even SD content receives a certain boost that definitely improves its clarity.
Upscaling engines are a crucial component of any 4K TV in the current environment of limited content options in ultra HD and in this Sharp has invested in creating an engine that genuinely creates enough improvement to HD video to be worthwhile over a normal HD TV.
Moving along, the LC70UE30U offers a 70 inch TV screen. For a 4K TV, this is a crucial little extra spec for genuine appreciation of ultra HD’s real pixel count and thus the 70 inches in this model make appreciating 4K resolution itself on the TV screen into a visibly superior experience; something you might not easily get a chance to appreciate on smaller 50, 55 or even 60 inch screens.
We should also mention the LC70UE30U’s AquoMotion and AquoDimming technologies. The AquoMotion 480 delivers a 480Hz refresh scanning rate that works to further augment the native 120Hz refresh rate of the TV. The result is a better (but not extraordinary) ability to render fast action sequences in movies, sportscasts and even video games. However, this feature is better off being kept shut down for anything except video with constant action. The effect it creates of enhanced background and movement clarity also looks bizarrely kitschy when viewed with normal video (two people talking in a room or walking, etc).
As for AquoDimming, this contrast enhancement technology delivers darker shades in specific zones on the screen, thus augmenting the perceived brightness of whites as well. Sharp claims an ability to adjust dimming for each one of the 8 million pixels on the screen but the AquoDimmnig is divided into a limited number of zones. Thus, while the effect is very helpful and a definite highlight of this model, it’s also not as great as more advanced versions found in higher end Sharp TVs.
The LC70UE30U features a number of image/display quality aspects which combine to make it work well as a 4K display. No, this TV won’t deliver what a Samsung SUHD or much less an OLED 4K from LG has to offer, but as a large 4K UHD conventional LCD/LED TV, it’s definitely s reasonable performer.
For starters, Sharp has included a glass display panel in this model, which works to enhance picture richness considerably. Using glass may seem like an obvious thing but some previous models from this company had plexi-glass (basically plastic) built into them for a much less lovely looking overall result.
Then, there is the Revelation Upscaler. We’ve already covered it above under “Highlights” so we’ll simply state here that this Sharp upscaling engine not only works wonderfully, it also offers a key reason to buy this model. You’ll get plenty of nicely enhanced HD content viewing out of it.
AquoDimming technology does a reasonable job of creating superior contrast but doesn’t perform at its task as well as some other local dimming systems in other 4K TV brands and even other Sharp TVs do. Furthermore, the limited number of dimming zones means less precision than what is possible with other local dimming technologies we’ve seen.
As for color reproduction, the LC70UE30U delivers well. After a bit of calibration, colors look even better and overall accuracy is quite good even if not absolutely spectacular. Furthermore, this model offers excellent color brightness for a 70 inch edge-lit LED screen. On this, we’d definitely have to give Sharp some bonus points.
One further visual aspect that’s worth mentioning is the off-center viewing quality. It’s not very good but then you can’t expect much from any normal LCD/LED TV. The LC70UE30U loses quite a bit of clarity at 30 degrees off-center and beyond. This is about average for 4K TVs with the same basic screen technology. If you want perfect off-center viewing in a TV, you’ll have to settle for a plasma TV or one of LG’s OLED 4K models.
The connectivity features of the LC70UE30U are par for the course in the current 4K TV market. You essentially get everything you need here to make your viewing experience and access to 4K content ideal. The model offers 4 HDMI 2.0 ports, three USB 3.0 ports and all the usual digital audio and analog connectivity options.
Of course, all HDMI ports come with full HDCP 2.2 content copy protection built in and the LC70UE30U is fully compatible for HEVC and VP9 4K video compression codecs. These two specs means that accessing 4K videos from external OTT and set-top box media should work fine while access to streaming 4K video from OTT web sources should also be problem-free if you have the right kind of internet connection (at least 20 Mbps for Netflix or Amazon prime Instant Video).
Finally, the Android TV platform with Google Play is a serious bonus in the SmartCentral 3.0 smart TV OS of the LC70UE30U. With Android TV you get not only superior web and apps navigation, you also get quick, easy to use access to thousands of online media and data apps, as well as full web browsing capacity, again, assuming your TV is connected to the web via its built in WiFi or Ethernet port.
The LC70UE30U from Sharp is currently retailing for $1,797.00 on Amazon.com. . The 60 inch LC-60UE30U for $1,197.00 and the LC-80UE30U for $3,999.99. Not at all a bad price for a 4K TV with the full connectivity specs but we recommend getting another TV such as the JS8500 if you are looking for top of the line or the JU7500 for a more affordable option.
3.3 - 5 Reviews
To summarize briefly, Sharp could have done more with their contrast enhancing local dimming technology and they could have added in full-array LED backlighting as Vizio has done in its 4K TVs of the same size and more or less the same price.
Furthermore, the LC70UE30U lacks the excellent THX Certification that higher end Sharp and Panasonic model TVs have. With this certification comes a much better color and contrast calibration built into a TV’s display technology.
• Great upscaling engine
• 70 inch screen ideal for 4K resolution
• Decent brightness
• Android TV with Google Play
• Full connectivity
• Limited local dimming technology
• Poor off-center viewing angles
• No full-array LED backlighting