A Review of the Sharp LC-70UD27U 70-Inch Aquos 4K Ultra HD 120Hz Smart LED TV
The Sharp Aquos line of 4K TVs is well known in the home entertainment marketplace for its high quality, very reasonable pricing and killer specs. These TVs may not pack the marketing-friendly punch of better known models from Samsung or LG but they more than offer an excellent ultra HD home entertainment package that also manages to include a few awesome features that are completely unique.
As the Aquos 70” class 4K TV from sharp, the LC-70UD27U is one of the biggest, brightest and best that the company has to offer and it delivers the goods in a way that any buyer who wants theater quality home entertainment will feel happy about. Best of all, it does this at a truly superb price for a name brand 4K TV loaded with the latest and best features.
The LC-70UD27U is quite possibly the most amazing Aquos yet introduced by Sharp and the list of great features it offers is quite extensive.
Let’s start with the single most notable and unique aspect of this TV: the LC-70UD27U is THX certified to deliver 4K picture quality at a level of refinement and details that matches the extremely exacting standards of the THX certification process. In other words, this TV offers screen display that’s as good as what was originally intended by the film producers when they filmed a movie or show in 4K for theater release. This is the level of precision picture quality that earns a THX 4K certification and only the LC-70UD27U and the rest of the Aquos line have been given this stamp of approval.
Moving beyond this unique feature, the 70UD27U also offers a robust upscaling engine for lower resolution content, Sharp’s own SPECTROS Rich Color Display technology and a powerful AquoMotion 480 enhanced 120Hz refresh rate.
Smart TV features include built in access to Netflix streaming 4K content selections through the SmartCentral 3.0 interface, a smart guide that integrates cable, satellite and streaming channels for easy browsing between them and access to all of the latest and best apps.
Furthermore, because HDMI 2.0 and HEVC decoding come built right into the LC-70UD27U, it offers full compatibility with the latest online 4K streams at a fully fluid rate of 60 frames per second. Built in HDCP 2.2 protection also guarantees compatibility with copy protected studio content from these same online streaming services.
Finally, with a screen that measures 70 diagonal inches but costs only as much as many much smaller 50 or 60 inch 4K TVs from other brands, the Aquos LC-70UD27U gives you the full big-screen experience at a surprisingly minimal price.
Like any 4K TV, the LC-70UD27U does also have its negative features but in this case, they are truly few and far between. This really is an outstanding TV at its price range and even compares extremely well when measured up against much more expensive 4k tv models from other brands that are known for their quality. Sharp really kicked things into high gear on the 2014 Aquos line and put in a lot of features that were previously lacking.
However, if we can name at least a couple of things that rub us the wrong way, they’d be the following:
First, the LC-70UD27U still comes with an edge-lit LED backlighting system. This is getting close to becoming inexcusable even fore lower priced 4K TVs. Vizio, in releasing its P-Series 4K TVs in October of 2014, managed to include full array LED backlighting in all of them, including their 50 inch model that costs less than $1,000 and their 70 inch TV, which is retailing for $600 less than the LC-70UD27U. While the edge-lit LED backlight works wonderfully in the Aquos line, their performance would be even more dazzling with the kind of full-array backlighting that Vizio managed.
Second, the Aquos LC-70UD27U offers a sound system that isn’t as great as it could be. Don’t get us wrong, the audio performance of its speakers is perfectly decent and without flaws but it certainly isn’t the kind of surround sound system that will leave you feeling like the action is happening inside your own living room.
The Aquos LC-70UD27U is a truly superb 4K TV that performs like few others in its price category. Buying one isn’t just a solution for trying to save some money on a UHD television, it’s also a recipe for one absolutely great home entertainment unit by any measurement. In simple terms, the LC-70UD27U gives you fully-rounded, genuinely top-shelf quality at a very reasonable price.
• Screen size: 70 diagonal inches
• Smart TV: Yes
• HEVC (H.265) Included: Yes
• HD to UHD upscaling: Yes
• HDCP 2.2 Compliance: Yes, on HMDI port 4
• Refresh Rate: 120Hz AquoMotion 480 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 2ch full range speakers with ClearAudio + digital sound processing
• Dynamic Contrast Ratio: over 1 million
• Other Display Features: THX Certified, 4K Upconvert engine, Quattron technology, Optical Picture control
• TV weight with stand: 84.9 lbs
• Dimensions: 61.4 x 35.2 x 2.7 inches; With stand: 61.4 x 37 x 13.7 inches
The highlights on the Aquos LC-70UD27U are both numerous and quite impressive. At this price range. This TV does pack in quite a load of excellent special features.
First of all, there is the already mentioned THX Certification. This stamp of approval, given out by THX was awarded to the Aquos line of 4K TVs because they offer a picture quality which ensures that every pixel on the screen during a movie or TV show is portrayed with the same color and brilliance intended by the director as he or she was filming the original content. Sharp apparently had to pass through a rigorous vetting process with both film studios and THX before satisfying them that its TV visuals really do deliver this level of precision movie production quality replication.
Next up, there is the Quattron technology that has been a part of the Sharp family of HD and UHD TVs since 2011. What Quattron does is add one more pixel color to the standard combination of red, green and blue (RGB). In this case, the color is yellow and it dramatically enhances the range and tone variation of all the possible colors that the TV is capable of displaying, resulting in a much more vibrant, detailed and exact color representation of content on the screen.
Additionally, the LC-70UD27U’s new SmartCentral 3.0 app platform is also worth mentioning. With this feature, you get 4K streaming straight out of the box from satellite providers, cable services and streaming services like Netflix. All of them are placed together in one on-screen location for easy browsing and switching back and forth.
The SmartCentral feature of the TV also offers other conveniences like a Smart Guide that intelligently recommends shows and other programming from across a range of different services based on your own previous viewing history and your selected preferences. And on top of this, there is the selection of apps like Vudu, Hulu, YouTube, Pandora and Rhapsody as well as social features like Facebook that are all stored in the same easy to browse location.
Finally, the Aquos LC-70UD27U line offers a brand new design for 2014 and 2015. This consists of a new solid metal core, the lightest possible strong materials for construction and a 50% thinner ultra-narrow bezel with a more modern stand.
As we’ve already mentioned under “Highlights”, the LC-70UD27U doesn’t deliver the usual 4K TV color experience thanks to its Quattron pixel color technology. Because of the addition of an extra yellow pixel to the typical combination of red, green and blue, the overall color variation of the Aquos line is greatly expanded to produce a more vibrant and accurate color palette for any content shown on the screen.
On top of this, there is also the TV’s AquoDimming technology, which adjust each pixel in real time to reveal more detail during darker scenes and shaded areas on the screen. With AquoDimming, you get contrast adjustments for each of the 8 million pixels in a way that produces deep rich blacks and brilliant whites.
In terms of the more standard visual specs, the Aquos LC-70UD27U offers full Ultra HD 4K resolution at 3840 x 2160 pixels, a refresh rate of 120Hz, a 16x9 aspect ratio and a dynamic contrast ratio of 10 million:1.
The connectivity package in the LC-70UD27U includes WiFi, Ethernet and Bluetooth connections for both your wireless and hardline internet connection requirements.
In addition to these standard connectivity features, it also offers four HDMI 2.0 ports that are capable of handling 4K content from external sources at a very smooth 60 frames per second. One of the HDMI ports also comes with HDCP 2.2, thus guaranteeing full compatibility for copy protected and encrypted third party content, such as the latest shows from Netflix.
The MSRP of the Aquos LC-70UD27U is one if its single best features. Given the feature packed package that this truly superb 4K TV offers, it retails for a very balanced $2,999. Remember, this price is being applied to a fully equipped 70” 4K ultra HD TV from a major brand. Similar TVs in the same size range from LG or Samsung easily cost $1,000 or more above the LC-70UD27U’s cost.
Once again, the people at Sharp really nailed the best possible design with this 4K TV and because of their effort, the LC-70UD27U really doesn’t come with many genuinely negative aspects.
As we’d already mentioned above, it could use a full-array LED backlighting system instead of the much more limited edge-lit LED array and its sound system could be beefed up a bit, though it’s by no means a poor performer as is.
• THX certified for guaranteed fantastic picture quality
• Full connectivity package that includes HDMI, HEVC decoding and HDCP
• Quattron pixel technology
• Out-of-the-box access to streaming and other apps
• Excellent price
• Overall, a fantastic TV
• Edge-lit LED backlighting
• Could use a better sound system