Test Bench: Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U 65-inch LCD HDTV

Color temperature (User picture mode/Mid-Low color temperature before/after calibration) Low window (30-IRE): 6,918/6,581 K High window (80-IRE): 6,873/6,491 K Brightness (100-IRE window before/after calibration): 89.5/22.1 ftL

Although the Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U definitely benefited from service-menu calibration, I couldn't resolve all of the grayscale issues. I managed to correct the TV's initial bluish color cast and improved overall grayscale linearity from ± 312 degrees Kelvin before calibration to ±181 K afterwards. However, notable color-temperature errors remained at 20, 40, and 70 IRE, which detracted from the otherwise good grayscale tracking. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician, so discuss it with your dealer before purchase, or call the Imaging Science Foundation at 561-997-9073.)

Out of the box, the LC-65D90U was extremely bright, measuring 89.5 ftL in the User mode with the Mid-Low color-temperature preset. After calibration it measured a much more reasonable 22.1 ftL. The TV was able to fully resolve both 1080i and 720p HDTV test patterns. Color decoding tests revealed a +5-percent red error, which I was able to correct with the user menu controls. In Dot-to-Dot mode, the TV showed every last bit of the incoming signal, for a perfect 0-percent overscan. Even in Stretch mode, overscan was minimal, measuring an average of 2.5 percent.

Off-axis viewing yielded shifts in color and brightness that were obvious even with relatively small changes in viewing position. Within the proper viewing angles, however, the LC-65D90U showed remarkable black-level retention, with no noticeable shift in black level as the picture's average brightness level increased.

The HDMI input could not be accurately calibrated, even with access to service menu adjustments. As a result, we conducted all our critical viewing of digital sources through the set's separate DVI input. This is the Sharp Aquos LC-65D90U's most significant technical shortcoming and may limit its versatility with respect to digital sources.

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