Test Report: Sharp Elite PRO-60X5FD 3D LCD HDTV Page 3
As luck would have it, my test of the PRO-60X5FD synced up with the arrival of my pick for 2011’s best Blu-ray, The Tree of Life. With Tree, the Sharp’s excellent color accuracy paid off in pitch-perfect skin tones that revealed subtle shadings in the milky white face, red lips, and red-rimmed eyes of Mrs. O’Brien (Jessica Chastain). Tree leaves and other foliage in the family’s yard also looked perfectly natural.
Likewise, images with bright colors had a strong impact. In a breathtaking shot from Tree of a spiraling column of stained glass in a church, for instance, the backlit, multicolored windows had a deep, almost radiant quality. On another disc, the J.J. Abrams-directed Super 8, the same thing could be said for brightly colored objects like the very 1970s yellow muscle car of Louis Dainard (Ron Eldard). I can’t say for sure if this eye-popping color was directly related to those yellow sub-pixels in Sharp’s panel, but there was definitely something distinctive going on.
The set’s handling of deep blacks and shadows was also exemplary. Several sections from Tree are divided up by Lumia compositions performed on a Clavilux. (Wikipedia it.) During these interludes, a play of amorphous colored light appears center screen against a black background. On the Elite, that black was utterly black; there was no light bleed at the screen’s edges to break the illusion of darkness. Similarly, there was virtually no “blooming,” a fairly common effect with full-array LED sets displaying bright objects against dark backgrounds.
On a big 60-inch screen like the PRO-60X5FD’s, 3D images become truly immersive — there should be a law banning 3D from smaller-size TVs. I did notice crosstalk (ghosting) on a few test clips that I regularly use to evaluate 3D performance, but the effect was mostly minor. Depth effects, on the other hand, were very impressive. When I watched Imax’s 3D Deep Sea, tentacles definitely appeared to be poking out of the screen in a familiar shot of floating jellyfish.
I wasn’t expecting too much from the “upconverted” 3D release of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, but its opening sequence turned out to be a 3D tour de force: As the camera slowly moved forward, it felt as if I were being whisked through the layers of a pop-up book. A few other shots, such as one where Belle’s father first enters the Beast’s castle, had a similarly striking sense of 3D space, with the interior coming across like a detailed architectural model.
All 3D content that I watched benefited a good deal from the set’s Brightness Boost feature, which I ended up leaving set at Medium. The IVC modes that I had rejected for 2D viewing also helped add punch to the Elite’s 3D picture.
Video processing was very good with one exception: It failed to pick up the 2:3 film cadence on 1080i programs, which could result in occasional moiré flashes when viewing HD movies. Otherwise, DVDs upconverted by the TV looked solid and crisp. Off-axis viewing was better than on a number of other LED-lit LCDs I’ve tested: I could move 15° to either side of center without experiencing a shift in contrast or color. Still, the PRO-60X5FD’s performance here falls short of plasma, which offers a much wider viewing range. Its screen was also fairly reflective; you’ll definitely want to dim the lights to get the best from this TV.