Sharp Aquos LC-75N8000U LCD Ultra HDTV Review Page 2

The Sharp’s 10-point White Balance and comprehensive Color Tuner (color management system) menus make easy work of calibrating the set for both standard and HDR viewing. Unlike the last two HDR-capable Ultra HDTVs I’ve tested, both of which lacked any capability for wide color gamut, the LC-75N8000U managed 88.1 percent coverage of the P3 (Digital Cinema) color space—a good showing for a budget set.

Measurements proved it capable of substantial light output, with HDR test patterns revealing an ability to deliver about 500 nits brightness. While that number falls short of what you get with the more pricey HDR sets we’ve tested recently, it’s fine for a TV at this price. Contrast ratio with local dimming turned on, meanwhile, was less impressive at 3,600:1. As with most other LCD TVs, the Sharp’s contrast and color richness took a hit when viewed from an off-axis seat.

Besides the first Presidential debate, I had a chance to watch a wide mix of content on the Sharp—everything from 4K YouTube clips to recent Ultra HD Blu-ray releases. When I checked out the drama Mississippi Grind on regular Blu-ray, the Sharp did a good job retaining the grainy look of the movie, which was shot on 35mm film. The picture was crisp and, for the most part, noise-free. Bright scenes looked perfectly fine, but others—such as one where Gerry stumbles across Curtis in a bar following a lucky run at a blackjack table—revealed its limited ability to render deep blacks in dark scenes. As the two compulsive gamblers laugh over a glass of high-end bourbon, the mediumgray tone of shadows behind them in the dark bar made the image look relatively flat.

The Sharp’s accurate color, especially after being calibrated for optimal performance, ensured that both skintones and bright colors like reds and greens came across looking balanced. On another Blu-ray, Sicario, in a scene where agents discuss logistics of a mission to take down gangsters in Juárez, Mexico, the skintones of the actors came across as completely natural in the well-lit office. Much of the movie has a sparse, almost monochrome look that’s appropriate for its locale. But in the few sequences that do show flashes of color, such as a scene at a handball court splashed with graffiti, bright hues stood out brilliantly against the medium-toned background.

HDR Performance
Switching gears for high dynamic range, I watched a few scenes from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice on Ultra HD Blu-ray and then compared them with the same material on the regular Blu-ray version included in the disc package. In each UHD sequence I watched, shadow depth and detail was considerably better, and highlights looked brighter. The improvement in black-level performance was so notable that it seemed like I was watching a different TV: Batman’s dark costume, which was swallowed up in gloom on the regular Blu-ray version, now showed a high degree of detail. Image highlights, on the other hand, tended to look somewhat blown out and lacking in detail.


Colors, too, benefited from the Ultra HD Blu-ray treatment. Superman’s red-and-blue costume, for example, displayed a level of richness not present on the regular Blu-ray, and it didn’t look the least bit garish. Overall, the Batman v Superman UHD/HDR experience was a big improvement over the regular HD one on the Sharp. That said, I did notice several instances of backlight blooming caused by the TV’s local dimming feature. This was most notable in the title sequence, where an animated leaf blowing against a black background was trailed by a vertical shaft of light that took up the entire screen height. And there were quite a few instances in both HDR and standard modes when I saw “spotlights” coming from the screen’s corners.

Sharp’s LC-75N8000U packs a big screen and plenty of features for the money. In this way, it’s similar to Vizio’s M series, as well as Hisense’s Ultra HD line. I appreciated the set’s accurate color with regular Blu-rays, and its ability to display extended color with Ultra HD discs. I was also impressed by its shadow detail with HDR content. What impressed me less was the set’s limited contrast, as well as the screen uniformity issues I saw on dark movie scenes. That said, as an affordable, seriously big-screen option for watching truly worthy media spectacles—like the Super Bowl—Sharp’s 75-incher deserves consideration.

(800) BE-SHARP

slaps's picture

Please continue to list the calibrated settings on tested equipment. This is a huge boon to those of us who like to do the installations ourselves. Kudos to an AV magazine that hasn't forgotten its enthusiast base.

hk2000's picture

Sony sells a much, much better 75" TV for less. Sharp is now wholy owned by a Chines company, don't be fooled by the name, this is in the class of Hisens, TCL, Vizio and other Chinese TV makes.