Sharp Aquos LC-60LE835U Big-Screen 3D HDTV

The Sharp Aquos LC-60LE835U has much to commend it: For about $2650 (as of April 8, 2011), this 60-inch LED-backlit connected delivers decent (if not stellar) image quality, 3D support, great audio, and a few unusual extras. However, although Sharp has become a lot more competitive in its pricing, the set falls short in several respects. Most notably, its Internet offerings are somewhat anemic, and Sharp's user interface for on-screen controls still needs work.

Despite all the ads declaring Sharp's four-color Quattron technology (which adds a yellow filter to the usual red, green, and blue filters) to be superior to traditional three-color LCD configurations, in our juried tests we did not find the LC-60LE835U's image quality to be hugely impressive. The set's overall score was about average, but slightly poorer than the marks of other models in its test group, including sets from LG, Samsung, and Vizio. Judges complained that some images looked overly dark (especially when viewed from the side), but they gave the set higher scores for its handling of motion.

Our juried tests don't include 3D content; for its part, Sharp doesn't even ship 3D glasses with this display. The company does include a built-in 3D test pattern to help while you are setting up the active-shutter glasses, which worked well. And two other PCWorld editors did put this set through its 3D paces--read our article "" for more information on how the LC-60LE835U fared.

Sharp's built-in audio system--consisting of two 10-watt speakers and a 15-watt subwoofer--was one of the better ones I've tested. Its simulated surround sound made for fuller, richer audio than what you get from the usual two-speaker configuration on most sets. Sharp also thoughtfully includes a setting that keeps the sound from being muffled should you choose to wall-mount the HDTV.

The LC-60LE835U's design is both handsome and serviceable, with a pretty good selection of ports. Four HDMI ports, one USB port, and an analog stereo-out port face sideways on the back left side, but since they aren't recessed I had no problem connecting a couple of cables. Two composite and one component hookup, plus RS232 and PC (RGB) connections, are grouped together and face straight out, making them also easy to reach. A third group of connections, including a second USB port plus ethernet, coax, optical audio out, and analog audio inputs (for use with a DVI or PC connection) face down and are a bit less conveniently located but still generally accessible.

Sharp's initial setup wizard walks you through the basics of choosing a language, selecting home/store display mode, and performing channel identification if you aren't using a set-top box. A separate wizard sets up Internet access via either the ethernet cable (preferable) or the HDTV's built-in dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi. Sharp gets kudos for supporting both 2.4GHz and 5GHz operations--the former is ubiquitous, but also much more subject to interference that can mess with streaming media. We recommend using a 5GHz network if your router supports one, since it's a much wider frequency band and therefore less prone to interference--which can be a big issue in large cities with lots of nearby 2.4GHz networks.