Sharp LC-46D85X

Sharp’s full HD 1080p LCD television is an affordable competitor for the Samsung Series 6.

Sharp LC-46D85X
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • Great colour handling, three digital inputs, smooth fast motion control

Cons

  • Comparatively low contrast and black levels

Bottom Line

The Sharp LC-46D85X LCD television has Full HD 1080p resolution and 100Hz technology. It stands up to its direct competitors, with similar image quality and functionality at a lower price.

Would you buy this?

The Sharp LC-46D85X is a full HD 1080p LCD television with 100Hz technology that combines a classy, understated design with a simple interface and great picture quality.

The LC-46D85X LCD TV has a subtle evolution of the styling seen on the Sharp AQUOS D53X and D83X series. The lower screen bezel has a slim chrome strip running along the entire length while the rest of the surround is a glossy black. The television only measures 95mm in thickness; this is one of the more compact 46in televisions on the market. The remote control is very similar to the supplied remote from the Sharp D33X series. Its buttons are well spaced with back-lighting for dark conditions, although the layout isn't user friendly with the source button relying on a cryptic symbol rather than text. We did notice that the television’s stand is not able to swivel although thankfully off-axis viewing angles are good.

The on-screen menu of the LC-46D85X LCD TV is simple. It eschews the smooth grey XMB system of Sony’s XBR45 models and uses a white-on-blue design that we think is more easily seen from a distance. The LC-46D85X LCD television integrates Sharp’s latest television energy saving features, including Optical Picture Control to automatically change brightness levels and a timer to automatically switch the panel into standby mode.

Plenty of picture adjustment controls are available. From seven different picture modes, all but one can be altered and tweaked to provide the best possible image. An important note is that the User settings are independent for each input — for example, alterations on the HDMI inputs do not affect the HDTV input.

The LC-46D85X LCD TV has three HDMI inputs — this should be enough for all but the most hardcore AV enthusiast. Other connections range from a VGA input for PCs to component, composite and S-Video for older video devices. Stereo analog and optical digital audio outputs are also included. There is a USB port on the right side but this is for 'service' rather than as a host port for music or photos.

The LC-46D85X LCD TV's picture quality was exemplary in our tests. This screen is competing against the Samsung Series 6 and Toshiba REGZA XV500A panels, rather than the LED-backlit Sony XBR45 and Samsung Series 9 models which are significantly more expensive.

Black levels were good but not excellent; we would rate the panel slightly below the Samsung Series 6. We could not notice any of the cloudiness or banding that hampered its rival, though. Colour reproduction was great across the board, with perfectly saturated and vibrant tones — skin tones were especially well represented.

Contrast was an area that this television's performance slightly dipped, with some detail lost in especially dark scenes. However, the dynamic contrast setting is rated to 15000:1 and while we are not generally fans of dynamic backlight alteration this panel carried it out swiftly and with minimal disruption.

The unit handles high definition content without any problems. To test the TV's handling of Blu-ray content we watched the movie The Guardian. The Sharp LC-46D85X displayed the movie in crisp and intricate detail that is well resolved without over-sharpening. Standard definition video is surprisingly well up-scaled, with the processing giving an smooth look to our test DVD of The Matrix. Fast motion is handled well for an LCD panel, with no ghosting or stuttering visible. The Fine Motion Advanced 100Hz mode smooths out video without becoming overly blurry.

If you are looking for a full HD 100Hz panel which competes with Samsung’s Series 6 at a lower price point, be sure to consider the Sharp D85X series.

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