Sharp LC-70UQ17U 70″ Aquos Q+ 1080p 240Hz 3D Smart LED TV Review

Sharp LC-70UQ17U

The  Sharp Aquos Q+ Series is the company’s top-tier 1080p line-up featuring two models and three variations – the LC-UQ17ULC-SQ15U and LC-TQ15U with 60″, 70″ and 80″ screen sizes. The 17U adds a few more features including THX Certification, AquoMotion 960 for motion blur reduction, a brighter screen, better contrast ratio and included 3D glasses.

The Aquos Q+ Series is what I consider a stop-gap for anyone not ready or able to acquire a true 4K HDTV, and want to experience a taste of what this type of image is all about at a much cheaper price. But can Sharp’s Q+ technology deliver a pseudo 4K image? Read on to find out.

The LC-UQ17U is able to accept a 4K signal but is actually a 1080p display that upscales (upconverts) a 1080p signal to near 4K quality. This is achieved by adding subpixels and special proprietary video processing.

For more  info on how this process works, see the article: “An Inside Look” regarding Sharp’s Q+ technology.

Design/Features

The UQ17U features an attractive design but nothing out of the ordinary that would make it stand out from the competition. The bezel is of course a slim design and what Sharp calls Diamond-cut aluminum. It also has the added touch of being two-toned in color;  the top and bottom sections of the bezel are silver and the sides are black.

The stand on this display features two angled feet protruding from the front of  the set which are anchored  to a long support beam that runs along the backside of the TV. This design gives the TV very good support, and will greatly reduce the chance of accidental TV tip-over’s. The set can also be wall mounted.

The set contains two rear mounted down-firing speakers and one woofer. More on sound quality later in the performance section of this review.

Sharp's SmartCentral menu

Sharp’s SmartCentral menu

Sharp’s new SmartCentral 3.0 smart TV platform allows you to browse across satellite, cable and streaming services all in one place, which gives you access to all the best apps for movies like Netflix and Vudu to name a few. Stream your favorite music from two of the most popular music services – Pandora and Rhapsody. You can stay connected socially with this platforms Facebook app.

The set is also MHL compatible which allows you to connect wirelessly  and control the TV from your mobile  devices.

You can also connect wirelessly to you homes network for internet access with full web browsing capability. Another cool feature this TV has is Web + TV Split screen, which allows you to watch TV and surf the web simultaneously.

Remote Control

I wasn’t very thrilled about the supplied  universal remote. For starters, it feels very cheaply made and is much too long in my opinion, which made it hard to access the buttons without having to reposition the remote in my  hand.  In addition, the source buttons are the only keys that are backlit. With that said, I did however find the remote simple to use.

3D

3D capability is also a feature of this TV and is supplied with two pairs of Bluetooth active 3D glasses.

Port Connections

LC-70UQ17U Rear Panel

LC-70UQ17U Rear Panel

  • 4 HDMI inputs
  • 1 Component video input
  • 1 Composite video input
  • 1 Digital optical audio output
  • 1 RF input for antenna/cable
  • 1  RS-232
  • 1 PC in (15 pin D-sub)
  • 2 USB inputs
  • 1 Ethernet
  • 4 audio inputs
  • 1 audio output

Performance

In this section I will discuss the performance of the LC-70UQ17U as a standalone display and also in comparison with Samsung’s excellent performing UN75H7150 1080p LED HDTV.

For part of this evaluation I watched several scenes from the movie Wolverine (2013) on blu-ray disc. I also viewed some demo footage provided by Sharp.

On outdoor scenes of Wolverine, the 70UQ17U displayed a bright picture with good color rendition. However, on certain outdoor scenes the colors appeared to be a bit unbalanced and inaccurate, producing  a greenish tint.

Overall image detail was good delivering very nice facial detail in close-up shots.  Image depth, on the other hand, wasn’t always clear and sharp with some background images such as foliage, did appear fuzzy.

Black level reproduction was good for an LED display showing dark blacks with no grayish overtones which can be common on many LED/LCD TVs. Shadow detail however, wasn’t always up to par, leaving objects in certain dark scenes  somewhat obscured.

Viewing Sharp’s own demo footage allowed the display to produce a more dynamic ,bold and vibrant color rendition. The sets image detail was also improved with this footage, showing lots of fine texture on objects within the image. Sharp’s Revelation Upscaler does appear to help images look sharper and more vivid.

Side angle viewing on this set was decent and had minimal dimming as I moved off center and to either side of the screen.

Motion blur was not an issue on any of the footage I viewed on this display. So it would appear that Sharp’s AquoMotion 960 technology and its 240Hz refresh rate are doing their jobs.

Sound Quality

I felt the sound produced by the sets speakers was thin an lean and had somewhat of a hollow presence. The woofer didn’t add any low end punch that I could hear on the material I listened to.

Sharp LC-70QU17U vs. Samsung UN75H7150

I was able to do a side-by-side comparison of these two premium class displays. I wanted to see if the 4K upscaling on the QU17U would outperform the standard 1080p image of the H7150.

All comparison was done using the Wolverine blu-ray disc.

One of the of the first things I noticed was how much brighter the Samsung’s image was compared to the QU17U. It actually made the Sharp’s image look dim and a bit dull by comparison. Speaking of dull, the QU17U screen is a flat matte finish which also contributes to the dull look of the image when compared to the H7150’s glass transparent screen which in my opinion and experience gives the image more pop and  better overall image quality.

Contrast reproduction on the QU17U was good, but the H7150 proved to be better. The brightest  whites on the Samsung were much brighter and had more pop. This was readily apparent while viewing the end credits from Wolverine.

Black levels were a bit better on the Samsung with deeper and darker images being portrayed on the screen. Shadow detail was also better on the H7150. On certain dark scenes from Wolverine, object detail  within the image could be plainly seen, where as with the Sharp display, these same objects were somewhat obscured.

Picture detail and clarity was much better on the H7150. Fine detail in the image such as the actors faces was a lot more refined. This display produced more clarity and more image depth.  For example, from particular scenes in the movie, detail in the background on trees was well refined and visible on the H7150, but on the QU17U, this same scene appeared a bit fuzzy by comparison.

Color rendition. Colors were not  always as accurate on the Sharp. Nor were they as dynamic or vibrant when compared to the Samsung display.

Conclusion

So in conclusion based on performance results, Sharps Q+ technology doesn’t appear to add any real benefit over other top performing premium class 1080p displays.

As far as 4K is concerned, this sets upscaling doesn’t perform as well as a true  4K Ultra HDTV as was evidenced when I briefly compared it to Samsung’s HU7250 4K UHD TV. Which came as no surprise to me.

When viewed on its own, the LC-70QU17U can and does delivery good picture quality. It’s not until  you compare it with other top performing 1080p models that its short comings in picture quality become apparent.

I personally believe a professional calibration job would serve this set well,  and in return, increase its picture quality.

If you are in the market for a 4K HDTV, I suggest you stick with a native 4K display, because the LC-70QU17U will not give you what you’re looking for.

Have any questions or comments about this review? Please leave them below.

 

You may also want to see my review of Samsung’s UNH7150 LED HDTV…

Share this post...
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Pin on Pinterest

7 comments

  • Very good review. I almost purchased one of these and then backed off. I like the way you do the specs at the bottom of the reviews. I’ll take your advice when I make my purchase.

    • Hi Carla,
      Thanks for your meaningful complements and visiting HDTVs and More. I’m glad you found the info in this review useful. Also, thanks for considering this website as a resource when making your next TV purchase.

  • Hi Milton. I love this review! I definitely like HD TVs. I agree with Carla that you did a great job mentioning the specs at the bottom. Your review was very detailed and if I had to write a review on such a product, I would have done it the same way. My compliments on the layout of your website, too. Thank you for writing this blog post.

    • Hi Muriel,
      Thanks for reading this review, and I appreciate all of your generous comments. In most of my reviews I always try to provide detailed info that readers will find useful, and will help guide them in purchasing a TV or other related products that fit their needs.

  • Great review.
    Just wondering if there was a setting at all to turn the 4k upscaling off on this set. Surely the Quattron+ wouldnt be fixed? Or…..

    • Hi John, I did a little research regarding your question – all of my results found that there is not an option to disable the 4K upscaler on this set. I even checked the user manual and found no info regarding the sets upscaler. Also, to my knowledge, I have yet to see a 4K display that allows the user to disable this feature. Thanks for your excellent question and taking the time to read this review.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *