Sharp lc-60le925e

You'll be struck right away by how intensely bright and colourful 3D images look. In fact, the 3D pictures are arguably the most dynamic on any 3D TV yet built, equal or superior even to Samsung's best efforts. It's hard to resist the thought that the Quattron technology might have a hand in this, especially as the extra luminance is accompanied by some terrifically vivid, but also natural, colours.

The instant attraction of the 60LE925E's 3D pictures is reinforced by startling amounts of HD detail and crispness when watching 3D Blu-rays. Anyone who doesn't really see why full HD 3D is worth bothering with should check out a few minutes of any of the 3D titles currently available on the 60LE925E.

Sharp has also overcome past issues with motion blur with this 3D set, as the clarity of 3D images isn't significantly reduced by the familiar LCD problems of resolution loss over moving objects.

Contrast performance

Also impressive is the apparent contrast of the 60LE925E's 3D images, with some surprisingly decent black level response sitting opposite all the startling bright stuff. There's more detail in these dark areas than you might usually expect with an LCD TV or Panasonic's 3D plasma TVs. Another possible little boost from the Quattron system, perhaps?

There really is no overstating just what a great first impression all the positives just mentioned gives you of the new full 3D format. But then you notice the crosstalk noise.

This is the appearance around certain objects in an alternate frame 3D picture of double ghosting. You do get crosstalk on plasma 3D TVs, too, but not to so pronounced a degree as with LCD models.

Crosstalk

On the upside, crosstalk doesn't occur nearly as commonly on the 60LE925E as we've seen it on some rival sets, even during the infamous Monsters Vs Aliens Golden Gate Bridge sequence.

There are many shots in the course of a good 3D film, in fact, where you won't see any evidence of crosstalk at all and these shots are exemplary of just how good HD 3D can be. However, when crosstalk does appear, it is immediately distracting.

As with many other edge LED TVs, the 60LE925E really needs to have been running for half an hour at least before it starts to deliver anything like its best 3D performance.

One further slight issue with the 60LE925E's 3D performance is that it does slightly highlights the resolution difference between full HD Blu-rays and Sky's lower-resolution side by side 3D broadcasts. You can't see much difference with close shots, perhaps, but longer shots are noticeably softer with Sky material.

Blame for this for the most part lies with Sky's (currently unavoidable) side by side approach, but we couldn't help but wonder if Sharp could have done something a little cleverer to improve things in the process of 'reconstructing' the side by side data to fill the 16:9 screen with a single 3D image.

The 60LE925E's 2D standard-definition pictures are rather disappointing, at least with Freeview broadcasts, thanks predominantly to pretty strong amounts of video noise. Being aggressive with your pictures like the 60LE925E is all well and good, but you need to back it up with some seriously sophisticated scaling processing for sources that are anything less than pristine.

Happily, the 60LE925E's high-definition 2D pictures are a completely different story. Colours, for instance, exhibit the same remarkable sense of vibrancy and tonal expressiveness noted with 3D. In fact, the Quattron's impact on colours – especially, but not exclusively yellow-based stuff – is arguably even more pronounced without 3D goggles on.

2D in HD

Hi-def 2D pictures are extremely crisp and well-defined, especially as motion is handled so well, at least once the set has warmed up. Images also continue to be spectacularly bright, and shadow detail remains unusually abundant.

We were particularly surprised by just how good the 60LE925E is with HD dark scenes. It delivers pretty convincing blacks when it needs to and does so without sacrificing shadow detail.
Unfortunately, this surprising positive is tempered by a handful of minor failings.

First, the glass-like panel used to give the 60LE925E its totally smooth fascia is rather reflective of any ambient light you might have in your room. So here's hoping anyone considering splurging this much cash on a TV will be looking to place it into a sensibly dark room.

Our other concerns are thankfully avoidable by careful use of the TV's adjustments, but worth mentioning nonetheless.

The noise reduction system has a nasty habit of softening pictures up too much and should be avoided with all but the ropiest of sources. Opting for the wrong 200Hz or Film Mode setting can also have some pretty catastrophic effects on judder and processing side effects.

Finally, the Dynamic picture mode that's engaged when you first turn the TV on should be avoided at all costs, for it's an over-saturated, noisy mess that robs the TV of most of its best qualities.