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Best 2016 LCDs: Sharp

Highlights: 2016 Sharp LCDs feature curved screens, local dimming, and quantum color

Sharp's TV business in the Americas has been acquired by Chinese TV manufacturer Hisense, and Sharp's 2016 TV lineup may represent the last "pure" offering from the company before the brand takes new direction. That said, Sharp's best 2016 televisions will offer the latest in picture quality enhancements and advanced multimedia capabilities.

A new UI
Sharp's 2016 HD and ultra-high definition (UHD) televisions have received a user interface (UI) make over that makes better use of higher screen resolutions. The result appears to provide a cleaner look that finally does away with the clunky retro-looking menus of past designs.

Ideally, the clean interface presented above extends to all sub-menus for a consistent presentation.

Best 2016 TVs + Tech

The Flagship - AQUOS N9000 Series
The Sharp N9000 series UHD TVs feature the company's SPECTROS quantum dot technology for producing chromatically-rich white light that enables improved brightness efficiency and color saturation. The N9000 series also marks the first time the company has offered HDR compatibility in both flat and curved screen design options.

Other N9000 series features include:

  • Full array local dimming backlight
  • High-dynamic range (Open HDR spec)
  • Quantum dot color (91% Rec.2020)
  • 2x2 dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac
  • dbx-tv sound
  • 8-core processor
  • VP9 and HEVC decoding
  • 4K media support
  • App store + web browser

The 65-inch Sharp AQUOS N9000U (LC-65N9000U - pictured above) is the company's first curved screen TV offering, and the addition of full array local dimming (FALD) should enable brightness and contrast on par with similarly spec'd premium LCD televisions like the Samsung JS9500 (read review). Good FALD isn't cheap or easy to do, but the resulting improvement in picture contrast makes it my favorite LCD feature. The 65-inch N9000U is expected to ship early-to-mid 2016 with a price of $3000 (MSRP).

If you are not a fan of curved TV screens, then the 70-inch Sharp AQUOS N9100 (LC-70N9100U - pictured above) gives you all of the same picture performance and features of the curved N9000 in a flat screen design. The 70-inch N9100U is expected to ship early-to-mid 2016 with price of $3300 (MSRP).

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Sharp AQUOS N8000 Series
Bringing more value to increasingly popular large UHD screen sizes, the Sharp AQUOS N8000 series televisions will feature fewer zones of local dimming compared to the company's flagship N9000 series while providing similar core specs and compatibility with HDR video sources. The N8000 (pictured below) achieves its wide color gamut (WCG) support through the use of optimized color filters and polarizers, and I'll be curious to see how the TV's color gamut coverage compares to other LCDs using quantum dot or phosphor-enhanced LED backlight systems. The 70-inch Sharp AQUOS N8100U (LC-70N8100U) has an MSRP of $2300 and is styled similarly to the N9100 pictured above.

The N8100 features a full array local dimming backlight system while its larger sibling, the 75-inch Sharp AQUOS N8000U (LC-75N8000U - pictured above) is edge-lit with local dimming capabilities. The Sharp LC-75N8000U has an MSRP of $3000.

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Sharp AQUOS N7000 Series
Sharp's N7000 series of UHD TVs is also HDR-ready but sacrifices wide color gamut support to be an even better value. The N7000 series features similar wireless networking, CPU power, sound, and multimedia support as Sharp's premium models. However, only the larger 70-inch Sharp AQUOS N7100U (LC-70N7100U) will feature full array local dimming while the smaller sized Sharp AQUOS N7000U series (pictured below) lack hardware local dimming altogether.

MSRP pricing for the Sharp AQUOS N7000 series TVs is as follows:

  • 70-inch LC-70N7100U: $1,999.99
  • 65-inch LC-65N7000U: $1,499.99
  • 60-inch LC-60N7000U: $1,199.99
  • 55-inch LC-55N7000U: $799.99
  • 50-inch LC-50N7000U: $699.99
  • 43-inch LC-43N7000U: $499.99

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Sharp N6000 Series
Rounding out Sharp's 2016 UHD TV offerings is the N6000 series. This series delivers many of the same base features of Sharp's premium 2016 TVs including an 8-core CPU, wireless networking, and apps. The N6000 TVs are also compatible with HDR-encoded content albeit without the wide color gamut or local dimming capabilities of more expensive models. The big deal here is attractive pricing for mid-sized UHD resolution LCDs.

  • 55-inch LC-55N6000U: $749.99
  • 50-inch LC-50N6000U: $599.99
  • 43-inch LC-43N6100U: $449.99

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     This article will be updated as new information becomes available

Reader Comments (1)

Great informative post, but one comment though. On the CES 2016 episode of Home Theatre Geeks the Hisense rep said that they had only leased the Sharp name for five years.

Hi Tommy! Thanks for the clarification - I was really pleased by the Sharp TV demos at CES and I look forward to seeing what Hisense can do with the brand in the time they have it.

January 8, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTommy Hermansen

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