Sharp announces biggest TV in Canada


Sharp's LC-80LE632U, the biggest TV in Canada

Yes sir, that right there is the biggest TV in Canada. Or at least, it will be when it goes on sale next month for the equally big price of $5,299.00.

The gargantuan AQUOS LC-80LE632U (hey Sharp – must we still use such awkward model names?) is 80 inches of full HD awesomeness and also sports these features:

  • UltraBrilliant Full Array LED backlighting system
  • Dual USB Inputs – enable viewing high-resolution video, music and digital photos on the TV
  • Connected TV Services – delivers streaming video, customized Internet content and live customer support via built-in Wi-Fi

What I find a little surprising are the features it lacks, namely: 3D and Quattron.

I can certainly overlook the lack of Quattron. While I was impressed by the technology’s picture quality (Sharp claims that the inclusion of the extra yellow pixel renders colours more accurately) I’ve never been convinced of the science behind it. Given that no digital cameras or other recording equipment possess yellow sensors (they all use combinations of Red, Green and Blue) it seems to me that any data being sent to Sharp’s yellow pixels had to be interpolated from the original signal, so how accurate could it be?

But no 3D, especially at that price? That’s a tougher nut to swallow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fan of 3D by any means. In fact, I still consider it to be both a fad and a gimmick despite what some manufacturers would have us believe. But I’d also be the first to acknowledge that the kind of buyer who is ready to drop over five grand for an 80-inch TV, is likely not going to be happy with a unit that doesn’t “do it all.” If you want 3D and Quattron, you’ll have to give up the extra 10 inches and grab Sharp’s LC-70LE735U which has both and MSRPs for $4599. Like most of the rest of Sharp’s high-end line, the LC-80LE632U comes equipped with Sharp’s AQUOS Advantage LIVE service. This free service actually lets a Sharp service advisor connect to your TV remotely in order to help you trouble-shoot any issues you might be having, or simply to calibrate the unit so that it gives you the best picture for your environment. While most techies will scoff at this, plenty of buyers will appreciate not having to describe technical problems over the phone to a customer service person.

If, by some stroke of luck, Sharp has managed to create a screen that is as beautiful to watch as it is large, then I will consider the money well spent. But I’m not sure that this is the case. Consider for instance that this new 80-inch behemoth only runs 120 Hz motion processing. The standard for most high-end HDTVs is at least 240 Hz, which is still a far cry from a plasma screen’s native 480 Hz. At 120 Hz, especially at an 80-inch screen size, I’m concerned that motion-blur will be an issue.

Of course, it’s completely unfair to judge a TV – or any other gadget for that matter – until you’ve seen it in real life, so I’ll stop my premature hand-wringing. Speaking of real life, if you want to get a sense of just how big this TV is, check out CNET’s photo of the unit complete with a bored-looking Sharp spokesperson for scale.

Secretly, I can’t wait to see what GT5 looks like on this monster!

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26 comments

  1. Claude Desaulniers

    I dont think screen size has much to do with the amount of Hz. 120 Hz is fine and plenty. More than that is just numbers.

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    • lol

      the HZ refers to the refresh rate of the screen

      native is 60

      all other rates are software enhanced

      if you want to watch sports without the blur of LCD or LED you need to buy a plasma, plasma has a native refresh rate of 600

      far faster than any other screen on the market…

      take my advice or leave it…

      I watch sports on my 50″ Plasma…and I love hockey…won’t use an LCD or LED…both are the same screen technology anyway…LCD or LED only refers to the backlight technology…

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  2. Sam

    Ah no.

    It is not the largest TV in Canada.

    Panasonic has an 85″ HD plasma for sale at Costco stores. 9999.97

    1080p @ 600Hz.

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    • Simon Cohen

      Hey Sam, I can’t find any references to that TV at Costco or any other Cdn. retailer. It’s possible you’re referring to an 85″ Plasma display that Panasonic makes, but technically it’s a display, not a TV – there’s no built-in tuner or speakers. Please include a link if you believe this is incorrect. Thanks!

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  3. Sam

    Saw it at the Merivale Costco in Ottawa and took a pic with my cell. The SKU is 9990852 and it is listed as a plasma TV, not monitor. Give them a call, (613) 727-4786, if you doubt it. I know I saw it.

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      • Sam

        I tried searching as well, to no avail, but I was blown away enough to take a pic of the sign itself. 85″ is only 10 inches short of my projection screen!

        If I can glom onto a micro SD card, I can upload a pic to flickr or something similar.

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      • Simon Cohen

        Sam, got the deets.
        You’re right, Costco was very briefly selling the Panasonic TH85PFTY12 for $10,000 but it went down to $5,000 (can you believe that?) before they sold out.
        For the record, that model is a professional display (without a TV tuner or speakers) so I think Sharp’s claim is still valid. But thanks for the info!

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      • Todd

        Boston Pizza in Lindsay, ON claims to have a “103 inch big screen HD TV” – that’s quoted from their Facebook page .. I think it is a Panasonic LCD .. but not sure .. I guess they didn’t necessarily had to have bought it in Canada .. it is quite big and there are 2 other 42″ (or so, I’m not sure) on either side of the 103 inch tv .. they have it on the wall in their bar .. what do you think about it??

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      • Ciarrai

        Boston Pizza in Lindsay does have 103″ Panasonic hdtv. I live in lindsay and have been there a few times to know. They were originally like 70K and they’ve recently dropped them down to 50k I believe.

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      • Simon Cohen

        Yes – it’s a commercial display, as opposed to a “TV”. But only b/c it lacks speakers and a TV tuner. In every other respect, it’s basically the same as a plasma TV.

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  4. numbskull

    This queer tv is interesting but most ultra fast display rate low end TN LCD monitors including most on desktops are 6 bit per pixel (18bit RGB) dithering tech and a bit slower 8 bit will do full 24 bit and withering for 32 bit graphics and overcolour and even slower refresh rate 10 bits is enough to mimick 10 billion colours and our retinas can only process roughly 16 million colours at most.
    Plasma tv’s do not have as much on this issue but suck up a lot more power than the newer LED type TV now available other than just Sharp Aquas.
    If HDTV broadcast reception is an issue, consumer protects testing mags showed that LG hdtv have the highest reception by far and Sony and others have better than average displays in both 2d and 3d imagery for blue ray if need be. Still fuddle about the flat hdtv antennas available and the so called “amplified” ones that either do very well or are sort of duds after first use and that includes RCA, and Philips almost last. Anything on outdoor antennas comment for yourself on this since few mention about it.
    If cable and satellite tv is the norm, then no choice for a excellent tv is wrong except for reliablilty issues after a few years and Samsung is one of the worst on this one.
    At least it’s a new record for sheer size and watched far enough away equivalent to the back of a very large cinema room in Toronto, Montreal and other regions if possible.

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    • lol

      Newer Plasma’s are far more energy efficient than they used to be.

      Now made with LEAD FREE panels as well…so they arguments in favour of LCD or LED are only valid if you refer to brightness of the display and ambient lighting as to how it affects the screen.

      Sorry to make you sound LESS informed but that is the truth.

      Plasma’s have the BEST colour, BEST blacks and the BEST refresh rates. Native or otherwise. LCD’s and LED’s have the BEST brightness and virtually no glare issues…also less image retention although that is no longer much of an issue with TV’s now.

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  5. sjt

    Well, $ 5,299.00 seems like a great price ! We we paid $4200.00 , 9 yrs ago for the new Sony HD Ready, 61″ (tube tv ) We love it ! However, when it dies, we would consider the 80 ” as the TV wall is large enough.

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  6. MaxT

    Plasma may have the best black, etc…….but they also have the worst burn-in. I have a 58″ Samsung Plasma 8000 series and a 46″ Samsung 650 series LCD. Both great TV’s, but the plasma had burn-in after 4 months of use. Yes, I looked after it, using the burn-in protection, watching in wide screen (even when I didn’t want to). Pictures are similiar on both TV’s, with only a very slight edge going to the Plasma. Trust me, if you want a trouble free TV and don’t want to worry about pic size or leaving it on one channel for too long, then go with LCD and stay away from any of the plasma’s,

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    • Simon Cohen

      Not that I want to bash Samsung, but I think the problem is with your particular model, not plasma in general. Early plasma sets definitely suffered from this, but almost all plasmas from the last 3-4 years have had no problems. Our 50″ Panny is now 3 years old and while the blacks aren’t quite as deep as when it was new, burn-in has never been an issue – even after hours of video gaming which is typically the biggest burn-in culprit.

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    • Simon Cohen

      did you try to deal with it under warranty? We bought a refurb Samsung 32″ LCD which developed a really noticeable defect right up the middle of the panel. They replaced the entire unit under warranty which has performed just fine since.

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  7. MaxT

    Yeah I “tried” :-) Samsung Canada said that burn-in on Plasma was not covered under warranty. When I explained that the TV was only 4 months old at the time and that I had followed all the proper steps for operating the TV, they basically said that it was just the nature of the Plasma’s and I’d have to live with it. I’m always up for a good fight, but after numerous calls to Samsung Canada that weren’t going anywhere, I gave up.

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    • Simon Cohen

      Regular LCD is backlit with a CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light) whereas LED LCD is backlit with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) The benefits of LEDs over CCFL is that they can be better controlled, consume less power, enable thinner frame designs and some argue they can get get brighter and offer better colour reproduction. There are differences within LED LCDs too: Some are “edge-lit” while others offer “full local dimming”, the latter being more expensive because it uses a full panel of LEDs behind the screen instead of just around the edges. This also allows for darker blacks in certain scenes.

      Soon we will see AMOLED TVs becoming more popular and these screens offer more vivid, life-like colours than LCD because the pixels produce colour and brightness so they don’t need a backlight of any kind. Think of them as a hybrid between LCD and plasma. But they will be as expensive at first as plasmas were 10 years ago.

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