It is unlikely for 90-inch TVs to hit the average household in the next decade or too. But that doesn’t exactly mean that this category of massive displays is in short supply. Surprisingly, the most popular TV manufacturers duke it out in this niche category too and it is primarily because these companies want to showcase the latest and greatest technologies. Any TV more than 80 inches should impress a person especially if it is priced lower than the competition. The Sharp LC-90LE657U can indeed attract in terms of looks as well as in terms of price since Sharp is equipping its only 90-inch TV with midrange specs. A question on whether or not that is a good move is in order.
The LC-90LE657U may not be the largest TV ever these days with all the 100-inch TVs out there, but this TV is still huge making all those 40 to 50-inch displays appear small. Take note, people find 40 to 50-inch TVs quite large but the nicely designed 90-inch display may not even fit in standard living room. Large TVs also require greater stability which is why companies add supports to the left and right side of the TV. The Sharp LC-90LE657U doesn’t feature these stands as the TV has a fairly long base. This makes the LC-90LE657U look very similar to many of the other smaller Sharp TVs. The bezel isn’t exactly razor thin but that’s okay because the very large screen will ensure that the picture really stands out.
The Sharp LC-90LE657U has a pretty interesting layout of inputs and outputs on the back. The 2 sets of composite and single set of component ports can immediately be seen on the back along with the RS-232C and VGA port. The more frequently used ports like the 4 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports and Ethernet ports can be found on the right and bottom sides of the legacy ports. These ports are more concealed for cable management purposes although there are icons that help you locate the port you want to use when setting up the TV.
Although the LC-90LE657U is part of Sharp’s series 6 family of TVs, many of the features that you would find in the series 7 and 8 models are present in this 90-inch TV. This includes Sharp’s SmartCentral experience which is known for its minimal interface. Bringing this experience up requires you to press the Smart Central button located right next to the Menu button the remote. A small dock will pop up from the bottom while the active TV source you are watching continues to play on. From there, you can pick from a number of apps pointing to familiar services like Netflix, YouTube, CinemaNow and several other services. This dock actually represents your list of favorite apps allowing you to launch an app without going through a full screen interface. You can add any app to this set as you install apps and you can rearrange the list to suit your preferences. The first 3 from the left are also linked to the 3 buttons in the “Fav App” group on your remote. To access the full SmartCentral interface, you have to press the Smart Central button once again. This brings up a more organized list of apps installed as you can quickly locate the app by going to the category it represents. Unless you want to install a new app, you shouldn’t have to access this interface if you added all your most frequently used apps to the dock.
Not all apps are for accessing online services. The Web browser app is more like a traditional Internet browser that enables you to check out any website you desire. Browsing on a 90-inch TV without the need of another connected device is really cool and the browser is capable of handling Adobe Flash content too. There is also this multitasking feature that lets you watch TV while a browser window is open. It functions a lot like the Windows 8 “Snap” function that lets you place 2 apps side-by-side. This arrangement does cut the viewing area of both the Web browser and TV in half but that’s hardly a big deal for a 90-inch TV. Using the browser may make you wish you are using a real computer since the functionality is quite basic and performance on the average side but if you just want to use a keyboard and/or mouse to navigate faster, you can pair the TV with any Bluetooth keyboards and mice you may have.
In addition to onboard Bluetooth, wireless LAN is baked in too so using the Ethernet port is optional. The Sharp LC-90LE657U is a 3D TV as well relying on Active 3D technology. 2 pairs of rechargeable 3D glasses are included in the package.
As mentioned earlier, the LC-90LE657U has middle of the road specs but for a 90-inch TV, most people will hardly care because the picture quality stands out. The TVs biggest weakness would have to be the viewing angles so your viewing experience should be fine if you have the couch positioned just across the TV. With AquoMotion 240, the Sharp LC-90LE657U is a pretty decent TV for watching sports. For movies, the 8,000,000:1 is quite impressive. You may have to settle with either the smaller LC-80LE857U or LC-80LE757U models for better black levels and 240 Hz refresh rate for even smoother playback. Fortunately, the Quattron Color Technology that improves color accuracy is retained. The sound experience is pretty good too thanks to the built-in subwoofer. Finally, the LC-90LE657U is powered by a dual-core processor making the SmartCentral experience and browser a bit faster than competing budget models.
While the LC-90LE657U isn’t really Sharp’s most advanced display, it is still the company’s most expensive 1080p display currently being priced at $7,999. You can actually save money if you go for a more powerful 80-inch Sharp TV. Even 10 inches can be a pretty big difference in size comparison. So basically, if you want your TV to be as huge as possible and want to save money by not going 4K, the Sharp LC-90LE657U is your pick.
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