The LC-46E77U's face is a glossy black plastic, with a shiy gray piece at the bottom that holds the power LED. The stand is also glossy black plastic, and features rounded edges.
The *LC-46E77U looks a lot like the LC-65E77U.
The right side of the LC-46E77U has basic on-TV controls. Further set back, on the rear of the TV, are a few input ports. We woulnd't call these ease-of-access ports, however, since you still have to stretch around the side of the TV a bit to reach them.
The LC-46E77U's stand will let it rotate in a small arc. Like its larger sister, the LC-65E77U. You should also be able to mount it on a wall if you wish.
While there isn't a lot to differentiate the LC-46E77U from the average TV, it does have a few interesting differences that improve its aesthetics. For starters, the bottom of the TV is a glossy champaigne color, which is better than the ubiquitous glossy black. Also, the stand has nice rounded edges. Again, these are small improvements, but they help the E series to look slightly more attractive than the majority of TVs out there.
Display Size & Technology
The LC-46E77U's screen measures 46 inches diagonally, and uses LCD technology. As a general rule, LCD screens are brighter than plasma TVs, but have poorer blacks and contrast ratios.
Viewing an LCD from any angle but straight on typically
results in a degraded picture quality.
Format & Resolution
The LC-46E77U displays in 1080p. It has a 1920x1080 resolution and an aspect ratio of 16:9.
Brightness, Blacks & Contrast Ratio
True to LDC's stigma, the LC-46E77U didn't seem to have the best contrast ratio – the blacks certainly weren't as deep as the plasmas we looked at. When we looked at the video from different viewing angles, the contrast ratio diminished a bit, but not by a huge amount. We'd say it was about average compared to the other LCDs we saw, but worst than the plasmas.
Refresh Rate & Motion
With a 120Hz refresh rate, the LC-46E77U had fluid motion without any discernable blurring. There were a few TVs at the show with 240Hz and above, but we were only able to spot differences between those with the standard 60Hz rate and 120Hz. We therefore think the LC-46E77U's refresh rate is enough to ensure motion won't look ugly. The TV can also support 24p playback, which is the format movies are typically shot in.
Sharp seems to think the viewing angle for the LC-46E77U is 176º. While we were impressed that there was never a point of solarization or a significant degredation of video quality, we still wouldn't recommend viewing any TV from 176º. Also, the contrast ratio seemed to suffer a tiny bit around 30º, and continues to fall off gradually from that point on.
Like it's bigger sister, the LC-46E77U didn't have the best color quality. Other Sharp TVs, like the LC-65XS1, seemed to have incredible vibrance (but also had absurd prices). While the LC-46E77U was certainly capable of bright colors, they just looked a bit washed out compared to the surrounding, higher-end models. Also, the colors seemed to be very slightly uneven: colors in the center looked very slightly brighter than towards the edges. Of course, this was under show floor lights, and this issue could very easily not make it to retail units. If it does, we'll be sure to mention it once we've verified the finding with our lab testing.
Audio & Video Ports
The audio and video ports are located on the back of the TV, towards the right side (when you're facing the TV). The right-facing ports include an HDMI, composite video, analog audio, and service input. The back of the TV has three more HDMI ports, a digital audio output, a VGA input and a corresponding 3.5mm audio port, an RS-232C input/output, three more analog audio ports, two component video ports, a second composite video input, and an analog cable input.
These ports are located a few inches away from the TV's right side.
Media & Other Connectivity
Unlike a lot of TVs at CES this year, the LC-46E77U doesn't have an ethernet port, SD card reader, or any other advanced media features. If you value media or connectivity, you should check out Sharp's AQUOS line of TVs.
The ports on the back of the LC-46E77U could have been better. We liked the right-facing ones for easy access, but since they're located a few inches away from the side of the TV you'll still have to lean around the TV to get to them. The ones in the back are closer to the edge of the TV than some other sets we've seen, but they're still a bit annoying to reach. Fortunately, the TV's swivel stand should aid accessibility.
The LC-46E77U's speakers are located on its backside, in the center. We couldn't find any information on their wattage.
Sharp didn't have any remotes available for photograph.
The basic on-TV controls can be found towards the bottom of the TV's right side. You can turn the TV off/on, access the menu, change your input, or fiddle with channels and volume.
The on-TV controls are out of view but still easy
Unfortunately, we didn't get a look at the LC-46E77U's menu system.
The LC-46E77U is a nice looking TV, both aesthetically and in terms of its video quality. It certainly seems to represent a better value than the $4,500 65-inch version, although if you want the largest screen size it may be worth it to you. The LC-46E77U (and its siblings) don't have as many bells and whistles as some HDTVs we've seen at CES, but they cover the basics and the 120Hz refresh rate should help improve motion performance.
Meet the tester
Alfredo Padilla is a valued contributor to the Reviewed.com family of sites.
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