While Sharp’s 60LE925E might not be the first 60in+ 3D TV we’ve seen, it’s arguably the most intriguing. First, it’s Sharp’s very first 3D set, sneaking out months ahead of smaller 3D screens slated for release next spring. So it should give us a perfect first impression of Sharp’s 3D abilities - especially since its extreme size will leave no hiding place for picture weaknesses.
Next, the 60LE925E marks the debut of another potentially critical TV feature first for Sharp: online functionality. Then there’s the fact that, very unusually, the 60LE925E carries an in-built 8GB hard disk drive onto which you can record, in perfect quality, programmes shown on the set’s TV tuner.
Finally and potentially most significantly, the 60LE925E sees the return of an old friend: Sharp’s unique Quad-pixel or ‘Quattron’ technology, where yellow sub-pixels are added alongside the usual red, green and blue ones. We were rather taken with this tech when we first saw it on Sharp’s LC-46LE821E, and we’re really intrigued to see how it translates into a third dimension.
The home for Sharp’s 3D debutante is a very elegant one. The black bezel sits on the same plane as the screen, and a cute metallic outer trim curves round each of the screen’s sides. The finishing touches comes from a seriously cool table-top stand that makes great use of smoked glass and chrome, with the only downside being that the glass sheet across the screen’s front can be reflective of direct light.
Turning to the 60LE925E’s rear, we find four HDMIs built to the v1.4 spec so they’re compatible with alternate frame 3D technology. These are joined among other things by a USB port and an Ethernet port, with the USB able to play JPEGs, MP3s and DivX HD video files or make the TV Wi-Fi ready courtesy of a free, supplied USB dongle.
The Ethernet port provides wired online support, of course, or you can use it to access files on a DLNA-capable PC. One thing the Ethernet port oddly does not support, though, is future Freeview HD interactive features. Why? Because the TV doesn’t actually have a Freeview HD tuner.
This obviously seems like a pretty big oversight for a TV as otherwise cutting edge as the 60LE925E. Indeed, Sharp seems pretty up-front about this, acknowledging that smaller models in the LE925E range aren’t appearing until next year so there’s time to get Freeview HD tuners into them.
Problem is, Sharp felt that it just had to get a 3D TV well established in the market in the run up to Christmas. So they took the philosophical view that many of the sort of people who might consider installing a 60in screen like the 60LE925E in their homes will probably also be the sort of people who already have - or have the financial wherewithal to easily get - an external HD receiver. This just about works as an argument, we guess.