The fact that the 46LE700E’s motion is still flawed even with the 100Hz processing is made all the more unfortunate when you consider how good its pictures are in other ways – at least after you’ve spent some time calibrating the image away from the generally dismal presets the TV ships with.
For instance, as usual with direct LED TVs, the 46LE700E can produce a strikingly profound black colour by flat TV standards. Furthermore, thanks to local dimming, these inky blacks are able to sit right alongside strikingly bright and pure whites in a way a standard, single light source LCD TV would find near impossible to match.
There’s a slight lack of fine detail in black areas, thanks to the inability of the dimming LED light sources to be locally accurate down to single pixel level. But this only affects a fairly limited selection of images, and is something you may not even notice unless you directly compare the same dark sequence on the 46LE700E with a good standard LCD or edge LED alternative.
It was pleasing to note, too, only minor and rare traces of direct LED’s haloing problem during dark scenes. Though at the same time, the picture loses black level quite badly if watched from the side.
The 46LE700E excels – as the 40LE600E did – when it comes to presenting the detail and crispness of a good HD source, except for when the motion issues get in the way.
Next, as we’d expect given the TV’s extreme contrast performance, after calibration – though only after calibration! – it proves capable of delivering some really excellent colours: dynamic, natural (especially versus Sharp’s standard LCD TVs), yet also more subtle than I’d expected given the white dimming ‘limitation’ and presumably restricted number of LEDs.
Turning to the 46LE700E’s sound, it sadly doesn’t live up to the size and general quality of the TV’s pictures. It’s decent enough during fairly straightforward TV fare, but it fails to open up much at all to embrace remotely dynamic or expansive film scenes, leaving them sounding a bit one-dimensional and uninvolving.
While the 46LE700E delivers some if not all of the expected benefits of direct LED technology at an appealing price, making it another good LED TV, it’s a shame that its 100Hz system isn’t quite potent enough to overcome the motion blur issue that seems inherent to Sharp’s current LED panel design.