|Sharp Aquos LC-30HV6U 30-inch LCD HDTV|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs LCD HDTVs|
|Written by Bryan Southard|
|Saturday, 01 May 2004|
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Music and Movies
I commonly use “Gladiator” (DreamWorks) to evaluate video displays, as this is a fantastic anamorphic pressing. The Ridley Scott masterpiece provides many details to determine video performance in the best possible way. In the last chapters, as Maximus (Russell Crowe) seeks his long-awaited revenge on Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) in a battle to the death, edge details are startlingly real with great edge separation. Edges are what make images look three-dimensional and the Sharp quickly established itself as the best flat direct-view display I have seen. Images are remarkably sharp and natural-looking, void of annoying edge artifacts that detract from the smoothness necessary to make the DVD filmlike. I was surprised that the contrast ratio, something that plagues flat screen displays, was quite good. Blacks in Maximus’s hair were well-defined and differentiated. There is a scene as the fight nears its end where people, visible in the theatrical version, are not evident standing in the tunnel which leads the coliseum. However, only a couple of displays make this possible. My Vidikron Vision 2 eight-inch CRT projector can clearly display this in dark viewing sessions as can the best CRT direct view displays, such as the Sony XBR, yet the Sharp’s 700:1 contrast is very sufficient and displays 99% of possible contrast-related details. Details in the windblown hair of Commodus’ sister Lucillia (Olivia Williams) as she stands above the dying Maximus are very distinct, with no visible motion-related artifacts when viewed from several feet away. Details and textures in the sand are so three-dimensional that they appear as clear as many native 1080i feeds. I was thoroughly impressed with this display’s performance.
Walt Disney Pictures animated epic “Dinosaur” serves up some of the best-animated detail available today. Although animation is easier to reproduce than live images, it serves as a solid evaluation tool. In the opening scenes, where Alidar is first born, the wind-drawn detail in the fur of his newly-found mammal friends is incredibly realistic and again showcases the Sharp’s uncanny ability to make images appear three-dimensional. Over and over, this display proved to best the best-looking flat display I have seen. I was in awe of it presentation of this film from every aspect.
I next loaded up the movie “Clueless” (Paramount). Although hardly a classic flick, Alicia Silverstone is adorable and this movie is downright funny. This is a good but not a great pressing, yet it represents the typical quality of many DVDs we watch and own. In the scene where Silverstone’s character Cher is getting her makeover, the flesh tones as well as the reds in her facial makeup are clear and had great color warmth. As with the other evaluations, edges are tight and smooth and images have great depth.