televisions

Sharp Aquos LC-40D78UN LCD HDTV Review

40 in.

Not the best budget TV we’ve reviewed, but it gets the job done for a reasonable price.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Black Level

The Toshiba LC-40D78UN had a moderately deep black level. We measured it at 0.21 candelas per square meter (cd/m2), which is probably a meaningless number for non-cinephiles. Basically, anything with a black level of 0.10 cd/m2^ or less will produce a very deep, rich black. Black levels in the 0.20 cd/m2^ range are average, and anything over 0.30 cd/m2^ will have that distinct "bright black" look.

While the LC-40D78UN has a black level that will be adequate for most users, those looking for perfect picture quality should look elsewhere. More on how we test black level.

Black Level Chart

Peak Brightness

Toshiba LC-40D78UN wasn't the brightest LCD we've reviewed. You only really need 200 cd/m2to get an adequate picture, and we measured the LC-40D78UN at 269.84 cd/m2. Even though this will be enough for most users, it's not very bright for an LCD—especially one with such a middling black level. More on how we test peak brightness.

Peak Brightness Chart
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Contrast

A TV's contrast is the ratio of its brightest white to its darkest black. Our eyesight is based on contrast, so a TV's contrast ratio is important for maintaining an image's detail. We measured the Sharp LC-40D78UN's contrast ratio at 1289:1, which is a bit below average for a modern LCD. It's the result of a mediocre black level and brightness. Again, while the average consumer might not notice a particularly bad contrast ratio here, people that know what to look for could spot this TV out of a line-up. More on how we test contrast.

Contrast Chart

Tunnel Contrast

Our tunnel contrast test measures the consistency of the black level. Sometimes when there's just a small amount of black on the screen, the black level gets washed out by the surrounding brightness. The Sharp LC-40D78UN had a pretty even black level, regardless of what percentage of the screen was black. More on how we test tunnel contrast.

Tunnel Contrast Chart

White Falloff

Some TVs have trouble maintaining their peak brightness when the whole screen is white. For example, plasmas simply can't handle the energy requirement. The LC-40D78UN, however, maintained a pretty consistent level of brightness. You shouldn't have any issues with bright details fading on a predominantly dark screen, or with the TV's brightness dropping when the screen is predominantly white. More on how we test white falloff.

White Falloff Chart

Uniformity

For the most part, the Sharp LC-40D78UN's screen was pretty uniform. With an all white screen we only noticed some minor dimming in the corners and around the edges. On an all black screen the display was a little cloudy, but the lighter parts were fairly faint. Basically, unless you're looking at an all black screen, you won't notice the uniformity issues. More on how we test white falloff.

Greyscale Gamma

Greyscale gamma describes how a TV emulates all the greys between the darkest black and the brightest white. The slope of this curve should be about 2.2. This ensures an even progression through shades: two adjacent shades won't be so similar they'll look identical, and they won't be so dissimilar the shades won't blend together seamlessly.

We measured the Sharp LC-40D78UN's greyscale gamma at 2.40, which is a bit aggressive. If you look at the graph below, you'll see there's a bit of a dip towards the dark end. The flatter part indicates the shades are a bit too similar, and the steeper portion indicates the shades are a bit too different. Overall, though, the LC-40D78UN's greyscale gamma was spot on. More on how we test greyscale gamma.

Greyscale Gamma Chart
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Introduction
  2. Tour & Design
  3. Blacks & Whites
  4. Color Accuracy
  5. Motion
  6. Viewing Effects
  7. Calibration
  8. Connectivity
  9. Audio & Menus
  10. Multimedia & Internet
  11. Power Consumption
  12. Samsung LN40C630 Comparison
  13. Sony Bravia KDL-40W5100 Comparison
  14. Panasonic Viera TC-P42S1 Comparison
  15. Conclusion
  16. Series Comparison
  17. Photo Gallery
  18. Ratings & Specs
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

What's Your Take?

All Comments