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Last month, while checking out a sports memorabilia show in White Plains, NY; I had occasion to stop in at Value Electronics in Scarsdale, NY – right off the Bronx River Parkway.

Owner Robert Zohn, a long-time veteran of Hitachi’s industrial and professional video equipment business, was on hand to show me the 70-inch Sharp Elite LCD TV that was announced in early August. The PRO-70FX5D took up most of the wall it was attached to, and definitely dominated the room.

Zohn said that he’s taken quite a few preorders for this TV. Not surprising, considering the demographic in central Westchester County, one of the most affluent counties in America!

Zohn said he really thinks Sharp and Pioneer are onto something here, and that the picture quality from the PRO-70FX5D is as good as many plasma TVs. I have a hard time believing that – especially given the physics of LCD light transmission – but apparently the sets do have really deep black levels.

From my brief visit, I  couldn’t tell much of anything about image quality. The displayed content was a loop of tulips and other brightly-colored flowers blowing in the breeze, and the reds and other colors did seem natural and not over-saturated.

The new Elite LCD TVs use full array backlights with local area dimming. I have no idea if Sharp has licked any of the problems associated with local area structures, such as halos and fringing around objects on dark or black backgrounds. (Even Dolby’s $39,000 professional 42-inch LCD monitor suffers from this problem.)

Zohn also hosts a shoot-out ever year for his top-of-the-line flat screens. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday September 17 @ 6:P00 PM and Sunday the 18th @ 1:00 PM. All of the showcased Tvs will be at least 55 inches in size and the featured brands will be Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony, and the aforementioned Elite TV.

If you’d like to attend, you can register at the company Web site – www.valueelectronics.com – and seating, which is limited to 30 for each session, is first-come, first served. Several ISF calibrators will also be on hand to tune up each TV and report on their observations. Should be fun!



Posted by Pete Putman, September 8, 2011 4:24 PM

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About Pete Putman

Peter Putman is the president of ROAM Consulting L.L.C. His company provides training, marketing communications, and product testing/development services to manufacturers, dealers, and end-users of displays, display interfaces, and related products.

Pete edits and publishes HDTVexpert.com, a Web blog focused on digital TV, HDTV, and display technologies. He is also a columnist for Pro AV magazine, the leading trade publication for commercial AV systems integrators.