Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sharp Quattron – A Gimmick?


Actor portrayal … of what? An Actor flogging a technology?

Notwithstanding Mr. Sulu’s commitment to Sharp for their advertising campaign for this new technology, I have to wonder if this technology is something that was needed, or if Sharp just decided to make something up to stand out from the crowd.

I’ve been very disappointed with Sharp LCD TVs in general … had one in the house for a long time and it suffered from banding in dark scenes. Very noticeable and bad enough that I could not watch the TV. It was a small TV in the kitchen, so luckily I did not have to.

I figure that they have tried to bounce back from the onslaught by Samsung and LG to challenge the tradition dominance of Sony and Sharp … I suspect that seeing them all together has not helped Sharp sales, as their premium prices do not seem justified.

So I was in Best Buy with Jon the other day … he is considering a separate gaming TV … and I looked at a Quattron next to several others. best buy has a graphics display with very bright yellow in it … and it looked exactly the same as the others. Of course, adding a 4th color is more about combinations than about the one extra primary itself. But there is the rub … if the color you add can be perfectly rendered by the other existing primaries (and it can), then you have not done much to improve your gamut … have you?

Well, the proof is in watching all the TVs together. I saw no reason why I would pay for a Quattron. In fact, what we saw were two great buys … a Toshiba 40” for $479cad: cheap because it has only 60hz refresh, but Jon cannot watch 120hz anyway. And we saw a very good deal on Samsung’s Series 6 40” for $599cad. But it is sold out everywhere in Canada right now. Those two had the best tones in the store … of course, you have to factor in setup, but when you see it across many examples, you end up liking a few TVs.

There was one cool thing about the Quattron marketing push though. They had a cool display with a magnifier attached to show you the actual pixels. I try to carry the F300EXR with me all the time now, so I shot a couple of images with the TV displaying different colors and it looks pretty fascinating under the hood … click through for more detail.



That’s about the extent of the entertainment value of Quattron technology to me … of course, YMMV.

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