Sharp LC-50LB371U Review

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Think Twice
The 50-inch model in Sharp's LB371U series sounds like a great bargain, but the display's colors are inaccurate and the overall picture quality isn't equal to the competition. Further, users are limited to only a few controls to tweak it.

The 50-inch Sharp LC-50LB371U (starting at $430, Amazon) has two things in its favor: It uses Roku's smart TV interface and it's super cheap. Experts praise the Roku menu as simple and easy to use. But, like other Roku-based TVs, this one has limited picture controls, and they're buried in the menu interface. A Sharp LC-50LB371U review from PCMag notes that the color accuracy is a little off, and because of the limited controls, viewers can't fine-tune the color. The contrast is reasonably good, however.

A CNET reviewer likewise raves about the Roku interface and found the color accuracy to be off. The image quality of the Sharp LC-50LB371U simply isn't as good as competing budget TVs, according to this expert. Unlike other direct-lit LED TVs such as the Vizio E Series, this model doesn't have local dimming. The reviewer does appreciate the three HDMI ports. Many budget TVs have only two.

The Sharp LC-50LB371U also has a component/composite port, a DVI port, and a USB port. The Roku interface on this Wi-Fi-enabled smart TV includes about 2,000 apps, including popular streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. This is a 1080p HDTV with an LED panel and a 60 Hz refresh rate.

Sharp's decision to incorporate the Roku interface into this smart TV was certainly a good one, and a 50-inch TV for just over $400 is worthy of attention. But the picture quality of the Sharp LC-50LB371U leaves something to be desired. Reviewers agree its color accuracy is off, and due to the sparse picture controls, there's no way to dial it in just right.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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