USA: Sharp's new LED-lit LCD TVs offer online set-up help. We're just not quite sure how...

Launched in the past couple of days in the States, Sharp's new LE700 Aquos LED TVs – that's LED-backlit LCDs to you and me – not only claim excellent picture quality, but some novel facilities, too.

Yes, I know: every new TV range claims unsurpassed picture quality, and in Sharp's case this is down to what the company calls 'UltraBrilliant LED backlight technology'.

It's "a full array of LEDs dispersed evenly behind the diffuser", as opposed to around the edges of the screen. But it's an always-on system, with not a sign of local dimming capability.

This works with the Spectral Contrast Engine MC to give a Dynamic Contrast Ratio of more than 2,000,000:1, and also helps keep the power consumption down. For example. the 32in model is rated at just 55W, and even the big 52in model consumes just 105W.

Oh, and Sharp reckons they'll last longer: 100,000 hours, which is over 60% longer than conventional LCD TVs, the company says. Or about 54 years at five hours' viewing a day.

But the intriguing thing is right down the bottom of the announcement. Sharp says that, using the Aquos Net internet connectivity, "consumers also have access to unparalleled customer support for their television.

"[This includes] the ability to have dedicated AQUOS Advantage advisors connect remotely to their TV to assist in adjusting the TV's settings and optimizing picture quality for the best viewing experience.

"This interactive tool, known as AQUOS Advantage Live, is easily accessible from the AQUOS Net home page."

Sounds fascinating – an end to all that hit and miss set-up, or the time and/or expense of calibrating the set or having someone do it for you.

Mentioned it in the office, and Technical Editor Ketan Bharadia, freshly returned from a two-day ISF training session, deadpanned "But how do they know what the ambient lighting is like? Or what contrast settings you prefer? Or what the colour looks like in your room? Or –"

And it was all going so well...

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.