3D TV has been one of the most hyped new technologies this year, but Sharp came at us with a different gimmick: Quad Pixel technology, implemented in their Quattron series of TVs. You’ve probably seen this line advertised in the TV spots with George Takei of (old) Star Trek fame in a lab coat, amazed by how bright and vibrant the colors on these sets are.
The trick is that Sharp has added another color to the pixels in the display. Rather than the standard red, green, and blue pixels, these Quattron sets incorporate yellow pixels as well.
At base level, these Quattron models are quality TVs made by a quality TV manufacturer. The specs are up in line with any high-end sets, including 1080p resolution, a 120 HZ refresh rate (or higher) and LED edge-lighting.
But the inclusion of yellow pixels has been the subject of vigorous debate. It's supposed to make the picture brighter, but that's really a matter of perception. One person's "bright" or “vibrant” is another's "jaundiced" or "ugly." Some pixel-peeping hard-liners claim that there's scientific proof that extra color harms picture quality, and they seem to have some valid points. At the very least, the benefits are obscured by marketing hyperbole.
But just remember: if you like the way it looks, go for it. You’ll have to live with it for better or for worse, so buy whichever set makes you happy. Drive to the store and take a look. If the extra warmth of the yellow tint pleases your eye, then rest assured that these are well-built TVs with excellent picture quality.
810 series: The baby of the Quattron bunch stands up to its older brothers easily. The specs are almost exactly the same as the 820 series (120 Hz, 1080p, Aquos Net connectivity, and that Quad Pixel technology, to check off the most important boxes. The only thing that seems to be different from the 820 is the physical look. It is a bit drab compared to the refined appearance of the 820, but is that really important? Nope.
820 series: The middle of the Quattron lineup shares its specs with the 810 series above -- 1080p, 120 Hz, Aquos Net connectivity, and a Quad Pixel display -- but has a more attractive appearance. You’ll probably just be staring at the image on the screen, not the bezel around it, but if you think better interior design principles or feng shui or whatever you want to call it is worth an extra few hundred dollars, then go for it.
920 series: The 920 sits atop the Quattron lineup but doesn't seem to be widely available. The upgrade here is the 240 HZ "Aquo Motion" refresh rate. A nice touch, but worth the extra cash? Not likely.