What Hi Fi Sound and Vision
Mon, 7 Jul 2008, 4:00pm
One of the best LCD TVs we've seen from Sharp but it still struggles to make an impact
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- Full HD
- rich colour, decent with movement
- good TV tuner
- Struggles to deliver deep blacks
- lacks sharpness
- lightweight sound
Right from the start, Sharp has been one of the pioneering brands behind LCD technology. Back in its infancy, it wouldn't be unusual to see a Sharp LCD TV adorned with a full set of five stars.
But, over recent years the competition has really upped its game and Sharp hasn't really been able to relive those heady days. Perhaps the LC-32B20E can turn the tables.
Well, one thing you can't fault is the design. This is a thin, smart-looking, functional set complete with a rotating pedestal stand and dressed in a standard issue, gloss black finish.
Being the bastion of flatscreen technology Sharp is, it should be no surprise that the 'B20E is a Full HD set. Connectivity is on a par with the rest of the sets here.
On the whole, DVD images are well-defined. There's a slight tint to the picture but nothing too distracting, and it doesn't prevent the Sharp from dishing out rich colours that restrain from being overcooked.
This richness transfers to the Freeview tuner too. While it's true that there are traces of noise, this is still a punchy, entertaining picture.
Blu-ray images are smooth
Complete the viewing cycle with a Blu-ray disc and the Sharp deserves credit for its smoothness with motion during Cars.
Detail levels aren't to be sniffed at, but you can't help feel that this set isn't quite uncovering every last ounce of detail and resolution, unlike some of the front runners in this group.
Also, the Sharp struggles to deliver the deep dark blacks that the best sets are capable of displaying. Instead, you're treated to a decent amount of low-light detail, but it's presented in an insubstantial greyish hue.
The LC-32B20E fails to pick up any brownie points for audio. Clarity and weight are found wanting and you're left with a disappointingly empty sound.
We had high hopes for this Sharp set, but inadequacies in picture quality combined with its relatively high price mean there's still definite room for improvement.