Sharp LC-46X20E review

Sharp's latest LCD proves to be merely fair-to-middling when held up to the class-leaders Tested at £1150.00

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Our Verdict

It’s not actually a bad TV, but the Sharp falls short of the standards set by the best in its class

For

  • Slim design
  • bright scenes are fairly detailed
  • vibrant colours
  • good sound for a flatscreen

Against

  • Poor usability
  • little black insight
  • lack of solidity to motion
  • Freeview suffers from instability

You could be forgiven for considering returning this Sharp to the shop within the first half-hour of unboxing it.

After all, it's not very pretty to look at, the initial settings are overblown, the menus are ugly and get in the way when you try to calibrate the picture, and the manual is the size of an encyclopaedia.

Yup, if this was a date you'd be starting to wonder if you could fit out of the bathroom window. But give it a chance and although the LC-46X20E is unlikely to provide a red-hot romance, it might prove to be a steady, if unexciting partner.

Looks best with bright scenes
The Sharp does its best work with bright scenes. Playing the Blu-ray of The Fall, it does a fine job of recreating the outlandish outfits of our heroes as they languish on their desert island.

The picture's decently punchy and vibrant, and detail, though not earth-shattering, is quite reasonable.

The problem comes when darkness or subtlety is required. The scenes in the gloomy hospital are short of insight, while the vibrant colour palette proves a poor reproducer of realistic skin tones.

Blu-ray motion isn't handled too well, either, with images moving smoothly, but without astounding solidity.

Motion impresses more on DVD
DVDs fair better, with sharper moving edges and greater control over smear. However, blacks are still rather all-consuming, and although entirely bright scenes are punchy, the introduction of any shadow restricts the contrast and results in a rather dull picture overall.

Perhaps surprisingly, the Freeview tuner is a little more exciting, but it also suffers from more instability than rival sets, with a slow pan over London on BBC News 24 suffering with an unsightly degree of shimmer.

Where we can be complimentary is with audio. The Sharp is balanced and communicative in standard stereo, while the surround mode increases openness while maintaining directness of speech.

Of course, you'd be very unwise to choose your new flatscreen on the basis of how it sounds, and many rivals we've tested deliver a better picture

Specifications

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General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.sharp.co.uk
Brand NameSharp
Product TypeLCD TV
ManufacturerSharp Electronics
Product LineAQUOS
Manufacturer Part NumberLC46X20E
Product NameSharp LC-46X20E
Product ModelLC-46X20E

Miscellaneous

Package Contents
  • AQUOS LC46X20E 46" LCD TV
  • Table-top stand
  • Remote Control
  • Cables
  • Manual

Interfaces-Ports

HDMIYes
VGAYes
Total Number of HDMI Ports3

Technical Information

FeaturesTeletext
Aspect Ratio16:9
Vertical Viewing Angle176°
Horizontal Viewing Angle176°
Screen Size116.8 cm (46")

Energy and Performance

Maximum Resolution1920 x 1080

Power Description

Input Voltage220 V AC

Audio

RMS Output Power15 W
Sound SystemSurround Sound

Video

Digital TunerDVB-T

Physical Characteristics

Weight Approximate30 kg