It's been a while since Sharp sat near the top of the TV tree. Despite the company's best efforts, it's struggled to hit the heights of its golden age.
Nevertheless, Sharp continues to make TVs of sufficient specification to challenge the best in class – and the LC32DH77 is another example.
As regular readers will know, technical specification is only half the story, and from the off there is something slightly lacklustre about this Sharp set.
We've no qualms with its smart, glossy finish and the swivel stand is always welcome, but we can't help feeling it looks cheaper in the flesh than it does in a smartly shot photo.
Our direct link to the TV is, of course, the remote control and it's a remote we've seen (and been fairly underwhelmed by) before.
It's also a touch sluggish at getting us around the fairly staid menus.
Only the spec is up to scratch
Still, when it comes to competitive features this Sharp set is far more skilled. It's a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution panel, complete with 100Hz motion technology, 24fps compatibility and, of course, digital and analogue tuners.
Once we've tuned in the TV reception, we're fairly impressed by the picture that greets us – images are clean, with full-bodied but natural colours.
There's a hint of noise around edges, which in turn could be drawn a touch more sharply, but otherwise we're as happy as you can be watching Noel Edmonds in Deal or No Deal.
We make the jump from 576i resolution to 1080p and feed some Blu-ray content to the LC32DH77. Again the colours are on the vivid side, with skin tones given plenty of life, if not the depth and texture of rivals.
Struggles with dark scenes
Insight levels elsewhere are decent and it's only when it comes to dark scenes, as highlighted by The Dark Knight Blu-ray, that the Sharp really struggles to display the required solidity and depth.
While we found the Sharp's 100Hz motion mode a little unnatural, standard movement is handled adeptly enough.
DVD images are similarly a mixed bag, not matching the detail of others and struggling with black levels and some noise.
Throw in a rather thin, lightweight sound and this Sharp set can't drag itself out of mediocrity.