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My back loves me today. For just for once I've decided to give my aching spine a break by turning my critical attentions to something that isn't massive, namely Sharp's brand new 19in HD Ready LCD TV, the LC-19D1E.
After the glut of monster screens that have come my way in recent times, the 19D1E really does look tiny. Partly because of the sheer smallness of its 19in, 16:9-ratio screen and partly because of the unusual - and very likeable - slenderness of its glossy black (a white version - the LC19D1EWH - is also available) bezel. It's really nice to see Sharp working so hard to carry the style of its bigger screens through to the 19D1E's relatively ‘low-rent' end of the TV market.
Connectivity on the little chap is OK, in that there's a D-Sub PC port, an HDMI, a component video input, a SCART, an S-Video jack and a composite video jack, with all the necessary audio line-ins to keep them company.
In an ideal world Sharp might have run to a second HDMI and gone for v1.3 HDMI specification rather than v1.2. But heck; we are only talking about a second-room, 19in TV here after all, not some mega-huge home cinema centrepiece.
Not surprisingly for such a diminutive screen, the 19D1E does not have a Full HD resolution. But its 1,366 x 768 pixel count - along with its HDMI and component inputs - ensure that it's HD Ready.
Its most intriguing AV specification credential, though, is its claimed 7,500:1 contrast ratio. Inevitably, given the 19D1E's LCD nature, this contrast ratio figure is dependent on a dynamic backlight arrangement, where the image brightness is dimmed during dark scenes to improve black level response. Such dynamic contrast systems when done well are actually anything but bad news - yet they are really quite rare on small LCD TVs.
Even without the dynamic contrast system in play the 19D1E claims a native contrast ratio of 1,500:1, which again compares very well to the figures of rival 19in screens.
Comparing rather less well with its peers, though, is the 19D1E's claimed maximum brightness output of 300cd/m2. This is one of the lowest brightness figures we've seen on a TV, although it's not unheard of in the standard LCD monitor world.