Summary

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8/10

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The Great British obsession with resolution shows no signs of abating. We saw it first in the digital camera world, where the sheer number of pixels in a camera somehow became the only thing that seemed to matter to people when they were thinking about picture quality. And now the quest for ever more pixels has spread to the TV world to the extent that even TVs as small as 32in are starting to go ‘full HD' rather than merely HD Ready.

Sharp's LC-32X20E is one such full HD 32in TV. Which is to say, of course, that in order to satisfy consumer demand, it somehow manages to cram 1,920 x 1,080 LCD pixels into its relatively diminutive frame - regardless of whether there's actually any great benefit in doing so.


We make this latter point because while there's no doubt whatsoever that having a full HD resolution can improve picture quality on large screens, at the 32in level it arguably only makes a perceptible difference if you have to sit unusually close to the TV. Otherwise, unless a TV is truly exceptional, your eyes just won't have the perceptive power to detect all if any of the usual full HD benefits.

So I guess the key question for the LC-32X20E to answer is if it's truly exceptional or not.

Aesthetically the TV just about does enough to qualify for ‘exceptional' status, at least. The gloss black of the majority of its bezel is nothing out of the ordinary, but what certainly is rather sweet is the way the black is accentuated by a silvery ‘wave' curving its way along the TV's bottom edge.

The set's connections are good too, leading off as they do with three HDMI inputs and a component video input for HD duties. But also of note are a D-Sub PC port, a couple of SCARTs, a digital audio output for when Freeview gets round to delivering Dolby Digital soundtracks, and an RS232C control port to help integrate the TV into a wider AV network.

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