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As I start this review today, it occurs to me that I really am turning into a cynical old git.
You see, all the press information Sharp has disseminated on the 46DH77E has made much of the TV's 'green' credentials, most notably the fact that it's the first TV ever to feature a dedicated 'Eco' button on the remote control. Yet I can't help but think every time I hear a TV brand pushing its planet-saving credentials that it almost always sounds more like a marketing exercise than a heart-felt plea on behalf of Mother Nature and her troubled ozone layer.
Also giving me an attack of the Victor Meldrews is that fact that the actual Eco button function isn't all that earth-shattering when you get down to it. For all it does is provide instant access to the set's Energy Save mode, which does nothing more profound than reduce the screen's backlight output by 20% or 30%, depending on whether you choose a Mid or High setting.
Then there's the fact that I can't help but wonder just how much - or more likely, how little - power this sort of subtle backlight reduction will really save. And finally in my cynical world, I find it a little hard to be completely convinced of Sharp's dedication to the green cause when the 46DH77E ships with one of the thickest multi-lingual paper manuals I've seen. Apparently, the green message doesn't extend to saving humble trees!
To be fair, as I openly admitted at the start of this review, I'm probably being harsh here. For I guess any TV that makes any moves in a green direction, however small, ought to be commended for its efforts rather than chastised. I guess it's only fair to recall, too, that Sharp has regularly set new standards for reduced TV power consumption; indeed, the brand was the first to earn the Euro Flower environmental commendation for a TV from the EU European Commission.
I also guess that while the energy saving efforts of just one TV might not amount to much in my miserable mind, add up the total energy saved by potentially millions of Eco TVs and you might actually achieve something significant.
Finally, I suppose it's feasible that the instant access to the backlight reduction system afforded by the Eco button might a) save valuable energy-consuming time as you avoid the usual trawl through the onscreen menus for the TV's Eco features and b) simply regularly remind you that you could be running your TV more efficiently.
Anyway, I'll quit my bitching now and leave you to make your own minds up about how much you care about the 46DH77E's Eco functionality. Though in true miserable bastard style, I'm determined to get the last word in by adding a parting shot. So, in the interests of reminding users of the green potential of the TV, it might have been nice if the all-important Eco button had been made more obvious on the remote, either by a clearer label or a more prominent position. Bah, humbug.
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