The 32GA6E’s screen specifications are slightly worrying, and possibly offer an early indication of the set’s relative vintage. The 1,366 x 768 native resolution is fair enough, but the claimed contrast ratio of 800:1 is hardly cutting edge and the claimed brightness of 450cd/m2 is unusually low. Hmm. Oh well – these figures can be notoriously variable in their accuracy, so we’ll wait until we see the set’s pictures in action rather than jumping to any hasty conclusions.
A search for more features starts with a disappointment: the 32GA6E doesn’t carry a digital TV tuner, leaving you with analogue reception only. This is obviously not a problem for people with Sky HD or who don’t mind stumping up for an external Freeview box, but we’re not sure that either of those scenarios will apply to the sort of budget-conscious audience the cut-price 32GA6E is now targeted at.
The absence of the digital tuner is not indicative of a general lack of feature punch, however, as the Sharp’s onscreen menus actually play host to more options than you might expect for £850. Among the most interesting of these are a dedicated backlight level adjustment, motion compensation for tackling noise over moving objects, dynamic contrast boosting, automatic gamma level optimisation, manual selection of interlaced or progressive scanning, an optional comb filter, and Dolby Virtual audio processing for a ‘pseudo surround’ soundstage.
Our only argument with one or two of these features would be whether it’s really a good idea to put them in the hands of consumers! For instance, if you choose the wrong interlaced/progressive setting for the type of source you’re watching, it can have quite a radically negative effect on the final picture quality. So we can certainly imagine people buying this TV and spending most of their time watching it on the wrong setting without realising how much better their pictures should be.