Every TV brand currently cashing in on the LCD boom owes a big debt of thanks to Sharp. For it was Sharp which first put its money where its mouth was to produce the world’s debut 30in LCD TV, finally proving once and for all that LCD really could work for the large-screen TV market as well as the PC monitor market. So as we set about testing Sharp’s current 32in flagship model, the LC-32GD7E, we can’t help but hope that it benefits from the brand’s unparalleled LCD experience.
Provided you like your TVs to glint like an Aston Martin in the sun, you’ll lap up the 32GD7E’s looks. Clad all over in a resplendently metallic ‘Titanium’ finish, it’s the very definition of futuristic chic. This means its design appeal is perhaps rather ‘blokish’ – but then ladies of the house might still be won over by the space saving nature of its unusually slender screen frame.
The 32GD7E isn’t quite as well connected as might be hoped from a TV that resides in the higher echelons of Sharp’s range. Single HDMI and component jacks cater for the industry’s ‘HD Ready’ connectivity requirements when at least two digital jacks would have been appreciated; and there are only two SCARTs when we’d really have liked three. At least the set provides PC support via a 15-pin D-SUB port, and there’s a card slot for adding subscription services to the basic channels received by the built-in digital tuner.
Did we say digital tuner? Indeed we did. What’s more, although at launch a couple of months back this TV couldn’t handle the Freeview 7-day electronic programme guide, we’re pleased to report that recent upgrades mean the set can now deliver all the digital TV EPG functionality we’ve come to know and love.
Elsewhere we find the HD Ready connectivity backed up by a suitably ‘HD friendly’ native pixel resolution of 1,366 x 768, and compatibility with the 720p and 1080i HD formats. Note that 1080p signals cannot be accepted.