Sharp’s on-paper specifications for the 32GD7E don’t read especially well, with neither the 450cd/m2 brightness nor 800:1 contrast ratio figures exactly setting any new records. Here’s hoping Sharp has just measured them more conservatively than most rivals do.
Delving into the 32GD7E’s onscreen menus in a quest for more features proves an unrewarding experience. Not because there aren’t enough features to uncover, but because using the onscreen menus is such a chore. The menus appear so obsessed with trying to occupy as little screen space as possible that you’re forced down endless confusing and awkward-to-navigate sub-menus to achieve even the most basic adjustment. Yeuch!
Among the most important of the features available once you’ve got your head round the menu structure is a selection of progressive scan settings, which can have quite a radical effect on how good or otherwise you picture looks. Our advice would be that you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment with the various options offered, and that you should consider readjusting them depending on the type of picture (sports, film, news) you’re watching.
Also of interest are a suite of picture in picture facilities, and a processing system for reducing the judder sometimes experienced with horizontal motion on LCD TVs.
Let loose on everything from Sky and Freeview digital broadcasts to a DVD player and an HD-running Xbox 360, the 32GD7E’s pictures vary quite wildly between outstanding and merely average.
Unusually the TV is at its best – relative to the competition, at least – with something many LCD rivals really struggle with: standard definition PAL pictures from its digital tuner. Such images really can look superb, thanks in the main to some fabulously aggressive colours and an almost complete absence of the sort of blocky noise that characterises digital broadcasts on so many LCD rivals. Freeview pictures also look sharper and more three-dimensional than is common for an LCD TV, giving you a delightfully direct connection with what you’re watching.