Now that we’re in a more positive frame of mind, we might add too that the colours we’ve just mentioned look pleasantly vibrant on the 37LX8E, despite it only boasting a relatively low brightness output of 450cd/m2. They also seem slightly more natural in tone than those of the 32XL8E we looked at recently. That’s not to say they look universally authentic; we definitely spotted a few rogue-looking reds, greens and skin tones, particularly while viewing standard definition. But there are fewer problems than we saw on the 32in version.
Continuing the 32XL8E comparisons, perhaps because of its bigger screen, the 37XL8E has a slightly more practical (though certainly not world-beating) viewing angle before colours and especially black levels start to drop off. Plus the 37XL8E’s black levels look generally more convincing than those of the 32XL8E.
The last key thing to say about the 37XL8E’s pictures is that we were reasonably impressed with the TV’s 100Hz engine, which treads a fair line between helping motion look sharper and not taking things so far that motion starts to look unrealistic and ‘queasy’. In this respect it makes a pleasant change from Sharp’s first 100Hz LCDs, which employed a ridiculously over-wrought processing engine. It’s worth adding, too, that we spotted precious few 100Hz processing glitches in the 37LX8E’s pictures.
Sonically the 37LX8E is more rewarding than we’d expected given its slender frame and apparently diminutive speakers. The set’s maximum volume could do with being a touch higher, but the 37LX8E does at least share its power around the various elements in a good movie mix quite astutely, so that you get an even, open tone that’s got space for both good treble detailing and even a little distortion-free bass.
Personally we wouldn’t recommend that you try the set’s TruSurround mode, as we found that this over-stressed trebles and lost some of the soundtrack’s cohesion. But then we don’t think you’ll really need anything more than the stereo mode anyway.
Every now and then the 37XL8E’s pictures explode into life in quite dazzling fashion, and it’s a good audio performer. The only thing stopping it short of becoming a genuine best-buy contender, really, is its slight lack of sharpness versus the very best the LCD world currently has to offer.