Review Price free/subscription
Sharp LC-46XL2E 46in LCD TV
Finding 100Hz processing on an LCD TV is generally a good thing. After all, it's a premium feature designed to address LCD technology's oft-reported problems with presenting motion in a picture without losing resolution, suffering smearing, or both.
However, all 100Hz systems aren't equal. The processing required to double our usual PAL refresh rate from 50 to 100Hz is actually quite complex, and it's a simple fact that some brands have developed better processing algorithms and apply more powerful processors than others.
Sadly Sharp provided an all-too-obvious display of just how badly 100Hz can go wrong with its debut 100Hz LCD TVs, the RD2E series. To be frank, the picture on these TVs was a mess. For instance, Sharp seemed to have seriously overcooked the 100Hz effect, smoothing motion out to such an extent that it actually started to look unrealistic and even, at times, quite nauseating.
There were also numerous glitches in the processing's effects, not least a truly bizarre artefact that caused the appearance of no less than three simultaneously visible ‘ghost' images of small, fast-moving objects like cricket balls. Yikes!
Not surprisingly we advised you to avoid these supposedly premium models like the plague and stick instead with Sharp's cheaper XD1E models if you really had your heart set on an LCD TV with a Sharp logo on it.
And that lengthy introduction brings us finally - and with some trepidation - to the subject of today's review: Sharp's LC-46LX2E, complete with second-generation Sharp 100Hz engine. Will this new 46in TV prove that Sharp has learned from its previous mistakes, or will it be as much of a non-starter as its predecessors?
If we could judge it by its ‘cover', the 46LX2E would be about as far from being a non-starter as it's possible to get. For the application of a sultry, slightly raised smoked glass ‘cover' over the already natty slim black bezel really does make it a sight for sore eyes.
It's pleasingly well connected, too. Three HDMIs lead the charge, all built to the new Deep Color-compatible V1.3 specification, and all capable of receiving 1080p/24fps feeds from the majority of today's Blu-ray players. But also of note are a component video input to complete the HD Ready requirements, a D-Sub PC port, an RS-232 port for wired control within a wider AV system, and a digital audio output.