If you really want the best chance of appreciating what a full HD resolution can do, you need to see it working on really big screen. For it’s a simple fact that the full HD benefits of enhanced resolution, reduced image noise, and subtler colour blends become easier to see the bigger your screen gets. Cue Sharp’s LC52XD1E LCD TV: at 52in the joint biggest, genuinely affordable full HD screen in town, alongside Samsung’s sensational LE52M87BD (reviewed a few weeks back).
In fact, at £1,603 if you know where to look for it, the 52XD1E is actually a good few bob cheaper than its Samsung rival - so if it’s in the same sort of picture quality ball park, it could definitely become our big-screen LCD option of choice.
Starting with rather shallower matters, though, we can report that the 52XD1E wears its enormity very well. Its bezel is both slender and glamorous enough to make fitting such a mammoth screen into your living room a pleasure rather than a pain. Get too close to it and you might start to feel that the finish feels a touch plasticky, but this is easy to live with given the TV’s price.
Connectivity is solid enough, including as it does twin HDMI support, a D-Sub PC port, and all the paraphernalia associated with a digital tuner. But there is one key let down in the shape of no dedicated component video port. To get component video feeds into this TV you have to use the PC jack with a component to VGA adaptor. This adaptor is, thankfully, included in the price, but it doesn’t alter the fact that you can’t connect a PC and a component video source to the 52XD1E simultaneously. With its three HDMIs and dedicated component input, Samsung’s 52M87BD certainly outguns the Sharp in the key connections department.