Sharp Aquos LC-19D1E 19in LCD TV - Sharp Aquos LC-19D1E

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As you’d expect of pretty much any TV these days, no matter how small, the 19D1E has a built-in Freeview tuner with full EPG support. But even more impressively, it also seems to carry the vast majority of customisation options found on its much bigger brothers.


For instance, a variety of thematic picture presets are available, including Movie, Game and PC modes. Plus there’s the ‘OPC’ feature which can automatically adjust the picture’s settings based on an assessment of the ambient light conditions in your room; a ‘Film Mode’ that adjusts the set’s progressive scanning to suit film as opposed to video sources; and even the facility to adjust the saturation, hue and ‘value’ (brightness) of all six of the main colour constituents.


Blimey; with all this attention to detail going into perfecting a 19in screen’s image, we’re starting to think our half-expressed wish for a Deep Color-capable HDMI 1.3 socket might not have been so unreasonable after all!


At this point, though, I need to have a bit of a moan. For while it’s all well and good putting so many features at the 19D1E’s disposal, actually accessing them all is turned into a headache-inducing nightmare by the fact that the options are presented onscreen using really tiny text that’s all but unreadable if you’re more than two or three metres from the screen. At least the remote control is a decent effort, with a straightforward, functional layout and attractive two-tone design.


Finally pressed into action, the 19D1E’s pictures turn out to be remarkably good – not least because of the way they manage to almost completely avoid the small LCD market’s biggest ‘killers’: rubbish black levels and nasty motion blur.


The 19D1E’s black levels are particularly outstanding. In fact, they achieve such genuine depth and colour neutrality (meaning black hues are not afflicted by serious blue or green tinges) that they shame many of the LCD world’s much bigger and far more expensive options.


Seriously, with precious few rival small screens putting much, if any, serious effort into solving LCD’s thorny black level issue, there really is no overstating the 19D1E’s impact on the small-screen market. I’d even go so far as to say that the 19D1E’s black level prowess makes it the first sub-26in LCD TV that I’d really feel perfectly happy to watch a film on.


As for motion blur, even watching a football match in standard definition – which represents just about as stiff a test of an LCD TV’s motion-handling mettle as I can think of – fails to cause any really distracting levels of resolution loss.


I’m not saying there isn’t ANY; faces do blur just a tad as they bob too and fro across the pitch. But the effect is more something you get used to than something that always blights what you watch, and at its worst it is still better than on pretty much any other small screen we can think of.