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Sharp LC-46LE831E - 2D picture quality and audio performance

John Archer

By John Archer

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Sharp LC46

Summary

Our Score:

9

The 46LE831E’s stunning brightness and colour saturations are even more pronounced in 2D, for instance, making pictures look explosively dynamic and punchy. So dazzling are pictures, in fact (so long as you avoid the over-soft and over-warm Movie preset), that it takes a while to realise that a big contribution to the dynamism on show comes from the picture’s contrast. For where previous Quattron sets have suffered with rather milky black levels, dark scenes on the 46LE831E enjoy some of the richest, deepest, and most consistent black colours we’ve seen from edge LED technology.

Just occasionally, if there are a few bright image elements against a totally black background, you become aware of some marginal light level consistency flaws. But for the most part we found ourselves lost in admiration for what Sharp has achieved.

HD 2D pictures enjoy just as much clarity and definition as their 3D counterparts,, and this deft, pixel-perfect clarity is achieved without exaggerating noise or looking forced (so long as you don’t push the Sharpness bar past its default 0 position).

Even the 46LE831E’s standard definition performance is a marked improvement over the rather grubby efforts of the 60LE925, with slightly more sharpness and considerably less noise. Sharp has some way to go before its 2D pictures compare with, say, Samsung’s, but with the 46LE831E it’s heading the right way.

Sharp LC46

It’s customary now for us to comment on a TV’s potential as a gaming screen, and here again the 46LE831E comes up trumps. Using the provided Game mode and with noise reduction turned off (something the Game mode doesn’t do automatically for some reason), we measured input lag at a reasonable-to-good 39ms - not enough, in other words, to allow you to blame the TV for any epic gaming fails!

Aside from the relatively small niggles already covered, the only negative things we can say about the 46LE831E’s pictures are that many of its image presets are unhelpful; that you thus need to play with the set's picture features rather regularly to keep it looking its best; that skin tones can sometimes look slightly ripe; and that yellow tones can occasionally look slightly dominant, as in the sequence where Bond fights a couple of assailants in a stairwell in Casino Royale.

There are operational issues too. We’ve touched on the rather cramped, cluttered onscreen menus. But also the electronic programme guide isn’t great, partly on account of the overwhelming amount of information it shows at once and partly because it’s rather slow to load and doesn't allow you to watch a small version of the TV picture while you explore the listings.

It also took an eternity for the channels to scan when we first set the TV up, but we guess this isn’t a big deal since you’ll probably never rerun the process.

Finishing with the 46LE831E’s sound, here again there’s a considerable improvement over Sharp TVs of the past. According to the spec sheet there’s a subwoofer inside the TV as well as the normal stereo speakers, and while this doesn’t allow the set to sound as potent as Philips’ similarly specified TVs, it does mean there’s slightly more richness and mid-range clarity to sound than we usually hear with flat TVs.

Verdict

Sharp has struggled recently to make a big impact on the UK TV scene, but the 46LE831E really deserves to change this. It’s a bit clumsy in places, and its online features need expanding. But when push comes to shove it delivers some of the best 2D and especially 3D pictures we’ve ever seen at a price that’s much more reasonable than expected.

Overall Score

9

Scores In Detail

  • 2D Quality 9
  • 3D Quality 10
  • Design 9
  • Features 8
  • Sound Quality 8
  • Value 9

Enigma

June 23, 2011, 6:47 pm

A very well done to Sharp.

Paying attention Panasonic and Sony?!!!

Rightly a "Good value" given no 3D glasses which should be standard (NOTE to tv manufacturers).

Actually, rather than include them as standard which could mean some people end up with a surplus, customers should be able to obtain them FREE at retail outlets or directly from the manufacturer upon providing evidence of purchase of course - including replacements.

What has happened to Hitachi? They use to make such good tvs and videos. Sharp seems to have got its act together after initially floundering.

TR NOTE this story from the BBC ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-13884441 )

Australia strikes broadband deal with Telstra and Optus

Australia's two biggest telecoms companies have joined the government's A$36bn (£24bn) plan to roll-out high-speed internet across the country.

Telstra and Optus will close down their infrastructure and transfer customers to the state-owned National Broadband Network Company (NBNC).

About 60% of households have broadband, but speeds are slow compared with many industrialised countries.

The plan is to connect more than 90% of households to a super-fast network.

Take NOTE Tory privatisation nut jobs.

Keithe6e

June 23, 2011, 8:24 pm

-> Take NOTE Tory privatisation nut jobs.

What instead of -> Take NOTE Labour public sector spendaholics, spend tax payer's money like it grows on trees nut jobs.

Enigma

June 24, 2011, 5:35 am

@Keithe6e - 4:24 PM on 23 June, 2011

No. You miss the point, as per what the Aussies are doing: doing what needs doing not following some ideological and/or political crap. Bit like what Sharp have done, "Sharp is not, it would seem, a brand to be rushed when it comes to 3D. For having debuted its first ever 3D TV in October 2010, the impressive but flawed 60in LE-60LE925E, it's only now that the brand has seen fit to follow that up with something more mass market."

As for Tory successes: Railtrack and British Railways; British Leyland, British Aerospace, Ship building, British Steel, British Coal, Qinetiq plc, etc etc.

Then there is the recession we have had like the 1928 depression were due to?

Oh, let me be clear I am NO socialist, far from it!!!

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