Another shortcoming of the LC-32X20E is its standard definition performance. All but the very highest quality SD sources tend to look a touch noisy and soft compared with the standard definition pictures on the best full HD 32in TVs, such as Panasonic’s TX-32LZD85.
One final area I didn’t feel entirely comfortable with when watching the LC-32X20E is colour tone. It seemed to me that some skin tones looked a bit ‘poached’, while some rich greens and reds don’t look quite ‘right’, for want of a more accurate description!
Still, while colour tones can look a bit off with video sources at times, funnily enough I noted precious few similar issues with HD games. Assassin’s Creed, for instance, looks mesmerisingly good, with completely natural colour tones and the sort of extreme clarity that I felt was slightly missing from the TV’s HD video presentation.
Interestingly enough, Sharp has tended to market the LC-32X20E as a ‘gaming TV’, making me wonder if its own marketers have felt the same about its picture performance as me.
I should also add that pictures in general look very bright and are rarely affected by LCD’s motion blur problems. Plus black levels get deep enough to ensure that you don’t miss a thing during a little night-time thuggery on GTAIV. Colours are certainly never less than fulsomely saturated, even if they’re not always perfectly toned.
Turning my attentions to the LC-32X20E’s sound, I came away feeling rather underwhelmed. Everything’s fine – if a touch thin – when there’s nothing stressful going on in the audio mix. But as soon as the set’s speakers have to cope with two or three large soundstage elements, such as an explosion, dialogue and a potent score, they give up the ghost almost entirely, sounding weedy and devoid of bass. Boo.
Despite not completely delivering on its full HD promise, Sharp’s LC-32X20E is a good TV that becomes very good with really immaculate HD sources and most HD video games.
What’s more, while we can’t ignore the fact that there are 32in TVs out there that clearly outperform it – Philips’ 32PFL9632D and Panasonic’s TX-32LZD85 immediately spring to mind – those superior TVs tend to cost a good hundred pounds or so more.
In other words, if you’re a resolution obsessive on a limited budget, especially if you’re also a big console gamer, the LC-32X20E definitely warrants a look.
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