One other problem with the 32XL8E is that its colours don’t always look particularly convincing. Perhaps because of the TV’s slightly underwhelming black levels we’ve got a situation whereby skin tones tend to look a touch heavy-handed during dark scenes, no matter how much we tweak the colour settings, and rich reds and especially greens look a touch ‘radioactive’ at times.
In other areas the 32XL8E does very nicely. Colours, for instance, although not always completely believable in tone, do benefit from the TV’s resolution when it comes to the subtlety of their blends and tonal shifts. Plus they’re quite vibrant and fulsomely saturated.
Brightness levels are well-judged, too, so that images look bright but not so aggressive that the picture looks forced or ‘PC-like’. Also, video noise during HD viewing is at a minimum; and aside from some rather plasticky skin tones, standard definition pictures are upscaled to the set’s Full HD pixel count reasonably well, with less noise and colour inaccuracies than we often see with standard def on Full HD screens.
While the 32LX8E might have a lot in common with the 32X20E pictorially speaking, sonically it appears considerably better. A 2-way, four-speaker arrangement delivers actions scenes like the sliding truck/smelting factory sequence in ”Terminator 2” with much more clarity, range, and undistorted volume than the earlier Sharp model, while dialogue remains clear and credible no matter how much of a maelstrom is going on behind it.
Fed the right material – with something bright, colourful and not particularly high in contrast – the 32XL8E can produce some really excellent pictures. And it sounds good too. It’s just a pity that it’s not more consistent.