The inventor of LCD technology, Sharp, has been busy transforming its HD-ready range into pixel-packed full HD 1080p sets. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also fitted its latest 37-inch Aquos LCD TV with a frame that’s less than a centimetre in depth.
It’s ideal to hang on a wall, but that’s not the only reason we love the LC37B20E. It’s got a huge 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution, can play Blu-ray discs at 24 frames per second (‘as the director intended’), has three HDMI inputs and a set of component video ports.
For those after a flat screen TV primarily to watch Freeview, the LC37B20E puts in a mixed performance. Although it manages to hold even weak digital TV signals, the picture quality can be disappointing.
Even with its digital noise reduction option switched on we still found quite a lot of video nasties such as MPEG blocking and shimmering edges. At least the seven-day electronic programme guide is well designed, giving information on as much as six hours of TV across 12 channels.
The EPG can be slimmed down and customised, a trend that’s continued elsewhere on the LC37B20E. AV inputs can be re-named and aspects of the picture can be tweaked. If you really can’t be bothered to gauge the colour temperature and dim the backlight, Sharp has provided some picture presets that work really well.
The finest is the movie mode, which is useful if you want to watch Blu-ray discs. Although this mode decreases the brightness and lends a wholly cinematic feel to proceedings, it’s at the cost of some detail. It’s not a serious flaw, but when you buy a Full HD set you do expect a jot more from close-ups.
That’s enough to convince us that while the LC37B20E isn’t the greatest if you’re after a jack of all trades screen for the living room, it’s a seriously good value choice if you have a Blu-ray player or high-def games console to think about.