We compared the Sharp's contrast-ratio numbers to those of other LCDs we've measured recently, and it surpassed them all in its depth of black, with the Sony KDL-32S2000 coming closest. Its black levels even approached--but didn't quite reach--those of some of the better plasmas we've reviewed.
On the other hand, the Sharp did a worse job with color accuracy than many LCDs we've tested. Compared to the Dell and the Samsung, for example, it made Ann's face seem too ruddy in the candlelight in her cabin, a sign of red push, in which reds are too garish in comparison with other colors. The lush green of the jungle plants, on the other hand, appeared slightly undersaturated once we'd reduced the color control to get good-looking skin tones. In its favor, the LC-37D40U's color temperature was relatively accurate out of the box, as were its primary colors (see the Geek box).
The Sharp did a commendable job maintaining brightness, depth of black, and color accuracy when seen from the sides or above and below, although the Samsung fared slightly better in this regard, and of course, the LCDs still don't look nearly as consistent as plasmas from off-angle. We also noticed that the Sharp had above-average uniformity; when displaying a black screen, it was equally dark in all areas as opposed to many LCDs that suffer from bright spots.
With standard-def sources, the Sharp performed decently, quickly engaging 2:3 pull-down to smooth edges and stabilize moving lines, and evincing good detail. We noticed not-so-smooth lines in some material, such as the waving American flag from the HQV benchmark DVD, and the Sharp's ability to reduce video noise, such as the tiny motes in shots of the sunset sky, wasn't as good as the Dell's, for example.
We normally don't discuss response time with LCDs, but it's worth noting that the Sharp, when displaying a test pattern consisting of a rotating white bar against a black background, didn't leave a faint trail behind the bar; engaging or disabling the "quick shoot" option, which is said to improve response time, had no effect on this test. We saw the trail in varying degrees on all four of the other LCDs we had onhand to compare, but when we looked for similar effects on fast-moving program material, such as the brontosaurus stampede in King Kong, we didn't see it.
Turning to high-def, the Sharp held its own. Again, its less-saturated color was visible in the faces of the announcers on SportsCenter, and its superior depth of black was clearly visible in a space combat scene when we watched Battlestar Galactica. The Sharp's picture appeared very slightly more detailed than that of the Samsung and the Dell, displaying a bit more of the patterns in the fabric of the announcer's jacket and more texture in the face of Battlestar's Dualla, but the difference was apparent only in side-by-side comparisons. The Sharp appeared significantly less detailed with 1080i material via HDMI; we recommend you set your sources to 720p on this set. The Sharp LC-37D40U's resolution via component video, on the other hand, was universally excellent.
|Before color temp (20/80)||6,791/6,616K||Good|
|After color temp||N/A|
|Before grayscale variation||+/- 114K||Good|
|After grayscale variation||N/A|
|Color of red (x/y)||0.640/0.335||Good|
|Color of green||0.271/0.604||Average|
|Color of blue||0.146/0.063||Good|
|Black-level retention||All patterns stable||Good|
|2:3 pull-down, 24fps||Yes||Good|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||Yes||Good|