Although Sharp has a proud history of TV innovation, it's sometimes struggled to make an impact at the entry-level end of the market. But, with the strikingly cheap, 40-inch, 1080p Aquos LC-40CT2E LCD TV, Sharp could be about to change all that. Sporting a built-in tuner, it costs around £750.
Gloss over it
The LC-40CT2E doesn't look like an entry-level TV, and the glossy finish and silver strip on the bottom edge add a touch of panache. It could have been more imaginatively sculpted, though, and the finish is slightly plasticky. You're never going to get a design masterpiece at this price, though.
Given its price, it's really impressive that the LC-40CT2E sports a built-in Freeview HD tuner. Any user living in an area able to receive Freeview HD broadcasts will be able to enjoy high-definition pictures through their normal TV aerial.
As demanded by the Freeview HD specification, the LC-40CT2E's connections include an Ethernet port. It's only there to cater for 'future Freeview HD interactive services', though -- you can't use it to go online or stream files from a DLNA PC.
You can, however, connect a PC via the D-Sub port. Other connections include a respectable three HDMI ports, and a USB socket able to play JPEG photos and MP3 music files from connected storage devices.
Besides its basic multimedia functionality and Freeview HD tuner, the LC-40CT2E doesn't really pack any interesting features. The screen is a basic 50Hz affair, for instance, and there doesn't seem to be any heavy-duty picture processing at work.
None of this, however, prevents the LC-40CT2E from delivering a very engaging picture performance -- at least with HD sources. Hi-def pictures look extremely sharp, with plenty of fine detail.