Sharp Aquos LC-19D1E review: Sharp Aquos LC-19D1E

Typical Price: £200.00
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Extremely cheap; best pictures we've seen at the budget, portable end of the market; delicious design.

The Bad Only one HDMI input; pictures aren't very bright; stupidly small on-screen menus.

The Bottom Line While some manufacturers seem to treat the small-TV market with disdain, Sharp has really gone to town on the Aquos LC-19D1E. This little TV looks and behaves as if it's had every bit as much care and attention lavished on it as Sharp's bigger models, even though it's being sold for relative peanuts

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

Now that we've all got big old HD Ready TVs in our living rooms, we're increasingly turning our flatscreen-loving attentions to second, and even third rooms. The result, naturally, is something of a renaissance for the small-screen TV -- a renaissance that the 19-inch, HD Ready, LCD Sharp Aquos LC-19D1E seems well-positioned to exploit.

At roughly £200, if you scout around online, the LC-19D1E is, remarkably, the second big-name, 19-inch TV we've seen in a week to comfortably come in under the £250 barrier, the other being the Toshiba Regza 19AV505DB. This gets the LC-19D1E off to a great start in these cash-strapped times.

Our early enthusiasm grew once we clocked the set's aggressively stylish looks, led out by one of the slimmest bezels we've seen. What's more, while our version had a fetching, high-gloss, black livery, you can also get the TV in white, if you fancy something more iPod-like.

It's also good to find a D-Sub PC port among the LC-19D1E's connections, especially given the conspicuous lack of such a jack on the 19AV505DB. The LC-19D1E also scores over the Toshiba model by including an S-Video port among its sockets.

Other headline specifications, given the LC-19D1E's price, are a built-in Freeview tuner and a dynamic backlight arrangement, via which the TV has a good-looking contrast ration of 7,500:1. But there are also an amazingly high number of options for you to mess with in the LC-19D1E's menus.

A 'film mode', for instance, is on hand to manipulate the TV's progressive-scan functionality to suit film rather than video sources. Plus there are well-considered 'movie', 'game' and 'PC' image presets, and even a colour-management facility that lets you adjust the saturation, hue and brightness of the six main colour constituents. In many ways, the LC-19D1E's feature count is not all that far removed from those of Sharp's big-screen models.

Happily, the good feeling generated by the LC-19D1E so far is enhanced by its pictures. In fact, they're far and away the best pictures we've seen at the sub-£250 end of the TV market. The set's 1,366x768-pixel resolution means it can show HD Ready images at 720p.

Especially pleasing is how relatively little blurring and smearing is generated by moving objects as they traverse the LC-19D1E's screen. This, additionally, helps you appreciate the screen's sharpness when showing high-definition material. Seriously, if you're one of those people who think HD only makes a difference on really big TVs, the LC-19D1E will make you think again.

All of this talk of HD glory, however, shouldn't disguise the fact that the LC-19D1E is also a good handler of standard-definition material -- the stuff that's likely to be its bread and butter, given its second-room focus.

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