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 . 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.