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Sharp Aquos LC46XD1E review: Sharp Aquos LC46XD1E

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The Good Picture quality on standard- and high-definition material; styling.

The Bad Sound quality; annoying video inputs.

The Bottom Line A great TV that offers pretty good value for money -- its standard-definition performance makes watching Freeview much more pleasurable than on its big-screen rivals

Visit manufacturer site for details.

7.5 Overall

Review Sections

If you want a big, 1080p LCD they don't come much bigger and stuffed full of pixels than the Sharp Aquos LC46XD1E. This huge, high-quality screen is sure to impress everyone who sees it, even before you turn it on.

But the styling isn't the only fantastic thing about this screen. It's also a great all-round TV that offers superb picture quality, even on Freeview.

Design
There aren't many products that cause you to draw a breath when you unbox them -- the LC46XD1E is one of them. Part of its impact is the sheer size of the thing. Although 46 inches isn't the biggest TV we've ever had in the office, it's still an imposing slab of piano-black plastic.

Generally, the XD1E is nice to look at. The speakers are hidden at the bottom of the screen, and while this isn't the best decision in terms of sound quality, it is aesthetically pleasing. It's also safe to assume that the sort of person who buys a 46-inch television is likely to want a slightly better speaker system than two small, built-in, stereo speakers. There isn't, after all, much point spending the best part of £1,500 on a screen only to have rubbish sound.

The remote control is the usual Sharp affair. It's a strange shape, but it generally works pretty well. There's a fairly pointless flap at the bottom of the controller that conceals a couple of buttons, including one that demonstrates how good Sharp's Tru-D picture enhancement is. We could really do without this, and the flap seems like a waste of plastic.

Features
The TV is easy to set up, and tuning in analogue TV takes a couple of minutes. You'll probably be pacing around while this happens, desperate to see what the screen can do with exciting high-definition material. Once this initial tuning is done, the TV will let you have some fun with any 1080p material you've got knocking around.

Setting up Freeview is done separately, and there's a button on the remote marked 'DTV Setup' that enables you to access the digital menu. From this menu you can make the TV scan for any Freeview channels available in your area.

To the rear of the TV there is the usual range of inputs. As usual with Sharp TVs, there is no dedicated component input. If you have a component source you want to connect, you'll need to use the supplied VGA adaptor. This is as irritating as ever, but not a showstopper.

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