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Sharp LC32D53X review: Sharp LC32D53X

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The Good Excellent image quality. Subtle 100Hz mode. Aesthetically pleasing. Wide range of connection options. Integrated HD Tuner.

The Bad Minor standard definition issues. Minor distortion at high volumes.

The Bottom Line We quite liked the Sharp LC32D53X as a whole, and with many other 100Hz televisions causing more problems than they fix, it was good to see something less intrusive and pleasing to the eye.

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8.5 Overall

Review Sections

With 100Hz being all the rage at the moment, it was only a matter of time before Sharp came to the party.  Compared to the 100Hz models of its competitors, Sharp have gone for a much more subtle approach with the LC32D53X. The motion interpolation isn't overt and, at times, is barely noticeable. It certainly helps to smooth out motion and reduce judder but it can be argued that it is not as effective as it should be.

Design
With a piano black bezel, chassis and stand, this unit shares the look of the recent Sharp PD series. The stand is not preinstalled but the construction process is fairly painless and shouldn't take more than a few minutes.

Features
The LC32D53X has a native resolution of 1366x768 and can accept video signals up to 1080i resolution. The connections at the rear feature two HDMI, two Component, one Composite, one S-Video and a 15-pin D-Sub analogue port for PC. There is also an optical audio out port to connect the TV to a home theatre system.

Compared to many high-end models, this unit is fairly sparse on features. The options menu doesn't have much to it past the usual contrast, brightness and so forth but there is a black level enhancement feature and the 100Hz mode as well.

Performance
We ran tests in both standard and high definition and tested PC connectivity. On a whole there were no major issues to speak of. The image quality was excellent, with only minor blemishes such as over-sharpening. By lowering the sharpness level, this was easily corrected without any adverse effects. The backlight on this unit was also a cause for minor concern as it tended to turn black levels slightly grey. However, this too can be somewhat tweaked by lowering the backlight intensity. Colour levels were also rather good with no overbearing colours, and excellent contrast with no stepping in either standard or high definition.

The high definition gaming and film tests were performed with no image quality issues. Even with the 100Hz feature switched off, motion is handled fairly well. That being said, with the "Fine Motion Advanced" switched on, the motion became noticeably smoother in most cases. However, unlike other manufacturers, Sharp's 100Hz tends to be far more subtle and avoids making the image look fake. This is both a good and bad thing as on one hand, it successfully smooths out the motion, but on the other it can be argued that it isn't as effective as other brands. If the 'fake' look is what the manufacturer was hoping to achieve then this unit fails in that respect. However, since we generally prefer images to look realistic, we found this unit to be excellent.

Up-scaling interpolation artefacts where present when viewing standard definition content but wasn't overt from a comfortable viewing distance. There was some discolouration in background textures and pixilation on curved edges as well, but they weren't severe enough to cause massive concern.

The sound quality was excellent at all volume levels, with good mid to high tones, but lacking in bass. At the highest volume there was a little distortion and chassis resonance but most users probably won't need to max out the volume.

The "DisplayMate Video Edition" PC connectivity tests were performed well with no problems in vertical and horizontal resolution, flawless colour and contrast tests and crisp desktop icons.

Conclusion
The Sharp LC32D53X delivers excellent image quality at a reasonable price point, as well as a 100Hz feature that isn't over the top. If you watch a lot of movies and sport, this unit will certainly appeal to you.

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