Let's take a quick head count of high-definition devices that rely on HDMI inputs. There are , high-def DVD players and even games consoles like the upcoming PlayStation 3. So, why are so many new screens still arriving with only one HDMI input?
It must be a lonely life being an HDMI input -- you're stuck on your own, forming casual relationships with various HD hardware devices, but have no partner at your side to share the burden. Well, Sharp has offered some solace with the introduction of its 9 Series LCDs featuring dual-HDMI connectivity.
Following the lead taken by companies like Toshiba and Philips, Sharp's four new screens are armed with two HDMI inputs. This means you can connect at least two HD sources simultaneously and no longer have the hassle of fumbling behind the back of your TV switching inputs. There are also component inputs that can be connected to some HD devices by using the supplied adaptor.
Sharp has launched four models in either 32-inch or 37-inch screen sizes. The 32GA9E and 37GA9E are analogue-only models and have been awarded an EU Eco-label due to their low energy consumption and environmentally friendly design. While the 32GD9E and 37GD9E haven't been awarded this label, they do come with integrated Freeview tuners.
All the models use Sharp's latest TrueD anti-judder technology, which reduces noise while enhancing detail and contrast. This will make movement appear more smooth, according to Sharp. The technology apparently works particularly well with HD sources, so it'll make a difference when watching action-oriented material such as Sky Sports HD.
The design has been given a subtle facelift, featuring a clear flat speaker system boosted by a 30W power output. And to make the most of its extra audio ability there are a few added frills including Cinematic Sound, Auto Volume and a Clear Voice setting that enhances dialogue.
Sharp's 9 series TVs are available now, and cost £1,000 or £1,300 for the 32- or 37-inch analogue models, and £1,100 or £1,400 for the 32- or 37-inch digital Freeview models. -RA