Sharp is having a productive year: it recently bought a fairly large chunk of much-loved plasma TV producer Pioneer, and in so doing triggered the Kuro manufacturer to . Not a bad achievement for the company that introduced the LCD TV to the world. So what about its latest B20 range? Well, the 37-inch model, the Sharp LC-37B20E, landed on our doorstep this morning and we have to say, we're impressed.
In the past, Sharp TVs could charitably be described as a little on the dull side. The company has made a concerted effort to jazz up its stylings though, and the B20 brings a delightfully slim bezel to proceedings. While it isn't the smallest we've seen, it's certainly pulchritudinous.
The B20 is no slouch technically either: you get a 1080p panel, three HDMI sockets, component, VGA and a pair of Scarts at the back. We're thrilled to see Sharp has finally given up on the old shared VGA/component system it used to use, and now has separate sockets for both. You also get optical digital out to connect the TV to a surround-sound system.
Sharp claims a panel life of 60,000 hours and quotes the TV's contrast ratio at just 1,200:1, which we assume is the native panel number, rather than the ridiculous overblown figures other manufactures seem to pluck out of the air.
We had a sneaky peek at the user interface too, and it's rather a slick beast -- everything is presented in well designed menus and the initial set-up is automatic. You even get to chose if you want to set up digital or analogue tuning, which is quite handy for those who have one but not the other. Waiting for your new TV to look for lametastic analogue channels is just annoying when you could be.
The Sharp LC-37B20E is available now for around £800 and we'll be reviewing it, in full, very soon. -Ian Morris
Update: Read our full .