Sharp lc-32dh501e 5

With Sharp having proved that it's still got innovation in its heart with its Quattron TV range earlier this year, we had high hopes for the brand's 32DH510E, despite it residing in the lower reaches of the brand's latest TV range.

It doesn't get off to the best of starts thanks to its rather old-school and cheap design, but it's passably well connected and the onscreen menus are exceptionally engaging.

We applaud Sharp, too, for building USB video recording and expansive USB multimedia playback into a relatively affordable TV (an ideal feature for the second-room market).

However, while pictures occasionally look attractive and natural with the right sort of bright, colourful, HD material, they're rather patchy overall, thanks to sporadic noise, colour and motion-handling problems, while sound is no better than average at best

We liked:

The set is reasonably affordable for what's on offer, and the USB recording is a great feature that works well once you've learned the rather obscure button you need to press to start recording!

The file flexibility of the USB playback feature is good, meanwhile, and pictures look natural and unprocessed; brightness levels are high; and HD pictures can look very sharp and detailed.

We disliked:

The set's build quality is unimpressive, with one of the biggest and ugliest back ends you'll ever see. We wouldn't have minded a third HDMI either and there's no D-Sub PC jack.

On the picture side, with precious few adjustments on offer to help us out we were left unable to tackle a few inconsistencies, such as washed out and sometimes off-key colours, black level shortcomings, and a below-par standard def performance.

Verdict:

If you're in the market for a second room TV that goes big on multimedia convenience and enables you to record video without needing an external box, then the 32DH510E is almost uniquely well qualified to do the job.

However, don't expect these convenience features to be accompanied by any state-of-the-art performance. In fact, while pictures have their moments, there are times when they feel quite dated in the colour and motion departments, especially with standard definition sources. And Sharp has provided next to no tools for you to attempt to improve things.

Its sound is absolutely as average as that of most other budget 32in TVs in town too. In other words, it's a TV that seems to have chosen practicality over performance a little too one-sidedly for comfort.

The 32DH510E might have counted as a decent effort from a B-list brand, but classes as something of a disappointment from a top-flight manufacturer.

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