sharp lc-32le600e

As well as employing LED backlighting, Sharp has fitted the LC-32LE600E 32-inch LCD TV with its latest X-Gen panel, which, it claims, has a wider pixel aperture.

The evidence for that is in the sheer brightness of scenes in our test disc, Matrix Reloaded on Blu-ray, which features mixed brightness scenes aplenty.

The opening dream scene of Trinity falling out of an exploding building at night puts the LC-32LE600E's strengths at the fore; Trinity and Smith's black clothes are true black, but still contain plenty of detail.

In another key scene – Neo's all-put fight against a legion of Agent Smiths – motion is handled well; the movie's famous bullet-time shots are just as clear, though more rapid shots can produce some headache-inducing blur. It's not serious, but it is common.

Still or slo-mo shots of the busy crowd scenes on Zion are pin-sharp, colours are powerfully, though carefully, handled and well saturated, and the many shadowed areas of the picture are inky black most of the time – though in some scenes the brightness can seem uneven.

If the 'local dimming' of Full LED tech performs well in adding an extra dose of realism, there is a flaw in the LC-32LE600E's lack of any significant picture processing circuitry.

And it does cause a slight lack of high definition detail. That's noticeable during the faster camera work on Zion; as a shot pans quickly across an excitable crowd there is noticeable blur.

People are indistinct, while during a slow pan across, and into, the many levels of Zion, there's noticeable and distracting blur and judder.

50Hz processing

The LC-32LE600E could benefit from a 100Hz engine and a film mode that removes Blu-ray judder – common features on many TVs. The latter is included in the onscreen menus, and found on other sizes in this 600E range, but it can't be activated on the LC-32LE600E.

Put simply, this set doesn't render The Matrix Reloaded perfectly, but the LED lighting proves almost as good as higher-end sets and it creates a richness that's rare at this size – and particularly at this low price.

But in many ways the presence of Full LED backlighting on the LC-32LE600E without any significant picture processing is a bit like having the crown jewels – and then displaying them under clingfilm.

Freeview problems

Though DVD is treated well, digital TV pictures from Freeview can seem unrealistic, with artefacts creating a picture where objects seem a tad divorced from backgrounds.

Despite its myriad of 'missing' (but in reality rather minor) features, it is a decent 100Hz engine that the LC-32LE600E could benefit from most. It's not a crime; pay a few pounds more and you've got a choice between the various models in Sharp's step-up LE700E Series that all possess 100Hz engines.

Sharp has shaped the LC-32LE600E to hit a particular price point, but there's nothing wrong with that. In introducing LED tech – and Full LED, at that – at this price, it should catch-on in the mass market.

Videophiles after a good value slice of the latest screen tech should investigate, while those after something a little more versatile for the living room should look elsewhere.