Pretty as a picture, the Sharp LC-46DH77E LCD TV cuts more of a dash than previous Sharp sets. But, more importantly, it's also one of the first to feature a dedicated 'Eco' button on its remote control.

This means that every time you use the remote, you're getting a visual reminder that you could be running your TV more efficiently. Plus, you only have to press a single button to deploy this extra efficiency.

The disappointing thing is that this eco function itself isn't actually all that exciting. It's simply an Energy Save mode that does nothing more innovative than knocking the backlight output down by 20 or 30 per cent.

There's also a Low Power Standby setting and the usual mode for automatically reducing the image's brightness if your room gets darker. The 46DH77E's green credentials are undermined, though, by the fact that the TV's multilingual paper instruction manual is absolutely enormous. Alas, poor trees.

The 46DH77E's other noteworthy non-eco features include a 100Hz frame rate, 10-bit signal processing, three HDMIs, a USB port for JPEG and MP3 playback, and a comprehensive array of picture adjustments – adjustments you'll have to tinker with extensively to get the most out of this panel. Left on the default settings, this screen doesn't achieve anything near what it's capable of.

Without suitable fine-tuning, it suffers from poor black levels, inadequate colour reproduction and smearing on fast-paced images. But, rest assured, these can be overcome by setting aside some time to make some simple adjustments, such as picking out your favourite image pre-set.

And, pleasingly, one of the things that actually improves pictures is using the eco mode preset, changing the backlight to its –20 per cent level. That said, Freeview doesn't look great on this screen, with the scaling technology under the TV's chassis unable to do much with the low-quality broadcasts.

It's another matter altogether when playing DVDs, though, as they're displayed with such panache that you could be fooled into thinking you're watching a hi-def disc.

Set to stun

From this, it's no surprise that HD content looks simply stunning, with clear detailed images backed up by vivid and natural colour reproduction. Black levels are slightly limited and the backlight is sometimes visible, however, but these are the only drawbacks in an otherwise excellent picture performance.

The 'invisible' speakers are made to be heard and not seen, so as not to interfere with the streamlined design of the TV's bezel. Coping well enough with the everyday fare of TV programmes, the speakers do come a cropper when watching multi-layered movie soundtracks.

Here the sound is thin and very much lacking in bass. Chances are that if you're looking to purchase a screen of this size, you'll be planning to pair it up with a separate sound system. If so, the weedy speakers shouldn't present a problem.

If you're after a 46in panel, then £1,000 is pretty good price tag, making this a great value TV. But, within the context of this group test, there's no getting round the fact that it falls short of a number of its rivals in terms of both its overall performance standards and its level of green support.

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