Sharp's latest LCD TV range has already made a splash in the shape of the 'full' HD XD1E range. But even these mostly excellent screens have one undeniable flaw: loss of resolution while showing moving objects.
Cue the LC32RD2E, Sharp's first LCD TV to use 100Hz processing. But will the heavy processing demands of the 100Hz system prove too much for the 32RD2E to handle?
It's an appealing model with a high gloss black finish with silver trim and sweetly arced bottom edge. It's passably connected with two HDMIs, a PC port, Scarts, plus support for a built-in digital tuner. It's a shame there's no dedicated component video input. For component feeds you have to double up on the VGA input via a provided adaptor.
Other key specs include an HD-ready (not 'full' HD) resolution of 1366 x 768, and a very high claimed contrast ratio of 10000:1 achieved by adjusting the backlight output depending on how bright or dark a scene is.
The 100Hz system isn't unique. Brands like Toshiba and Panasonic are using something similar, but the 32RD2E's system is the most aggressive - and that's not totally a good thing.
Follow that motion!
On the upside, during a viewing of Braveheart in HD from Sky, the TV holds on to motion detailing quite remarkably. For instance, as William Wallace's dead father and brother are brought home, the motion of the approaching cart and the young Wallace appear not to lose resolution. In fact, the moving objects sometimes look sharper than their backdrops!
However, we didn't get used to moving objects shimmering around their edges with 100Hz activated, or even flicker if the motion is particularly fast as during Wallace's first skirmish with English soldiers in his home village.
These issues suggest that Sharp's 100Hz algorithms either aren't quite as sophisticated as those of some rivals, or else simply aren't processed fast enough to keep up with a particularly motion-heavy scene.
In most other ways, the pictures are excellent. Black levels enjoy good depth and shadow detailing; colours are vibrant yet natural in tone (excepting one or two fleshtone inconsistencies in dark scenes); HD pictures are packed with detail; and standard definition pictures are crisp.
The audio performance is solid as well, with its 'hidden' speakers producing more power and range than expected.
In the end, though, there's no avoiding the fact that the 32RD2E's 100Hz processing just isn't quite as assured as that of some of its rivals, and occasionally that can create more problems than it solves.