Sharp lc40ct2e main

To call a LCD TV with a Freeview HD tuner inside 'basic' does seem cruel, but compared to a lot of televisions we've seen of late the LC40CT2E is just that.

The most obvious price-cutting feature is the use of a standard CCFL backlight in place of the zeitgeisty LED, something that – technically speaking – ought to mean less believable blacks as well as a fatter frame. At 99mm, the latter is certainly true.

The former is open to debate, though its lack of 100Hz scanning is an unwelcome surprise.

One shock around the back is the provision of two USB ports, though one is strictly for manual software updates only. They're on a side panel that's too far recessed into the panel; it could prove tricky to reach if the LC40CT2E is hung on a wall.

Inputs

Other side inputs include an HDMI input, a Common Interface slot for adding subscription TV viewing cards for Freeview, a headphones output, S-video (an increasingly rare video input on TVs), composite video and a set of analogue stereo audio outs.

There's also a dedicated off switch, a boon for those who hate to leave a TV permanently in standby.

Close by, but on the TV's rear panel, are two further HDMI ins, two Scarts, a PC input, component video and accompanying analogue stereo audio jacks (two sets of inputs, one set of outputs).

Sound features

Also on the audio side there's a digital coaxial audio output to take sound to an amp, and – yet another rare feature – a dedicated subwoofer out.

That's key; attaching a subwoofer to the LC40CT2E is a novel space-saving idea, especially considering the TV's weak built-in audio, which can't muster much in the way of low-frequency sounds.

An RF aerial input serves the LC40CT2E's built-in Freeview HD tuner, while an Ethernet port is also provided. For now it's redundant – no DLNA streaming from a home broadband network is possible – but it could become useful for adding interactive broadband TV services (and software) in future. Inside the TV itself is scant picture processing, which helps explain the low price.