Sharp lc40ct2e main

Great design, stunning Blu-ray and Freeview HD tuner – what's not to like about this 40-inch LCD TV? Actually, there are a lot of minor drawbacks, but if you're searching for a screen to use primarily with high definition sources, there's little reason to spend much more. That said, a Blu-ray player and a home cinema system should be considered must-have accessories if you're to see the LC40CT2E at its best, because it does trip-up with standard definition TV channels and sound.

We liked:

Stylish beyond its price point and including a Freeview HD tuner, the LC40CT2E is one of the best value 40-inch TVs we've seen.

The LED-backlighting feature so beloved of the TV brands this year isn't missed too much, with decent blacks and riotous colour filling-in nicely.

It's also great to see a subwoofer output for beefing-up the sound quality to something approaching acceptability. If you're after a living room-friendly set of some size but at a small price, the LC40CT2E could be for you.

We disliked:

A stodgy Freeview HD interface and poor sound quality are the lowlights on the LC40CT2E; we'd recommend – as usual on flatscreen TVs – that you pair it with a separate sound system. It's got the prerequisite ins and outs (and then some) to do just that.

And while the Blu-ray picture is an all-round winner, there are significant traditional LCD problems such as blur over fast motion, and judder; the LC40CT2E certainly doesn't create the smooth picture high-end sets can now muster.

Verdict:

LED has taken over from LCD, right? With LED panels still commanding a premium, step forward this 40-inch LCD TV that makes no excuses for its standard spec. And how! Great contrast, fine detail and spot-on colours just go to show how good the budget end of the TV market is becoming.

There are minuses, most notably with that Freeview HD interface, weak audio, and noticeable judder, but if you can find the LC40CT2E for around £650, you've got yourself a bargain.

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