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Sharp LC32AD5E review

We audition Sharp's entry-level LCD

This set has a style that’s a cut above the usual budget drabness

Our Verdict

Although it lacks the glitz and glamour of Sharp’s other LCDs, this budget screen still deserves an audition


  • Price
  • Good pictures most of the time
  • Elegant design


  • Ugly onscreen menus
  • Some colour toning issues

The LC32AD5E is Sharp’s current entry-level, HD Ready set with no frills and an appealing price.

Suggesting the LC32AD5E is a stripped-down affair is being harsh, for its high-gloss, black screen bezel, together with the rather swish, tapered silver speaker sub-section create a style that’s a cut above the usual budget drabness.

Good connections

Tucked under a clip-off panel on the TV’s rear, meanwhile, is an extensive selection of connections that include the now de rigueur two v1.2 HDMIs, a component video input and a PC port.

A set of onscreen menus, poorly presented in a spidery font, provides access to a passable feature list. For pictures, the key findings worth mentioning are a noise reduction mode, a black level booster, a film mode for adjusting the progressive scan processing and various thematic picture presets.

For sound the only interest lies with a Clear Voice option that does exactly what you’d expect and a pseudo surround sound mode.

Limited picture performance

The 32AD5E’s performance struggles to hide the fact that this is Sharp’s entry-level LCD screen.

However, that’s not to suggest that it doesn’t acquit itself well in the context of the other economically-priced TVs.

The set’s biggest problem is that colours tend to look a little off-key during dark scenes, with some slightly over-ripe tones, especially where skin is concerned.

Secondly, the set’s viewing angle is severely limited, with noticeable black level drop-off if you watch from as little as 30º off axis.

Initially we weren’t too impressed with the set’s innate black level response either, with dark parts of pictures appearing behind a familiar low-contrast grey pall.

But we managed to fix this problem surprisingly well by simply knocking the backlight adjuster to –4 or –5. This does mean you lose shadow detail in dark areas, but it seems a trade well worth making.

Punchy audio

An additional strength of the LC32AD5E is the way that it compensates for the occasional weak colour tone with some really intense, vibrant saturations.

And we were also impressed by the crispness of the TV’s HD playback, its freedom from noise with standard and high definition alike, and the appearance of less smearing over moving objects than we’d expected to find for £600.

Wrapping up the LC32AD5E’s mostly likeable performance nicely is some surprisingly powerful audio emerging from the TV’s deceptively puny speakers