Sharp lc 32le210e

A reasonably versatile set that can be tweaked to produce some solid images from Blu-ray, this is nonetheless a pick 'n' mix set that sees Edge LED backlighting and USB playback/recording pushed instead of some other features that are increasingly seen by us as essential in the flat TV market. That said, this 32-incher has been made to hit a particular price that is low enough for its lack of Freeview HD and 100Hz to be forgiven.

We liked

A wholly cinematic experience can be gleaned from this 32-incher, with plenty of contrast and accurate colours making it a candidate for any living room with increasing hi-def sources. USB recording is a nice extra – and so is its surprisingly comprehensive ability with digital music, video and photo files.

We disliked

There's no picture processing of note and no Freeview HD tuner (which means no Ethernet LAN port). These two omissions mean that you won't see the screen at its best; there's blur, softness and very average SD pics to be found, and getting HD in means buying a separate set-top box; you might as well ignore the USB recording and buy a proper PVR.

Final verdict

Despite its quite wonderful attempts at high-end TVs and 3DTVs, Sharp – which is absolutely huge in Japan – does most of its business at the budget end of the flat TV market, and this 32-inch LCD set does represent a couple of step-up options.

USB recording is intriguing, and though it does add some noted recording functions, the TV's sole Freeview tuner limits its usefulness. That itself is another bone of contention; we're convinced that every TV in 2011 will have Freeview HD.

A good value TV that ignores Freeview HD and picture processing, but just about gets away with it because of its high quality LED panel, novel recording functions, and low online price.

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