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LC32RD2E Lab Test & Calibration
To record the pre-calibration characteristics of the LC32RD2E, we switched the black expansion off and colour temperature to low. Generally, the [Soft] AV mode gives a similar picture. Visually, the default setting is a little strong on colours with some red push, but baseline colours looked quite natural with nice green and blue tones. The picture was too bright for my taste, which only got worse with subdued room lighting. We weren't terribly impressed with it's black depth but with backlight control we were already confident of killing two birds with one stone; bring the backlight down to a tolerable peak contrast level while improving black levels.
|Overscanning on HDMI||2.5 percent all sides|
|Blacker than black||Passed|
|Black level retention||Stable with OPC off|
|Primary colours||Good, mild red push|
|Video mode deinterlacing||Above average|
|Film mode deinterlacing||3:2 cadence passed|
|Viewing angle||Average ~100|
|Motion blur||Hardly any with 100Hz on|
|Digital noise||None at 8 feet|
|Sharpness||Mild enhancement at 0 setting?|
After calibration, this TV generated a whopping dynamic contrast ratio in excess of 1200:1, which is a remarkable performance given its size and budget. Essentially, this means that you can get very nice blacks for a certain brightness level. Blacker-than-black information is passed with no clipping. There was no evidence of black level fluctuation with OPC control disabled.
Greyscale intensity-luminance graph
The graph above shows the relationship of signal intensity to luminance. With an average gamma of 2.3, the curve is smooth at all intensities.
CCT at [Low] setting
CCT at [Mid Low] setting
The CCT graphs show the results of selecting between [Low] and [Mid Low] setting for colour temperature. While they don't come near 6500K, they are reasonably close and more importantly, flat throughout the signal range. This +/- 500 K deviation may not be perceptible to the average viewer.
RGB tracking at [Low] setting
As expected, the RGB will not track the D65 standard. Hence, the dE error (magenta line) as compared to D65 will be large. Without greyscale controls (RGB cuts and drives), we won't be able to tweak RGB to the desired standard. On a smooth greyscale ramp, this manifests as a slight yellowish tinge on greys.
CIE chart showing primary and secondary colours
The Sharp LC32RD2E has fantastic primary and secondary colours with reference to PAL and HD 709 standards. We are only considering primary chromacities here; other factors that affect final colour reproduction include gamma, colour temperature and colour decoding. After adjusting for saturation, the colours on the Sharp became more natural realistic. Unfortunately, we detected a mild red push that is evident on skin tones. It's possible to mute the red a little more while taking a small hit on general saturation, but this will come down to personal preference on overall colour scheme.
With a 4ms response time, the Sharp Aquos TV already has a slight edge on motion portrayal over other HDTVs that do not employ 100/120Hz motion technology. This is significantly improved with the 100Hz Double Frame Drive that successfully reduces judder and motion blurring on all material.
There is one caveat though. While the feature brings live sports (or any other video material) to the next level, it doesn't do the same for 24fps movies. Personally the 'unnatural fast-forward motion' that we have been talking about can be a little distracting for film buffs. Thankfully, you get the option to turn this off and save your cinematic experience from certain disaster.
Detail & Sharpness
All 1080 input is scaled down to its 1360x768 resolution with a small loss of detail. This may not be perceptible if you don't have a comparison side-by-side. The TV looks its best with 720 material, with sharp, clean edges and crisp detail.
THe LC32RD2E presses its advantage over larger screen sizes when it comes down to SD material. SD broadcast and DVD material always look better natively with smaller TVs. With larger screens, you may need more advanced video processing to improve SD pictures.
At the quoted 176 degrees, the image suffers too much from contrast and colour washout. We think it's ok up to 100 degrees, which should comfortably accommodate 3 viewers sitting 6-8 feet away.
In the TruD platform, the Motion 100hz is combined with the video deinterlacing and jaggie reduction algorithm which is just as well as you probably shouldn't be watching movies with the Double Frame Drive for the reason just mentioned. With TruD turned on, video material looks free from major combing or jaggie artifacts.
Movies will benefit from film cadence detection found in [Cinema mode] under advanced Picture Menu. This will prevent moire and jaggies from ruining your experience. The Sharp locks on to 3:2 cadence very quickly and is competent at sorting out mixed edits when required. One word of advice – [Cinema mode] won't process video stuff properly so watch out for this.
In terms of image processing, the LC32RD2E produces clean, noise free pictures at 6-8 feet away. The TV has a Digital Noise Reduction (DNR) control but you''ll probably be fine without it.
In summary, we find that TruD is best reserved for video material while [Cinema mode] should be selected for HD films. Now can someone programme a shortcut to these menu functions on the remote?
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