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Sharp LC42XL2E Test Conclusion

by Vincent Teoh
14 December 2007

SUMMARY
Screen unevenness and red push tarnish the Sharp LC42XL2E that otherwise deserves praise for its detail, motion handling and video processing.

PROS
> Exceptional detail and resolution in [Dot by Dot] mode
> [100Hz] doubles motion resolution without significant artifacts
> Good to excellent video processing

CONS
> Uneven screen uniformity (may be specific to my review sample)
> Red push
> D65 calibration not possible from user menu

 

Pros

  • Exceptional detail and resolution in [Dot by Dot] mode (which also allows for 1:1 pixel mapping and 0% overscan)
  • [100Hz] doubles motion resolution without introducing significant artifacts
  • Very good blacks and excellent shadow detail for an LCD
  • One of the best SD performers for an LCD of this size due to good scaling and video deinterlacing
  • Excellent film mode deinterlacing even in 1080i
  • Handles 1080p/24 signal well therefore removing telecine judder
  • Good connectivity with 3 HDMI ports and (at last) a dedicated component input
  • Independent input memory settings, though [Movie Mode] (see Cons) affects all inputs
  • Elegant "Slim-line" design with slim depth and thin bezel
  • Gorgeously styled remote control (but could be better ergonomically; see Cons)
  • Pin-sharp user menu and EPG rendered in high-definition pixels
  • Can automatically recognise and label connected HDMI devices
  • Table top stand swivels

Cons

  • Uneven screen uniformity (horizontal and vertical "bands")
  • Red push
  • No user menu white balance control for greyscale calibration
  • Limited viewing angle (less than 30° off-axis)
  • Only [Movie Mode] gives the best gamma profile without obscuring shadow detail
  • Slow user menu/ EPG navigation
  • Some important functions on the remote hidden in the flip-away compartment
  • Table top stand needs to be assembled then attached to TV

Conclusion

The new Sharp LC42XL2E does a lot of things right, ranging from its gorgeous styling and solid connectivity to its motion handling and video processing. Only the longstanding (for Aquos 1080p LCD televisions) problem of screen unevenness (a.k.a. "banding" which is not to be confused with posterization) and red push prevent it from outright recommendation.

In other words, if you are pretty sure you can get your hands on a band-free set, and you don't really care about adhering to D65 imaging standards, then the Sharp LC42XL2E definitely will not disappoint.

Qualified Recommendation

3.5 Star Rating: Qualified Recommendation

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