Price (RRP): $2,699
Reviewer: Thomas Bartlett
A new breed of panel TVs are appearing which feature ‘100/120Hz’ support. That means that they can double the frame rate of all home cinema signals, whether sourced from PAL or NTSC DVD, or Blu-ray or HD DVD. The Sharp Aquos LC-37D53X LCD TV is the first such I’ve seen, and it is very impressive.
What this means is that new frames can be ‘interpolated’ between those actually delivered by your TV source, and this can smooth movement and improve legibility. In fact, one test disc I have shows a page of high definition text panning across the screen. With this circuit disabled the text blurs and is unreadable, but with it on it becomes sharp. This is nothing to do with the LCD panel response time, but with the way the video is processed.
Sharp seems to have gone for a modest ‘dynamic’ contrast ratio enhancement than some models. Nevertheless, the black levels, especially in ‘Movie’ mode, were acceptable. More importantly, they were even across the whole screen, with no discernible variation, allowing you to forget about black levels completely.
The operation of the TV is generally fairly straightforward, except that the digital TV tuner, which works well enough, is somewhat of an afterthought. You even have to drill down through the ‘Options’ menu to find the tuner’s own menus.
All this processing would be better employed with a full HD panel instead of a 1366 x 768 model, and oddly, the TV will not accept 1080p signals, nor will it accept interlaced standard definition signals over HDMI.
The trade-off for all this high end processing is that the size of the TV is fairly small for this category. But if you’re interested in high performance rather than sheer size, the Sharp Aquos LC-37D53X LCD TV should definitely be on your short list.