I’ve taken a lot of grief over the past couple of years for saying you’ll be fine by only getting a 720p display for your 32” set. Even comparing 720p and 1080p sets side-by-side I can only see a difference when within 3-4’ of the screen. Since no one sits that close, the extra money spend on 1080p over 720p was not worth it. Well now we don’t even have to worry about this because people should just buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U which is a 1080p set but at the price of a 720p one.
The $280 Sharp LC-32LE653U is a 32”, 1080p display that packs a pair of HDMI inputs, integrated Netflix with WiFi, and a very accurate Movie preset out of the box. The load times are good for Netflix, better than sub-$300 TVs I looked at last year, and the image looks very good. If you want a 32” HDTV now, you probably should buy the Sharp LC-32LE653U.
1080p for Free
|Display Type:||LED LCD|
|Inputs:||2x HDMI (1x MHL), 1x Component, 1x Composite, USB|
|Streaming Services:||Netflix, Vudu, YouTube|
|Display Size:||28.43 “x 17.01” x 2.48”|
|Display Weight:||10.4 lbs.|
|Review Date:||April 27, 2015|
The Sharp LC32LE653U has a very utilitarian design like most 32” TVs. It is LED-lit, though it isn’t specified if it is edge-lit or back-lit. The case is nearly 2.5” deep so it isn’t as thin as some other 32” models but those cost a good bit more. Two HDMI inputs are standard for the course with 32” TVs, and integrated Netflix means you might not need to use a media streamer with it. The streaming options are a little thin past Netflix with Vudu but no Hulu Plus, Amazon, or HBO. One HDMI port is MHL compatible for streaming content from your mobile devices, and you can playback video content with the USB port as well.
One of the preset modes on the Sharp is Movie, and it is the only picture mode you use. It is accurate compared to all the other modes, and accurate for any TV. It has a preset color temperature very close to the 6503K standard while the others image modes are a bit past 11000K and very blue. Beyond just the grayscale, gamma is close to the BT.1886 target and the color points and saturations for all the colors are good. Even the color checker is accurate. As always, Page 2 has more information on the pre-calibration and post-calibration data for the Sharp.
There are a few other options for the image, including a dynamic contrast option. Turning this on causes the gamma to change and really lightens up shadow detail. Since the Sharp uses a VA-style LCD panel, which has good blacks compared to IPS panels, I wouldn’t turn this on. It makes images more washed out by brightening everything and losing the look of the scene.
I’ve seen displays that measure well that don’t look as good in use, but the Sharp looks good when watching content. Using the built-in Netflix app I watched a lot of the new Daredevil series. Very dark and gloomy, colors here are rendered faithfully with very good shadow detail. As you move off-axis you’ll see a shift in colors and contrast ratio, but this happens with all VA-panel displays.
The torture test of Chapter 12 on the last Harry Potter Blu-ray looks very good for a 32” display. You can make out everyone on the hill though you do see some macroblocking of details in the background and during the attack scene. Without going to a full array local dimming backlight, it is hard for a LCD to bring out more detail in the darkness here. For a 32” it does as well as any other display this size really does.
Unlike the Vizio last year, the Sharp looks better with sports. There is less blurring of the on-screen image even though it is only a 60Hz panel. Watching some basketball or the Boston Marathon the image looks good with not much smearing. While there is still some, it’s on the level with other 60Hz LCD displays and not worse.
I didn’t play any video games on the Sharp, since I’m not much of a gamer, but it has a low 28ms lag time.
You can’t adjust the preset picture mode when watching Netflix. It uses the Movie preset, so you are getting the most accurate mode out of the box, but you can’t adjust the backlight level or sharpness on it. I’d also like to see a backlit remote, but no one offers that for this price. These flaws are minor and nothing that would keep me from recommending the Sharp.
Editors Note: This review previously mentioned Overscan that cannot be defeated. You can enable 1:1 pixel mapping by using the “View Mode” button on the remote. The option for this is missing from the menu system, which is how it was originally overlooked.
Overall a Winner
The Sharp LC-32LE653U combines great image quality, Netflix streaming, and 1080p resolution into an affordable package. It could have more streaming content but it has Netflix which is the #1 requirement. The image out of the box in Movie mode is so accurate that you have no reason to calibrate it. Contrast ratios fall off a bit off-axis but most people don’t watch a 32” TV with a huge group of people.
If you want a great 32″ display for watching TV and movies, streaming content from Netflix, and playing video games then it will work perfectly for you. It’s affordable, has all the features, and the best image for its price. Easily recommended.
|Pros:||Accurate image, integrated Netflix, great value.|
|Cons:||Only 2 HDMI inputs, could use more streaming content.|
|Summary:||A great image, great price, and integrated streaming makes the Sharp a winning TV for someone that wants a 32” TV.|