Sharp LC-52LE700E 52in LED backlit TV
Viewing it large
Review The LC-52LE700E is the largest set in Sharp’s current range of affordable, LED backlit TVs. Many may baulk at describing a telly that costs £1,300 as affordable, but given the vast expanse of screen real-estate on offer here and the fact that it uses direct LED backlighting, the asking price actually falls towards the more reasonable end of the big screen spectrum.
The big picture: Sharp's Aquos LC-52LE700E
A telly of this size is bound to draw attention to itself, even if it’s sitting in the corner of a room switched off. And while it isn’t as pretty as some of the latest LED models from LG and Samsung, the glossy black finish and blue tinged panel, that runs across the bottom of the set, at least lift it out of design mediocrity. However, we’re used to LED models being exceptionally slim, but that’s not the case here as the LC-52LE700E is rather big boned, measuring a whopping 10cm deep.
With so much space on the back for various ports, it’s no surprise that the set is not found wanting when it comes to connectivity. You get four HDMI ports – with one side mounted for easy access – alongside two Scart sockets, a set of component connectors, a composite socket and a VGA port. There’s also a digital audio output, so you can feed sound from the Freeview tuner to your surround sound system.
Unfortunately, on the digital media front, the TV lags somewhat behind the times. The LC-52LE700E does have a USB port on the side, but it only lets you play MP3s or view slideshows of pictures. It can’t play any video formats at all, so you can’t even watch movie files captured on your digital camera. With no Ethernet port nor Wi-Fi support, you also miss out on Internet video services and media streaming from a PC.
With four HDMI ports, you shouldn’t have any problems hooking up your HD kit.
Setting up the TV is pretty straightforward although the tuner does take a while to grab all the Freeview channels. However, as you only really have to do this once, it’s hardly a big issue. When the channels are tuned, you’ll find that the LC-52LE700E’s menu system offers comprehensive control over pretty much all aspects of the TV. However, its structure could be improved and the presentation could do with a bit of a facelift, as it looks rather drab.
You've got to be joking
A £1300, 52" HD TV that doesn't come with a Freeview HD receiver?
What are Sharp thinking of?
Did they supply a voucher so they'll come along and fit one for you?
No? Well maybe I'll wait until 50" OLED TVs come out....
Never buy a Sharp TV
These sets all live and die by the quality of their deinterlacing and scaling of SD. After a lot of trawling round shops and getting sales droids to switch to Freeview, rather than HD, I came up with the following rules of thumb:
Pioneer/Philips: consistently good + expensive
Panasonic: consistently good + cheap
Sony/Samsung/LG: hugely variable in cost and quality
Sharp: consistently bloody awful
Comet tried to knock 100 quid off of a 37" Sharp LCD and throw in a free blu-ray player just to get rid of the damn thing. The SD scaling is simply TERRIBLE across the range and this is painfully apparent if you get a line of different brands all showing Freeview.
"""The rest of the money that I could have spent on 10 more inches of tv was able to go on a 5.1 speakers, AV tuner/amp and blu ray system."""
Sounds like you didn't spend enough on speakers : -)
In any case, from what I've read, native contrast onf these screens is 2x what LG has used, and the full backlight (which is what makes it so thick) gets you pretty even lighting compared to the slim edge-lit TVs that are so popular. Chances are that 42" LG was nowhere near as good a TV, based on what I've read. And I've been reading quite a bit about these, since I just purchased a 32" version yesterday.
But then, some people just want a larger screen no matter the picture quality, and that's cool, I guess.
I appreciate that its LED, but not too long ago i got a 42" full HD LG LCD for almost exactly half the price. The rest of the money that I could have spent on 10 more inches of tv was able to go on a 5.1 speakers, AV tuner/amp and blu ray system.
Fantastic TVs at a great price
I've had the 40" version of this for a while now (I'm not made of money and the 52" wasn't available) and it kicks ass. The picture is sharp, the colours are excellent, and as my TV signal comes via Freesat (ie, far less compression crap in the picture) even SD looks great on it. The only place where it kinda suffers is in very fast moving scenes, but I'm comparing it to my previous plasma, which was 600Hz.
Best moments using it:
Blade Runner Final Cut BD
God of War III (all of it)
^^^These looked absolutely incredible on this TV.