The entry level segment of any market is probably the space where brands should concentrate most, especially in a country like ours. Sharp as a group, gets the credit for being one of the pioneers of the LCD technology, with a string of “firsts” under their belt, but now times have changed, and true glory comes through volumes of sales. Thus we have a humble 22 incher LCD TV by them, aimed at you know where... the budget segment.
Design and features
This model really looks quite old fashioned, with a stout bezel and speakers jutting out the side. The finish is a glossy black, a common norm these days for LCD aesthetics, with thin metallic strips de-lineating the top and bottom edges of the speaker grille. The bottom panel has the centrally printed Sharp Logo, and tiny round push buttons lined up in a row next to it. Overall, the design is nothing to shout about, it’s rather bland and not to mention old fashioned looking. But of course we are interested in what’s under the hood.
The connectors available are one each of an HDMI in, a component video and an S-video in, and 2 composite video ins. Besides we have the regular analog audio in(RCA plug), VGA in( 15 pin D-Sub) and Rs-232 in. The rated specs of the TV are actually quite healthy, with a 350 cd/m2 brightness, 1500:1 contrast ratio and 4 ms response time. The native resolution is 1366 x 768 according to specs, thus this can be termed as “HD ready”. But, on turning it on, our Nvidia card’s CP mentions the native res as 1920x1080, plus it looks better in full HD. Strange. There is no dynamic contrast rating given, which is perfectly fine by us as we never really believe some of the ludicrous ratings today.
We plugged the chubby little screen via HDMI to our HTPC, and ran the regular battery of Displaymate and DVE test disc test and after that lined up Pulp Fiction Blu-ray. The initial encounters were quite appealing, but the picture is not good out of the box. The menu system pops out on the top left - a translucent blue UI with colorful icons makes it up.
First things first: grayscale performance. The deep blacks are much better than average here, but lack a bit of detail. Then the higher shades of grey, about 70-80 IRE have a bluish tinge. Even when checking full color patterns, there is a tinge of blue in the response, and this is with color temperature kept at normal. The contrast actually is good, because of the depth of black it can reach, and higher whites too don’t clip catastrophically.
Detail is again not spectacular; basically minute edges do not have that hairline accuracy that is visible in some of the 22 inch monitors today. But since this is meant to be a TV, we will not stress too much on static detail, but one thing is for sure: one will not be able to use MS word easily. In motion sequences there is not much problem with ghosting and motion blur, here the TV performs just fine.
The MRP of Sharp Model LC 22 L50M is Rs 16,990 and the street price is Rs. 15,990, thus it’s not really expensive. But then the performance has some drawbacks associated with purity of greys, thus we have unwanted oversaturation in the blue channel. Detail also could be cleaner. What is good, is the pure backlight brightness, that gives the image an illumination boost. Contrast also is strong, as the panel has a good black output. A demo is recommended; so don’t scratch it off the list.
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