Sharp AQUOS LC-32GD6U LCD HDTV Reviewed

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Sharp included a HDMI input and a DVI-I input for connecting a HDTV set-top box, DVD player, or PC. The TV has two FireWire (IEEE 1394) inputs, allowing you to connect a compatible D-VHS deck for digital recording. Additionally, the LC-32GD6U has two analog antenna inputs, one analog antenna output, and one digital antenna input. The provided RS-232C connection allows you to control the unit from a PC. The input signal can be selected, the volume can be adjusted, and various other adjustments and settings can be made, enabling programmed playing. The inputs are the most complete I've ever seen on a flat panel display. You may not need so many connection options now, but it's great to know this AQUOS display allows room to grow.

For my installation, I connected my DVD player, DirecTV HD DVR and standard cable television coaxial to the LC-32GD6U. As expected, the picture of the set was very bright with an extreme red push when first turned on. Manufacturers intentionally adjust the picture to a bright setting so they will stand out at electronic retailers, in essence screaming, "Look at me!" After I corrected the color imbalance, the picture appeared more natural with proper skin tones and toned down brightness.

I tested my first AQUOS set a couple years ago and liked what I saw. However, it's nice to know the R&D engineers at Sharp haven't rested, because there are so many improvements to the new line of LCDs to share the AQUOS name. I particularly like the menu system for operations that is reminiscent of a colorful computer operating system. The long, slim, backlit remote control navigates the simple features easily and the set is accompanied by a comprehensive thick manual that looks more like a Chilton's car guide than operating instructions for a TV.

Final Take
I spent some time adjusting the extensive Color Management System (CMS) settings to correct inaccurate color decoding. The CMS provides basic adjustments for hue, saturation and value for the primary six colors, plus five color temperatures and other video settings. The image of the LC-32GD6U is bright and detailed with good contrast. After calibrating the set, the colors popped vibrantly, even in a brightly lit room. The increased contrast ratio improves black level performance, which is the best I've seen in an LCD, but not quite as dark as many plasma televisions. This was more evident in a dark room than with bright ambient light.

Watching HD Discovery shows, the set had good color purity with green forests, blue oceans, tan deserts, and red sunsets. I couldn't detect fast motion artifacts watching sporting events or action scenes. The image drag flaw associated with LCD panels may soon be a thing of the past with Sharp's proprietary "Quick Shoot" video circuitry.

The LC-32GD6U has bright color, fine detail, superior black levels, a good viewing angle, and a long lamp life. I was impressed with the vivid picture, connectivity and flexiblity of installation. The only major drawback is that the AQUOS is expensive. For the price you pay for the LC-32GD6U, you could afford to get a larger DLP or CRT rear projection set. But, you get what you pay for. If you can afford the finest LCD on the market with a name that epitomizes quality, you might as well get an AQUOS.

Additional Resources
• Read more LCD HDTV reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Explore Blu-ray options in our Blu-ray Player Review section.

Sharp AQUOS LC-32GD6U HDTV
32" low-reflective black TFT LCD
16:9 aspect ratio
1366 x 768 pixel resolution
HDTV tuner built-in
Digital cable ready
800:1 contrast ratio
Dual 181-channel NTSC tuners
Detachable stereo speakers (10 watts x 2)
(3) rear-panel composite video inputs
(1) rear-panel S-Video input
(2) rear-panel HD-compatible
component video inputs
(1) DVI-I digital video/PC input
(1) HDMI digital audio/video input
(2) FireWire (IEEE 1394) ports
Optical digital audio output
PC card slot (PCMCIA)
Detachable tilt/swivel stand
31 1/2"W x 22 5/8"H x 3 7/8"D (without stand)
31 1/2"W x 25 1/2"H x 12 1/8"D (with stand)
Weight: 44.5 lbs. (without stand)
Warranty: 1 year parts and labor
MRSP: $3,999

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HTR Product Rating for Sharp AQUOS LC-32GD6U LCD HDTV

Criteria Rating

Performance

3

Value

3

Overall

3

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