The release of LED TVs from a whole range of big name manufacturers has been greeted with confusion and ambivalence by a large proportion of consumers and reviewers.
Whilst on paper it is clear that LED backlighting allows for improved energy efficiency and thinner displays, some will find it hard to justify the considerable price increase LED TVs sport over equivalent sized, non-LED rivals.
Sharp are the latest to join the fray and the LC40LE700E represents the higher end of the LED range. But what does the Sharp LC40LE700E have to offer over the competition?
40″ Full LED Backlighting for Enhanced Blacks
Well, the first significant feature is the full LED backlighting system, which rather than utilising LEDs arranged around the edge of the screen allows for uniform brightness with total coverage across the back. This technology is called Full Back-lit LED.
This is an improvement over the first Edge-lit LED TVs produced by Samsung, which were criticised for their uneven level of lighting. It is a pity that this technology makes the LC40LE700E look a lot less futuristic than other LED TVs.
It is still thinner than most LCD options, but the overall design is very understated, with plain black being the only colour on offer here. Some might consider this stylish because of its simplicity, but others could see it as being boring.
The 40 inch screen is virtually the ideal size for an HDTV for most living rooms. It is large enough to provide a cinematic experience without feeling ostentatious in smaller spaces. It also has support for 1080p full HD content, which is a must with a screen this size.
4 HDMI, 2 SCART plus USB Connectivity
In terms of connectivity the Sharp Aquos LC40LE700E is well stocked.
There are 4 HDMI ports for your Blu-Ray player, games console, HDTV receiver and HD camcorder.
There is also an analogue D-SUB PC input, a component and composite video input and two SCART sockets.
Now, it may not seem like much to include the older SCART interface, but since other LED TVs discounted the analogue connections in order to further streamline their design, people with VHS players were left wanting. This is not the case with the LC40LE700E. You will be able to connect all of your audiovisual devices and still have room for more.
There is a USB port located on the side of the LC40LE700E which can accept memory sticks and playback MP3 music tracks and allow you to view your photographic files in JPEG format on the big screen.
The main event of the LC40LE700E is of course its LED backlighting. The brochure claims that this allows for some truly impressive contrast levels as well as top-notch colour hue and saturation.
On the first point, the LC40LE700E does indeed have very impressive levels of contrast. Few HDTVs can boast the deep blacks and bright whites that the LED technology creates.
However, you will need to spend some quality time with the menu system if you want to produce colours that are not over the top and garish.
In its basic setting the LC40LE700E is slightly too vibrant for most tastes. However, the menus are easy to navigate and you can alter every setting incrementally until you are happy.
Overall the LC40LE700E packs an impressive set of features that look to the future and the past and it has an excellent picture. Hopefully this will encourage consumers to ignore the premium they are paying for the new LED technology.
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