By: HDTV Professor
The Sharp LC-32LE551U is the perfect HDTV for someone who is looking for a smaller TV to put in a home office, add as an extra computer monitor, or to place in a bedroom. The 32-inch beauty is a full 1080p and features some decent colors and with a solid deal at $300 online, you’ll be hard pressed to find something as nice.
This LED TV isn’t a smart TV so you won’t find any fancy internet features built it, and it isn’t 3D, but that technology is quickly fading backstage. There are still plenty of ways to adjust the screen and audio options, to help give optimize the TV no matter if you are playing games or watching a movie.
The Sharp does the trick when it comes to your viewing experience. It’s not going to blow your mind with 3D images, but you aren’t paying $800+ for another HDTV. Honestly, if you are using this as an external computer monitor or a bedroom TV to watch Netflix, you’ll love it and it’s actually nice not having to deal with a lot of the other options you find on smart televisions. Sharp has plenty of picture controls that helps you, and the TV, focus on picture quality versus the bells and whistles on other HDTVs.
This is an entry-level TV as far as anyone should be concerned. The picture menu has plenty of presets to help you optimize the TV for whatever you are watching. There is a user, standard, movie, game, dynamic, and sports mode, and you can change the controls within each mode. The Active Contract and Enhance Color options do exactly what they are supposed to, but this can also cause a bit of input lag during video games–this refers to how long it takes a TV to display the input from a connected source like a video game console.
Something that stands out on this TV is the number of audio options. This isn’t something you find on a lot of low-end HDTVs. There is an equalizer and surround sound imitation, but like any HDTV out there, you need to take great care so you don’t blow the speakers out.
From a performance perspective, the Sharp’s picture quality is a tad above average. The screen has solid shadow production, especially when watching Blu-rays, though some images can appear flat and hazy because the screen doesn’t get very bright. Transitions between colors are smooth and even, though depending on what you watch, some of these colors can band together as the TV gets brighter.
The screen features nice colors and tends to oversaturate some greens, but not the point where it is a setback. The newer gaming consoles look good on the TV but viewing angles can leave other players feeling cheated. Textures, hair, and facial features were all beautiful and easily noticeable without appearing washed out. Overall, the screen seems balanced for the price.
You can adjust and calibrate the colors to look more accurate, depending on what you are watching. The color temperature menu includes individual red, green, and blue gain as well as offset adjustments.
Because the TV doesn’t get bright, it’s recommended to watch your shows in a dim room.This will give you a better result and you won’t have to strain your eyes if you are watching a darker movie. Due to the glossy screen, it’s easy to notice reflections from lamps or the back of a room when the sun is coming in.
Overall, the Sharp isn’t a cheap looking TV, but it does lack some of the more advanced aesthetics of more expensive screens. It’s simply a TV that is meant to do it’s job; give you a way to watch your movies or sports in a smaller room. What is really nice about the Sharp is the small bezel that surrounds the screen.
There are no real distinguishing marks around the edges besides the logos and the 32-inch model only has two HDMI ports. This could be a drawback for anyone who is looking to hook up more than two HD items to the TV. You could fork out a few extra bucks to different models that have 3 or more ports, but with 32-inch televisions, they serve only a few services. This isn’t going to be a super-media center TV for your home.
The row of rubber buttons on the back right of the HDTV give you access to the standard volume, channel, menu, and input controls. In addition to the HDMI port, there is a USB port, and a stereo RCA port. Like any other television, you also have optical outputs, component video inputs, and antenna/cable connections.
One thing to note is if you already own a streaming device such as a Chromecast or a Roku box, the Sharp is a perfect device to own. As mentioned earlier, this isn’t a smart TV so you can’t hook it up to the internet to watch Netflix or Hulu but this TV is built for the streaming devices that continue to saturate the market. Just plug in the device, and the TV automatically finds it for you.
For the price and included options, we love the Sharp for its price. If you are someone who doesn’t want to deal with a lot of settings, smart features, and just jump through the hoops, keep this television in mind. With a small bezel and LED screen, the design fits into almost any home. There are plenty of options to help you get the best picture and sound quality, but you may feel limited if you want smart features.
There are better options out there on the market but it’s hard to ignore how well this television performed. A year ago, you would have never found a television this nice for the price. Plus, Sharp has 42- and 48-inch models, giving you a few more options. The accurate chromatic experience meshed with details in the darks and shadows makes this a great choice if you are looking for a budget HDTV.