- Great value for money
- 1080p full HD display
- Good connectivity with 3 x HDMI
- Good build quality with aluminium feet
- Radio signal remote – slight input delay
- Unrefined user interface
Full Review – Sharp LC-40CFE5221K
To test the LC-40CFE5221K’s picture quality I am going to benchmark it against two TV’s of a similar price and spec that I have previously reviewed. They are the Samsung 5100 and the Panasonic C300B. At the point in time of this review the Sharp is cheaper, has better connectivity and a better build quality/design; so let’s see how it competes on picture.
I tested two sources of HD content; a freeview HD channel and a dvd hooked up via an external dvd player. The results were really good with a sharp, vibrant image. The dark scenes gave reasonable results with fairly deep blacks and no real backlight spill through onto the display. Standard definition content is upscaled to fit the resolution of the screen. It’s noticeably lower quality than the HD content as you would expect but still does a good job making for a perfectly adequate viewing experience. No complaints there.
The Sharp LC-40CFE5221K has motionflow 200 technology meaning it can artificially generate additional frames to make the image smoother and reduce motion blur. The panel has a native frequency of 50Hz and I noticed a small trail of motion blur on fast moving objects when watching sports, but nothing excessive enough to ruin the viewing experience. There is no game mode however one of the HDMI inputs has a “PC” label. When I tested this input I measured an input delay of 36ms making this TV acceptable for Xbox One or PS4 console gaming.
Overall if I had to pick one of the three models on picture quality I would go with the Samsung over the Sharp, but take the Sharp over the Panasonic. That said the Sharp is cheaper and has better connectivity. It really is a toss up depending on what deals are on at the time of purchase. Either way for the price the LC-40CFE5221K is a great all round contender.
The Sharp is equipped with two 8W speakers on either side of the back panel. For an LED TV the speakers give passable audio quality. You can hear voices clearly over any background music or sound during film scenes. There are no real sound settings within the menu and if you turn it up to a (very)loud volume it does start to muffle a little. For casual living room or bedroom use the audio is perfectly adequate however if you want an immersive high quality audio experience then you will need to connect an external sound system. That said the same is true for any TV around this price point.
Connectivity is good offering three HDMI ports with input two also being marked as an audio channel return input. On top of that you get two USB slots and all of the legacy connections including scart, component and composite. The comparative models from Samsung and Panasonic both offer only two HDMI slots so if you have a busy living room with lots of external devices then it’s a nice win from the Sharp. As for audio connectivity there’s a digital audio output as well as a 3.5mm headphone jack.
There are no smart features however with the HDMI slots available it’s highly recommended to hook up a chromecast, nowTV box, Amazon Fire Stick or another smart device of your choosing. It’s a good way to stream HD content and utilise the 1080p panel without having to pay a premium for the inbuilt smart connectivity.
The Sharp LC-40CFE5221K is very easy to assemble. The feet screw to the bottom of the plastic frame which is very light. I managed it solo no problem. Once powered the setup is very straightforward as is adjusting the picture via the central menus to get it just as you like. The only confusing part is connecting the remote. Sharp have stuck with their radio frequency remotes over the standard infrared. There are two main differences. First you need to pair the remote to the TV however once that’s done it will work from anywhere in the room and the signal won’t be blocked by any furniture in the way. The downsides are that if you want to connect your Sky(infrared) remote to the TV, you can’t. It also has some delay issues between pressing and it actually happening on the screen. It’s a very small delay but still noticeable.
In the low cost TV world you don’t usually get any fancy extra features such as bluetooth connectivity or freesat tuners. The Sharp does have a few additional functions up it’s sleeve. The USB slots can be used for playback of music, pictures and videos. You can also attach a hard drive and use the a slot as an extended PVR. This means you can record and pause live TV once configured. There is of course the built in Freeview HD tuner as well.