If you've recently read more than a handful of articles on home entertainment without being bombarded with the phrase 1080p, consider yourself lucky. These days everything is all about full high definition, but most companies are still putting forward high quality panels at other resolutions too. Sharp's D53 series is the company's top of the line 720p range of televisions, packing in a lot of the technologies such as 100Hz smooth motion playback, from its more expensive 1080p models.
- Good colour balance, minimal noise, nice PC and standard-definition performance
- Image a little soft at times, 100Hz motion mode causes image aberrations
A solid 720p unit from Sharp, the 37in LC37D53X offers good image quality at a decent price point. It does have some minor issues, but for regular DVD and some HD watching in a small- or medium-sized room it is a nice choice.
Price$ 2,399.00 (AUD)
We looked at the 37in model and it performed quite well in all our tests. Having looked at a ton of 1080p units over the last few months it can be a little difficult to 'go back' so to speak. While many users won't notice much of a difference between the two resolutions, particularly in a screen this small, 1080p pictures are noticeably crisper.
Still for a 720p panel the D53X did the job nicely. We ran our standard high-definition tests connecting an Xbox 360 with HD-DVD drive and played back a variety of sources. The picture was generally clear and sharp. At times it did look a little soft but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. There were no artefacts or signs of ghosting to be seen and noise was not an issue.
Colour balance was on the whole very strong, with rich vibrant hues and no strong inaccuracies. Of course there are options to adjust the colour mode if you feel the need, but we felt the 'movie' option did a great job during this test. Black levels were good but not incredible while contrast was reasonable with a nice level of detail in dark areas. Our main complaint lies with the way the panel handles fast motion. With the 100Hz mode running there were some noticeable image aberrations as the panel has to create extra information to fill in the gaps.
During our standard-definition tests the D53X posted a similarly impressive performance. The 720p panels typically handle standard-definition content better than their high resolution brothers as there is less scaling to do, so if you watch a lot of DVDs such a screen may be a better choice.
As usual we used our test disk, The Matrix which was rendered nicely. Noise is a common problem when upscaling video content, but nothing more than the standard DVD grain was visible here. Similarly there were no signs of scaling artefacts and the picture was crisp and clear. This film is a great test because poor quality screens have trouble handling the oversaturation of green, but no such issues were evident on this unit. Colour balance was good with impressive skin tones and the same rich look found in our HD tests.
We also did a quick PC test, hooking up a laptop via the VGA port. On the whole this showed some great results. The desktop appeared at a resolution of 1366x768 and looked fantastic. Typically VGA is a poor choice for any kind of video connection, with constant flickering and noise. While there was some of this in a few of our DisplayMate Video Edition tests it wasn't nearly as bad as we've seen on other panels, and when we tried playing a DVD back through the connection it looked just as good as when running via HDMI.
Aesthetically the D53X is stylish, with a slightly curved gloss black bezel. At this size it is perfect for a medium to large bedroom or smaller family room. It sports two HDMI ports as well as two component and a host of other connections.
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