For most buyers, the Sharp LC-40CFE5221K is a bit of head-scratcher – it seems like a decent TV, but it doesn’t come from the sort of big name brand that puts you at ease that you are getting a quality television.
The truth is however that Sharp has produced a decent TV at a rock bottom price. A quality picture, nice build and good connections make this an excellent pick for the bedroom or kitchen. If you like a Netflix binge then we would recommend upgrading to a more expensive 4K model, but if you only watch TV for an hour or so a day or want a bargain telly for the bedroom or kitchen then this could be the model for you.
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It’s not going to win awards, but the Sharp LC-40CFE5221K is still an attractive TV.
It’s a nice touch that the feet are made of metal rather than flimsy plastic that is all too common even on £500 models. These mounts are at the end of the TV so you will need to put it on something that is about 40 inches wide (unless you wall mount it). In profile it’s fairly thin at 6.7cm.
While we were not dazzled by the quality of the picture in our review, we didn’t really have any major issues. The display gives a crisp and vibrant image, while blacks are rendered fairly well giving a nice contrast between shadow and light.
We did find that while it outperforms our expectations for a £220 TV where HD content is concerned, it only really met our expectations for SD content. SD content is still the main output for most Freeview channels, but if you favour watching BBC, ITV and Channel 5 for the majority of the time then you will mostly be getting HD content.
The panel in the Sharp LC-40CFE5221K has a native refresh rate of 50Hz. Essentially that means the picture on the TV is refreshed 50 times a second. This sounds like a lot but when next to a 100Hz model you can really see the difference in the smoothness of the picture. Most of the time this isn’t an issue, but with sport there can sometimes be a lag. For some fast video games this can be an issue too, but this is offset by the “PC” HDMI input on the TV that has a very low lag, making this Sharp a reasonably acceptable option for PC, XBox and PS4 gaming.
There is no 4k, UHD or 3D technology here, but nor is there in any other TVs in this price range.
The sound quality is powered by two 8W speakers on the back on the telly and is very basic. You will hear everything accurately and voices are rendered clearly, but at higher volumes it does tend to go a bit muffled. It’s more than fine for day to day viewing, but if you want something with a bit more bite then you will have to connect an external speaker.
This isn’t a Smart TV, but if that bothers you then just put a Chromecast or Firestick into one of the HDMI ports and you are quickly upgraded to a Smart TV with wifi (and can take advantage of a shed load more of HD content).
In terms of connectivity, you get 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB and a SCART connection (in case you insist on living in the dark ages). It also has a Freeview HD tuner built in that is really easy to set up.
Perhaps the only catch is that some users have complained that the TV menu can be a bit slow with there being a slight lag between pressing the remote button to change the channel and it actually happening. This was a common complaint in TVs from a few years ago, but processors in 2017 are so fast due to the constant force of Moore’s law. So while the Sharp might not have the lightening fast speed of other TVs currently on sale, there’s still a good chance that if you are used to dealing with an older model you won’t notice that much difference.