26" LCD TVs: Are They Ready for Prime Time?

Sharp Aquos LC26GA3E: A Racehorse Of A TV Set

The Sharp panel has a latency specification of 14 ms, and in practice, it's a real racehorse! The worst latency we measured was 23ms. That's literally better performance than our reference PC monitor, the BenQ FP71E+, except for the brightest colors, where our monitor recovered the lead.

The technology used in fabricating large-size LCD panels seems to enable faster speeds. A few factors may be responsible for that. The LCD pixels are big on large panels, and it's quite possible that the bigger electrical fields that cause the liquid crystals to twist are more effective. Since the pixels are larger, the electrodes are also bigger and therefore less susceptible to edge effects - the field lines orient themselves more vertically in relation to the two electrodes. Another possible reason could be the size of the transistors used in the panels. Since the pixels are bigger, the width of the transistors (and consequently the transistor W/L, for those of you who know a little about CMOS technology) is larger. That means that the transistors in the pixels are more conductive than the ones in a computer monitor. Amorphous silicon transistors don't perform all that well, and increasing their size makes them less resistive when they're on.

But let's get back to the Sharp. If you'd like to know more about LCD technology, take a look at our feature article on the subject.

Let's just say that Sharp Aquos LC 26 GA3 LCD TV was extremely fast and showed almost no visible latency in movies and games. So if you're still looking for a really good monitor for gaming, and the cost doesn't scare you, the Sharp Aquos LC 26 GA3 is entirely PC compatible...

Video Quality

The video quality of this TV set impressed us. The sharpness was first-class and the colors were quite true to life. The viewing angles were comfortable, so family screenings will be no problem. Unfortunately, the image wasn't free of video noise. There is a noise reduction function that improves the situation, but it didn't eliminate the phenomenon.