Sharp LC32GP3

Review

posted 12/18/2008 by Dan Keener
other articles by Dan Keener
One Page Platforms: AV
As gaming has become more intertwined with the family Home Theater, many companies have tried to make TVs more “gamer friendly” by adding extra inputs or a specific “game port” to the sets for ease of use. While this was a welcomed addition for many, Sharp has taken the approach a step further by releasing their second version of a mid-sized LCD television that is decked out with multiple features aimed at enhancing the gaming experience. The latest model is the Sharp LC32GP3, which is about as loaded with goodies as any gamer could want and is marketed specifically as a gaming set. I had my first look at the GP3 on the floor of the 2008 CES show and came away thoroughly impressed from my limited time with it. Now that I have gotten an extensive hands on with it, my instincts were confirmed that this is one of the best TVs available for gaming.

The Specs
Model Sharp LC32GP3R
Initial MSRP $1,499
Best Retail price $998
Native Resolution 1920 x 1080
Contrast 2,000:1 (10,000:1 Dynamic)
Response Time 6 ms
Speaker Watts 10w x 10w
Lamp Life (Hrs) 60,000
Dimensions (in) 30-61/64" W x 23-7/8" H x 11-45/64" D
Weight (lbs) 39.7 lbs
Viewing Angle 176º H x 176º V
HDMI In 3 (1080p compatible) 1 side, 2 rear
Component In 2 (1080p compatible) 1 side, 1 rear
Composite In 3 – 1 side, 2 rear
PC In 1-D-sub 15-pin
Audio In 4 – 1 side, 3 rear
Audio Out 3 - (1) Analog, (1) Optical, (1) Subwoofer

Out of the Box
The GP3 comes with standard fare, including a full sized remote, power cable and instruction manual. The packaging is a simple, yet highly-effective mix of a soft foam bag to protect the TV and rigid foam blocks to keep the unit centered in the box. However, the real treat begins while unpacking the contents and catching a glimpse of the simple, yet elegant design of the TV cabinet.


Aesthetics
When I initially saw the GP3 models from Sharp at the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show, the first thing that popped into my head was that they were some of the best looking TVs I had ever seen. I was particularly drawn to the red model (also comes in white and black) and its high-gloss finish. Fortunately, the red model (LCD32GP3U-R) was the unit we received for review and I am quite sure that my underlying sense of Buckeye pride also made this unit attractive, as the red cabinet with silver accents is very popular around the city GamingNexus calls home.

The front of the TV is very clean, with a few logos and the accent color of the speaker bar below the screen as the only things that really stands out. The buttons and side inputs are hidden behind the outer bezel of the TV, so they cannot be seen except from the side or looking down from the top. The back panel has a dedicated section for all the hook-ups on the left (which is very well organized) and a spot for the power connection on the right. As for the base, it mimics the GP3 color scheme with a two-tone red and silver, although the scheme is reversed with the silver feet being the dominate color and the red being the accent color.

Overall, the LC32GP3 would be an excellent addition to just about any room in the house. With three colors available to choose from, this set has a design that works well in a bedroom, family room or home office.

Remote
When I pulled the GP3 remote from the box, I was shocked at the size and sheer volume of buttons on it. Most 32” LCD TVs come with a mid-sized remote that give you just a bit more than the basics. For the GP3, it was loaded with enough functionality that you should never have to leave your chair. Despite the size and volume of buttons, the layout was well thought out and it fits well in your hand due to the ergonomic design and proper weight balance. However, it is fairly lengthy and has some button that probably could have been left off.


The layout itself can be broken down into three distinct areas. The top section contains the main power button, device indicator lights, source, light, function and universal device controls. The bottom section is hidden beneath a faceplate that lifts open and reveals the Island of Misfit Buttons, including sleep mode, Closed Captioning, Favorites, Rec Stop, Audio and AV Mode. It is kind of a weird placement, but I guess they had to go somewhere. The middle section is the meat of the remote, as it has the numeric pad, directional pad, master volume and channel, input, flashback, mute, freeze, favorite channels and the ever important “Game” button. The game button is placed away from the main input button and has only one function, immediately switch to the assignable input(s) that the game console is hooked to and activate the Sharp Vyper Drive. It is distinctly marked with a yellow color and is surrounded with an outline and the word “Game” bolded. You can’t miss it, and it was nice to be able to be one click away from fragging my buddies with no lag.
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