Nov 10,2006 00:00
With home movies, video game systems and television programming all moving into the high-definition realm, consumers must surely wonder if they need to take out a second mortgage just to purchase a high-quality TV that takes advantage of these new formats. Fortunately, the answer is a resounding "no," as Mitsubishi has released a new line of affordable televisions that offer top-notch visuals in an attractive package.
Mitsubishi's entire 2007 line of DLP televisions offers 1080p as their maximum resolution, and has no problem playing 1080i or lower resolution images either. There is no down conversion of images from 1080p to 1080i and then back to 1080p as some televisions do. As a result, HDTV viewing of 1080p content delivers over 2 million pixels onscreen for a full resolution of 1920 by 1080. What does all of this mean? Well, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, PS3, and soon, XBOX 360 content, can all be delivered with the highest picture quality possible on a modern television.
Other technological advancements ranging from a six primary-color system (rather than the standard three) to 4D video noise-reduction help to display bright, vibrant colors with no grainy appearance. Jagged edges appear softer and more round, and minute details not noticeable on regular televisions catch the eye, as they should. On rare occasions, images with several shades of black appear a bit darker than normal, but it isn't enough to ruin the image. Anyone concerned with this slight imperfection can upgrade to the next model in the series, WD-57732, in order to obtain the 'dark detailer' (among other features) that makes a noticeable difference with troublesome dark images.
For comparison's sake, I set this TV alongside my two-year-old Sony 40-inch CRT television, and was surprised at how much better images on the Mitsubishi looked. Video games and HD-DVDs both appeared much more detailed and clear on the Mitsubishi than the Sony. I had always thought that CRT TVs were worth their cumbersome size and weight due to their superior picture quality over projection TVs, but the WD-57731 proved me wrong. Excellent, now I can get rid of my 300-pound CRT and get an 80-pound DLP that is not nearly as deep. Doing so will free up some much needed space in my living room since the old TV screen was sticking out about 2 1/2 feet from the wall.
As for inputs for external video and audio sources, this unit includes two HDMI connections, a DVI-I link for computers, and two IEEE 1394 (FireWire) connections that may be used for recording material from the set's onboard tuners to an outboard device. In addition, there are two component inputs and two S-video inputs, which is more than enough to plug in your entire collection of household toys. Digital audio from the set's ATSC tuner may also be sent to an external pre-pro or AV receiver from the set's digital output. The set itself will recognize and play the audio carried by an HDMI connection through its on-board, two-channel audio system. Audio controls include treble, bass, balance, simulated Surround, and level sound, which compresses sound level differences between program segments.
If I have to complain about something, it would be the remote control, oddly enough. While the size and shape are standard enough, the buttons don't seem to be placed conveniently on the face of the remote for television viewing. This results in having to look at the remote during viewing in order to turn to specific channels or bring up info on the program. I know that it isn't a big deal to waste less than a second having to look at the remote, but most remote's button layouts are easy to memorize. In addition, the 'gears' on the sliding button that switches between each controllable console gets stripped too easily.
But don't let the ordinary remote sway you from purchasing one of Mitsubishi's new line of 1080p DLP televisions. A brand-new WD-57731 is affordably priced around $3,000, but can be found online for as low as $2,400. When I think of the fact that my Sony 40-inch CRT cost around $3,000 new a few years ago, buying a high-definition DLP is a no-brainer. I highly recommend any model from their 2007 line of DLP televisions. Now I just have to figure out how large the screen can get without blocking the front door.
Copley News Service