Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV Page 5

Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV RemoteNonetheless, I did notice that in direct comparison with the 58-inch HP (which we keep around for its exceptional color), the Jeep's red looked a bit more orange on the Mits, and getting it closer using the PerfectColor and PerfecTint controls made Boog's brown fur unnaturally red. I can only attribute this minor aberration to differences in the two sets' color primaries, but there was never an issue with color in my other viewing on the Mits, and this wasn't something I'd even have detected without a second TV set up next to it.

If I did have one gripe about the WD-57831, it was in its handling of lower-quality program material - even the sort of lower-quality HD programming you might find on a typical overcompressed cable transmission. The set passed all the upconversion and 2:3 film cadence tests on the Silicon Optix HQV test disc. And it did great with other high-quality DVDs played back at 480i/p, as well, such as the Anniversary Edition of Apollo 13, which had the expected standard-def mosquito noise and film grain prior to engaging the TV's noise reduction, which worked quite well, smoothing the picture without sacrificing much detail. The heavily compressed SD and even HD programming commonly spewed from our Time Warner cable box could look anywhere from okay to poor, however. A Discovery HD show on the Blue Angels stunt flyers showed good detail and color on the blue uniforms and flesh tones, but a fair amount of video noise was apparent and only partially fixed by engaging the noise reduction. On a live Solomon Burke concert performance on HDNet, I noticed some distracting busyness in the dark background behind the stage (though there was tremendous detail and solidity in the musician's face and the stage props in the foreground). In an HDNet broadcast of the Peking Acrobatics troupe, blocking distortion (pixelization) was clearly discernible on the rolling projections used as a stage backdrop, and I spotted a little unexpected instability in the normally clean 720p ESPN HD SportsCenter broadcasts I watched as well. By looking at the same material on the HP (which also had its noise reduction turned off), I was able to determine that these were indeed crappy telecasts that would challenge any set. But, for whatever reason, the Mitsubishi did seem to handle them a little less elegantly.

BOTTOM LINE With its generally outstanding picture quality and excellent, well thought-out feature set, the Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV is a top contender in its class and a tremendous value relative to any flat-panel display approaching its size. Its reproduction of poor-quality cable broadcasts left me a bit cold, but I'm afraid none of us should expect much these days from cable, especially not in midtown Manhattan or similarly dense locales where providers are forced to squeeze every last bit of capacity from their systems with low data rates and other compromises. On the other hand, when fed clean HD and even good standard-definition DVDs, the WD-57831 proved itself a movie lover's paradise - one well worth looking at again and again.

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