NuVision Lucidium NVU55FX5LS LCD HDTV Page 2
A Color Calibration menu includes several important controls. While you need a password to enter it, the password is published in the user menu! The most important controls here are White Balance (with both high and low red, green, and blue calibration controls) and Blue Enable, a blue-only mode that you can use to check and set the NuVision’s Color and Tint controls without filters. It doesn’t have a color management system or optional settings for the color gamut.
The set operates at a 120-hertz refresh rate. If you turn on FFM in the Advanced Image Settings menu, the set will interpolate added frames as necessary to reach 120 Hz. For 1080p/24 program material (movies on Blu-ray), four interpolated frames supplement each real frame. For 60-frame-per-second material, the set adds one interpolated frame for each real frame.
FFM works as you would expect to smooth out motion, but apart from testing I didn’t use it. I don’t like what frame interpolation does to the look of film.
The FX5 setting performs 5:5 pulldown on 24-fps sources, but it repeats the frames instead of interpolating them. The set performed the same on 1080p/24 sources whether it was on or off.
The NVU55FX5LS does not include access to Internet video streaming sources. It also doesn’t have a direct input for viewing photos or listening to music.
The remote is a good one, with backlighting and direct input selection. But the manual was a bit skimpy and had minor errors. It shows some features that are not on the set, such as an S-video input and a Save Settings control.
With the exception of our HD 2:2 pulldown test, the NuVision passed all of our SD and HD video processing tests with the aspect ratio set to 1:1. (This does not appear as an option on the remote, but you can select it by pressing Enter and then 3 in rapid succession.) HD 2:2 has tripped up a lot of the displays we’ve tested, but any artifacts this might produce with normal program material should be rare.
Pass the Popcorn
The set’s major weakness immediately came up when I calibrated it and viewed some low-brightness test patterns. The edge lighting produced uneven illumination, which was mainly visible on very dark, low-contrast images or a full black screen. On this kind of material, you’ll see lighter blacks at the sides of the screen, plus you’ll see several light splashes closer to the center. It’s tricky to get the light from the edge-mounted LEDs onto the screen, and if it’s not done well, it will produce exactly this result. I’ve heard this referred to as the “dirty screen effect,” and that’s an apt description. Another analogy is what you see when you look up at the sky on a dark night. The dim clouds will be barely visible as they reflect the city lights against darker, unclouded areas of the sky.
While we can’t ignore this shortcoming, particularly in such an expensive set, it only turned up in the darkest scenes, in a darkened room. The opening star field scene in Stargate: Continuum and much of the consistently dark Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince—a superb but murderously difficult transfer to reproduce well—also revealed the set’s uneven screen illumination. On Potter, I could never find a combination of Brightness, Backlight, and Gamma settings that did justice to both deep blacks and shadow detail. I suspect this was at least in part because of its uneven illumination, even when the latter was not in itself clearly visible.