Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV Page 2

Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV RemoteMitsubishi supplies two remotes: a fully backlit main handset with numeric keypad and a small convenience remote that thoughtfully provides keys for power, channel and volume control, input selection, picture format (aspect ratio), and menu and channel guide access and navigation. I'm partial to dark hovels and backlit remotes and found this one intuitive and not overladen with buttons. Dedicated keys to pull up the Audio and Video menus are a hallmark of Mits remotes; I'm surprised we don't see them elsewhere more often.

There are no direct-access buttons to select individual inputs, which I also think should be on every TV remote, but hitting the Input key brings up a nice graphic menu that shows all active inputs, and the TV is quick to respond to your selections. Incidentally, when you plug in any new source, it's automatically detected and you're immediately given the option of renaming it to match the component (such as DVD or Cable) for onscreen identification. Nice touch.

Hitting the Format key on either remote toggles through the aspect-ratio screen modes. With HD material, you get just two options: Standard (about 3% measured overscan all around) and Wide Expand, which stretches the image from left to right for 4:3 digital programs but leaves it untouched vertically. With standard-def 4:3 programming, your choices expand to six different modes, including Narrow (showing 4:3 images natively with bars left and right), Standard (which stretches 4:3 programs to just fill out the screen with 3% overscan all around), and several stretch and zoom modes of different varieties (see Test Bench). All in all, there's hardly a standard-definition DVD or TV broadcast you can throw at this thing and not make it perfectly fill the 16:9 screen.

Meanwhile, pressing the Split button on the remote and then toggling with the Format key brings up an unusually wide selection of split-screen modes: 12 variations in all, depending on whether the main picture and sub-picture are 16:9 or 4:3 programs. Among these is the ability to look at two 16:9 programs side by side, or to display a 16:9 image alongside a 4:3 program. And you can quickly swap the audio between the two onscreen images. For sports fans, this will be a game-day bonanza during playoffs. I should also mention that the set features Mitsubishi's NetCommand system, which enables control of source components through the TV's onscreen menu system via infrared blasters.