Mitsubishi WD-57831 57-inch DLP HDTV Page 3

The Short Form

$2,800 ($3,500 list) / / 800-332-2119
A feature-laden 1080p DLP rear-projection HDTV that looks sensational with high-quality source material.
•Excellent color and detail •Factory grayscale setting comes close to industry standard •Good facilities for tweaking color •Nice, user-friendly backlit remote
•Spotty handling of low-quality broadcast signals
Key Features
•1920 x 1080 DLP rear-projection HDTV •Two 1080p-capable HDMI inputs •6-primary color system •PerfectColor and PerfecTint color-palette controls •Full backlit remote plus second convenience remote •51.5 x 36.3 x 17.9 in; 85.8 lb
SETUP The WD-57831 has but three different picture modes that are available for all inputs: Brilliant (a torch mode for retail floors or the retina-challenged), Bright (said to be good for most daytime viewing), and Natural (recommended for nighttime viewing or darkened rooms). Within each, you can select either the High or Low color temperature modes, with the Low setting said by the manual to align with the neutral gray 6,500 kelvin color temperature standard for white balance. The out-of-box setting featured the Brilliant mode with High color temperature, resulting in a dramatically unacceptable image that washed out color and made the whites excessively bright, blown out, and bluish. Of course, that's about standard with almost any TV straight from the factory.

Fortunately, switching to Natural with Low color temp brought the brightness down somewhat and gave the whites a more neutral or slightly reddish (warm) hue. But the picture still seemed too bright, and a quick check on a few scenes of the excellent Mission: Impossible III transfer on HD DVD showed obvious oversaturation of reds, a condition confirmed later with test patterns.

A basic user-menu calibration with a test disc got the contrast in line and brought out a bit more detail in the blacks. As for the red push, Mitusubishi provides some really cool controls in the user video menu dubbed PerfectColor and PerfecTint, which enable individual adjustment of saturation and hue of all of the set's six primaries. I was able to use PerfectColor to bring the reds in line and boost up what turned out to be undersaturated greens and to use the PerfecTint controls (along with our colorimeter) to make a bit of improvement (though not fully fix) the factory defaults for the primaries, some of which were off the industry standard (see Test Bench).

Meanwhile, measurements confirmed that Mitsubishi's Low 6500 color temperature setting wasn't quite 6,500 K; though its grayscale tracking fell within about 300 to 400 K at most brightness levels (average to below-average performance), it consistently leaned a bit red and was as much as 610 K off in the direction of red with a full-on white 100-IRE test pattern. A service-menu calibration brought it to within 80 K of spot-on through most of the set's brightness range. I applaud Mitsubishi for including a preset that's intended to adhere to the industry standard for grayscale, and this one was better than many we've seen, but it was still far enough off that I wouldn't want to skip the service-menu calibration. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being a perfect industry-standard picture, this Mits, after a basic disc calibration and subjective tuning any serious enthusiast can do at home without instruments, scores about a 7.

Along with the aforementioned color-palette controls, the WD-57831 provided a dynamic contrast option called Deep Field Imager and a SharpEdge edge-enhancement mode, both of which I deactivated after some experimentation. I also left the set's noise-reduction circuit (offering Low, Medium, and High settings) off except where needed for less-than-stellar source material.