Mitsubishi WS-55813 55-inch Rear-Projection HDTV Page 3

If not for the TV's user-accessible Perfect Color menu, the already-fake-looking blood that drenches every other scene would have looked positively neon. Before I adjusted the color (see "in the lab"), reds looked oversaturated and unnatural, but afterward the color balance was very good, with the heroine's delicate skin appearing appropriately pasty after her Police Station hallucination of a girl with no eyes.

Deep blacks with good shadow detail. Capable of highly accurate color.
Wide range of connection options.
MINUS Expensive for a CRT-based RPTV. High overscan causes picture loss.

The Mitsubishi delivered all the gory detail the disc could muster. In the scene where the two title freaks confront one another in a burning shack, a closeup of Freddy's gruesome burned face revealed all the fake-looking minutiae. The level of detail was good enough that I could tell where the prosthetic ended and the actor's face began (hint: look under the left eye).

The WS-55813's major advantage over fixed-pixel DLP, LCD, and LCoS TVs, however, is its ability to render inky blacks and highly detailed shadows. When Jason stuck his fingerless hand into Freddy's abdomen, the blood flowing out looked like crude oil, and the shadowed, torn-up mass of Jason's chest was rife with gory detail.

At the same time, the picture lacked the razor-sharpness I've seen with DLP- and LCD-based rear-projection TVs. No matter how much I tweaked the 64-point user convergence setup, I was unable to get a crisp alignment. I was also concerned with the amount of picture loss evident along the edges of the screen due to overscanning. With CNN, for example, the crawling text at the bottom of the image was cut off.

Dish Network's HDTV recorder, the DVR 921, allowed me to watch the Super Bowl again, and in high-def. Most of the game looked gorgeous. I could pick out clods of dirt in the grass, make out names on people's passes in the crowd, and even read the time on a Patriot official's watch.

Mitsubishi's WS-55813 isn't perfect and needs a little tweaking out of the box to perform at its best. It also costs quite a bit more than many like-sized rear-projection sets. On the other hand, it has an incredibly impressive feature set, and its connectivity is unmatched. If you take into account its glossy good looks and ability to control your whole system, this big screen starts to seem like a better value - especially compared with plasma.

In the Lab

Color temperature (Low 6,500 K color temperature before/after calibration)

Low window (20-IRE) NA/6,341 K

High window (80-IRE) 7,550/6,590 K

Brightness (100-IRE window before/after calibration) 81.6/28.9 ftL

The Mitsubishi WS-55813's grayscale shifted toward blue even in its preset Low 6,500 K color-temperature setting and was far enough off the scale that my test equipment couldn't obtain a reading from a 20-IRE window. After calibration, it was much closer to the NTSC standard of 6,500 K. At 11 IRE the image was still extremely blue. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician with specialized equipment, so discuss it with your dealer before purchase, or call the Imaging Science Foundation at 561-997-9073.)

Prior to calibration the TV was exceedingly bright, but afterward its light output was excellent for a rear-projection TV. I measured a red bias of approximately +15% according to the color decoder check on the Avia test DVD, which I fixed with the Perfect Color controls in the user menu. Overscan was unusually high, masking up to 7% of the image. This sort of issue will vary from set to set and can usually be fixed by calibration, although I was unable to compensate for the overscan on our test sample. DC restoration was good for a CRT, but white-field uniformity was only average. A brighter-than-average hot spot was visible in the center of the screen.