When you think of LCD TVs, NuVision is probably not the first name that comes to mind. Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, the company is aiming its Lucidium line at the custom-installation market with high-end displays at high-end prices. How does this 52-inch model measure up? Let's see...

One feature clearly intended for custom installers is NuControl, which allows easy integration with control systems that use RS-232 as a communication protocol, such as those from Crestron or AMX. And according to a company statement, "To further support consumers, NuVision backs its product line with a 2-year warranty, in-house technical support, and limited distribution through only the most knowledgeable and professional dealers and installers that can cater to their customers' every need."

A number of processing features promise high picture quality. NiDO (NuVision Intelligent Digital Optimization) is the company's proprietary 10-bit processing technology, including temporal and spatial digital noise reduction, pixel-based motion- and edge-adaptive deinterlacing, and Advanced Chroma Processing. It also offers support for Deep Color, which represents colors with up to 16 bits, and xvYCC, a wider color space than is used by current HDTV standards. This is all well and good, except that no professional content is produced using these expanded standards, so they are largely wasted in today's TVs.

Another feature that is largely—but not entirely—wasted is this set's ability to accept a 1080p/24 signal. Why is it wasted? Because the NuVision displays such a signal at 60Hz, which means the video processor applies 3:2 pulldown, repeating one frame three times, the next frame twice, the next frame three times, and so on, thus losing the benefit of 24 frames per second.

On the other hand, if you watch HD DVD movies from a Toshiba player (except the HD-XA2), it's better to output 1080p/24 than 1080p/60, because these players interlace the 1080p/24 material on the disc, apply 3:2 pulldown to the fields, then deinterlace to 1080p/60, which can result in more artifacts than applying 3:2 pulldown to 1080p/24 frames without going through the interlacing process.

Some features are conspicuous in their absence, especially in a TV at this price level. Perhaps the most obvious is the lack of a tuner—to watch TV, you must supply a broadcast signal from a cable or satellite service. Most folks spending $4000 on a 52-inch LCD already have cable or satellite, so this isn't really a big deal in my book. NuVision says its large LCDs don't include tuners because they are rarely used in such sets, and the company would rather invest in processing and other technologies.

Of more importance is the lack of 120Hz operation. Many high-end LCD TVs double the rate at which frames are displayed and perform various processing tricks to reduce motion blur, but the NuVision displays frames at the standard 60Hz. According to the company, this decision was made to avoid the artifacts exhibited by most 120Hz systems.

Finally, this set has only two HDMI inputs, which is fewer than most TVs in its price range and even among less-expensive sets.