Westinghouse LVM-42w2 42-inch LCD HDTV Monitor Page 2

The Short Form
$2,299 ($2,499 LIST) / 25.8 x 41.5 x 4.5 IN / 52 LBS / westinghousedigital.com / 866-287-5555
•Crisp HDTV picture •Vivid, natural color •Flexible picture adjustments, including variable backlight •Good price for a bigscreen 1080p LCD
•Limited shadow depth with dark images •Slightly soft 1080i picture via HDMI/DVI inputs •No analog/digital TV tuner •Bare-bones remote. 0606_westinghouse_movie
Key Features
•1,920 x 1,080-resolution LCD monitor •Can accept 1080p signals •Built-in speakers •PIP/POP •Inputs HDMI, 2 DVI, 2 component-video, and S-video, all with analog stereo audio; composite-video; VGA with minijack analog stereo audio •Outputs analog stereo audio •Price $2,299 ($2,499 list)
Test Bench
•Color temperature of the Westinghouse LVM-42w2 measured reasonably close to the 6,500 K standard after picture adjustments; fine-tuning via its service menu resulted in an even more accurate gray-scale tracking of ±300 K from 30 to 80 IRE - an average performance. The set exhibited near-perfect color decoding. Picture overscan was 5% for 480p signals displayed via the set's component-video inputs - a higher than normal amount. For its HDMI/DVI connections as well as for high-def programs viewed via the component-video inputs, overscan measured 0%. The set's measured high-def picture resolution was excellent for the component-video inputs but slightly soft for the HDMI/DVI inputs. Full Lab Results
Unfortunately, Westinghouse's design upgrade for its TVs didn't extend to the remote control - the handset that comes with the LVM-42w2 is the same bare-bones wand the company included with its earlier LCDs. One highlight is a set of direct-input buttons at the keypad's bottom that let you quickly switch between sources without going through all the TV's many inputs. A "Scaling" button toggles the two display modes: Standard, which centers squarish, 4:3 aspect ratio programs between black side panels, and Fill, which stretches them horizontally to fill out the screen. Standard will be the right choice for watching widescreen material like DVDs or HDTV - the Fill mode, in contrast, zooms in slightly on 16:9 pictures, clipping off a portion of either side.

SETUP Like most LCD TVs, the Westinghouse LVM-42w2 can put out a bright image with good contrast in well-illuminated rooms. And with no reflective screen shield on the set, you don't have to worry about glare from windows. This makes it better than usual for daytime viewing.

Getting down to the business of tweaking the TV for a dim home theater environment, I found that its Color 1 color-temperature preset delivered a reasonably accurate picture (see Test Bench for details). All picture settings, including the LCD backlight adjustment, could be independently tweaked for each input - a major plus. The only real complaint I had was that 1080i HDTV pictures viewed via the HDMI and DVI inputs looked slightly soft compared with the razor-sharp high-def image delivered by the set's component-video input. (Westinghouse says the TV was designed for optimal performance with a 1080p source.) Even though this was mostly noticeable on test patterns rather than program material, I still used the component-video connection to hook up my cable box/DVR.

PICTURE QUALITY The Westinghouse LVM-42w2 did a decent job displaying regular cable TV programs. I would have preferred some kind of noise reduction setting to smooth out cruddy-looking channels, but there was no such option.

I was also impressed with the LVM-42w2's handling of DVDs. Checking out the disc of David Cronenberg's thrilling movie A History of Violence, the bright blue-and-yellow uniforms in a scene where the son of Tom Stall (Viggo Mortensen) plays baseball looked exceptionally vivid and clean. The green hue of the field's turf came across as natural, as did the skin tones of the players, which also showed plenty of subtle variation.