Viewing Batman Begins, I was impressed with how well the WD-52627 handled the night scenes, especially its ability to distinguish between the Caped Crusader and the night-time background, despite the very black-on-black nature of the image. However, the complexity in the opening scene of chapter 24, with its heavy downpour on Gotham City, proved to be too much for the Mitsubishi’s video processor. Whether the DVD player was set to 480p, 720p, or 1080i, the scene suffered from going in and out of focus. This was the only instance of such misbehavior.
HDTV content on this set looked delightful, with rich colors and clean images. Optical focus was exceptional, and the Mitsubishi handled graphics marvelously, with clean-edged screen credits, although I did occasionally notice rainbows—a color-wheel artifact that manifests itself as quick streaks of red, blue, and green. Batman Begins is especially prone to producing this artifact, and I am quite prone to seeing it; if you don’t see it during this movie, you may never see it at all.
Compared to other sets, I found the Mitsubishi’s blues to have a slight cyan skew, though this was never a distraction or all that apparent when not compared side by side with other displays.
More problematic is that the set appears to be bandwidth-challenged; for example, it is unable to reproduce a onepixel- on/one-pixel-off test pattern from the HDMI or component inputs. In addition, the internal processor does not properly deinterlace 1080i, scaling each 540-line field sequentially (a process called “bobbing”) instead of weaving both fields into a single frame. Proper deinterlacing would improve the image.
DLP vs. LCoS 1080p
DLP and LCoS RPTVs are both known generically as “microdisplays,” which simply means that the image is formed on a small chip or panel and enlarged to fill the screen. With LCoS, there are three panels—one for red, green, and blue— and each panel includes an array of 1920x1080 pixels.
By contrast, all current DLP RPTVs use a single chip and a color wheel that sequentially filters white light into red, green, and blue. The chip forms the image for each primary color in turn, and the eye blends them together into a full-color picture. In addition, the chip uses an array of 960x1080 mirrors, which are rapidly shifted back and forth to form a complete 1920x1080 image. Texas Instruments calls this rapid back-and-forth shifting SmoothPicture, whereas it is more generically known as “wobulation.”
The three separate primary-color images in LCoS (and LCD-projection) displays must be properly converged to avoid color anomalies. Single-chip DLP sets have no potential for convergence artifacts, but some people are sensitive to socalled “rainbow” artifacts that arise from the use of a color wheel.
Misadventures with CableCARD
For cable-television subscribers, CableCARD provides all the channels you might want—analog as well as digital standard-definition and high-definition—without the need for an external set-top box. Theoretically, this allows you to use your TV’s remote to tune all available cable channels and to access other set functions. CableCARD also provides better picture quality for standard-definition channels. CableCARD doesn’t, however, provide pay-per-view or video-ondemand programs, nor does it offer access to the cable provider’s interactive program guide. To address this last short-coming, Mitsubishi provides a nifty substitute called TV Guide On Screen (TVGOS). Program-listing data is provided free of charge by embedding it within your local PBS analog station’s broadcast. After setup, populating the guide’s eightday calendar requires about six hours (with the set turned off). Even so, the process is not trouble-free. I couldn’t get the Mitsubishi to download any data with CableCARD due to incompatibility with my cable system (Cablevision in the New York metro area)—a common problem that all set makers in my service area have reported. Although it’s a bit complicated, I did manage to come up with a workaround. I used a common RF signal splitter to divide the cable signal and attached the second leg into the set’s antenna RF 2 input. I selected “Off Air” as the signal (as opposed to “Cable”) and the set loaded all the available data.
Overall, I loved the connectivity, convenience, brightness, neutral grays, and lack of false contouring. This is the most pleasing DLP rear projector I have used to date. My only major disappointment is that the video processor does not measure up to the rest of this set’s attributes. All things considered, though, I still suggest putting this Mitsubishi on your comparison list when shopping for a 1080p RPTV.