Looking at the HQV Benchmark DVD, detail looked quite good, as did low-angle diagonals and the waving flag. Digital noise reduction lowered noise slightly, but not enough to matter much. DNIe actually increased the noise level, and it introduced some color shift, so I strongly recommend leaving it off. Horizontal video text crawls over film looked fine, but vertical crawls broke up rather badly.
The processor picked up the 3:2 pulldown cadence quickly and reliably with a 480i signal, but not with a 1080i signal from HD DVD. In fact, it seemed to miss the cadence entirely, though TPV’s video specialist Dave Abrams thinks it got picked up at the very last instant of the clip.
With the 1:1 mode disabled, the set exhibited some significant overscan as well as obvious banding in a 1080i 1-pixel-on/1-pixeloff pattern. With 1:1 enabled, the pattern was fully resolved with no problems, though there was still a bit of optical overscan—about 1 to 2 percent—which is fine.
Watching DVDs, I thought the color was excellent—very natural and pleasing. Black level looked better than I would have expected from the measurement (see “Measurements”). I suspect this is due to the high peak white level, which results in a very high contrast ratio. Shadow detail was also surprisingly good, as evidenced in the below-deck walk at the beginning of Master and Commander and the interior of the duck-blind observation post at the beginning of Star Trek: Insurrection. I saw virtually no false contouring in the blue backlight that starts The Mask of Zorro or in the transition to a foggy morning in Master and Commander.
My observations were confirmed with HD DVD: the subjective black level was excellent in Constantine when the street lights go out as Constantine is explaining to Dodson about the battle between God and the Devil for humanity’s soul. Detail and color were likewise excellent. The black of space was deep and rich in Apollo 13 and The Chronicles of Riddick, which also exhibited good shadow detail.
The one thing that continued to distract me was some significant hot-spotting, especially in the vertical direction. This limited the best viewing position to right in front of the screen’s center point.
For the most part, the HL-S5687W is a worthy successor to the previous generations that were so highly regarded. Color, grayscale, detail, subjective black level, and shadow detail were all excellent. The primary drawbacks were the effective lack of a 1:1 mode and some serious hot-spotting. Other than that, this is a fine 1080p RPTV well worth consideration. TPV
For the most part, the HL-S5687W is a worthy successor to the previous generations that were so highly regarded. Color, grayscale,
detail, subjective black level, and shadow detail were all excellent. The primary drawbacks were the effective lack of a 1:1 mode and
some serious hot-spotting. Other than that, this is a fine 1080p RPTV well worth consideration. TPV