"Made In UK" states the label on the back panel of the Sanyo. Given that locale’s propensity for precipitation, it makes sense that Sanyo’s British division would conjure up a water-resistant HDTV. The set features a ribbed aluminum enclosure that includes extensive water barriers, including a sealed AC connector and an input panel with both a hard cover as well as a secondary foam cover inside, to ensure that no water finds its way into the TV’s innards.
A decal on the Sanyo’s front panel bezel indicates the IEC IP56 ingress protection rating, and the overall enclosure construction is top notch. However, the set is only a monitor, and doesn’t include a TV tuner, nor does it include any audio playback capabilities. And, as it’s based on a professional display, it lacks the picture adjustment features found on consumer-oriented sets. Curiously, the PC input provides for color temperature adjustment, but with analog and digital video signals, the set only provides the basic color, brightness, and contrast controls. It also lacks aspect ratio adjustment with HD signals, so 4:3 content is displayed as is.
Redefining the definition of basic, the Sanyo’s minimalist menu offers few adjustment choices with the bare minimum of picture adjustment options. The bar-type settings indicators lack numerical read-outs.
The Sanyo’s cheap remote control is anything but user-friendly, especially since it was obviously designed for a regular TV. Many of the buttons are for features that the set doesn’t provide, such as channel up/down, volume up/down, and the like. The set does include an RS-232 serial port, and installers will most likely recommend a weather-resistant touch panel controller to operate the set.
Note: The following recommended settings were obtained using a Samsung Blu-ray player, set to 720p output, and connected to the set via HDMI, using the recently released Digital Video Essentials HD Basics Blu-ray test and setup disc. Having a test DVD and/or HD disc on hand is really the only way to ensure that your source components and the display are properly adjusted, especially with respect to the brightness and contrast controls, among others.
(Catch & Release)
|Although the Sanyo overscans by a fair amount, detail doesn’t appear to suffer from it.||The set’s color temperature is decidedly on the bluish side. However, skin tones aren’t unrealistic and the overall color palette is quite good.||The set lacks variable backlighting, which doesn’t help deep black reproduction. But in a bright outdoor environment, for which the Sanyo was designed, the set delivers decent blacks; black levels for indoor use or nighttime viewing, however, are another matter.||Exhibits some “black crush” in the nighttime porch scene in chapter 8. Dark background detail is somewhat murky, quite typical for an LCD set.||None noted.|
(Peter Frampton— Live In
|Reasonably good, with no visible softening.||The set’s colorimetry doesn’t overemphasize any of the three primary colors, and the brightly lit crowd shots look quite natural.||Frampton’s black shirt and dark blue jeans are well reproduced, and the darker portions of the stage are fairly well delineated.||About average for an LCD set; darker details are somewhat fuzzy, but since this set is designed for outdoors, you probably won’t notice that.||Lots of jaggies and moiré due to the set’s poor deinterlacing, noticeable on the musicians’ guitar strings and the microphone’s screen mesh.|