Westinghouse, one of the most venerable consumer-appliance brands in American history, is making a big push into the LCD flat-panel arena. The largest of its offerings is the LVM-47w1, a 47-inch 1920x1080 model that has been eagerly anticipated.
The LVM-47w1’s input complement is generous, with six that are HD-capable: one HDMI, two DVI, and one VGA can accept up to 1080p, and two component inputs can accept up to 1080i. Also included are one S-video and one composite input. All connectors are located on the back on either side of a central support structure, which makes it convenient for wall mounting. However,the cables pass very close to the back of the unit, making it difficult to seat them properly, especially DVI.
A resolution of 1920x1080 is ideal for HD DVD, Blu-ray, and most broadcast HDTV. Also supported are several PC resolutions, which is great for gamers. Interestingly, Westinghouse claims a color gamut that is 75 percent of the NTSC spec, which is less than many manufacturers claim. Our measurement of the color primaries seems to bear this out—in particular, green is undersaturated with respect to the HD color standard (see “Color Accuracy”), which is pretty unusual. However, red and blue are pretty darn close.
Another spec of interest is the response time, which Westinghouse claims to be 6.5ms. This is fast enough to completely avoid motion trails, which I did not notice. More dubious is the claimed viewing angle of 176 degrees horizontally and vertically; I certainly wouldn’t want to watch thisdisplay at that angle.
The LVM-47w1 has no tuners, and so is correctly classified as a monitor. It does have an audio system with a pair of 10-watt speakers and a 10-watt subwoofer, though as always, I recommend using an external sound system for best results.
Unlike most TVs in recent experience, this one does not have a universal remote, which is great in my book. The remote is simple and straightforward, with several ways to select the desired input. The Input button cycles through them, as do the Source Up/Down buttons. Also available are five directaccess buttons—YPbPr toggles between the two component inputs and DVI cycles through the HDMI and DVI inputs. All this seems like overkill; the Input and Source Up/Down buttons could have been used for something else. An Auto Source function can be set to automatically select the active input as well.
The menu system is likewise simple and well-organized, with five main items labeled with icons; only the selected item is labeled by name as well. Unfortunately, the menu remains onscreen when adjusting a picture control, though it can be moved to different positions on the screen. It would be much better if the menu disappeared and the selected control moved to the bottom of the screen.
Entering the menu system returns to the item that was selected when you last left, which is good. Once in the system, however, it's hard to tell if you are selecting a menu item or adjusting its value—the only indication is that the selected label is dark blue instead of black, which is difficult to differentiate.
As he was measuring this display, TPV video specialist David Abrams was happy to discover that there was almost no edge enhancement, unlike many of the displays that have passed through our lab. However, it looks like the color decoder operates closer to the standarddefinition spec than HD, leading to somewhat undersaturated colors, especially green.
Running through the Silicon Optix HQV Benchmark DVD, vertical detail was poor, as were low-angle diagonals, which exhibited lots of jaggies. The waving flag also had moderate jaggies. Also problematic was the apparent lack of any noise reduction; there is no noisereduction parameter, and the noise in the NR clips was quite pronounced. Interestingly, Abrams noticed a distinct lack of noise in dark areas when he was setting black level.
On the plus side, the monitor’s processor picked up 3:2 pulldown quickly and reliably, and it reproduced 2:2 30fps video beautifully. Horizontal and vertical video text crawls over film looked fine.
The lack of vertical detail was also evident with 1080i test signals; it was virtually nonexistent at the highest frequency, even in the Standard aspect-ratio mode, which eliminates overscan. Horizontal detail was much better. The processor handles bad 3:2 edits just fine, and low-angle diagonals looked much better than at 480i, though the frequency response did roll off more with component signals than with HDMI.
On DVDs, the black level was certainly not the best I've seen—the black of space in The Fifth Element was a bit gray. Also, the blue desert sky at the beginning of The Fifth Element would have been awash in noise had I not been watching from the Denon DVD-5910’s HDMI output with its Genesis and Silicon Optix processors. Color looked fine, especially flesh tones, and greens were not overblown as with many flat panels.