Shadow detail in the dark scenes of Topsy-Turvy and Master and Commander was so-so; in fact, the picture had a slightly dingy quality that was not evident in bright daylight scenes. I saw no contouring in the transition to morning fog near the beginning of Master & Commander. As expected, overall detail was slightly lacking.
This observation was confirmed with HD DVD titles such as Training Day—its panorama of the downtown Los Angeles skyline near the beginning was not quite as crisp as other displays I've seen recently. Again, color was fine, with natural flesh tones.
The black of space was not terribly convincing in The Chronicles of Riddick, and shadow detail was not great. But the color was fine, and there was no contouring in the sunrise on Crematoria or the ultraviolet sun as Riddick is chased by the bounty hunter. Inexplicably, the overall detail looked sharper on this title than most of the others I watched.
The same was true of Blazing Saddles, though the vertical detail might have been slightly lacking on the book titles in the case behind Hedley Lamar’s desk.
After watching in the dark, I noted that the LCM-47w1 made a better showing of itself with some room lights on. Dark scenes still suffered a bit, but not as much as with the lights out. And bright scenes stood up to ambient light like a champ. As I mentioned earlier, however, offaxis viewing was poor, which is a nearly universal problem with LCD flat panels.
At $2500, the LVM-47w1 is one of the least expensive 47-inch LCD flat panels on the market. Its color rendition is better than many, albeit with undersaturated green, and it exhibits almost no edge enhancement or noise in dark areas, though noise in bright flat areas from a 480i source is very pronounced. Vertical detail is compromised, and the black level is not as good as I would wish for. Ditto for shadow detail. But despite these shortcomings, if you are budgetconscious and tend toward multiple sources (including video games) in a room with ambient light, the LVM-47w1 is worth a look.