Westinghouse TX-47F430S LCD TV

Getting Better All the Time

In the December 2006 issue of The Perfect Vision, I reviewed the Westinghouse LVM-47w1, a 47-inch LCD monitor that was, shall we say, underwhelming. Since then, the company has taken significant steps to improve its LCDs, including the TX-47F430S. At $1800, it’s one of the least expensive 47-inch 1080p LCD TVs you can buy, and it costs $700 less than the LVM-47w1, which had no tuner. Best of all, it outperforms its predecessor in almost every way.

Features

  • Autosource automatically switches to the active input, but if more than one input is active, it switches unpredictably; I recommend turning this mode off and switching manually.
  • Standard screen-size mode displays every pixel in a 1080i or 1080p signal and avoids any image softening from overscanning.

User Interface

Remote

  • Slender, non-illuminated remote that is dedicated to the TV—no universal button clutter.
  • Dedicated input buttons—very nice.
  • Button labels are cryptic icons, not words.

Menu System

  • Well-designed.
  • Picture controls are visible in top-most level.

Recommended User Settings

Video Menu

  • Mode: User
  • Brightness: 31
  • Contrast: 67
  • Saturation: 47
  • Hue: 50
  • Sharpness: 45
  • Backlight: 30
  • Color Temp: Warm

Display Menu

  • Screen Size: Standard

Performance

  Detail Color Blacks Shadow Detail Artifacts/Noise
HD DVD
(Blazing Saddles
Tack-sharp; complex pattern in Taggart’s shirt clean and clear. Gorgeous, from deep blue sky to pastel buildings of Rock Ridge. Good; letterbox bars unobtrusive. No opportunity to test. No problems noticed.
DVD
(Master & Commander)
Excellent; maze of ship’s rigging clear and sharp. Excellent; aqua sea and green vegetation looked natural. Good; letterbox bars unobtrusive. Poor; below-deck walk awash in solid dark areas. No problems noticed.
HDTV
(The Late Show with
David Letterman)
Controls on Paul Shaffer’s keyboard rig sharp and clear. Colorful stage set looked excellent; Dave’s pasty complexion seemed correct. No opportunity to test. No opportunity to test. No problems noticed.
SDTV
(CBS local news)
Softer-looking than HDTV or DVD; in-studio shots sharper than remote feeds. Anchors’ skin tones quite natural. No opportunity to test. No opportunity to test. Some shimmering in finely detailed parts of the studio set, even with no camera motion; this could be in broadcast signal.
  • Ambient Light Tolerance: Not as bright as many LCD TVs, at least with backlight turned down to help blacks, thus it does not fare as well in lots of room light; can turn backlight up in bright rooms.
  • Viewing Angle: Some color shift and narrowing of contrast when viewed off-axis.
  • Audio: Not bad for a TV.

Conclusion

Overall, I was very pleased by the picture quality of the Westinghouse TX-47F430S, especially considering its low price. Its detail and color were first-rate, and its black performance was excellent, especially for an LCD. The only major shortcoming was shadow detail, which can make or break dark movies like The Matrix. Still, this TV has enough else going for it to merit serious consideration.

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