Mitsubishi LT-52149 LCD TV Setup & Tests
Before I could get to this set, Tom Norton calibrated it for Home Theater, so I'll let him tell you about the setup process:
The LT-52149 offers only two color-temperature presets—Low and High—and there are no additional color-temperature adjustments in the user menu. The service menu only provides one set of red, green, and blue calibration controls, not separate controls for the high and low ends of the brightness range.
Controls such as these can dial in an accurate grayscale if the set's uncalibrated red, green, and blue levels are flat and uniform across the brightness range, but that was not the case here, so I aimed for the best result I could get in the 40-50 IRE brightness region (close to where flesh tones often fall with average program material). Thus, the After calibration result in the Measurement section was a compromiseas close as I could come to an accurate result with the available controls.
(Note that the service menu does have Low and High adjustments, but these are for the Low and High color-temperature presets, not for adjustments at the low and high ends of the brightness range.)
As shown in the CIE charts in the Measurements section, the set's Natural picture mode reproduces a fairly accurate color gamut. The Bright and Brilliant picture modes do not, so by all means, use the Natural picture mode. The PerfectColor system in the user menu offers a single control for each primary and secondary color, and the manual seems to indicate that these controls adjust the saturation. The saturation of the colors in the Natural mode was not off—rather, the tints of the secondaries were incorrect—so I left these controls in their default positions.
Even when Tom calibrates a TV before I get to it, I still check the basic picture-control settings and take my own peak-white and black-level measurements. As I was doing that, I noticed that the 52149 did not display below-black from the Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player or Samsung BD-P1200 Blu-ray player via HDMI, nor was it visible from the AccuPel signal generator via component. Below-black was visible from the AccuPel and Denon DVD-5910 DVD player via HDMI. Also, the level from the AccuPel was quite different than from the players, an unexplained phenomenon I see with some—but not all—TVs.
Contrast could be maxed out without clipping, but I backed it off by one click anyway because I thought the clipping pattern on the Spears & Munsil test HD DVD looked a bit better that way.
Tweaking the sharpness control revealed something very strange. Even with the control turned all the way down, the sharpness test pattern—black lines on a gray background—showed dark halos around the vertical and diagonal lines. Normally, this type of artifact is a white halo around the lines.
I was even more disturbed by what I saw on the sharpness pattern at 480i/p—the image was very blurry, almost a double image! I've never seen this before. Increasing the sharpness to 13 improved the situation greatly, but the strange dark halos were still evident. If you send HD and SD signals to this TV, you'll have to adjust the sharpness control for each type of signal, a real drag.
I started my test-disc eval with HQV Benchmark on DVD at 480i via component. As before with an SD input, the best sharpness setting was 13. Jaggies were moderate, and the single noise-reduction control was very effective without softening the picture beyond what DVD can do. The set picked up 3:2 pulldown fairly quickly, but 2:2 video had lost of jaggies.
Looking at HQV Benchmark on HD DVD at 1080i via HDMI—and returning sharpness to 0—the noise-reduction control didn't seem to do much at all in this case, and jaggies were invisible. The video resolution-loss test looked solid, but the horizontal bursts had a blue cast. The film resolution-loss test had slight flickering in the medium-frequency horizontal burst as well as the edges of the high-frequency horizontal burst.
Unfortunately, the frame-interpolation setting—which Mitsubishi calls Smooth 120 Film Motion—doesn't become active until you exit the menu, making any comparisons much more difficult. But to be fair, the entire menu remains visible when setting this control, so you can't see much of the image anyway. Turning interpolation on causes some smudging in the high-frequency vertical burst, and the High setting was worse than Standard. On the plus side, it did improve the detail in the pan across the bleachers.
The FPD Benchmark Blu-ray test disc is great for seeing the effect of frame interpolation. With the Mitsubishi, however, there was no apparent difference in the scrolling monoscope with frame interpolation on or off. The sharpness of the scrolling characters was slightly better with interpolation on, and I saw the same thing in the other motion tests—that is, not as much improvement in sharpness as I've seen on other 120Hz LCD TVs.
Elsewhere on the FPD disc are mostly black and mostly white shots to test subtle differentiation at the low and high ends of the brightness range. The differentiation in the mostly black shots was not as good as I've seen on other sets, but the mostly white shots were very good. The off-axis performance in the mostly black shots was a bit better than usual—the apparent black level rises, but not quite as much as some I've seen.
I was amazed to see virtually no moiré in the pan across the staircase that begins chapter 8 of Mission: Impossible III, played via HDMI at 1080i. Shadow detail in the catacombs was okay, but not the best I've seen, and skin tones were a bit rosy.