NuVision NVU52DCM LCD TV Setup & Tests
As with the Sony KDL-52XBR4, I reviewed the same NuVision unit that Tom Norton looked at for Home Theater. Since he performed the calibration, I'll let him describe the setup process:
The NuVision's color temperature (white balance) adjustments are available only in the service menu. We do not provide the access codes to service menus in our reviews for obvious reasons, but it was easy to jump in and out of the service menu—a good thing, since the set literally had to be shut off and then powered up again to save each change. I must have entered the menu 40 or 50 times to complete the calibration.
There are separate service-menu controls for each color-temperature selection in the user menu, but the NuVision does not provide high and low adjustments for them, only overall red, green, and blue. The out-of-box Warm color temperature, in our sample at least, was closest to correct, but it varied by several hundred degrees from low to high, making it impossible to provide a uniform result across the brightness range with these controls.
All I could do was bring the 20 IRE reading as close as possible to D65 and accept whatever happened at higher brightness levels. The subjective result was more watchable than the measurements suggest and are unlikely to bother most viewers. Nevertheless, the readings were a little disappointing for a display aimed at the high end of the market. Providing separate high and low controls might have dramatically changed this result.
As I was setting the brightness from a Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD player, I could not see the below-black bar in the PLUGE pattern. Turning the player's brightness control up one click from its default setting, however, brought that bar into view. It was also visible when playing a PLUGE pattern from a Denon DVD-5910 DVD player, so that's what I used to set the TV's picture controls.
(Note: In Tom Norton's review of this set for Home Theater, he noted that it did not pass below-black or above-white from his Pioneer DV-79AVi DVD player, which he used to set the picture controls. Also, his settings were not the same as mine, illustrating that different source devices can yield different results.)
The NuVision's non-linear grayscale was quite evident when displaying a gray-step pattern—some bars were pinkish and others were slightly greenish. You can see this non-linearity clearly in the "Measurements" section.
On the HQV Benchmark DVD at 480i via component, detail was very good, looking crisp and natural. This was especially surprising given the results of the bandwidth tests, which showed a marked loss of detail at 1080i via component. Jaggies were likewise superb—with one strange exception. When the insets with examples of good and poor performance appeared on the first test, the visible end of the rotating bar exhibited bad jaggies and even seemed out of focus in the range of 0 to –45 degrees. When the insets disappeared, things returned to normal.
The 3DNR (3D noise reduction) control was fairly effective at its High setting without softening the picture appreciably, but the Low and Adaptive settings didn't seem to do much; the MPEG NR control didn't do much, either. The roller coaster in the motion-adaptive noise-reduction test had moderate motion trails, which is to be expected on a 60Hz LCD panel. The set's processor picked up 3:2 pulldown fairly slowly (about half a second) but reliably. The 2:2 video cadence looked great, as did the video text crawls over 3:2 film.
Turning to the HQV Benchmark HD DVD, the video resolution-loss test was solid as a rock. The film resolution-loss test took a moment to lock onto the motion, but once it did, there was nary a flicker. The panning resolution pattern looked a bit jerky at times, and there was moderate loss of detail in the pan across the bleachers.
The Spears & Munsil test HD DVD revealed that the set picked up 3:2 at 1080i almost instantly, whereas 2:2 took about a second to lock on, then looked fine.
As expected, the motion sequences on the FPD Benchmark Blu-ray test disc were fairly blurry compared with 120Hz panels with frame interpolation. The 0-100 and 0-25 ramps both showed some slight banding, but it was better than many LCDs I've looked at recently. There was excellent differentiation in various shades of black in the mostly black scenes and shades of white in the mostly white shots.