Vizio VP505XVT Plasma TV Real-World Performance
I was a little surprised to find that the pan across the stairs that starts chapter 8 of Mission: Impossible III (1080i) pulsed with moderate moiré—I expected less of that with HQV processing. On the plus side, shadow detail in the catacombs was excellent, and colors were very good overall.
After seeing the star field that opens Stargate: Continuum Blu-ray on many LCD TVs lately, I had to check it out on this plasma. I could see many more stars than any LCD reveals, and the black of space was nice and deep. As I watched the movie unfold, I was immediately struck with how enjoyable the picture was—detail was sharp and crisp, colors were natural, and shadow detail aboard the Achilles as it steams across the Atlantic was better than most LCDs I've seen.
The same was true of I, Robot on Blu-ray. Detail in the futuristic Chicago skyline, facial pores and stubble, and scraped paint on a garbage truck was exceptional. Colors were likewise gorgeous, with natural skin tones and blue sky. The picture really popped, and the letterbox bars were completely unobtrusive.
Since the measurements indicated oversaturated greens, I spun up the "Jungles" episode of Planet Earth on Blu-ray. Foliage in every shade of green was surprisingly natural-looking—perhaps a bit overdone, but not nearly as much as I expected. Detail in feathers, hair, tree bark, and shots from space was breathtaking, and the black of space was rich and deep. I saw no solarization in shots of the sun with the subtle gradations of light emanating from it.
Turning to DVD, I took a look at Star Trek: Insurrection. Detail was okay but not the best I've seen a DVD look, and the pan across the village at the beginning was quite juddery. Colors were beautiful and natural, even the green foliage, and shadow detail in the duck-blind observation post was very good. As before, the black of space was rich and deep, and the letterbox bars were easily ignored except with the darkest scenes.
The Vizio's onboard audio sounded pretty good—for TV sound, that is. Dialog intelligibility was better than many, though the level was fairly low, requiring me to crank the volume most of the way up. Still, it sounded somewhat closed in, so as usual, I recommend pairing this TV with a good surround-sound system.