Product Review (December 2008) - Mitsubishi
LT-52149 52-Inch HD 1080p LCD Television

By Kevin Nakano


Flat panel displays have become so popular that conventional picture tubes are being treated like, well "tubes". Selling large bulky sets have become something of the past with new attractive flat panels quickly taking their place. Mitsubishi has entered the 120Hz flat panel market with their 148 series and more recently with their 149 series. Both series offer customers a very thin bezel design that looks fantastic. However, the new LT-52149 incorporates Mitsubishi's innovative Integrated Sound Projector (iSP), which eliminates the need for separate speakers to enjoy the effects of multi-channel surround sound. The science behind this requires some advance audio processors with individual 2-Watt amplifiers for each of the small speakers used in the 16-speaker array. By time aligning the sound at specific regions in space, phantom speakers are created from a single set of drivers. Using this speaker array at the base of the display, sound can be projected into the room at different angles producing a surround sound effects without installing cumbersome speakers throughout the room.

Setup
The LT-52149 requires that the user define the placement of the display to optimize the speaker projection performance. Five predefined locations are provided with each position adjustable for obtaining the correct sound projection algorithm. Our display was placed in the center of the front wall for test purposes. Additional information was provided in the setup menu for TV Wall Length, Other Wall Length, and TV to Sofa distance. What is nice about the design is the user can customize the phasing of the sound when projecting the audio so that it is directed at the listener. Every situation is a little different and Mitsubishi provides the flexibility needed to get it right.

Custom Menu
The custom menu has adjustments for each of the five projected beams allowing the user to direct the sound of each of them. Even if the listener is slightly off-axis, the system can correct for this using this menu system. Each beamed channel is color coded on the screen to help the user identify the beam being adjusted. There was plenty of range for each of the beams to cover virtually any situation. Having side walls and a back wall help project the sound where needed to give the effect of a real speaker. However, there will be those cases where this is just not possible. Users will need to run through the test sounds (pink noise) to determine if the sound is controlled properly at their seating position. Changes in the seating position can alter the performance of the sound projector.

Operation
The user can select stereo mode to hear all programs in stereo sound or surround mode to hear all programs in surround or virtual surround sound. Audio can be sourced using the HDMI™ or coaxial PCM inputs, making it easy to connect to a DVD or Blu-ray™ player. The LT-52149 features Mitsubishi's Smooth120Hz Film Motion, providing viewers with a full 120Hz frame rate that dejudders film-originated content that is prone to 24Hz artifacts. The set also includes an advanced 10-bit per color LCD panel, which offers a larger color gamut with Deep Color, x.v.Color™, a 6-Color Processor™ and their Tru1080p processing. The result is a stunning picture with textures that look almost three-dimensional.

The LT-52149 has an attractive chassis design and offers a wide viewing angle. The surface of the screen is matte, so screen reflection issues are minimal. The base on this unit does not swivel, so wall mounting might be a better option for many. The pixels have a fast 6-millisecond response time that virtually eliminates motion blur commonly seen on earlier LCD displays. The 4 HDMI v1.3a (accepts signals up to 1080p — 60Hz, 24Hz) with Deep Color gives the display the ability to support more colors and gray levels, making it less susceptible to false contouring (banding). Video and audio can be carried through a single HDMI cable for simplicity. The integrated ATSC and NTSC tuners let users see local terrestrial broadcasts in standard and high definition without having to subscribe to cable or satellite and features Dolby® Digital and Dolby Pro Logic™ processing. The amazingly high quality picture broadcast over the air for free is always impressive and with the built-in ATSC tuner it is easy to take advantage of this.

Panel Controls
The LT-52149 has a set of buttons on the top of the display that give the user full control of the panel. They have a very low profile, but are easy to see if you have access to the top of the display. For those who choose to wall mount the panel, it may be more difficult to access the controls. However, savvy users will quickly realize that the Power button is on the extreme left and the Input select button is on the far right. A total of nine buttons give the user good control of the display functions. There are controls for Power, Volume Up/Down, Channel Up/Down, Format, Menu, Guide, and Input. All the buttons except the Power and Input buttons have secondary functions depending on the mode of the set. A recessed System Reset button is also provided in the event the internal processor becomes unresponsive to the user. This is a common feature on products that have a microprocessor, but we never encountered any issues requiring the use of it.

Side Interfaces
Rather than have the A/V connections on the back of the panel as found on some of the earlier Mitsubishi flat panels, the LT-52149 design places the interfaces on the left rear side. This makes it a lot easier to access the interfaces when the screen is mounted or sitting close to the wall. Four HDMI™ 1.3 inputs with Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support handle the new digital generation of video products such as Blu-ray, digital set-top boxes, gaming consoles (such as the PS3) and HDMI-based DVD players. In addition, two antenna/cable inputs (via F-connectors), a coaxial digital output, and several standard analog video connections are provided. The digital output can be connected to an A/V receiver for full Dolby Digital 5.1 decoding of over the air or cable programs. We connected the antenna input to our Terk TV38 terrestrial rooftop antenna for local reception. Signal quality was excellent using the over-the-air antenna with a superb looking picture.

Analog Connectivity
Legacy analog formats including composite, s-video, and component video are supported with the LT-52149. Two sets of composite/s-video inputs along with their corresponding two channel audio are provided. There are also two sets of component inputs available that support both standard definition (480i/480p) and high definition (720p/1080i) video. Line level inputs and outputs are also provided for use with external video recorders or A/V receivers. The LT-52149 has a feature that automatically detects a new video input when it is activated and notifies the user. The analog outputs can also be used to drive a powered subwoofer to give the system a punchier bass response. The user will be prompted to choose whether an A/V receiver or subwoofer is connected to the right output channel. Due to the large number of potential connections on the back of this unit, a pair of ties are provided for cable management.

Input 4
Mitsubishi also includes the Input 4 panel on the lower left side of the unit, which provides users with yet another set of A/V connections for convenience. The quick access port provides an easy way to connect analog camcorders or game consoles to the display. Standard composite video as well as component video are supported along with two channel analog audio. In addition, this panel has a USB interface that lets users plug in a memory stick for instant digital photo playback on the screen. This is a great feature for those that do not have access to a media server.

Viewing Pictures
The LT-52149 has the ability to view photos stored on a standard USB memory stick. When a USB stick is inserted into the side slot, the display allows the user to select from the Slideshow Thumbnail or Setup menu. Photos can be set to be viewed automatically or manually with user adjustable display intervals (15 sec, 30 sec, 1 min, 2 min or 5 min) and frequency (once, twice, or continuous). Depending on the file sizes, photos can take a significant amount of time to load and be displayed. Obviously higher resolution pictures take longer, but look better than those with less resolution.

Remote and Menus
The illuminated multibrand remote control included with the LT-52149 has a great layout, with fairly large buttons making it easy to use. The remote has remained largely unchanged for several models we have seen in the past. The design works well in dark environments thanks to the built-in backlighting. A top slider switch on the remote selects different components from other manufacturers (Refer to the User's Manual for a list of supported products). Standard (Power, Sleep, Input, Format, Volume, Channel) and navigation buttons are provided. Dedicated buttons for Guide, Info, Audio, Video, Menu, and Exit are located just below the navigation buttons. There are also VCR/DVD buttons (Play, Pause, Stop, Record, Forward, Backwards) near the bottom for convenient control of these components. The F1 through F4 keys are used with Mitsubishi's NetCommand. The buttons can be used as alternate keys for some components operating independently from NetCommand. A Low-Battery condition will be displayed by a blinking power key.

The menu system on the LT-52149 is similar to other Mitsubishi displays we have seen. The top level menus are Setup, Captions, A/V and Lock. The Setup menu is used to select the Language (English/Spanish), Scan for active channels (Air/Cable), set the Clock, adjust the Timer, and define the Energy settings.

The Captions menu supports both analog and digital channels. Caption data on the analog channels can be decoded from the ANT 1/2 and INPUT 1/2 inputs. Broadcasters can send either standard closed captions or text service. Standard closed captions follow the dialogue of the program and display in a small section of the screen. Text-service closed captions often contain information such as weather or news and cover a large portion of the screen. Caption data for the digital channels is only supported on ANT 1/2.

The A/V Menu has submenus for Audio (Speaker Control, Bass, Treble, Balance, and SAP/Stereo), Video (Picture Mode, Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint, Color Temp, and Backlight Level), Perfect Color (Adjust the saturation of Magenta, Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, and Blue for the current image source), and Reset. The Picture Mode allows the user to select from four different (Brilliant, Game, Bright, and Natural) display settings. Color Temperature can be set to High or Low (6500°K).

The Lock menu allows the user to lock the display based on Ratings or Time. The side panel controls can also be locked to prevent curious fingers (little kids) from changing the settings. The Ratings lock is controlled by the Parent Menu, which allows the parent to lock the content based on TV Ratings (TV-Y, TV-Y7, TV-G, TV-PG, TV-14, and TV-MA), TV Content (FV, D, L, S, and V), or Movie Ratings (G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17, X, or Not Rated). For Time based control the user can enter the Start and Stop time for TV viewing.

Display Formats
Several display modes that correct for geometric differences in the source material are available on the LT-52149. The Standard mode, which is the default mode used with HDTV (16:9 aspect ratio), evenly distributes the image across the full screen. This mode is also used with anamorphic (16:9 enhanced) DVDs. The Expand mode is intended for non-anamorphic DVDs that would normally stretch the image horizontally and insert bars on the top and bottom of the screen. This mode stretches the image vertically correcting the aspect ratio distortion, while cropping some of the video on the top and bottom to reduce the black bars that are normally seen with these discs. This emphasizes the importance of anamorpphic DVDs and why they maximize vertical video resolution. Ideally, you do not want to use this mode, but it exists to make non-anamorphic DVDs viewable on this widescreen display.
The Zoom mode essentially increases both horizontal and vertical overscan to help eliminate the top and bottom black bars on movies that have wider aspect ratios. This will also crop the right and left side of the picture, so you will lose some of the original picture on the sides. The Stretch mode is one of my favorites as it takes a 4:3 source and distributes it across the full screen in a way that doesn't make it look too objectionable. This is accomplished by stretching the sides more than the center area, resulting in a fairly good looking center picture. However, scenes that pan will quickly reveal the technique used here to help the center of the image. The Stretch Plus mode works well for standard 4:3 broadcasts, but not for 16:9 source material. The Narrow mode exists for 4:3 content that uses gray bars on the right and left side of the image to preserve the aspect ratio on this display. It must be noted that the Expand, Zoom, Stretch, Stretch Plus and Narrow modes are not available when using 1080i or 720p video.

Calibration
Our color temperature measurements were made using our Sencore CP5000 All-Display Color Analyzer. The graph shows the results of the factory settings (in red) using the Natural Picture Mode with the Color Temperature set to Low. The LT-52149 tracked the ideal 6500°K well at the higher IRE levels, but was on the high side at the lower IRE levels. Mitsubishi does not have a user-level menu for adjusting color temperature at the bias and gain levels. Doing so requires going into the service menu, which can be dangerous for those lacking experience in calibration. Once adjusted, the LT-52149 produced a reasonably good 6500°K across all IRE levels. Overall, the display exhibited good shadow detail with an impressive 53 foot-Lamberts of light output.

Contrast measured 1825:1 (74.3fL/0.041fL) with the display set to Natural and Brilliant. This will allow the LT-52149 to be used in rooms where ambient lighting is significantly high such as rooms with windows. Direct sunlight makes the picture difficult to see, so this needs to be considered when purchasing the display.

Display Primaries
The primary colors produced by the LT-52149 were measured using the DataColor ColorFacts Pro 6 software with a Milori Trichromatic-1 color sensor. The CIE chart indicates where the ideal primaries are located by the three small points that make the dark triangle. The measured primary colors are marked by the red, green and blue markers connected together with the white triangle. Only colors inside this triangle can be produced by the display by definition. The LT-52149 produced excellent primary and secondary colors, which were near ideal with this display. Colors looked well saturated with accuracy confirmed by the measurements. Skin tones had a natural look without being oversaturated once calibrated. Several primary and secondary color adjustments are available to the user for color saturation.

Setup
We connected several sources to the LT-52149 including our Dish Network ViP722 HDTV DVR, Sony PlayStation3 with Blu-ray, and OPPO DV981HD. All sources supported a direct HDMI connection with audio included. Using a single cable for both audio and video makes it very convenient for users. The power was connected to our Panamax MAX 7500-PRO power conditioner during all testing.

Performance
Picture quality on the LT-52149 was much better than the earlier displays lacking 120Hz frame rate conversion technology. The majority of our viewing was performed with the new Dish Network ViP722 high definition satellite receiver. The set-top box was connected through an HDMI cable and was set to output 1080i video. Seeing high definition content was a great experience on this display. Terrestrial (over the air) broadcasts from our local stations here in Los Angeles looked beautiful. Colors were well saturated and the picture took on a three-dimensional image. Bright scenes were equally impressive with the high light output of this panel. We had to drop the contrast down from the full factory setting, yet there was still plenty of output for a punchy picture.

Blu-ray discs looked even better with full 1080p/24 coming from our PlayStation 3. We could not come up with a better combination for an incredible reference quality image. The LT-52149 fully supports 24, 30 and 60 Hz frame rates from sources. Our results were mixed with standard definition DVD content. The best results came when using our OPPO DV981HD HDMI-enabled DVD player connected to the HDMI input on the LT-52149 display. This player has both excellent deinterlacing and scaling, but we let the display scale the native 480p from the player and the results were great even with many of the torture tests on the HQV disc. The analog inputs on the display did not work as well, with some noticeable artifacts showing up using the same test disc.

Status Display
Pressing the INFO key on the remote activates the on-screen status display. Here in Los Angeles most of the common displays are active as seen in the picture here. The antenna input, channel, program, program description, received signal type, screen format, V-chip rating, audio type, day and time, and signal strength are displayed. The remaining time on the sleep timer will be displayed next to the day and time in the same window. Pressing the timer button increments the sleep timer by 30 minutes, for up to a maximum of 120 minutes.

ChannelView
The LT-52149 features ChannelView, a system that provides channel listings that are accessible via the GUIDE key on the remote. ChannelView displays only digital channel names and program information as sent by broadcasters or local cable providers and may be incomplete depending on the area. To receive ChannelView updates, the TV should have the Energy Mode set to Fast Power On with the TV clock properly programmed and should have the power off for a while each day. The information we received in Los Angeles was quite impressive for something broadcasted over-the-air.

Conclusion
The Mitsubishi LT-52149 is loaded with features and looks fantastic with high definition content. The video performance in terms of deinterlacing and scaling was excellent. Feeding 1080i video from our Dish Network box produced pleasing results that made watching television an enjoyable experience, especially with high definition content. The LT-52149 has four HDMI 1.3 (with Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support) inputs making it easy to interface to multiple high quality sources such as high definition set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, and Media Servers players. This provides the much needed HDMI video switching required for many of today's home theater setups. The LT-52149 produces a bright, high contrast picture that will work in rooms that have significant non-direct ambient light.

What really sets this display apart from others is the inclusion of the advanced 16-speaker Integrated Sound Projector that places 5-channel surround sound effects in different places in the room without the hassle of setting up multiple speakers and running cumbersome wires. Mitsubishi's 148 series is virtually identical in performance to the 149 series, but lacks the Integrated Sound Projector, variable subwoofer output, TV Guide Daily®, and the CableCARD slot. Interestingly enough, the 148 series includes a swivel base whereas the 149 series lacks this feature. If the Integrated Sound Projector feature is something that you might want to have, it would be in your best interest to check out this display. Mitsubishi's 10-bit display technology and advanced video processing coupled with Deep Color & x.v.Color™ support, makes the LT-52149 (and LT-52148) highly desirable models.

- Kevin Nakano






OPPO BDP-103 Blu-ray Player




Review System

A/V Receiver: Denon AVR-5308CI Reference 7.1 THX-Ultra Receiver
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box: Dish Network ViP622 HDTV Satellite and Terrestrial Receiver with HDMI
Blu-ray DVD Player: Sony PlayStation3 with HDMI 1.3
HD-DVD Player: Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD Player with HDMI
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
DVD Player: OPPO Digital OPDV971H DVD Player with DVI Output
D-VHS VCR: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
Media Server: Kenwood Sovereign MRH1 Entre
Remote Control: Remote Technologies Inc. T4 Controller
HDMI Video Switcher: Octava 4 Port HDMI/Toslink Audio Switcher
DVI Cable: AudioQuest DV-1 20m DVI-D Cable
HDMI Cables: VizionWare Hi-Wirez 20-meter, Accell 45-meter UltraRun HDMI Cable
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables


Review - At a Glance


Mitsubishi - LT-52149 52-Inch 1080p HD LCD Display

Features
  • 52-Inch 1080p LCD Panel Display (1920 x 1080 Pixels)
  • Integrated 16-speaker Sound Projector system (2 watts x 16)
  • Smooth120Hz™ Film Motion anti-blur technology
  • Full Spectrum Color™ wide-range fluorescent backlight for extended color range
  • Plush1080p® 12-bit digital video processing (upconverts all signals to 1080p)
  • 10-bit display panel for over a billion possible colors
  • Deep Color and x.v.Color™ support
  • 8 A/V inputs, including:
    • 1 composite video
    • 1 S-video
    • 3 component video (2 rear, 1 side) — accepts signals up to 1080i
    • 4 HDMI v1.3a (accepts signals up to 1080p — 60Hz, 24Hz)
    • 2 RF inputs for antenna/cable signals
  • Variable pre-out for connecting an optional powered subwoofer
  • Side USB port for digital photo playback
  • 6-millisecond pixel response time
  • TV Guide Daily® on-screen program guide
  • NetCommand® with IR learning component control system (includes HDMI-CEC)
  • Five-Device, Multi-Brand, Illuminated Remote Control
  • 47-3/4"W x 31-5/8"H x 4-5/8"D (33-1/4"H x 14-1/8"D on stand)
  • Weight: 83.8 lbs. with stand; 76.8 lbs. without stand

Includes:

  • Remote Control
  • Two AA Batteries
  • Owner’s Guide
  • Quick Reference Guide
  • Quick Connect Guide
  • Product Registration Card
  • (1) Cable Tie and (1) Cable ClampHD 1080p LCD Display

Source: Manufacture Loan
Model Number: LT-52149
MSRP: $2,999

Owner's Guide

Spec Sheet

Dimension Sheet

 


Company Information
Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc.
9351 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (949) 465-6000
Website: http://www.mitsubishi-tv.com


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