65-inch Widescreen HD-Ready Television
Mitsubishi's Diamond series televisions have long provided consumers some of the best technology the company has to offer in rear-screen projection televisions. The WS-65908 has a beautiful high-gloss finish with simulated black granite covering the lower center section between the built-in speakers. The result is a well constructed and attractive unit. I only mention this because so many of the rear-screen televisions currently on the market are just plain ugly. It's nice to see an attractive cabinet to compliment the high performance video.
The WS-65908 employs a full motion-adaptive 3D comb filter for Y/C separation. The result is a picture with minimal separation artifacts (both cross-color and dot-crawl). This is only an issue with composite source material (composite inputs or the built-in over-the-air tuners). The color decoder in this unit does have a mild red-push, resulting in a slight redness to flesh tones. This is not an issue for source material using the component or RGB inputs since they bypass the color decoder. While evaluating the video image, it became obvious to me that the sharpness of the WS-65908 was noticeably better than that of our reference Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD. In fact, the Pioneer display looked soft compared to the Mitsubishi. The WS-65908 was crisp in both 480p and 1080i modes with visible line structure not found in many of the comparable televisions we've seen. This year Mitsubishi has introduced a new anti-glare screen for all Diamond Series models. Using a new coating process, this shield creates a surface smooth enough to allow a superb HDTV picture to pass through yet coarse enough to scatter the external light that causes glare.
Our equipment included two different set-top boxes for evaluating the display. The first was a Mitsubishi SR-HD400 HDTV/DSS satellite receiver that was released around the same time as this television. This high definition receiver worked flawlessly and produced a beautiful 1080i picture. The built-in APG (Advanced Programming Guide) allows both terrestrial over-the-air channels and DirecTV programming to be displayed in one convenient programming guide. The RCA DTC100 also worked well, but did require an adapter to convert the RGB video to component video. In addition, this set-top box lacks the APG found on all new set-top boxes. None the less, the video performance was as exceptional in both cases.
The universal remote control is simple to use and has buttons placed in a usable and logical fashion. The buttons are large enough to not cause problems for those with big hands. There is a sliding switch on the top to gain control of up to four other components including a DSS/Cable box, VCR, DVD player and an audio receiver.
The new ViewPoint® menu system has an attractive three-dimensional look. Configuration of the two antenna inputs as well as the V-chip settings are made here. The color temperature setting (Low, Medium and High) and 64-point convergence is also controlled in this menu system. There are two PIP (picture-in-picture) settings and three POP (picture out of picture) settings available. The two PIP settings include both large and small images while the POP options include side-by-side pictures, three POPs and nine POPs.
The WS-65908 offers a rich set of inputs on the rear of the unit. In fact, few sets have these many inputs available to the consumer. Three sets of A/V inputs are included (s-video, composite video, and L&R audio). There is also a STB (Set-Top-Box) input for non-high definition content (s-video and L&R audio). The high resolution inputs consist of two sets of component inputs (480i or 480p) and one high bandwidth RGB/component input (1080i, 480p or 480i). There is also a VGA input for computers that is only compatible with 640x480 data at 60 Hertz. There is one set of A/V inputs on the front of the display for camcorders or video games. There are two antenna inputs for the internal NTSC tuners built into this television. Needless to say, this set has the most abundant set of inputs we've seen on a consumer display.
There's no doubt that consumers are getting better performance for their money on these latest generation high-definition displays. Mitsubishi's WS-65908 produced a breath-taking high-definition image when mated to a high-definition set-top box. As the leader in bigscreen televisions, Mitsubishi has produced a product with a beautiful picture in an attractive cabinet at a fairly reasonable price.
- Kevin Nakano
Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD
58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
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