Product Review (April 2002) - Mitsubishi WS-65908
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.

Display Modes
The display formats on the WS-65908 include Standard, Expand, Zoom, Stretched and Narrow. Standard is the full screen format used for anamorphic DVDs as well as high-definition video signals. This mode properly displays 16:9 content, while 4:3 content will be stretched horizontally to fit the 16:9 aspect ratio of the screen. The Expand mode stretched the image vertically helping to reduce the top and bottom gray bars found on non-anamorphic DVDs. This mode also helps 4:3 images look less stretched horizontally at the expense of losing some of the top and bottom parts of the image. Zoom enlarges the whole image cropping off some of the top, bottom, left and right of the picture. This can be useful for very widescreen images by minimizing the top and bottom bars with some loss on the right and left of the picture. Non-anamorphic DVDs will also benefit from this mode. The Stretched mode is unique in that it stretches the image across the screen, but not in a linear fashion. The sides are stretched more than the center resulting in a rather normal looking 4:3 image on the 16:9 display. This mode is very clever and useful for today's 4:3 content. Narrow adds side gray bars to the image to properly fit a 4:3 image in the 16:9 display area. This maintains the proper aspect ratio of the 4:3 image.

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.

In the Lab
We received this brand new WS-65908 directly from Mitsubishi, so we were curious to see just how well the unit performed right out of the box. We let the unit break-in for a few weeks before we evaluated the picture. Under normal circumstances we would have waited a bit longer (usually about 100 hours of use is recommended), but we were anxious to see how well it performed. Picture quality of the WS-65908 right out of the box was actually very good. Using the Warm setting, we adjusted the black and white levels using the PLUGE and Needle Point patterns from our Sencore VP300 video generator. The black level was pretty good, but the white level was set to the maximum level requiring. Color and Hue were then adjusted using the blue filter and didn't require much tweaking. We then setup the 64-point convergence to tweak the picture. Once converged, the unit produced an excellent and crisp image. The video resolution on the WS-65908 was very sharp with visible line structure even on 1080i material. Looking at this display side-by-side with the Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD proved the WS-65908 was clearly sharper. Color tracking under the Warm setting was very good right out of the box. We raised it slightly to bring it closer to a 6500 degree average (See graph). Again, the settings were impressive right out of the box.

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

 






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Review System

Display: Pioneer Elite PRO-610HD 58-inch HD-Ready TV (ISF calibrated)
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
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 1: Mitsubishi SR-HD400 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
Set-top Box 2: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
Laserdisc Player : Pioneer Elite CLD-99 and CLD-D704 Laserdisc Players
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer: Sencore CP288 ISF Certified Color Analyzer


Review at a glance


Mitsubishi's Diamond Series™ WS-65908 HD Television

Features

  • Anti-Glare Screen Shield
  • DPM3™ (Diamond Digital Pixel Multiplier™)
  • MicroFine™ Phosphor CRTs
  • Motion-Adaptive 3D-Y/C 480-Line Comb Filters
  • High-Speed Velocity Scan Modulation (HVSM)

DIAMOND VISION® Optical System which includes:

  • Premium CRTs for a brighter image with improved focus
  • Precision beam control for enhanced resolution
  • Front-surface mirrors for a brighter picture and no double images
  • Tru-Focus™ Lenses
  • QuadField Focus
  • Five Picture Format Modes
  • Film Mode
  • Multi-Image Viewing
  • VGA Input
  • DiamondBrite™ Screen
  • Dynamic White Balance
  • Dual progressive scan (480P)/ interlaced (480i)
  • Front AV Inputs with S-Video
  • 64-Point Convergence System
  • AV Memory by input
  • Color Temperature Control
  • V-Chip Hours
  • Two-way stereo speakers
  • Gold-Plated Connectors
  • 5-Layer Illuminated Remote Control
  • Deluxe High-Gloss Cabinet
  • Two-Piece Cabinet

    Source: Manufacturer Loan
    Price: $5500
    Size: 61-5/8" x 58-1/4" x 27-1/4" (HxWxD)
    Weight: 375 pounds
    Warranty: 1 year



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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