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NuVision NVU55FX5LS LED HDTV Review  Print E-mail
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Written by Thomas Spurlin   
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
Article Index
NuVision NVU55FX5LS LED HDTV Review 
Video Performance
Performance Cont. and Conclusion

Digging a bit deeper, we’ve also got a Color Calibration menu (available via a password from the manual) which allows for further tailoring to the visual experience.  It opens the gate for Picture Adjust for global video tinkering, White Balance mixing that shapes Gain and Offset within dependent RGB channels, Blue Enable for color calibration via blue filter devices, and Factory Reset.  After running Spears and Munsil’s hand-forged disc, the display was scaled down in sharpness to roughly 30, which mostly balanced out a slight amount of oversharp edge halos, while the Brightness was scaled to 65 and the Backlight downshifted almost all the way down.  The set’s attributes aren’t dialed completely up like many other big-box company sets, and that’s a welcome change.  

Nuvision SideviewPerformance:

NuVision’s NVU55FX5LS 55” LED television comes with a wealth of precise engineering underneath the hood, building it into a formidable set that fights vigorously to justify its high-ticket price.  Their NiDO IV Full 10-Bit processor arrives with 1080p@24/60 capacity at 120hz, with options for its FX5 and Forward Frame Motion, 3:2 / 2:2 / 5:5 cadence detection, and their own NuColor x.v. gradient registry for rich contrast and punchy color.  These attributes were sent through lengthy tests involving home media, broadcast, and gaming elements, along with a thorough run-through with Spears and Munsil’s Blu-ray test disc on JVC’s XV-BP1 Blu-ray player, and NuVision’s set was certainly up to task in justifying their claims at prestige.  Price taken out of the equation, you’re not likely to find a more ample consumer-level set than this.

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First, broadcast television was given a spin with a series of HD and SD content via both HDMI and component, and the results were highly satisfying. Elements from Fox’s Fringe, late-night talk show programming, The Big Bang Theory and some NFL action were all broadcast(or recorded via DVR) in HD on the set, both with the FFM / FX5 enhancements activated and without.  120hz technology has reached a mainstream level, to a degree, with the 240hz motion becoming the upper echelon.  Bear in mind that these enhancements primarily aid the likes of sports television and live broadcasts – giving a more fluid motion that, in other contexts and at other frame rates, simply appears odd to the eye.  

Watching the likes of NFL games, the Craig Ferguson Show, and a recorded performance of So You Think You Can Dance benefitted greatly from the tech in making them pop with a 3D appearance, some benefitting more than others based on the native content. However, it’s a decision that’s been in the hands of the consumer to this point by electing either to activate or turn off the ability to choose for themselves -- something NuVision has preserved with the ability to toggle the motion controls.  Watching in regular-old HD provided a splendid viewing experience as well, rendering crisp images with pleasing tight detail.  Ultimately, when not watching any sports action, the motion controls were toggled off – aside from the FX5, which offers a pleasing punch in image stability during motion.

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Blu-ray imagery looks astounding in Nuvision’s LED, tested via JVC’s XV-BP1 and Sony’s Playstation 3.   The gamut’s been throttled forward with many different types of media, from predominately digital photography to aged film stock.  Discs were tested at both the “native” frame rates and with the motion-enhancing toggles flipped on, naturally with those toggled off at the end of it all since they detract from the nature of the director’s intended visual style. Test discs included Universal’s Inglourious Basterds, Criterion’s Wings of Desire, and Sony’s District 9, each one carrying different aspect ratios and different consistency of aesthetic.  And, with each, this LED packs quite a natural punch as a cinema display.

Inglourious Basterds CoverQuentin Tarantino’s film Inglourious Basterds tested the capacity for 2.35:1 content on the panel.  Show with an Arriflex camera on 35mm film, the film’s a high-contrast, rather densely textured piece of work, and the NuVision’s television represents the Blu-ray content to smashing degrees.  Depth and dimensionality were the key drivers to this disc’s successes, which showed off immense textural detail in close-ups and the wooded area where the Basterds acted out their more grueling sequence, along with the compelling interior sequences in both the Nazi hall and the beautiful movie theater late in the film.  Colors all popped on the LED screen, black levels remained rich without seeping into non-visible territory, and the details present were all preserved stunningly.

Wings of Desire CoverShifting things up drastically, Criterion’s disc of Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire tests a more difficult style of film on the panel.  Though a striking film (a personal favorite), it’s also grainy and predominately black-and-white in nature – giving the set a prime chance to really show off what it can do with pure white levels and drastic fluctuations in contrast.  It was certainly up to task; through the film’s splendid layer of film grain, it showcased immensely pleasing grayscale images, staying stable and strong with nary a detail fading into darker sequences.  Not to spoil anything regarding the movie, but the color sequences later in the picture also looked rather stunning in their drab yet poignant context.  

District 9 CoverWrapping things up for the high-definition rundown for this panel, Sony’s crisply rendered disc for Neill Blomkamp’s District 9 tested the waters for pure, often digitally-shot 1.78:1 material with a snappy RED One camera.  With that in mind, the picture harks mostly to densely-textured dilapidation within the South African slums, along with complex computer-generated imagery for the aliens – “prawns” – in the film.  NuVision’s set handled the cinematography to exceptional degrees, offering up some of the more tightly-rendered details in the shaky-camera movement that an LCD has offered up.  Along with that, District 9 also tosses in some rougher footage and some stock, archival TV content in for posterity, and the set manages to keep those stable and the color palette accurate.  

Hurt Locker CoverSeveral DVDs, upscaled via the same Blu-ray players tested (generally the JVC XV-BP1), also did a pleasing job on the NuVision LED. Kathryn Bigelow’s film The Hurt Locker looks great at 1.78:1 on the television, maintaining a level of standard-definition grain that’s highly pleasing.  Contrast levels and details stay natural to the film’s intent, some of which were hazy and other that were highly crisp.  The Zoom feature, interchangeable for size in the internal menu, offered a pleasing blow-up of Grosse Pointe Blank’s non-anamorphic DVD, keeping it fairly stable and relatively attractive.  



 
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