|NuVision NVU55FX5LS LED HDTV Review|
|Home Theater Flat Panel HDTVs LCD HDTVs|
|Written by Thomas Spurlin|
|Wednesday, 20 January 2010|
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Edge-lit LED TVs – that being a slightly-modified style of LCD panel -- are finally starting to come into a bit of a wide-berth adoption stage, slimming down and finding spots on retail counters for purchase contemplation purposes. The technology has progressed to a degree where those panels are finally going to start coming down off of shelves and into the home, since the cost is slowly whittling to a reasonable level. Nuvision, however, realize that there’s a direct vein into a market of flat-panel connoisseurs, which results in their high-end, highly-refined array of television sets – as with the Lucidium 55” LED panel, the NVU55FX5LS. And, without question, the quality is excellent, with a splendid picture, aesthetic appeal, and a myriad of self-aware refinements with both inputs and external picture enhancement. However, the sticker shock may set you aback, with the set arriving at a cool $5999.99 list. “Therein, as the Bard would tell us, lies the rub”, as NuVision’s excellent quality persistently battles the substantial investment.
Expectedly out of a high-dollar connoisseur unit, NuVision’s array of inputs/outputs is pleasingly robust on the NVU55FX5LS. Four HDMI 1.3 inputs are naturally the central draw, offering just the right number to the rear – enough to cover most bases, especially when considering an HDMI-capable receiver will likely factor into the equation. One RGB component input is also available, along with a standard composite jack, an S-Video input, and a D Sub 15 PC input for the panel’s usage as a 1920x1080 computer monitor at 60 Hz. We’ve also got an audio headphone jack, a NuControl connection (that looks like an Ethernet control, yet it’s specifically for IR / RS-232 communication). Oddly, one or two things are missing from the television that are available on lower-priced models, such as an SD card port for viewing images and a Toslink Digital Audio out port.
It’s been ages since I’ve been thoroughly impressed with a company’s remote, and NuVision’s slickly designed and functional device is pleasing; especially if a Crestron, Harmony or other universal remote will not be in use. Measuring just a hair over six inches, it’s an average length and width – with a nicely-balanced weight to it. The element that’s oddly satisfying about this control device comes in the black, matte wetsuit-like material on the bottom that allows for a little bit of an extra grip in the hand. At the top and bottom, the remote carries the same style of brushed metal material as around the television. And, pleasantly, the black buttons do have a very soft yet readable white backlight.
At the top of the remote, we’ve got a simple array of source toggle buttons, which include: TV and Comp 1 and 2 for basic functionality, then 4 HDMI buttons, VGA, AV 1 and 2, as well as Input and Pictures. Directly underneath that, the signature spindle direction pad is made available for Channel / Volume changing with Menu, Guide, Mute, and Display buttons at the four diagonal corners. Below that, several picture adjustment buttons are available that interchange PIP functionality, as well as the aspect ratio of the on-screen material. With these buttons, adjustments can tailor to 4:3, Panorama, Zoom, and 16:9 ratios, with 16:9 pretty much as the “home” button. Here’s a nifty add-on about these buttons: when they’re pressed and the transition between the two aspect ratios takes place, they don’t clank along and simply move from ratio to ratio, instead expanding and contracting with a stretching or compacting motion. Underneath those, we’ve got the standard 1-9 keypad and a Sleep button, a useful Day/Night brightness toggle, a really slick Freeze button to freeze-frame the material on-screen (which works without any noticeable delay), a Previous CH toggle and the Enter button.
Pressing the Menu Button opens up a small – physically, not contextually – box at the center of the screen that makes several options available to tailoring the viewing experience. Image Settings allows for adjustments to be made to Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, Sharpness, Color Temp (Warm, Normal, Cool, Vivid), as well as the Advanced Features that start to get into Backlight gauge, DNR (Dynamic Noise Reduction), MPEG DNR, Gamma, and the motion adjustments – FFM from Off to High, Game Mode (On/Off), and FX5(On/Off).
Audio options for this unit, controlling the meager speakers on the set, tailor the Balance, Equalizer when the Surround function is set to Off, Audio Language, type of audio that streams from the Digital Audio Out (Dolby Digital, LPCM), Line Output, and Lip Sync tailoring. OSD languages for this model are available in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese, adjustable in the Functions settings. Also under the functions settings, we can alter the style of Zoom Mode, Overscan amount, Input Label for the sources, and HDMI audio. Also adjustable under this setting are two separate PC adjustments, one for VGA signal (Video or PC), and PC Mode Adjust to tailor the placement of the PC image. It’s worth noting that the core sound from the set itself aren’t terribly robust, sporting very little bass and a muffled, marginally satisfying quality – therefore, a secondary audio source is highly recommended. Then again, we are working with a 1.5” thick television, so the limitations in size do come into play.