|Mitsubishi Diamond Series WD-57833 DLP HDTV|
|Home Theater Rear-Projection HDTVs DLP Rear-Projection HDTVs|
|Written by Adrienne Maxwell|
|Saturday, 01 March 2008|
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Rear-projection TV screens have a distinct visual quality, a reflective sheen or silk-screen effect, as some people call it. As with a high-gain front-projection screen, the image has excellent pop and impact when viewed from a distance, but the sheen is fairly distracting if you sit too close. Add in the digital-noise issues that I mentioned above, and the WD-57833’s picture is more enjoyable when you sit a little farther back, about five times the picture height or more.
Color fidelity is another concern. Neither of the WD-57833’s color-temperature choices tracks right at D6500, and I had to experiment with the PerfectColor and PerfectTint controls to get more accurate colors. Even then, reds often looked magenta. These inaccuracies are more obvious when comparing the TV directly with an accurate display, and the average consumer might be quite content with the WD-57833’s vibrant, engaging color palette. The good news is, these issues can also be remedied to an extent by a professional calibrator, who can dial in each color point more precisely and adjust the overall color temperature to be closer to D6500.
I’m glad that Mitsubishi included an adjustable lamp in this TV, but I wish they would’ve provided at least one more lamp setting that’s better suited to a dark theater environment. Even in the Standard Energy Mode, this TV is very bright, which can cause eye fatigue when watching content in a completely dark room. I preferred to keep my theater-room lights turned up a bit when watching bright HDTV content at night, to counteract all of the light coming from the TV. Also, when a display device is overly bright, it reveals every flaw, both in the source material and TV itself. Some of the noise issues and other artifacts I saw wouldn’t be quite so blatant if Mitsubishi included a setting that reduced light output by another 30 foot-lamberts or so.
Finally, on the ergonomic front, the WD-57833 sounds a bit like a computer; it hums audibly during operation and is somewhat slow to power down. The lack of automatic aspect ratio detection is regrettable, especially since you have to scroll through all four other aspect ratios to get from 4:3 Standard (for anamorphic DVDs) to 4:3 Narrow (regular SDTV with bars).
This past summer, my father’s RPTV died, which thrilled him no end, because he wanted to get a newer, better HDTV. He hit the big-name retailers and came to me with a list of several flat panels, wanting to know which model I recommended. The thing is, my dad owns a huge entertainment console, in which his former RPTV fit perfectly. He had no intention of getting rid of this console, so he didn’t need a super-thin flat panel, especially since the models in his price range were too small to fill the gap left by his old rear pro. I told him that, for less money, he could get a bigger screen that perfectly fit his existing set-up if he went the rear-pro route. I recommended a few models, one of which he ultimately purchased. And you know what? He couldn’t be happier … with the TV and the financial savings.
As long as there are people like my dad around, there will still be a need for big-screen rear-projection HDTVs that offer good performance for a great price. The WD-57833 is just such a TV, provided you take the time to set it up correctly – or, better yet, pay a professional to precisely calibrate it for you. While it lacks the accuracy and refinement that characterize a high-end theater display, its brightness, vibrant colors, limited motion blur and good viewing angle make it a nice choice for a general-purpose, living-room TV – especially for the HDTV lover. If you want to fill the hole in the center of your entertainment console without emptying your wallet, the WD-57833 is worth a look.