Mitsubishi WD-65835 DLP HDTV 
Home Theater Rear-Projection HDTVs DLP Rear-Projection HDTVs
Written by Roger Coakes   
Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Introduction

While CES 2009 has brought us legions of 7 millimeter thick flat screen televisions, DLP rear projection televisions are still a predominant force in driving the high definition television market.  Firmly committed to manufacturing rear-projection televisions, Mitsubishi continues to release new models of the DLP HDTV’s.  Within their newest Diamond series line, they offer 65” and 73” sizes.  The obvious advantage to going the DLP route is purchasing more screen space for less money out of pocket.

Mitsubishi’s Diamond 835 (WD-65835) is a touch under 75 pounds and is actually quite manageable for its weight.  The cabinet depth is slightly over 15 inches and the casing around the screen is surprisingly thin for a television of this size.  The height of the TV falls just under 40 inches and the width clocks in at 58 inches.  This 1080p DLP has a MSRP of $2999.99, but can be found through online and local retailers for approximately $2500.  It’s definitely on the higher end of the DLP pricing spectrum, but the feature set offsets the price difference.  Different from their regular line, the Diamond series also features a sleek, hi-gloss bezel design and a blue lighting accent underneath the screen.


Set-up

I was quite surprised at the fantastic contrast level when first powering up the WD-65835.  It’s absolutely deep for DLP technology and challenges many LCD screens I’ve viewed as of late.  Mitsubishi calls it their Dark detailer technology.  After launching into the menu, I tested out the three picture modes under different types of lighting.  I preferred Brilliant for a room filled with natural sunlight and would be useful when viewing sporting events.  Natural feels more apt for dark rooms when watching a feature length movie.  Bright is a combination of the two, but I found myself leaning to either extreme in most viewing scenarios.  Each of the picture modes is adjustable for each specific input.  

The color temperature seems more appropriate at Low as opposed to High as the picture is more realistic.  I tweaked the contrast setting to about 60, brightness 45 and left color / tint / sharpness alone.  I did dive into modifying the PerfectColor and PerfectTint features to modify the hue / saturation of the 6-color palette.  Using a color calibration DVD, you can get fairly accurate results with the color adjustments.   

I never been a fan of their Sharpedge technology.  It is supposed to enhance the sharpness on the horizontal and vertical edges of the screen.  The picture appeared overly abrasive when turned on.  The Smooth120Hz mode has improved since I tested it last.  It’s included to create smoother, fluid motion when viewing content.  It doesn’t excel at ridding the viewing experience completely of motion blur, but it does improve motion performance overall.  The advance in quality is likely due to ditching the use of frame interpolation in the process.  

The back panel of the WD-65835 has a plethora of inputs including three HDMI ports, two component video, two S-Video / Composite video, two RF jacks for QAM / ATSC / NTSC and a stereo DVI / PC audio input.  There is also an HDMI input, component / composite input and a USB input on the front of the television.  You can plug a digital device, such as a digital camera, to the USB port to view pictures.  That’s a fairly standard inclusion on a new HDTV.  The rear panel also includes outputs for coaxial digital audio, composite for recording A/V, an IR emitter port, a RS-232 port and a connection for 3D glasses.  3D glasses were such a huge draw at CES that we actually be getting to a point where that port will come in handy.  The port attaches to a set of glasses that have been synced to the 3D content on the screen.  As far as design goes, it can be slightly cramped when trying to connect multiple component cables.    

Mitsubishi remoteThe remote that’s supplied with the WD-65835 is extraordinarily plain in comparison to the design of the television.  There is a rocker switch at the top of the remote that alternates control between the television, cable / satellite box, VCR, DVD and audio receiver.  I didn’t find the remote particularly useful as a multi-function tool.  It’s also a hassle to switch between inputs.  While I appreciate custom naming of the inputs via the menu, you have to cycle through the inputs via the arrow buttons after calling up the input menu.  The main menu also doesn’t support circular navigation with the arrow buttons.   It’s annoying to cycle through an entire list rather than using the up button to move to the bottom of the list.  The remote is fortunately back-lit for darkened theaters and the simplicity does allow for quick access to television functions.

Television / Movies / Games

I couldn’t resist starting with my recently acquired Dark Knight Blu-ray disc to put the contrast levels to the first high definition test.  The film has so many dark, dimly-lit scenes that the variations in the black level would be clearly evident on the screen.  I demoed the motorcycle chase scene and was quite elated at the presentation of the inky blacks.  There wasn’t the typical amount of grayish blur that’s seen in the majority of DLP sets.  Frankly, I was surprised that there wasn’t any contrast issues that would hamper my viewing experience.  While there’s obviously some edge enhancement going on with the disc, the sharpness level of the high definition source wasn’t overly distracting.  The detail level was exceptional and the image had a superb dimensional feel.  (HD disc tests performed via HDMI and the Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray player.)

I briefly tested out other reference quality, high definition discs including Kung Fu Panda and Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.  The colors were vivid and deep which worked well with the performance of the contrast levels.  The shadow detail in some of the underground fire-lit scenes in Price Caspian performed exceptionally well.  I moved onto up-conversion of DVD content with the Bourne Identity.  I found the noise-reduction feature helpful in eliminating some of the noise without affecting the flow of the motion.  The early scene that pans the city when Jason Bourne leaves the fishing boat performed above average with the noise reduction tool set on Low.  The DVD image also appeared very natural in conjunction with my color & tint tweaks.   SD broadcast television (via Charter) wasn’t particularly eye-catching, but the 4:3 image performance was viewable.  The 480i deinterlacing was average at best.  The HD broadcast of the Gator Bowl offered excellent detail and a vibrant color scheme.  Sporting events perform particularly well after accurately tweaking the television’s preset colors and turning on the 120Hz feature.

After booting up the PS3 and Xbox 360, I tested out a variety of HD play sessions in the form of Fallout 3 and Little Big Planet.  There were not noticeable ghosting problems that are seen commonly in LCD / Plasma and the motion blur was kept to a minimum with the 120Hz feature turned on.  I also didn’t find any noticeable lag that’s so commonly seen in DLP sets when gaming with consoles.  I found Fallout 3 to be immediately responsive and quite stunning across the 65 inches of screen space.  My only peeve was an occasional tweak of the brightness level on the HDTV for the extremely dark portions of the game.  

During testing, I found the WD-65835’s strength is definitely the contrast in black levels and the bright, accurate color spectrum.  The screen uniformity is excellent.  There isn’t a particular section of the television screen that attracts your attention.  The viewing angle is above average, but you can still see a loss in brightness when moving vertically / horizontally from the direct line of sight.

The Downside

One annoying aspect of the WD-65835 is an overly lengthy start up and shut down time.  I found myself still waiting for the HDTV to power up while my Blu-ray player had already loaded up the content on the movie I popped in.  The fast load up time setting in the menu wasn’t much of an improvement.  It also produces a very slight hum when powering up and during operation.  The 20 watt, built-in speakers aren’t particularly powerful in comparison to any average 2.1 setup.  

The WD-65835 also takes a considerable amount of tweaking to pull off the most accurate color palate.  With a calibration tool, you may be looking at a minimum of an hour adjusting colors for all your input material.  The brightness level can be a bit much in a darkened room as well.  I found myself giving my eyes a break on occasion, even with the Natural lighting setting.  A backlight on the HDTV might offset this problem.  

There’s a lack of a PC input in the back of the HDTV, VGA or DVI.  If you want to use this set as a monitor, you will need to pick up an HDMI converter.  Not to be forgotten, DLP sets require a TV stand as well.  While the set is simple to move with two people, it can be bulky to slide around and prevent from tipping over when accessing the rear of an entertainment center.

Conclusion

Frankly, I’m not surprised that DLP technology is continued to be produced and released for the consumer market.  65 inch LCD and Plasma televisions are upwards of $4000 when they are on sale.  Despite its large size in comparison to a flat screen HDTV, Mitsubishi’s WD-65835 is certainly a preferable option and is competing successfully in contrast comparisons to flat screen technology.

The WD-65835 makes for a well-rounded viewing experience, especially for regular high definition content.  Sporting events, Blu-ray movies and HD gaming are particularly stellar on this set.  This set offers excellent performance in black levels, vivid colors, top-notch detail in 1080p resolution and a low-cost solution in comparison to similar LCD / Plasma HD televisions.  Pick up this set if looking for a size upgrade and don’t want to shell out thousands more for a flat screen. 

Manufacturer Mitsubishi
Model WD-65835 DLP HDTV
Diagonal Screen Size More than 56-inches
# of HDMI Inputs 4
# of Component Video Inputs 2
HDMI Version 1.3
Native Resolution 1080p
Refresh Rate 120Hz





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