Using our Toshiba HD-A1 HD-DVD player outputting 1080i, we looked at some scenes from the Swordfish and Serenity HD-DVDs to get a sense of how much extra detail you get from a 1080p display. Comparing the LVM-47w1 and the 42-inch Vizio GV42L HDTV--which has a 1,366x768 native resolution--there was not much of a visible difference in detail when sitting about eight feet away. Tiny details, such a single strand of hair, were sharp and visible on both sets. It wasn't until we were standing nearly right in front of the two sets that we began to see any difference, and even then it was slight. Of course, resolution test patterns demonstrated that the LVM-47w1 can display more detail, but it's much harder to see that difference in program material.
On the other hand, the extra resolution looked great when we connected a notebook computer at 1,920x1,080 resolution via the PC input. Images were extremely detailed, and we were able to read 12-point type from about eight feet away. We'd love using this display as a monitor, with its high resolution and enormous screen size.
We also spent some time watching standard DVDs in 480i via the component-video input to see how the LVM-47w1 handled standard-def sources. Video processing was pretty noisy, and it didn't pass as many tests from the Silicon Optix's HQV suite as we would have liked. It does successfully engage 2:3 pull-down on film material, as evidenced from the race car test on the HQV disc and the opening scene of Star Trek: Insurrection. In Insurrection, we did notice there was some abnormal flashing behavior during the long pan across the village, and we also saw this phenomenon while watching Pirates of the Caribbean. While we were able to minimize this effect on the Samsung LN-S4096D and the JVC LT-40FH97 by changing their Film mode settings, the Westinghouse lacked any options to correct it.
While color accuracy was pretty decent using objective tests, we had a little more trouble dialing in accurate skin tones on actual program material. For example, when we initially adjusted the settings, we felt that skin tones looked too red--for instance, a close-up of Hugh Jackman made him look sunburned on the LVM-47w1, while he looked much more natural on the Panasonic TH-50PH9UK that we had on-hand for comparison. We tried bringing down the color saturation, and if we took all of the red out of his face, it drained too much of the color from the rest of the image. We settled somewhere in the middle, but it didn't look as natural as it should have.
Black levels were fairly solid for an LCD, although not quite as dark as the Samsung LN-S4096D's we had on-hand to compare. Not surprisingly, neither of the sets could measure up to the black levels of the Panasonic TH-50PH9UK plasma, which were significantly deeper than those of both LCDs.
|Before color temp (20/80)||7,123K/7,118K||Average|
|After color temp||N/A||N/A|
|Before grayscale variation||+/- 542K||Average|
|After grayscale variation||N/A||N/A|
|Color of red (x/y)||0.651/0.328||Good|
|Color of green||0.275/0.595||Average|
|Color of blue||0.145/0.056||Good|
|Black-level retention||All patterns stable||Good|
|2:3 pull-down, 24fps||Yes||Good|
|Defeatable edge enhancement||Yes||Good|