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Large screen LCD comparisons

by HTHMAN / April 20, 2007 10:43 AM PDT

These are excerpts and ratings from the Cnet reviews. It is interesting to note that no LCDs compare with the plasmas in black level detail and 1080p appears to be no sharper in their viewing than 720p. Also, all the sets seem to have their own set of faults or shortcomings. Could not find a review of a comparable Samsung.

Sharp LC-46D62U Score 7.5 Users 7.0

The good: Best black-level performance of any non-CRT we've tested yet; resolves every detail of 1080i resolution sources; image stays relatively true from off-angle for an LCD; distinctive two-tone styling.
The bad: Inaccurate color temperature; irregular bands across screen visible in some scenes; lacks picture-in-picture; no PC input.
The bottom line: Although it delivers the deepest color of black we've seen yet, a couple of picture quality problems keep the Sharp LC46D62U from being a top, high-end LCD choice
The picture quality of the Sharp LC-46D62U is impressive in terms of the deep black levels it can deliver, but we found that its screen uniformity (update) and color accuracy left a lot to be desired. That's why it scored lower in this area than some of the best LCDs out there, such as Sony's KDL-XBR2 series and the Samsung LN-S4096D.
As we mentioned, we discovered some uniformity problems after this review first published. We didn't notice at first, but once we saw the problems, they became difficult not to notice. The LC-46D62U's screen has distinct horizontal "bands" of slightly reddish color across the middle, with similarly sized, slightly greenish bands above and below the reddish bands. They were faint but became visible mainly in shots where the camera followed an object or panned across a scene.
Aside from its slightly deeper black levels, the Sharp didn't render dark scenes quite as satisfactorily as the Panasonic did. Detail in shadows between the two was about equal, with a slight edge if any going to the plasma, but here's where our main complaint with the Sharp appears: its bluish color temperature. Compared to the more-natural-looking plasma, and indeed to other LCD displays we've tested, such as the aforementioned Sony, the Sharp's black areas were noticeably bluer. The blueness wasn't restricted to dark scenes

Sony KDL-52XBR2 - 52" LCD TV Score 8.3 Users 7.9

The good: The Sony KDL-52XBR2 flat-panel LCD TV has a unique design with a glass border around the screen; interchangeable bezel color; accurate primary colors and color decoding; clean image with little false contouring; excellent connectivity with three HDMI inputs and one PC input.
The bad: Expensive; reproduces lighter blacks than like-size plasmas; subpar standard-definition processing.
The bottom line: Although the picture quality of the stylish, expensive Sony KDL-52XBR2 falls short against like-size plasmas, it's still the best-performing LCD we've tested.
As we mentioned at the top, the KDL-52XBR2 offers very good all-around picture quality, although its black-level performance just doesn't measure up to the best plasmas. We especially appreciated its extremely accurate color and clean image. We noticed a few video processing issues, including an inability to properly de-interlace 1080i signals, but we don't consider those deal-breakers. All things considered, the KDL-52XBR2 is the best-performing LCD at its size that we've tested.
The first thing we noticed in our darkened environment was the KDL-52XBR2's mediocre black-level performance. The Sony did evince plenty of detail in shadows, however, an area where it clearly beat the Sharp and matched the plasmas.
As always we looked out for differences in detail between the Sony and the lower-resolution Panasonic, and if anything the Panasonic appeared a bit sharper. We attribute that subjective difference to--once again--black-level performance; the superior contrast of the Panasonic made the fine details "pop" ever-so-slightly more.

Vizio GV47LF HDTV Score 6.6 Users 8.7

The good: Inexpensive for a 1080p LCD; accurate primary colors; includes user-menu grayscale adjustments; slick styling with touch-sensitive buttons; ample connectivity.
The bad: Produces relatively light color of black; grayscale somewhat blue even after adjustment; no dot-by-dot aspect-ratio mode with 1080i sources.
The bottom line: Although its image quality still can't compete with the plasma competition, the 1080p Vizio GV47LF HDTV is a fine bargain for folks who want an LCD TV.
While certainly not the best-performing LCD we've tested, the Vizio GV47LF HDTV held its own in the picture-quality department. Color accuracy was a strong point, along with decent standard-definition picture quality. On the other hand, we'd like to see somewhat better black levels, which would also improve saturation, as well as better uniformity. Overall it's still a better performer than the 46-inch GV46L HDTV, however.
Our first stop in any discussion about HDTV picture quality is usually in the neighborhood of black level performance, and this review is no exception. We could see immediately from the brighter letterbox bars above and below the picture that the Vizio GV47LF HDTV couldn't produce a black as deep as either of the plasmas,
in detail between the 1080p Vizio and the 1,366x768 Panasonic, and in general we couldn't see any. Only when we approached to within five feet or so of the Panasonic's 50-inch screen did the individual pixels become visible, whereas from the same distance the Vizio's pixels were not.
In terms of video processing, we did detect a couple instances where the Vizio evinced minor false contouring.

Westinghouse LVM-47w1 Score 6.7 Users 8.2

The good: Comprehensive connectivity including five HD-compatible inputs and a PC input; resolves every detail of 1080 resolution sources; accepts 1080p over HDMI, DVI, and PC inputs; excellent performance as a PC monitor.
The bad: Subpar picture via standard-def inputs; somewhat inaccurate color; pedestrian styling; terrible remote; no tuner; only one standard-def input.
The bottom line: A high resolution, a bunch of HD inputs, and decent image quality performance make the Westinghouse LVM-47w1 a strong contender in the budget, big-screen LCD category.
Overall, the Westinghouse LVM-47w1 performed better than we expected. It delivered relatively deep levels and fully resolved every detail of 1080-resolution test patterns--although the detail was hard to discern in real life. Color accuracy was a bit off but not overly so.
While color accuracy was pretty decent using objective tests, we had a little more trouble dialing in accurate skin tones on actual program material
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 differenBlack 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 in program material.

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