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Mitsubishi WD-735 review: Mitsubishi WD-735

Overall, the performance of the WD-65735 leaves something to be desired, even for a budget big-screen TV. My biggest complaint is the inaccuracy of color. Color decoding, primary and especially secondary colors, and grayscale more or less inaccurate, and there's a softness to the picture caused by the company's use of a feature similar to keystone correction.

I didn't have much to do during a user-menu calibration. There's no adjustment for primary and secondary colors, and the color decoding can only be partially improved using Perfect Color. The grayscale can be calibrated to a high degree of accuracy, although since there are no user-menu controls to do so, it will cost you the price of professional calibration. After getting the user-menu picture settings as accurate as I could (click here for my settings), I sat back to compare the Mitsubishi against the Samsung HL61A750 and the Sony KDS-55A3000 from last year.

Black level: The Mitsubishi WD-65735 was able to muster a deep shade of black, showing plenty of depth in dark areas like letterbox bars and night skies. The set didn't quite match the shadow detail delivered by the other two models, however, mainly because it doesn't show blacker-than-black information. I verified this by sending the same PLUGE test pattern to two other sets through a distribution amplifier, and found that they both showed the below black area of the pattern when black level was raised, and the Mitsubishi did not.

Chapter 10 of Lord Of War, where Cage is forced to kill an associate arms dealer by his African client, revealed a fair amount of low-level noise compared with both the Sony and the Samsung. This was especially true in darker scenes, like the bar scene following the killing when Cage is drinking his sorrows away.

Color accuracy: As mentioned earlier, overall color accuracy is quite poor. The primary colors of red and green are particularly far off the mark, although blue is reasonably accurate. I didn't measure the secondary colors, but I can say that cyan in particular looked more like aqua. This difference was most obvious when the Mitsubishi, Samsung, and Sony sets were all displaying the PS3's background before Blu-ray playback. The Samsung and Sony both displayed a nearly identical blue/green, and the Mitsubishi displayed it as aqua, or the color you might associate with a swimming pool.

Color decoding is among the worst of any set I have tested in recent memory. The Perfect Color feature can be useful to improve it, but it still can't come close to the other two displays' decoding accuracy. Considering that some of the least expensive HDTVs on the market get this right, I have a hard time cutting Mitsubishi any slack for this flaw. Finally, while the grayscale in the Low color temperature setting measured reasonably close by the numbers, it could still use correction to help with overall color fidelity.

Video processing: Although the WD-65735 did technically pass both the Video Resolution Loss and the Film Resolution Loss tests from the Silicon Optix Blu-ray test disc, I have to say I am not impressed with the video processing. The picture appeared noisier than the other two displays, and the test pattern for one-for-one pixel mapping from HD Basics clearly showed a loss of resolution, which is caused in part by a sort of keystone correction Mitsubishi employs on this TV. The bottom line is that the set is effectively kept from delivering full 1080i or 1080p resolution.

As a result I noticed slightly soft-looking pictures, which became obvious when comparing the 735 with other sets that deliver on the 1080p resolution promise. An afternoon soap opera airing on ABCHD on CNET's DirecTV system clearly showed this softness of detail when compared with the older Sony KDS-55A3000. Detail in faces were lacking on the Mitsubishi compared with the Sony. This was also true when viewing the very sharp Blu-ray transfer of Training Day. In the beginning of the movie, when Denzel and Ethan are driving in his car, there are razor-sharp shots of the hood of the car with raindrops glistening in the sunlight. The Sony and the Samsung rendered these scenes more crisply and with more fine detail.

Uniformity: Since DLP has the potential of having nearly perfect white field uniformity (no color splotching from left to right across the screen), it comes as no surprise that the Mitsubishi would excel at this aspect of performance. It is clearly superior to the LCoS-based Sony, and will undoubtedly beat other LCD and LCoS displays at this as well--not that these technologies will be around much longer in rear-projection form. Speaking of projection, like all RPTVs the Mitsubishi's image became dimmer and more discolored when seen from off-angle, unlike a flat-panel plasma display.

Standard definition: Standard-definition performance was about average on the Mitsubishi. It passes the full resolution of DVDs, but its performance on the video-based jaggies tests, featuring moving diagonal lines, was mediocre. The following sequences with a waving flag and a busy highway were lackluster, as the flag had plenty of jagged edges and although it passed the detail test, we still saw some minor jaggies in the marble stairs. On the upside it passes the 2:3 pull-down test on Star Trek: Insurrection, despite failing the more difficult 2:3 pull-down on HQV.

PC: The WD-65735 lacks a VGA-style analog PC input, and despite repeated tests using two PCs, it would not accept a digital PC signal via its HDMI inputs. PC-centric big-screen shoppers should probably choose another model.

Before color temp (20/80) 7015/6315 Average
After color temp N/A  
Before grayscale variation 204K Good
After grayscale variation N/A  
Color of red (x/y) 0.661/0.31 Poor
Color of green 0.296/0.662 Average
Color of blue 0.146/0.063 Good
Overscan 3.5% Average
Defeatable edge enhancement Y Good
480i 2:3 pull-down, 24 fps Fail Poor
1080i video resolution Pass Good
1080i film resolution Pass Good

Mitsubishi WD-65735 Picture settings
Default Calibrated Power Save
Picture on (watts) 219.27 219.15 N/A
Picture on (watts/sq. inch) 0.12 0.12 N/A
Standby (watts) 15.5 15.5 N/A
Cost per year $77.46 $77.43 N/A
Score (considering size) Good
Score (overall) Average
*Cost per year based on 2007 average U.S. residential electricity cost of 10.6 cents per kw/hr at 8 hours on/16 hours off per day.

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