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Mitsubishi WD-627/628/727 review: Mitsubishi WD-627/628/727

Mitsubishi WD-627/628/727

Kevin Miller
6 min read
Review summary
Mitsubishi styles itself as "the big-screen company," so it's no surprise that its 2005 lineup of rear-projection HDTVs includes more models than any other manufacturer. This year, all of Mitsubishi's DLP-based HDTVs have 1080p resolution, which promises to finally deliver all 2 million-plus pixels of 1080i broadcasts, and all should exhibit similar performance. We've been impressed by the image quality of DLP-based HDTVs in the past, and the Mitsubishi WD-62628 exhibits many of the strengths we've lauded--namely, the ability to produce deep blacks. It does have some image quality issues that we couldn't overlook, however, and despite its excellent feature package, we have a hard time recommending it against the stiff 1080p competition. An all-black finish with just a thin silver strip three or four inches below the screen makes the Mitsubishi WD-62628 both an attractive and a high-tech-looking set, particularly well suited for seamless integration into a home theater. The black finish also provides protection against unwanted room reflections and aids in adjacent-area contrast ratio, which both help contribute to picture quality. It is a tabletop design with the speakers located below the screen, keeping the overall width to a minimum.
This expansively screened, 62-inch HDTV is nonetheless relatively compact for its size, measuring approximately 58 by 41 by 20 inches (WHD) and weighing 133 pounds. Mitsubishi offers a matching stand (model MB-62528) to help get the TV to eye level.
The remote is the same large design that Mitsubishi has used for its big-screen HDTVs for years. We applaud the company for making it almost completely backlit, all the better for tweaking in darkened rooms, and we found it well laid out and easy to use despite its size, with most of the key functionality within easy thumb reach. Naturally, it's also universal and capable of controlling a whole slew of other makes and models of A/V components. Picture adjustments can be directly accessed by hitting the Video key. The internal menu system was a bit mazelike and somewhat awkward to navigate. At the top of the Mitsubishi WD-62628's feature list is its 1,920x1,080 native resolution (a.k.a. 1080p), which should allow the set to deliver every pixel of a 1080i broadcast. Like most other 1080p displays on the market, the WD-62628 uses a new DLP chip from Texas Instruments to achieve that resolution. We prefer to think of it as a quasi-1080p solution, however, because the chip actually has only 960x1,080 physical pixels--it uses process called wobulation or smooth picture to effectively double the horizontal resolution by making the mirrors on the chip do double duty. In contrast, LCoS-based 1080p HDTVs have chips with all 2-million-plus discrete pixels. Despite having roughly half as many pixels, wobulated chips have the potential to display all 1,920 lines, but naturally, the end result depends on each TV's implementation. See the Performance section of this review for more on the WD-62628's resolution.
The Mitsubishi WD-62628 has a boatload of features, so we'll start with the convenience-oriented ones. Two-tuner PIP is on board for those folks wanting to keep tabs on two programs at once, and it's highly versatile--the only limitation is an inability display two HDMI sources next to one another. Aspect-ratio controls offer an impressive six choices with standard-def material but a disappointing two with HDTV. Mitsubishi's NetCommand feature allows the TV to act as a sort of hub for your A/V system, controlling other A/V equipment via an onscreen interface and a system of IR blasters. While it's a cool extra, especially if you want to hide your gear, we found it more limited than a high-end universal remote. Like all big-screen HDTVs, the set can receive over-the-air HDTV without an external box, and like most, it's also Digital Cable Ready. The TV Guide EPG is an attempt to compensate for the loss of your cable company's EPG should you decide to get a CableCard.
While the WD-62628's selection of performance-affecting features is extensive, it surprisingly includes only two selectable color temperatures: Low and High, with Low being the most accurate. There are also two picture modes, Bright and Natural, with Bright being optimized to impress on the showroom floor, and Natural being the low-light output mode for viewing in dimmer environments. Happily, each of these modes can be separately adjusted for contrast, brightness, and so forth, effectively giving the WD-62628 two independent input memories per input. The Film mode, when engaged, turns on 2:3 pull-down video processing for the elimination of motion artifacts with film-based sources.
Other picture-related features are more or less useful. The Video Noise feature should be set to Reduce, as it actually decreases the edge enhancement, while Sharp Edge introduces more edge enhancement and therefore should be turned off with high-quality sources. Deep Field Imager is a dubious feature, and again we found Off to be the best setting. The Perfect Color feature helps tame the set's otherwise vicious red push, but it doesn't work perfectly.
Connectivity on the WD62628 is fairly comprehensive, with two HDMI inputs on the back panel. There are also three component-video inputs, two FireWire ports, two A/V inputs with S-Video, two RF inputs, a set of A/V outputs, and a coaxial digital audio output. Finally, there is also a CableCard slot. We were surprised to find there are no VGA inputs for PC use, and no RS-232 control port for programming touch-panel remote systems, which are two unfortunate omissions. You'll have to pay extra for a Diamond Mitsubishi to get PC inputs--most other 1080p manufacturers include one in their entry-level models. However, the second of the two HDMI inputs is intended for use with the DVI outputs of PCs (you'll need a DVI-to-HDMI adapter) and can accept PC resolutions up to 1,280x720. Like most other 2005 1080p HDTVs, the Mitsubishi cannot accept 1080p sources (more info) via HDMI or component-video, although its IEEE-1394 inputs can.
On the Mitsubishi WD-62628's front panel, there's a set of A/V inputs with S-Video and another FireWire port. The set also offers a total of four card slots that accommodate Memory Stick, CompactFlash, Smartworks, and SD cards. They're used to display digital photos on the big screen. Overall, we found the Mitsubishi WD-62628's performance disappointing compared to that of other 1080p HDTVs we've reviewed, but it's not without its strengths. Black levels, for example, were extremely deep, with only one exception: the set doesn't pass below black information, so contrast ratio isn't quite as good as it could be. We also saw DLP's trademark low-level noise, known as dithering, but it became invisible when seated farther than two screen widths away. After calibration, the opening space shots from the Alien: The Director's Cut DVD revealed deep rich blacks that were not tainted with blue, indicating an accurate grayscale all the way to black.
Unfortunately, the Mitsubishi WD-62628's color decoding out of the box is highly inaccurate, exhibiting severe red push that, for example, tinged some skin tones with an overly rosy hue. This problem can be tamed using the Perfect Color feature but at the expense of secondary colors such as cyan and yellow. The primary colors are far from accurate, with green being the biggest offender. Grass on football fields looks distinctly brownish compared to a competing DLP, the Samsung HL-R6768W.
Resolution for a 1080p HDTV was somewhat disappointing. A multiburst resolution pattern from our Sencore VP403 signal generator showed a loss of about 25 percent of the horizontal resolution, which is far worse than competing 1080p DLP HDTVs we've tested. The set also failed a motion test for 1080i HD, which means you lose about 50 percent of the horizontal resolution from 1080i HDTV sources. In all fairness, however, we must say that, when viewing 1080i HDTV material, the loss of resolution was not as noticeable as we thought it would be--further proof that resolution isn't as important to image quality as other factors.
Bright scenes from the excellent Superbit version of the Vertical Limit DVD looked decent but with decidedly undersaturated color. Chapter 21, a relatively bright scene, looked sharp and well defined with solid detail in the snow and ice.
High-definition material from our DirecTV HD satellite feed looked fairly sharp, but color was way off again. When compared to the Samsung with its nearly perfectly accurate primaries, the Mitsubishi WD-62628's reds and greens looked completely wrong. It is difficult to appreciate the importance of color accuracy unless you can do an A/B comparison, but seeing is believing.
Before color temp (20/80)6,075/6,025KGood
After color temp6,525/6,350KGood
Before grayscale variation+/- 389KGood
After grayscale variation+/- 75KGood
Color of red (x/y)0.648/0.338Average
Color of green0.279/0.609Average
Color of blue0.146/0.067Good
Overscan2.5 percentGood
DC restorationAll patterns stableGood
2:3 pull-down, 24fpsYesGood
Defeatable edge enhancementYesGood

Mitsubishi WD-627/628/727

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 8Performance 6
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