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Christmas Gift Guide

Mitsubishi WD-737 series overview

Mitsubishi WD-737 series side view

Mitsubishi WD-737 series corner detail

Mitsubishi WD-737 series flip-down door

Mitsubishi WD-737 series back panel inputs

Mitsubishi WD-737 series remote control

Mitsubishi WD-737 series main picture menu

Mitsubishi WD-737 series global picture settings

Mitsubishi WD-737 series PerfectColor

Mitsubishi WD-737 series ADV controls

Mitsubishi WD-737 series picture quality

If the heyday of the gigantic-screen rear-projection HDTV is over, somebody needs to tell Mitsubishi. The company is the sole remaining proprietor pushing out 60-inch-plus TVs too thick to hang on the wall and too inexpensive to merit a cameo on MTV's "Cribs." Its 2009 lineup features two series of what it calls home theater TVs--to differentiate from its flat-panels--and the WD-737 is the cheapest. The main reason for buying this TV is to get as much screen for as little money as possible, and the WD-737 series fulfills that role admirably. It can't match the black-level performance of most flat-panels we've tested, it has some uniformity issues unique to its category and of course you'll eventually need to replace the bulb. However, the replacement is relatively inexpensive ($99, plus shipping), color accuracy is very good, and did we mention the picture is gi-normous? If you want to go really big for less, the WD-737 series is the only game in town.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Seen from the side, it's obvious the Mitsubishi is not a flat-panel TV.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A half-inch-thick border that would seem tiny even on a 26-inch TV surrounds the Mitsubishi's massive screen on the top and sides.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
A flip-down door on the front panel conceals a few controls, but no inputs or memory card slots.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The back panel sports three HDMI, two component-video and a smattering of other jacks. A side input (not pictured) adds a third component-video input.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
We couldn't stand the remote. Where to begin? A confusing jumble of same-size keys surrounds a Tinkerbell-sized cursor control that's all-but-unusable (unfortunately, operating the TV requires using it all the time). The four main function buttons blend together, none of the keys are illuminated and all are hard to tell apart by feel or location. There's also no dedicated key to switch aspect ratio. You can use the remote to control up to four other pieces of gear, but you probably won't want to. A universal remote is almost a necessity with this TV, if only so you can put the horrendous included clicker away forever.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew
The main menu system is basic-looking and not intuitively designed.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Although the Mitsubishi offers a "Smooth 120Hz" option, it doesn't include dejudder processing.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The PerfectColor Screen allows tweaks for color decoding.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The ADV menu includes numerous picture controls.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Overall, the Mitsubishi WD-737 performed very well for the price. Its strengths include color accuracy and the sheer impact of its huge screen--which, unlike older CRT-based rear-projection units, can get plenty bright for even the brightest rooms. On the downside the big set couldn't match the black-level performance of flat-panels we tested, and its screen showed some grain along with a few other less-noticeable uniformity issues.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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