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CNET First Look
CNET First Look
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>> Senior Editor David Katzmaier here, and I'm with the Mitsubishi LT-249 series. This is the company's highest-end LCD TV for 2009. It's a 46-incher right here and a 52 in the series. This review will apply to both. This TV's claim to fame is this sound bar along the bottom here. It really separates it from a lot of the other TVs out there. The sound quality is nothing that we normally test on a TV, but with this Mitsubishi, we made an exception 'cause it's really all about the sound. We'll get to that in a little bit. But first of all, we did like the styling on this set. Aside from the sound bar, it's really kind of compact around the edge of the screen, on the top and sides. It's a really thin bezel. 'Course, there's the standard glossy black styling and the stand itself on the bottom here does not swivel. Feature-wise, it's a very well-outfitted TV. Around back, you'll find four HDMI inputs, two component video inputs. No PC input, however. There's also, of course, this LAN port for our connection to the interactive features on the set. Side panel adds a third component video input, but no HDMI. We mentioned the interactive features. This Mitsubishi is equipped with the Voodoo service, which enables it to stream high-quality and lower quality videos, if you wanna pay a little bit less, on a rental pay-per-view or you can just go ahead and outright buy them. Basis of course, all that, varies but you can pay up to $5.99 for a 24-hour rental of the HDX-grade video, which is excellent quality in our testing.
Voodoo also has the ability to add internet apps. This TV includes Pandora, which is a streaming audio service very similar to what you'll find on the Pandora online version. You can just go in and use it kind of as a radio station. You type in an artist's name and it will play related music and songs from that artist just like Pandora. You can sign into your existing Pandora account. There's also Picasa and Flickr photo services, if you have an account on one of those. You can go through and look at your online photos in high res using this TV. A couple of other card games are included and overall it's a pretty good app suite from Voodoo.
Other features include extensive setup menu. You can go into the advanced menu and play around with color temperature. You can also adjust gamma and even a full color management system. 'Course, there's perfect tint and perfect color, but those ones are actually turned off for the advanced picture menu, which is a good thing. Speaking of picture quality, we were generally impressed by the Mitsubishi's black levels, which are pretty much as good as we've seen for an LCD TV without LED backlighting. The color accuracy was also pretty darn good. One downside is that it does have a less screen uniformity than some LCDs we've seen. There's brighter areas on the screen, so that might disturb you, especially in darker areas. But otherwise, picture quality was solid.
And of course, sound quality was better than anything we've heard from a TV. Our audio reviewer, Steve Guttenberg, really liked the dynamics and punch of the TV. Especially when you hooked it to an optional subwoofer. In fact, he kinda considers a subwoofer a prerequisite for a TV like this, but once you connect the sub, it's very impressive. Although on the downside, there really isn't much surround effect, even though there are these 16 speakers bouncing sound all over the room.
That's a quick look at the Mitsubishi LT-249 series, and I'm David Katzmaier.
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