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Mitsubishi 73909 WS HDTV Evaluation, a Winner!

Posted on March 17, 1999 at 10:37:38

The TV is magnificent. I kept the Toshiba 35” tube, which I have always enjoyed, nearby to make comparisons. I resisted large screen Rear Projection TV’s because I did not find them bright enough, and the scan lines were too visible. I thought line doubling would help, but even then I never saw a rear projection picture that did anything but make me glad I had a tube. My only upgrade possibility thus far was to consider the 40” tube, but this would not be much increase in size for the price.

Anyway the TV is monolithic in size, 65” tall, 65” wide, and 29 inches deep. It has a high gloss finish and is very attractive. It has a “diamondgard” protective cover over the face of the TV. It weights 460 pounds, but rolls around pretty well on the built in castors.

The remote control has a backlight to illuminate the main functions. I enjoyed the ease of adjusting the convergence.

I used the Video Essentials DVD to make final adjustments on the picture. I started out using the “low” temperature (the factory default is high). Low is the NTSB standard, gives warmer, more orange red colors. High temperature is bluer, sort of harsher, a bit faded looking. Middle is just like it says. So starting at Low Temperature, I used the Essentials video. As always, the picture is darker and softer after using this disc. But I had a REAL PROBLEM with the color. I used the blue strip to adjust the tint and color, and to get the color close on the test bars, I had to turn the color intensity WAY UP, and the tint to red. When looking at regular video it was obviously oversaturated. When I looked again at the test bars with the blue strip, after readjusting the color to “look good”, the test bars indicated that I was way off adjustment. So I was on my own for the color adjustment.

A question: Does any one prefer the High settings on color? Why is it there? Is it safer for the TV or something? Also has anyone else had problems using the color adjustment test on the Essentials DVD? I had no problems with my tube TV.

Anyway I started looking at Satellite TV broadcasts. There was the same detail as the 35” Toshiba tube, and just slightly less bright. But the picture was twice as big. So I was pleased. No obvious scan lines, although there was a “staircase” effect with light colored objects at 45 degrees. This was not as bad as regular rear projection TV.

They have a choice of 4 formats. Normal NTSB 4:3, Which had the gray bars on the sides of the picture, a W I D E NTSB which just stretched the picture out to fill the screen, distorting everything. Does any one ever watch this bloated picture? I would try and eliminate it from the selection list it looks so bad. Then there is the NTSB ZOOM, where the picture is enlarged to fill the screen, but the top and bottom is cut off. This was OK, but you did not increase the resolution, you had the same detail as before, just bigger. I did not mind this too much, although since there was no increased detail, I found that for regular TV I just used the standard setting, with the gray bars on the side.

Then I popped in Broken Arrow DVD. Kaboom! I used the NTSB Zoom, which I think is the windscreen setting, and there was a slight bar on the top and bottom. But the picture was magnificent. It was like I had hoped it would look.

I did notice that in some scenes the skin tones were too orange and oversaturated, but in the next seen the flesh tones were normal. This happens when I use the Essentials DVD to adjust the picture, I get overly sensitive to changes and notice everything. I go nuts after using the Essentials DVD when one satellite station has color shifted one way, and then the next station is different. I just have to ignore it. I still have to try hooking up the component video connectors from the DVD player.

I moved the 35 incher into the bedroom. Even with just a RF hookup, it looks so good I don’t know if it is worth the trouble to run Composite or S video connectors under the house. The internal speakers are OK at the low volumes.

The big screen set up dominates the living room. It looks like a orbiting satellite, huge center with wings on each side (the 6 foot tall martin Logan requests look great next to it) and another “solar panel” on the top (the Martin Logan Logos). Somehow the larger picture makes the impact of the sound greater; we all enjoyed watching DVD’s on this set up.

My friend George came over to see its. All he said was “Wow, I got to got one.” My girlfriend is happy that the Martin Logan's match the appearance of the TV so well, and it looks like one giant unit (the speakers are almost touching the sides of the TV. I know, I know, but there is really no where else to go with the speakers in this house.) The living wasn’t small before, but now it looks tiny. Giant TV, Giant speakers, giant 4 foot by 8 foot sound deadening panels, Giant bass absorbing tubes, a rack 8 feet tall filled with equipment. A stack of subwoofers in the back. I need to get a giant couch to match. Or a bigger house with taller ceilings.

In summary, I think this Mitsubishi TV is the best that I can do, period. A projection set up may be the only other consideration, but you need really dark rooms and this house is too bright. No scan lines means that after I stop overanalyzing the picture I will enjoy it even more. Its appearance is stunning. If I want to, I could get a HDTV decoder (I will wait until they made a satellite receiver with both Dolby 5.1 AND HDTV decoding). I do not know what else Mitsubishi could do except option out the NTSB W I D E from the format rotation (you scroll between the formats each time, only one direction).



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ISF DVD, posted on March 24, 1999 at 23:00:18
T. Buns

When adjusting my friends Toshiba TV the color/tint controls didn't need to be touched (althought brightness needed to come down to zero!) But on my pana 27" superflat the color needs to come all the way up so that i get the blues to match, as you might imagine this means SUPER saturation. A comprimise must be made. Have you tried doing the color adjustment with the ISF DVD using the medium or warm color temp of your new TV? If none of the three offers 6500 K color temp you might want to get an ISF technician to do some modification (it sounds like you've got the spread :) ) Now about the room, it seems like we americans have an uncanny knack to fill even the biggest rooms to capacity.


ISF DVD- Where do you get it? What do ISO techs know that we don't?, posted on March 25, 1999 at 08:50:49

Thank you for answering!

I only used the “Low” temperature since out of the box it was the most appealing. It is the 6500 temperature. I used the Essentials DVD because that is all that I had.

I considered hiring a technician, but I am a DIY’er and wanted to see what I could do on my own. Also the tech is a one shot deal, and if adjustments needed to be made later I would be dependant on them, I would rather learn on my own (teach a guy to fish and he can take care of himself). I am not sure what magical powers the ISO tech has that I cannot get. It is true that I am afraid to open up the TV box for fear that I will destroy everything. I am also afraid that after getting the ISO guy, it won’t look any better than I can do myself.

But the ISO DVD sounds like fun. Can you comment on how it is different than the Essentials? Is it just a second opinion? Contrast, brightness, and sharpness are fairly straightforward with the Essentials DVD. Color and Tint I had to just use my eyes since the blue filter and bars were way off. It looks good so far. (Also Convergence was easy with the TV, it even had an advanced feature for convergence that I did not try).

Thanks again



Re: ISF DVD- Where do you get it? <-- you already have it., posted on March 25, 1999 at 22:11:45
T. Buns

I simply forgot the name of the disc (video essentials) when I said ISF i meant essentials, sorry. To find an ISF tech open a HT magazine and they usually run a one or two page ad every month listing dealers (usually only a few per state) that are authorized to go into your set. As far as I know the ISF guys use pretty hefty (read expensive) instruments to get the grey scale right, it doesn't seem like a DIY type thing. Back when I read Home Theater Technology magazine (boy it turned bad) I seem to remeber seeing an article on calibration complete with pictures, I'm sorry but I can't get any more specific than that. It was in the first 3 years though. Peace, Tim


Essentials DVD vs Hiring a professional ISF tech, posted on March 26, 1999 at 09:59:50

Thanks again! My impression of the picture after carefully using the Essentials DVD is that the brightness, contrast, and sharpness are all turned way down, and the final picture is sort of soft and dim. I decided I was not real happy with that. I will try the video again tonight, in total darkness, and sort of “cheat” over to the higher end of the scale of brightness, sharpness, and contrast.

Color and tint I feel confident I can do with my own eyes, so that is not so much of an issue. If this expensive equipment the techs used can be borrowed or rented, I would like to give it a try after doing my best with the Essentials DVD. The techs charge about 100 dollars for a simple adjustment.

I feel like it would be paying someone 100 dollars to tell me if my subwoofers sound better with the phase at 180 or 0 after every change I make in my sound system. I should be able to determine that myself, and there are many other tweaks in progress.

How did you calibrate your TV finally, did you stick with the Essentials DVD, or did you hire the tech?



Re: Essentials DVD vs Hiring a professional ISF tech, posted on March 31, 1999 at 13:44:54
T. Buns

You may be able to rent the equipment, I'm not sure though. I calibrated my TV with essentials, it was only a 27 and figured pro calibration would be a bad deal percentage wise. I usually have to fine tune the brightness for each movie. I turn down the brightness until the letterbox bars are BLACK, not a trace of dark grey, pure black. The level is varied for each film.


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