The Brillian brought out the colors of Sayuri's (Ziyi Zhang) big debut dance, delivering the icy blue of the light in the snow and the orangish reds of the paper lamps, while keeping the various skin tones on the faces of the spectators nice and neutral. Later, during Sayuri's visit to the Baron's estate, her pale, painted face under the sunlight looked as delicate as porcelain. The set didn't over- or under-accentuate any colors, allowing the images to appear rich and fully saturated.
Keeping with the Japanese theme, I looked at a few scenes from The Last Samurai on HD DVD for some high-def tests. Details throughout the film, such as the thin stalks of wheat in the fields, the leaves of the ferns in the forest, and even the fine brush strokes in the Japanese character behind the title looked crisp and clear, a testament to the Brillian's high resolution. According to my test patterns, the set couldn't resolve every line of a 1080i source (as many 1080p sets can), though I couldn't detect that while watching the film.
On the minus side, I found a few oddities with the Brillian's DVI input. For example, every time I switched to DVI from another input, the entire image would flash a few times before settling down. Brillian said this was normal for their TV as it searches for a signal, though I've never seen it before. I also noticed some flicker along horizontal edges while watching through the DVI input, mostly on still images like the HD DVD disc's menu text and the program guide in my satellite receiver. It went away when I switched to component video. And the DVI port also lacks color and tint controls. Although in theory digital video signals don't need color and tint adjustments, they're still nice to have since source quality varies so widely. I missed them on The Last Samurai, for example, where I wanted to tweak skin tones a bit.
BOTTOM LINE The impressive adjustability of the Brillian 6580iFB03 65-inch LCoS HDTV is a great boon for both pros and interested amateur calibrators, and this HDTV's overall image quality puts it among the best 1080p sets I've tested. Unfortunately, it costs a good deal more than its included calibration should warrant, and its single digital input is shortsighted for such an expensive set and could be an issue in some systems. With this effort, Brillian has shown it can compete with the big boys on picture - but it's got a ways to go on value.
Copyright © 2013 Bonnier Corp. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.