FULL LAB RESULTS
Unless indicated otherwise, all tests were conducted with 1080i-format test signals via the TV's HDMI connection.
Color temperature (Warm/Custom color temperature and Studio mode before/after calibration)
Low window (20-IRE): 7,750/6,426 K
High window (80-IRE): 7,431/6,555 K
Brightness (100-IRE window before/after calibration): 97/32 ftL
The HP MD6580n's Studio picture preset engages the Warm color-temperature mode, which measured slightly bluer - averaging about 1,000 K higher - than the standard of 6,500 Kelvin. Grayscale tracking measured nearly dead-on after calibration using only the user-menu RGB gain controls, varying by an average of only 55 K from the ideal. (Calibration needs to be performed by a qualified technician, so discuss it with your dealer before purchase, or call the Imaging Science Foundation at 561-997-9073.)
Like most HDTVs, the HP looked blindingly bright out of the box, so I lowered its brightness to about 32 ftL, which made the image easier on the eyes in my darkened theater. The HP retained an accurate grayscale with contrast reduced, although a setting above 50 in Studio mode reduced (clipped) detail in the brightest areas. The set reproduced a full range of black-to-white gradations via all of its inputs, HDMI included. Overscan was excellent at about 2% for most sources, although I noticed more overscan (about 5%) with 480i programs - a design move to eliminate noise along picture edges with lower-quality sources. Brightness uniformity was very good, with only minor hotspotting visible at the middle of the screen. Geometry was off very slightly, bowing a tiny bit along the top edges and bending outward incrementally.
Out of the box, component-video color decoding was very good, showing a -5% red bias with both standard and high-definition sources. Black-level retention was relatively good, varying slightly only in very dark areas during test-pattern changes. Minor edge enhancement was visible despite a zero sharpness setting in Studio mode, showing up as slight ringing on diagonal and thin vertical lines on test patterns. Tests of 480p-format resolution revealed excellent detail via HDMI and significantly less detail via component-video connections. The difference was less striking with HDTV, however. Although the HP wasn't able to resolve every single line of the 1080i test pattern from my signal generator via HDMI, it came very close.
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