S&V's lab facility is just a few short blocks from the Empire State Building, so I usually like to hook up our antenna and enjoy the many pristine over-the-air HD signals being broadcast from there. NBC Nightly News looked particularly good on the Mitsubishi during studio scenes, with every crease in Brian Williams's face clearly defined. Moving from my central seating position, I found that image uniformity held up well until I was about 40º to one side, beyond which the contrast started to deteriorate.
A live concert by the rock group Orson on the Mojo HD channel demonstrated the Mitsubishi LCD's strong handling of shadows - as long as there were also bright elements in the picture. Shadow detail was quite good overall, if ultimately lacking some of the smoothness and depth you can get from the best plasmas.
The Orson concert also provided an opportunity to try the various iSP settings, and I found it uncanny how this single speaker array could deliver such enveloping sound. Performance varied quite a lot between the stereo and surround modes, with stereo providing a good deal more impact and warmth, even though the sonic image was anchored to the TV. Switching to surround caused the sound to open up tremendously, but it also became less dynamic and somewhat hollow. Blending in the subwoofer minimized this effect, and after some careful tweaking it was hard to believe that I wasn't listening to a big surround rig.
Firing up a Blu-ray Disc player, I loaded 21. In the scene where Jill (Kate Bosworth) visits Ben (Jim Sturgess) in the clothing store, there was good shadow detail visible in the folded shirts on the shelves behind them. Skin tones were well differentiated between the two actors, but the color at times looked slightly oversaturated.
Mitsubishi seems to have really stepped up its game in video processing; improvements were evident on the LT-46149 compared with last year's model. Aerial views of Las Vegas in 21 were amazingly detailed and colorful, while judder was notably absent with the set's 120-Hz mode enabled. But upconverted images were fairly soft, even by SD standards. Switching back and forth between HD and SD channels caused a lag of several seconds before a picture appeared.
The pressure to make flat-panel TVs sleeker has made it tough for manufacturers to squeeze in good speakers. But Mitsubishi's new 149 series delivers much-improved sonic performance with only a minimal increase in size. Luckily, the LT-46149 is no one-trick pony, and it can deliver the goods on the picture side of the equation as well.
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