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Mitsubishi WS-55819 Review

Highs

  • Great detail and color

Rating

Our Score 9
User Score 0

Lows

  • No Automatic Convergence
Impressive is all I can say at this point. I can't recommend enough the WS-55819.

Summary

Formerly known as the Platinum Plus, the new Medallion WS-55819 HDTV represents Mitsusbishi’s midrange model. Offering most of the features of the high end Diamond series, the Medallion WS-55819 is an affordable option to those who want the very best of quality without breaking the bank.

Impressive is all I can say at this point. I can’t recommend enough the WS-55819. The combination of price, ease of setup, and image quality make this HDTV an amazing unit. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find faults in this set.

Introduction

From the advent of HDTV, Mitsubishi has distinguished itself as a clear frontrunner in this new and exciting technology. Offering several distinct model series, Mitsubishi has made the technology extremely affordable and accessible to owners with varying demands. Formerly known as the Platinum Plus, the new Medallion WS-55819 HDTV represents Mitsusbishi’s midrange model. Offering most of the features of the high end Diamond series, the Medallion WS-55819 is an affordable option to those who want the very best of quality without breaking the bank.

Looks and First Impressions

As the model # might suggest, the WS-55819 is a 55″ wide screen HDTV. For the less informed, the wide screen specification for HDTV is a 16:9 aspect ratio. For all you DVD owners out there this should be a number you’re very familiar with. Upon first inspecting the WS-55819, I was very impressed with its aesthetics. Unlike many of the new HDTV’s on the market, the WS-55819 has a very traditional rear projection look. It’s pretty much a giant black box with no frivolous details that might distract you from the beauty of the HDTV image. Conveniently set on wheels, I positioned the set between my main speakers and was amazed at how nicely it incorporated itself into my living room. For an item that still screams bleeding edge it had a certain air of sophistication about it.

Setup and Use

As one would hope, integrating the WS-55819 within my home theater was a complete no brainer. For my DVD player I utilized the sets 480p component inputs and the standard component inputs for my PS2. Like all CRT projection sets simply turning the set on isn’t enough. There is of course the dreaded convergence process, which will be hardly missed once such technologies as Plasma and DLP become more widespread.

For future reference, I decided to sample a few DVD’s first to see how the convergence and calibration process would effect the quality of the image. With absolutely no tweaking the set looked fantastic right out of the box. Truly amazing!

After the set had warmed up for about an hour, I began the convergence process. The 64-point convergence system is essentially a grid pattern consisting of converging red, blue, and green lines. It’s basically the world’s most boring video game as you move from point to point moving the red and blue lines til they meet in the center. Not much to it but its certainly a long and tedious process.

The last step in the setup process is fine-tuning the picture’s brightness, contrast, tint, etc. Unlike the convergence process there isn’t any convenient way of doing this. That’s where DVD Essentials comes in. DVD Essentials is a DVD designed to help you configure your HDTV for maximum image quality. It’s straight forward and easy to use and in about a half hour your done. If you’re wondering what’s on the DVD it simply contains test patterns and sound clips.

Testing

Since my test would consist primarily of DVD playback, I wanted to ensure that I was critiquing the HDTV and not any imperfections or digital artifacts on the DVD itself. To accomplish this I chose the Toy story 2 and Final Fantasy DVD’s. Why? Because both movies were originally created in digital form so during the DVD authoring process there was no analog to digital conversion. Essentially these DVD’s represent the purest source one could for hope for.

I started out with Toy Story 2 since I was very familiar with how it looked on other sets. Needless to say, the beginning sequence looked spectacular on the WS-55819. The image was so detailed and colorful that it was the closest I’ve ever come to capturing the look and feel of a film projector in my living room. Unlike many of the other HDTV sets I had viewed, the WS-55819 had relatively no signs that I was watching an image of fixed resolution. There were no horizontal bands what so ever. The image literally looked as if it had been painted onto the screen.

The results were the same with Final Fantasy. There were so many details in the picture that simply did not exist when viewed on a non-HDTV set. The sharpness of the image and the saturation of the colors created a mesmerizing experience. I can’t wait to try Episode II on this bad boy!

To conclude my test, I decided to experiment with the sets picture format modes. I popped in The Thing DVD, which has a non-anamorphic transfer. In the default picture mode, the WS-55819 tries to display the 4:3 picture as if it’s 16:9. This results in a squashed image. I cycled through the sets picture mode and found one that properly displayed the image. The process was painless and easy and the results were more than adequate. Keep in mind that since the set itself is expanding the image there is a noticeable drop in quality.

Conclusion and Final thoughts

Impressive is all I can say at this point. I can’t recommend enough the WS-55819. The combination of price, ease of setup, and image quality make this HDTV an amazing unit. I think anyone would be hard pressed to find faults in this set.

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