capsule review

Mitsubishi WD-52631

At a Glance
  • Mitsubishi WD-52631

    TechHive Rating

    High-end TV offers granular controls for six colors. You may need to use them to get an attractive picture.

Tested (like all models) at vendor defaults with calibration, the Mitsubishi WD-52631 exhibited poor color in many of PC World's TV tests, which dragged down this 1080p DLP's overall performance scores. In subsequent viewings of a Seabiscuit DVD, twiddling with the TV's settings corrected the distracting orange-yellow cast. Nevertheless, this 52-inch HDTV, with a street price of $2499 (as of September 8, 2006), was deemed merely Fair by our panel at time of testing.

The Mitsubishi TV set showed strength in a few areas. One juror discerned good brightness and contrast. Many others, however, had trouble picking out the good qualities from the persistent orange-yellow cast. In high-definition tests, a scene with a red car and a man wearing a dark green shirt appeared oversaturated and unnatural. A George Lopez scene elicited similar responses from the jury. Skin tones were not true-to-life, and curtains and wood grain showed exaggerated artifacting. Shimmer on a train in another scene looked realistic, but green tone reproduction suffered.

Our test unit didn't fare much better in standard-definition scenes. The turf on a baseball field looked especially pixelated, and colors were again oversaturated. A juror noticed that neutral baseball uniforms seemed "too blue" while another made the same observation when viewing a dark scene from a DVD of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. The bright racing jerseys in Seabiscuit seemed washed out.

Like many other built-in speakers, those that adorn Mitsubishi's HDTV are average, though adequate for everyday use. In Seabiscuit's climactic scene, however, theaudio sounded rather flat. Still, the 10-watt speakers reproduced the highs of the brass-and-strings-laden soundtrack clearly, and maintained distinct dialogue and sound effects simultaneously. Sound enhancement presets, such as surround and simulated stereo, improved the audio experience. But if you put this king-size TV set in a large room, you'll need better speakers.

While watching Seabiscuit, we adjusted the screen so successfully that the set began to justify its price. Mitsubishi uses a newer six-color wheel that lets you adjust yellow, cyan, and magenta in addition to red, green, and blue. The on-screen display seemed well-organized and easy to use, though hardly extraordinary. A simple black rectangular remote with white buttons accompanying the TV allows you to navigate the OSD. It's partially illuminated: The middle buttons, which control the main TV functions, light up when you press a button. You can use it control up to five devices, including a DVD player and a cable box.

The unobtrusive all-black construction of this HDTV is ideal for buyers seeking a unit that will blend in rather than stand out. Mitsubishi includes a generic manual for three models. (The main difference among the three appears to be that the other two models had CableCard slots, whereas the tested model did not.)

The Mitsubishi WD-52631 may require some fine color adjustments to achieve pleasing colors. It supports 1080p resolution and has a six-color wheel, two HDMI, and even a DVI-I input for computers, among many other connections. Of course, $2499 is a premium price, and fans of this brand may need to use this model's features to the fullest to justify purchasing it.

Roy Santos

This story, "Mitsubishi WD-52631" was originally published by PCWorld.

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At a Glance
  • TechHive Rating

    High-end TV offers granular controls for six colors. You may need to use them to get an attractive picture.

    Pros

    • Easily accessible ports, backlit remote

    Cons

    • Must make adjustments to get good images
    • Speakers somewhat flat at defaults
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