Mitsubishi LT-46149 LCD HDTV Reviewed

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Mitsubishi-LT-46149-LCD-HDTV.gifMitsubishi distinguishes the 149 Series of LCDs, which includes 46- and 52-inch models, from other flat-panel TV lines by integrating a five-in-one sound bar, providing a complete A/V system in one low-profile package. As a higher-end model in Mitsubishi's lineup, the 46-inch, 1080p LT-46149 boasts a full complement of connections and employs advanced video technologies, including 120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and film judder. Connection options include four HDMI inputs that accept both 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, three component video inputs, a CableCARD slot, and two RF inputs to access the internal NTSC, ATSC, and ClearQAM tuners. The TV Guide Daily program guide is available, but picture-in-picture functionality is not offered. One of the component video inputs is located on the side panel, as is a USB port that supports JPEG playback and the GalleryPlayer feature for displaying high-quality artwork. The back panel lacks RS-232, but there is an IR jack that can serve as either an input for an external control system or an output, if you set up the TV's NetCommand system to control other devices.

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The video menu includes the essential picture adjustments but lacks many of the advanced options found in other similarly priced LCDs. You get four picture modes (brilliant, bright, natural, and game) and an adjustable backlight, but there are only two color-temperature options (high and low), and the TV doesn't offer direct access to white-balance controls to precisely fine-tune the color temperature. Gamma adjustment is absent, but Mitsubishi's PerfectColor system does allow you to adjust each of the six main color points, increasing or decreasing intensity as desired. Smooth120Hz is the name Mitsubishi has given its 120Hz implementation, and the setup menu includes three options (off, standard, and high): The off mode creates 120Hz by duplicating fames, while the standard and high modes provide varying degrees of frame interpolation to produce smoother movement with film sources. The setup menu allows you to rename all of the TV's inputs based on the type of source you connect, but be warned: Whenever you change the name of an input, it erases any picture adjustments you've made, forcing you to start over. The TV offers six aspect-ratio options for SD content and four options for HD content, including a full native mode to view 1080i/1080p signals with no overscan.

The sound bar, dubbed an integrated sound projector by Mitsubishi, is attached to the TV's bottom panel and receives its audio signals directly via the same inputs used for video. HDMI is the only option for inputting digital audio signals, as the TV lacks coaxial or optical digital audio inputs (there is an optical digital audio output to send audio to an external sound system). The goal of a five-channel-in-one sound bar is to present a complete multichannel soundfield and create a sense of surround envelopment through a single cabinet. Mitsubishi's philosophy is similar to that of Yamaha, employing lots of tiny drivers (16 in all) aimed at various points in the room. A sense of surround envelopment is created by bouncing sound waves off of room boundaries. Thankfully, the LT-46149's back panel includes a subwoofer output; given the drivers' small size, you will definite need to add a sub to handle the lower end. The sound projector's setup menu includes a basic setup mode in which you dictate the TV's location and distance to the seating area, as well as your room's wall length; a custom setup mode lets you perform more advanced adjustments to the sound beams' trajectories. The TV has internal Dolby Digital 5.1 and Pro Logic decoders to handle soundtracks from your DVD player or cable box. Other audio setup options include bass, treble, and balance controls; stereo, surround, and night modes; and a level sound feature to minimize volume discrepancies.

Read about the high points and the low points of the LT-46149 on Page 2.
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