Mitsubishi Unisen LT-46164 LED LCD HDTV Reviewed

Mitsubishi Unisen LT-46164 LED LCD HDTV Reviewed

Although better known for its rear-projection HDTVs, Mitsubishi also offers an LCD line, dubbed Unisen. The 46-inch LT-46164 comes from the midrange 164 Series, and it features edge LED lighting, 120Hz, VUDU streaming, and a 16-speaker integrated sound projector.

Mitsubishi's 2010 LCD line includes three series: the top-shelf Diamond 265 Series, the 164 Series and the 154 Series. All three series use edge LED lighting, in which LEDs are positioned around the edges of the screen. The 164 Series is loaded with many of the company's advanced technologies and features, and it includes screen sizes of 40, 46 and 55 inches. We have not performed a hands-on review of the LT-46164, but here is an overview of the TV's features. This 46-inch, 1080p LCD has a relatively slim form, measuring about 2.9 inches at its deepest point. It features Mitsubishi's True120Hz technology to reduce motion blur and film judder, as well as Immersive Sound Technology--which is Mitsubishi's name for the integrated sound projector that uses 16 tiny speakers to project sound beams around the room to simulate a surround sound experience. You can add the LT-46164 to a home network via wired Ethernet or the integrated WiFi system, and this TV includes Mitsubishi's StreamTV Internet platform, with access to VUDU, Pandora, Flickr, Picasa, Facebook, Twitter and more. An interesting perk is the built-in Bluetooth audio streaming, which allows you to wirelessly stream audio from devices like the iPhone and Blackberry for playback through the higher-quality sound system. The LT-46164 has EnergyStar 4.0certification.

The input panel includes four HDMI, two component video, and one RF input to access the internal ATSC and ClearQAM tuners (there is no dedicated PC input). The HDMI inputs accept 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 signals, and three are located on the side panel for easy access. Also on the side panel are dual USB ports: One is intended for accessories, while the other supports photo and music playback. The TV features a subwoofer output to mate an outboard subwoofer with the sound projector, as well as a center-channel input to use the TV's speaker system as the center channel in a true surround sound system. The LT-46164 lacks an RS-232 or IR port for integration into an advanced control system.
Additional Resources

The LT-46164 does not offer as many advanced picture adjustments as you will find in the higher-end 265 Series--such as ISF Day and ISF Night modes or the PerfectColor and PerfecTint color management system. In addition to four preset picture modes, you get one Special/ADV mode that provides access to some higher-end calibration options (like precise white balance controls). The 164 Series includes DeepField Imager and EdgeEnhance controls that are not found in the less-expensive 154 Series. The TV offers multiple aspect-ratio options, including a native mode to view 1080i/1080p signals with no overscan.

The SoundPro menu includes manual and custom setup options for the integrated sound projector (this model lacks the automatic setup function, with a supplied microphone, that you get with the 265 Series). The manual setup menu allows you to set the TV location and general room dimensions, while the custom menu allows you to adjust the beam angles and channel levels. Other audio setup options include four preset sound modes (stereo, surround, music and night), as well as bass, treble and balance controls and the ability to adjust the level of a connected subwoofer. The generic Level Sound function is designed to minimize volume discrepancies; the TV lacks advanced audio-leveling technology from Dolby or SRS.

Read more about the Unisen LT-464164 on Page 2.

High Points
• The LT-46164 includes a 16-speaker integrated sound projector for Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.
• The edge-lit LED design allows for a slimmer cabinet, although this TV isn't quite as slender as others that use this type of LED technology.
• This TV has a 1080p resolution and will accept 24p sources via its HDMI inputs.
• True120Hz technology reduces motion blur and film judder.
• LCDs can be very bright, which makes them a good choice for a brightly lit viewing environment.
• The TV has plenty of connection options.
• The LT-46164 can connect to a network via a wired or wireless connection and access Mitsubishi's StreamTV platform (including VUDU video-on-demand).

Low Points
• Edge-lit LED-based LCD TVs can suffer from brightness-uniformity issues, and their black levels are generally not as deep as you'll find with the better full-array LED-based TVs with local dimming.
• LCD viewing angles are not as good you'll find with a plasma TV.
• The LT-46164 does not support DLNA media streaming and has fewer video-on-demand options than its competitors (no Netflix, Amazon).
• It lacks a dedicated PC input, as well as an IR or RS-232 port.
• The LT-46164 is not 3D-capable.

Conclusion
With an MSRP of $2,099, the LT-46164 falls at the higher end of the price spectrum, but it has the features to justify the cost. In addition to desirable options like 120Hz technology, built-in WiFi, and a Web platform, the LT-46164 adds a couple of worthy features that aren't commonly found elsewhere. The built-in Bluetooth is a nice touch for easy playback of music files, and the integrated sound projector is probably the TV's biggest selling point. I'm still surprised we don't see more TV manufacturers going this route. The LT-46164 is a great choice for someone who wants a better audio experience than you'll get from a traditional flat-panel TV but doesn't have the space, money or desire for a full-fledged surround system.

Additional Resources

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