A common thread that ties the consumer electronics industry together in part has been to reintroduce old technology in new packaging. So understandably I am always a bit apprehensive when I get a ring from a public relations contact pitching a "new" product for review.
A few months ago I attended the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. While e show is always a good time for me to brush up on my roulette skills and favour mixed drinks at one of a million pubs, it is also a time to search out new products.
Behold, Zenith's booth. Indeed, a sight for sore eyes. Over the past few years Zenith has executed a tremendous marketing effort by completely restyling their product lines to offer not only high performance, but sex appeal as well.
It was about four years ago that I first rediscovered Zenith. And since then the name has become synonymous with value in my vocabulary. As they embarked on their new image I cringed at the thought of what might be sacrificed. And luckily for all you home entertainment fans out there, they didn't miss a step.
So here I stand at the threshold of their latest offering--the D56W25 56-inch, 16:9 High Definition rear projection display. At 56 inches high and 55 inches wide, it is surprisingly thin with a depth of just over 25 inches. This handsome unit is all grille and screen up front with a host of inputs and outputs found around the back. To keep consistent with the clean-cut image, even the "frontal" composite and S-Video port is accessed via a unique "pop-out" panel. This is the first hint of what surprising features were to come from the Zenith.
Unique Features - Though simple, the frontal port styling is a unique feature, but Zenith did not stop there. Having set up HDTVs in the past, I am all too familiar with the amount of time spent converging the lenses after the set arrives. This process is prescribed anytime the set is moved and is used to align the CRTs (red, blue and green lenses or "guns") to create a sharp image. This is very similar to the idea behind aligning your printer cartridge on your computer to make the prints cleaner.
At any rate, the Zenith D56W25 features an Auto Digital Convergence mode that takes just a few short moments and works quite well. Of course to maximize the potential of video quality, I recommend going into the advanced setup guide to manually converge the guns. But then again, I'm the type of person who spends hours programming remote controls too.
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