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Sound and Vision - A New Standard is Set!
on October 4, 2008
For several years I have hunted around electronic stores for a good television and sound system. Every salesman told me that people will spend thousands on a screen, but barely anything for sound. This made no sense to me. I ended up with a 5.1 Denon surround system to go with my 27" tube television. Then Mitsubishi releases the first high-quality flat screen television with an integrated sound system that actually produces surround sound. It is an impressive set.
Set-up is fairly easy, as when you first plug in a cable from your DVD player or Cable/Dish, a screen pops up called, "Auto Output Sensing", which guides you through each device.
VIDEO: The border of the LT-52149 is surrounded by a 1" black frame and a 4.5" bottom which includes the Integrated Sound Projector. The screen is a matte plastic that barely reflects any light, even when exposed to lots of indirect light. LCD screens are also lighter than Plasma and are more energy efficient. The setup is fairly intuitive with an array of adjustable features such as contrast, brightness, tint, sharpness, color range, etc. all which produce a truly realistic and vibrant color. This model contains an `international color standard' that supports 1.8 times more colors. I can tell just by adjusting the color setup that this flat screen color quality far surpasses anything I have seen in a store. Television transmission (I use Direct TV Satellite) is very good, but DVD movies are as crisp as anything I have ever seen (I have a SONY DVD/SACD player). You can also adjust the screen ratio to fit your style, such as stretch (Letterbox), stretch plus, narrow, zoom, and expand and standard (Full Screen). I was surprised to find there is no "Picture in picture" feature, but my Direct TV Satellite has a similiar feature. The 52-inch screen is best for rooms that are 20' feet or more in viewing distance, but the clarity and tight pixelation is suberb.
AUDIO: This is what put this system over the top for me. Without wires and 16 small projecting speakers at the base of the screen, the LT-52149 produces an amazing surround sound. Now I have a 5.1 surround system which produces specific sounds from specific speakers. The Integrated Sound Projector produces a surround sound by transmitting the sounds to different walls and areas of your room. The setup can be customized by use of a colored plan diagram on the screen showing your seating position and the angles of the sound. You can adjust center, left, right, left (surround), right (surround), etc. until the sound is balanced according to your liking. It is not as pure as having a specific speaker producing one channel, but it is more of an all-encompassing surround sound (called Pro Logic II Simulated Surround Sound). It's actually a more realistic surround sound as opposed to a studio recording where different instruments come from different positions. I'm a hard-core audiophile, so I like both versions. If you just want a brilliant sound without the hassle of several speakers and wires, you'll be amazed. Plus, if you add a subwoofer, the richness of the sound is complete. I recommend a Yamaha or a Denon subwoofer and both can be purchased for less than $100. You really do need a subwoofer to experience the full range of the sound.
COOL STUFF: Besides a fairly easy setup program, the LT-52149 comes with lots of extras.
*There is a USB Photo Port easily accessible on the back where you can plug in your camera or card reader to watch a slideshow of your favorite shots or video.
*There is a clock setting to turn the television on or off according to your preferences.
*If you have children, you can `Lock' programs by their Ratings or Time. You can also lock the remote control - period.
*The remote control can be used to control other devices (DVD, VCR, DVR) by using the enclosed IR Emittor (these are small transmitters placed by the remote signal receptor of your desired device).
*The system is `Blu-Ray', MP3 player and gaming compatible.
*There is a free TV Guide Daily service available as well.
*However, this system does not come with the `kitchen sink'.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you begin, you need to know what cables to buy. Call the manufacturer of your DVD player and ask them if your model is CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) compatible. If it is, you need to buy/use an "HDMI to HDMI" cable. If it is not, you need to buy/use a triple color-coded "Component Video Cable" (connects High & Standard Definition A/V components). All these items can be purchased locally or on Amazon.com.
I am a bit surprised at how long it took any manufacturer to come up with an integrated sound system with a high-quality flat screen television. This system does the trick and more!