Our buddy from UncleGamer.com, Vicous696. Has posted a review of the Westinghouse Digital LVM-47w1 TV.
Out Of The Box
The LVM-47w1 is ready to rock and roll as soon as you unpack it. The stand is part of the housing, which has a satin gray finish with a black bezel around the screen. There are no front panel controls and indicators, other than a Westinghouse logo that lights up when the monitor is turned on.
Westinghouse Digital follows the current flat panel trend of placing the speakers under the front bezel, as opposed to the sides. This makes it easier to fit the display into existing TV furniture, and also reduces the overhang on TV stands. It’s not the best place from an audio standpoint, but if you are serious about audio quality, you’ll use an external system anyway. The internal, 2-channel audio system is rated at 10 Watts per channel, and there’s a separately-powered, internal “subwoofer” as well.
There are plenty of input connections. You’ll find a pair of AV jacks (composite and S-Video) along with L/R audio jacks to go with them. There are two separate component (YPbPr) inputs (on RCAs) with L/R audio to match, and the ubiquitous 15-pin VGA connector for PC sources. A 1/8-inch mini jack provides the audio interface for that source.
On the digital side, the LVM-47w1 gives you a pair of HDCP compatible DVI inputs. Both are specified to be compatible with native 1080p/60 signals. There is also an HDMI input, which supports digital audio as well as video. All three digital video inputs are equipped with their own RCA L/R audio connections.
Remote And Menus
The supplied remote is a simple design, although many of the buttons have similar sizes and will be confusing to operate in a darkened room. On the plus side, Westinghouse Digital provides direct access to inputs or groups of inputs. The DVI and HDMI connections, for example, are sequentially accessed from the DVI button. (You can also keep pushing the Input button to cycle through all inputs.)
The menus provide the basic functions, but no access is provided for advanced calibration settings unless you know the secret service menu access keys. In addition to the “Basic 5” image tweaks (Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, and Sharpness) you can also toggle between one of three factory color temperature settings (Cool, Medium, and Warm), adjust the backlight intensity, and choose between a pair of aspect ratio settings – Standard and Fill. The latter is used for 16:9 DVDs.
With PC signals, you’ll have the standard tweaks (Clock, Phase, Image Position) at your fingertips. In the audio menu, you can fiddle with volume, bass, treble, balance, and mute, while the Picture-In-Picture menu lets you set up main and window video sources, set the PIP position and size, and also Picture-By-Picture (PBP) and Picture-Outside-Picture (POP) modes.
As far as signal compatibility is concerned, the LVM-47w1 will accept 480i/p, 720p, and 1080i video through the component and DVI/HDMI inputs. The two DVI connections will also accept 1080p at 50Hz and 60Hz refresh rates, as will the HDMI connector. The specifications claim compatibility with refresh rates as fast at 75Hz through these connectors.
Even the 15-pin VGA jack can pass through a 1080p signal, so if you are looking for a set with lots of 1080p compatibility, the LVM-47w1 is worth a look. Other supported PC rates include 640×480, 800×600, 1024×768, and 1280×768, all at a maximum refresh rate of 75Hz.
Let me preface this section with this warning: If you watch lots of standard definition TV, particularly analog TV, then the LVM-47w1 isn’t for you. Although its composite video decoding is top-notch, its scaling and noise reduction circuits are hard-pressed to fill all of those 2,073,600 display pixels with a clean signal.
The problem is the limited resolution in an SDTV signal, even a clean one such as DVD. The vertical resolution must be doubled and then some, to fill the LVM-47w1’s screen height. It’s a tall order for any video scaler.
On the other hand, true HD sources look great, and some in particular stood out from the crowd. I found the picture quality from ESPN HD (720p) to be exceptional on the LVM-47w1. Other favorite channels included anything HD on CBS, Discovery HD, HDNet and Fox HD (also 720p). These channels gave me consistently crisp, and detailed images through the LVM-47w1’s HDMI inputs.
When viewing HD DVD (King Kong used as reference) or Blu ray (Casino Royale used as reference) content I found the picture content to once again show exceptionally clean and crisp images at 1920×1080 using both the DVI input for the Playstation 3 (LVM-47w1 has an issue displaying over HDMI) and the VGA input for the Xbox 360 (VGA image initially looks washed out and needs additional configuration).
For gaming this monitor really shines on both the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. I used Resistance Fall of Man at native 720p, Virtua Tennis 3 at native 1080p and Gears of War upscaled from 720p to 1080p as reference. In both instances the images were crisp and sharp in detail, with minimal tearing nor noticeable blur during fast actions scenes.
One reason for these beautiful images is the LVM-47w1’s bandwidth performance. A check with a multiburst luminance test pattern showed fine detail all the way out to the 37.1MHz limit with both 720p and 1080i signals. SMPTE specifies response to only to 30MHz, so this monitor is providing a full-sized pipe for all of your HD content to get to the screen.
While native 720p content scaled really well, 1080i wasn’t too shabby, as long as the compression in the source wasn’t excessive. The LVM-47w1 appears to be weaving 540-line fields to get to 1080p, and the motion artifacts that might result are minimal.
The motion smear associated with LCD displays was more objectionable. This is caused by a combination of slow liquid crystal twist times and what’s known as a “sample and hold” image artifact. The effect is minimized when watching content with slower refresh rates, such as 24-fps film transferred to HD. Such content has its own motion blurring artifacts that mask, to a degree, the LC blur.
Switch to a live HD hockey or basketball game, however, and the smear is all too apparent. This artifact is further aggravated by excessive MPEG compression and picture interlacing, which can result in MPEG noise around fast-moving objects. Only the best video processors can begin to clean up MPEG noise, and the LVM-47w1 doesn’t have that level of sophistication.
You’ll be surprised at the color quality of this monitor. The cold-cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFLs) used in a majority of LCD TVs impart a greenish-blue color cast to all images, and it takes some careful tuning of the service menu’s red, green, and blue calibration adjustments to get rid of it and achieve a neutral gray.
Tricky colors like crimson red, turquoise, and amber yellow were quite faithful to those same colors when viewed on my reference Dell 2407 LCD monitor. You’ll see comparable results by selecting the Warm color temperature mode, but the best colors came after I went into the service menu and tuned the set using its red, green, and blue adjustments. The set provides only one set of overall RGB calibration controls (no separate adjustments for the high and low end of the brightness range).
About the only places the LVM-47W1 came up short were in black levels and overall contrast. The adjustable backlight helps somewhat with the former when viewing movies, but overall picture brightness is reduced. While the LVM-47w1 can really crank out the photons, my calibration for best grayscale image knocked brightness down quite a bit. With movies having predominantly lighter scenes, it’s not a problem. With movies with plenty of dark scenes, it is. Of course, you can dial back the backlight levels and with brightness being as high as it is, lower the values of “black.” However, shadow detail may be lost in any event.
Overall, the LVM-47w1 delivers exceptional image quality when displaying progressive-scan HD sources, does a very good job with interlaced HD, but would benefit from a quality video scaler for SD video. Also, its viewing angles aren’t as wide as a plasma HDTV. You can move your viewing position only about 45 degrees either side of center before the image starts to wash out.
Still, the idea of having full 1920×1080 resolution in a flat panel HDTV this large at the price of a 50-inch, 1366x768p plasma is hard to resist, particularly since 50-inch 1080p plasma HDTVs will currently cost you three times as much. And the LVM-47w1’s extra DVI/HDMI inputs with full 1080p compatibility are a big, big plus if you have (or plan to have) a Blu-ray or HD DVD player in your system.
Full bandwidth through component inputs in both 720p and 1080i source modes
Excellent monitor for 1080p/720p gaming
Three different digital connectors that can pass 1080p/50/60
Black levels cause some shadow detail to be lost
Grayscale tracking is not tight enough
Motion smear is evident with fast motion in sports and movies
• Directv HR20
• Microsoft Xbox 360 with HD DVD addon
• Sony Playstation 3