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Mitusbishi iSP LT-52149 LCD TV with integrated soundbar hands-on

Nilay Patel

No, it's not the hot new LaserVue set, but we've gotten to play with Mitsubishi's new LT-52149 120Hz LCD with integrated soundbar for a week or so now, and while we're impressed with the soundbar's simulated surround, the picture quality just isn't there on the $3,799 display. First off, we're not at all sold on the value of 120Hz dejuddering -- it makes everything look like it was shot on VHS on a soap opera set. We're totally unclear on who likes this, since we think it's pretty nasty. It does work well with sports programming, but for the most part we just left it off and didn't miss it. We also saw some gradient banding issues on HD content, and SD looked terrible, leading us to believe the built-in scaler isn't all that great -- an issue on a large 1080p set where almost everything has be scaled or deinterlaced in some way. That said, there's always a chance we didn't spend enough time tweaking settings, since Mitsu lets you get pretty deep -- we liked the PerfectColor adjustments, and the discrete brightness and backlight controls were much appreciated. Speaking of which, the backlight is one of the brightest we've ever seen, and it makes a huge impression when you first see the display -- it's incredibly vibrant. Too bad the image quality didn't hold up to harsher scrutiny -- the integrated soundbar is super easy to set up, sounds good, and would have made this set a perfect choice for rooms where traditional surround systems don't work. As it is, however, we just can't see dropping nearly four grand on a less-than-perfect picture. Check the gallery for some more hands-on shots.

Gallery: Mitsubishi iSP LT-52149 hands-on | 15 Photos

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