March 25, 2009
| by Dennis P. Barker
LED TVs are sure becoming popular. They’re energy-efficient and provide great pictures. But Mitsubishi thinks it has something even better: a TV that is illuminated by lasers. Its LaserVue L65-A90, which is part of Mitsubishi’s Diamond line, is a 65-inch rear projection 1080p HDTV using Texas Instruments’ DLP (Digital Light Processing) technology. The laser replaces a bulky and energy-sucking lamp to illuminate a DLP chip filled with millions of tiny, reflective mirrors. Laser illumination also eliminates the color wheel used by single-chip DLPs. Both reductions result in a rear-projection TV that is about 10 inches deep. (FYI: The footprint of a flat-panel TV sitting on a stand is about 10 inches deep.)
According to Mitsubishi, lasers provide the widest range of rich, complex colors—along with the greatest clarity and depth of field among all the illumination technologies. LaserVue’s color gamut, or boundary of color it can display, has been measured at approximately 200 percent, delivering over twice the color of all of today’s HDTVs. And from repeated viewings, I can certainly say that it does.
Let’s not forget how energy-efficient the laser is. Think LED TVs can save you some bucks on your electric bill? The 65-inch LaserVue can operate at less than 100 watts, which bests the most efficient 42-inch LCD TVs now available.
Mitsubishi has also added specially designed optics, improved viewing angles, 120-Hz refresh rate that helps with motion lag and judder (eliminating jerky motions from fast-moving scenes), upconversion of lower resolution signals to 1080p, Deep Color capability and x.v. Color. The set is housed in an attractive high-gloss black cabinet with an ultrathin frame.
So how was it? Let’s just say that the L65-A90 produced some of the best images this reviewer has seen. This is not an overstatement. The colors were deep, rich, very realistic and precise. Image quality was out of this world, with a palette of accurate and intense colors simply not seen on other displays.
From my trained eye, one could easily see that Mitsubishi’s claims of “twice the color” are true. Contrast, brightness and clarity were also outstanding.
Using this set with Samsung’s BD-P1500 Blu-ray Player, it displayed vibrant 1080p images that popped on films like “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Fall,” “Speed Racer,” and “Disturbia.” Images from D5 masters (as close to film and Digital Cinema quality as possible) were also viewed including “World Trade Center,” “Shrek,” “The Love Guru,” and “Transformers”, so that the full range of LaserVue‘s color gamut could be seen and appreciated. In each case, the color palette exceeded that of plasma and LCD 1080p HDTVs, providing the most accurate colors with amazing reds and blacks.
Our only real nitpick with this TV has got to be its $7,000 price tag, which we can forgive if future units become more reasonably priced as volume increases. We hope it does, because LaserVue deserves a place in today’s TV world. It’s too good not to.
(Editor’s note: This review was written before Mitsubishi halted production of the LaserVue. Mitsubishi has since resumed production.)
Dennis has been involved with Consumer Electronics forever it seems. His 25+-year career includes a 12-year tour of duty at Consumer Reports magazine, as well as stints as a product reviewer, market analyst, technical editor, and consultant for the electronics industry. He lives in Ossining, NY with his two children, one demanding cat and piles of A/V equipment.