The Westinghouse LVM-47w1 1080p LCD Monitor
Can a 47" 1080p LCD display for under $3000 actually be any good? Chris Iannicello found that it certainly can.
With respect to the "fill" feature for 4:3 video and also the fact that lines are visible in some HDMI feeds:
When I engage fill on a true 4:3 feed, it stretches to fill the whole screen. For example, a 4:3 DVD feed can be stretched to fill the whole screen. Or 4:3 SDTV can be stretched to fill the whole screen.
When I press fill on a 16:9 feed that has black bars, it only stretches a little bit and does not fill the whole screen. This may be the issue that you encountered. That's because the TV "thinks" that it is getting a 16:9 image, and it just overscans it a bit when you press the fill button. For example, the ESPN HD feed is always 16:9, but sometimes it is only using the center of the screen and has ESPN logo bars on the side. Pressing fill will not stretch the center video, the important part, to fill the screen. It will just enlarge the picture a little bit.
The lines that you experienced top, bottom, and left are an artifact of the fact that the TV is designed as a monitor. It presents the HD pixels 1:1 rather than having any overscan. Most other TVs have a bit of overscan so that you never see those lines. If you press fill when watching HD content (as discussed above) the TV will overscan a little and the lines will go away. You will also, of course, lose some of the picture. That seems like a big deal, but like I said, all of your other TVs are already doing it, you just don't mind because you don't know.
I've had this monitor for a few months, and I really like it. I agree with everything in the article except for the conclusion on picture quality for RDTV. I find the quality to be much better than a lot of high end TVs, and I love the fact that I do not have to worry about burn in from the black bars because the TV is LCD rather than plasma.
I'd like to see two things to augment this article:
1. A side-by-side zoom-in detail comparison of a 720p display showing a 720p image, and the Westinghouse showing a 1080p image. You might be able to do this by scaling down a 1920 x 1080 portion of a high-resolution picture by a factor of say 3 for the 720p (to get 640 x 360), and 2 for the 1080p (to get 960 x 540). The scaled image should still have excellent detail because it is based on integer scaling factors, and should occupy the same portion (1/4) of real estate on each screen.
By using a 768p screen with a 1080p/i image, you force the screen to do an awful lot of interpolation. That's likely what's causing the fuzziness. You will also get fuzziness if you show a 720p image on a 1080p screen, although it will be significantly less pronounced because the scaling factor is 3 displayed pixels for every 2 source pixels, in each dimension.
2. Connect this up to an ATi card with AVIVO technology, and tweak the color settings there to see if you can get better coloration. LCD technology has a different energy-to-intensity curve than CRT, which is what most content (and probably graphics cards) are calibrated to. If you recalibrate for an LCD, you should be able to get very close to the original image - much closer than when using CRT curves.
Quote:I'm a bit concerned with the images showing the blue and red hues.. I know the writer said it can be fixed.. are those the "fixed" images?
The writer is using a digital camera to take a picture of the screen. I think it's the same guy that's done this in the past with other screens, and with similar (ugly) results. I think the only way you're going to be able to make a meaningful comparison is if he also takes a picture of a high-end screen, so you can see the two side-by-side. It's entirely possible that much of the color distortion is from the camera, not the display.
What I missed is the color and intensity plots they used to do for LCD screens, where you'd see variation over the surface of the screen, as well as color error plots. The author apparently didn't do those for this screen, which is unfortunately.
I have the lvm42w2 monitor and you can adjust the color by RBG values and get a much better picture in the service mode ( hold input and volume - I believe, just be careful and I wouldn't change anything but RGB values unless you are sure you KNOW what you are doing. Read up on it at avsfourm.com before trying) Disclaimer over . It even helps with the contrast and black levels. I calibrated my set myself (DVE and help of avs forum) and found that to improve contrast and black levels that you can lower blacklight ( I keep mine at or lower than 20) and turn down brightness a bit and bump up the contrast. Much better color and picture overall. Love the set.
Quote:What I missed is the color and intensity plots they used to do for LCD screens, where you'd see variation over the surface of the screen, as well as color error plots. The author apparently didn't do those for this screen, which is unfortunately.
I agree! Can we have those objective measurements that make the PC monitor reviews so worthwhile?
At a $2500 street price, this monitor is certainly not:Quote:at least $500-$1000 less then any other 46-47" 1080p display
A Samsung LN-S4695D 46" 1080p LCD HDTV can be had from Amazon for $2600, and that has a tuner, far better contrast ratio (6000:1 vs. 1200:1) and far better color gamut (92% vs. 75%) to boot.
Thank you for all of your suggestions. I will try and incorporate as many of them as possible in future reviews.
Regarding some previous posts:
>>>Highest available resolution: Yes, 2560x1600 is available. I should have specified that 1080p is the highest available in this price range.
>>>RDTV Quality. I was comparing this display to 766p models, which is a bit unfair of course. As I review more 1080p models, I’ll be able to compare apples to apples.
>>>A note about the images in my review. The reds and blues I refer to are for fleshtones and color temperature, respectively. The images I posted are post calibration, but it’s a preferetianl thing. I could improve the fleshtones a bit for the review, but then other portions of the image suffer, so I tried for a happy medium throughout the color range, etc. Also, the digital camera does adversely affect some of the images more than others. This display was good if not great from a color accuracy standpoint, but plese do not go just on the images. The fleshtones were slightly red, but not distractingly so. I feel that contrast was this display’s major deficiency, not color accuracy. As a rule, the digital camera is causing more issues than the display in most cases, but I feel it still a good tool to how levels of detail, and relative contrast and color performance.
>>>I will try and incorporate more gaming feedback in reviews going forward, especially in LCD reviews.
>>>Sorry I missed the price on the Samsung, my mistake.
Quote:Using the HDMI or VGA input, the LVM-47w1 displayed full 1920x1080 resolution from my desktop computer, and the results were breathtaking.
Don't you mean "HDMI or DVI"? Or will the display actually support 1080p via VGA?
Thanks for the great review, you've finally tipped me over the edge on my purchase decision!
By the way, regarding reference images, I will be changing my reference image in my next review to a closeup photo of each image on a Dell 1905FP 19" LCD Monitor, which has produced very good images that are more similar in characteristics to other photographed images while retaining good color, contrast, and overal image composition characteristics as my previously used computer screenshots.
Also, I will post a 'How we test' article soon, going into detail as to my test environment and conditions, but I can tell you the details of how I take my test photos:
Canon A610 5 Megapixel Digital Camera
Lights are OFF
No Flash, Tripod
F-Stop - 2.8
Shutter Speed - 1/4 sec to 1/50 sec, depending on each image requirements
Distance - I usually take the photo from the same distance as normal viewing (7-11 ft)
How was image quality compared between the VGA & HDMI. All monitor review's I've read on THG have always boasted the huge bennefits of digital connections for LCD screens, would you concur in this case. Or were the differences negligable?
Also, thanks for the photography info, I would recommend trying to get ahold of a more respecatble camera for this use. (ie Rebel XTi, or Nikon D80)
With most displays, I have found the difference negligable. In fact, I have a Dell 1905FP with a Raedon X300 Video Card and switch between the DVI and VGA all the time and I can barely tell the difference. Text might be just a hint sharper, but its very close.
I know some people see a huge difference, but I do not.
This monitor is NOT calibrated correctly. The pictures you took of it look atrocious. They do not reflect reality. I would not ever buy based on those photos of the monitor. The contrast levels in reality show a lot of detail. The 47w1 contrast is much better than how bad those shots reflect.
I really think you are doing a disservice to your readers by not seriously working on your calibration levels for this monitor or any other future review.
My sister purchased this version of the Westinghouse for use as a TV in the living room. I was so impressed with the 47w1 that when I saw the Westinghouse 37w3 inch 1080p version on sale, I had to buy the 37w3 for myself.
My sister did a bad job calibrating it but she just had the contrast and brighness up too much. After I fiddled with her monitor we played Pirates 2 and the contrast looked great, not at all like the shots for the first Pirates movie you took. You needed to fool around with the brightness and contrast settings, not just saturation and hue as you said you did. I took a couple of minutes with a couple of different dvd's and had it almost looking like a high end plasma.
When I got my Westinghouse 37' 37w3 I was -constantly- fiddling with it for more than two weeks. It has only a 1000:1 contrast ratio which is worse than the 42 inch you reviewed which has a 1200:1. I thought I had it right then I started over again and again. Finally I am really happy with it. I have it calibrated so that looking at it from an high angle doesn't look washed out while looking at it dead on when watching movies does look a little dark.
My settings for the 37w3 1080p from the DVI connector from my computer are:
50 bright, 57 contrast, 50 Satur. -3 Hue. temp neutral, and backlight 60.
If you were ONLY using the 37w3 as a monitor looking at it dead on I'd raise the brightness to 55 - 57?
But every setting is different for input device and you have to start from scratch for each.
The camera was the major culprit in this review, and I have changed cameras since then. My review text largely compliments the television and from what I remember, the contrast was good but not great (and yes, I did tweak the contrast to try and improve it).
In reality, these photos are too red, and I will try and get revised photos up there. There was a very slight reddish hue to skintones and if I tried tweaking the red out, other color suffered. But is was not a major problem.
There is only so much you can do with photos and they just cannot reproduce the full range of contrast you actually see.
But yes, I will try and get better photos up there for this review.
Thanks for the input.
What I believe you need to do is have a baseline photo so that a reader can make a better educated decision. Sort of like your sister site, toms hardware, does or at least did with their printer reviews. Get the top of the line plasma or lcd and take a photo with your camera at the same ambient light settings as the review. Maybe show both top of the line plasma and LCD as basline photos in each review. So that the reader can see what reductions in picture quality the camera delivers. New or old camera no matter what camera type you get the photos will not ever reflect reality. Also I believe it behooves you to note what the television settings are for your pictures of the various inputs.
The Westinghouse monitors that I have seen aren't perfect but they come very close for the money spent. Even though I see in your review you were mostly positive about this monitor, seeing those pictures would stop me from buying no matter what remarks you made about it. There aren't that many places that show pictures in the review and pictures are really worth a thousand words I think if done properly.
Yes, we have done exactly that in subsequent reviews. We now use a photograph of a 19" monitor as a baseline, and we also put in the post-calibration settings as well. Here is the most recent article that includes these changes: