THE GOOD: It has fantastic high definition (HD) picture quality! My XBOX 360 games look absolutely gorgeous. Its HD picture is bright, vivid and crisp. Every component (XBOX, DVD player etc.) plugged in can have custom picture and audio settings. Wireless internet! Automatic noise leveling for those loud commercials! It can automatically adjust its backlight to match current lighting conditions in the room or by different component signals. Multiple screen formats so everything is always visible. It can be used as a giant computer monitor. Semi-gloss screen finish is not as ugly as a matte finish and not as overly shiney as a high gloss finish which means there's less glare and it still looks pretty! The unit itself has a high gloss finish which looks sharp. The swivel stand moves with ease. Plenty of HD connections available. Very easy to update its firmware. No ghosting when playing video games!
THE BAD: The sound quality through its built in speakers is average at best. The onscreen display for its menu system is just plain ugly. Reds/Blues/Greens are tough to balance on 480p inputs. The volume indicator doesn't show a number, just bars. Its booting up time is very slow. There are NO analog L/R (red, white) audio outputs. There is only 1 set of (red, white, yellow) video/audio inputs available. There is some bleeding along the top corners on a black screen.
SETTINGS: Out of the box, most of the settings for a high def picture are perfect. However, the first feature you may want to turn off is the "Digital Natural Motion" because that is what causes things to look like they were filmed with a low budget handheld camera (soap opera effect). Out of the box, the sound to speakers is tinny so you'll need to adjust these settings too. If you're like me and don't have HD cable service or a Blueray DVD player yet, you will need to change almost all of the settings to get a decent picture. Understand that standard cable service or a standard DVD player's output is only at 480p. Well, this TV does 1080p so if the input is only 480p, it will stretch it causing the image to degrade. As a result, you'll see a grainey texture that is often too pixelated.
The following settings will reduce image artifacts so you can still enjoy your new TV with your older devices/technology:
Settings Assistant = Select pictures on RIGHT
Contrast = 100
Brightness = 26
Color = 50 (adjust to your preference)
Tint = -15 (adjust to your preference)
Sharpness = 5
Color Temperature = Cool
Dynamic Contrast = On
Digital Natural Motion = Off
Noise Reduction = On
MPEG artifact reduction = On
Color Enhancement = On
Active Control = Off
Picture Format = Widescreen
The following settings will improve the sound quality through the speakers:
120 Hz = 5.0
500 Hz = 3.0
1.5 kHz = 4.0
5 kHz = 0.0
10 kHz = 4.5
SRS TruSurround HD = On
AVL = On
Delta Volume = 0
**Note: Don't forget to repeat these settings for each component! (Cable, DVD, XBOX 360 etc.)
WIRELESS INTERNET ADAPTER: It wasn't in the box but call customer service. They will gladly mail you one at no charge. This little USB dongle will allow you to use your wireless internet which makes updating its firmware even easier.
UNTESTED: I don't yet have a compatible surround sound system to test the output of its digital audio so I can't provide a review for that feature.
BOTTOM LINE: This TV is a steal at $600! I am ecstatic about my purchase!
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