In terms of features, we should probably first get into the technology at the TV’s heart. For unlike the original rear projection sets, which used CRT technology, this Sagem uses a digital system known as Digital Light Projection (DLP). For those of you not familiar with this, it’s a system developed by Texas Instruments where pictures are made by bouncing light off a panel of tiny mirrors fixed on the back of a controlling microchip. Each mirror represents a pixel in the final picture, and the microchip angles each mirror individually according to what the picture dictates that pixel should look like. The resulting light is then bounced through a fast-spinning colour wheel that introduces the right colour tone before the light arrives on your screen.
Moving on to other more D45H-specific features, we find it completing its HD Ready quest with a native resolution of 1,280 x 720 pixels, and compatibility with the necessary 720p and 1080i high definition formats. It’s also nice to find the set equipped with a built-in digital tuner, especially as that tuner is fully supported by a 7-day electronic programme guide, and memory for storing up to six timer events selected from the EPG listings.
Next on the list of goodies is something Sagem calls Crystal Motion image processing. This is designed to make colours appear more vibrant and natural, enhance contrast and brightness levels, and make the picture sharper. That’s not the end of the image processing either, as the set also carries the so-called DCDi de-interlacing system from Faroudja – a system designed to do away with the jagged edges pixel-based technologies often exhibit.
The only remaining feature worth mentioning that there’s a subwoofer built into the TV’s pedestal, which combines with Virtual Dolby 2.1 processing to enhance the bass in its audio performance.
Within microseconds of settling down to watch the D45H in action, those horrible memories of ‘pub rear projection’ melt away like a snowball on a bonfire. Especially impressive given CRT projection’s problems in the same area is the Sagem’s superb colour performance. Colours invariably look punchy and dynamic, but also maintain a superbly natural tone, even where skin tones – always tricky to get right – are concerned. Even more significantly, edges in a picture look clean and sharp, suffering none of the colour bleed problems associated with CRT rear projection.