NEC/Mitsubishi LCD4000 Review - NEC/Mitsubishi LCD4000 Review

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There was minimal evidence of banding too, and the greyscales were evenly stepped across the 256-level spectrum. The test DVD movie was also a pleasure to watch at the other end of our meeting room, with natural-looking skin tones and virtually no sign of motion smearing thanks to a decent response time of 23ms. Furthermore, viewing angles are on a par with a plasma screen at roughly 160 degrees in the horizontal and vertical planes – important when you consider the market at which the LCD4000 is aimed.


Of course, picture quality is dependant on the connection one uses, and the DVI-D port made the picture a little cleaner compared to the analogue D-SUB port. For the movie buffs out there, you even have a set of component video inputs that allow you to display a progressive scan signal if your DVD player conforms to this. I should also mention here that NEC has used BNC connectors for the component inputs so you’ll need to purchase some BNC to RCA adapters and of course the component cable, in order to plug them into the DVD player. Still, NEC has some reasoning behind this, and that’s the fact that the BNC connectors have a secure bayonet fitting ensuring that longer and obviously heavier cables will not slip out of the ports.


The rest of the ports include S-Video, composite video, an audio line-in jack, and RCA left and right ports, with pass through options for video and audio if you want to add a second display or pass the audio to an amplifier. There’s also a set of external speaker terminals if you choose to go for the optional 7W stereo speakers that can be attached to the sides of the chassis. All the connectors face downwards too, so placing the unit flush against a wall should be no problem. The only thing missing is a TV-tuner, but NEC would argue that they might be losing sight of the intended market.


The OSD is comprehensive and offers settings for each signal source. When connected to a PC, these include your standard brightness/contrast, phase/clock and position adjustments along with a black level setting and six colour presets covering red, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and magenta. The colour temperature and saturation for the entire screen can be manipulated too, but the availability of some of these is dependant on the signal you use. For instance, when using the AV inputs, you can adjust the tint of the picture, activate noise reduction and select from a PAL or SECAM colour system (NTSC is auto).


It doesn’t stop there. There’s even a resizable Picture-in-Picture mode and digging around the sub-menus, revealed the ‘long cable compensation’ setting that can be used to balance delays in the analogue RGB video signals. This is used to reduce image blurring and negate the need for signal boosters along cables up to 100 metres in length.


In addition, adjusting the display can be achieved in a number of ways. First, you have the IR remote control that offers quick access to the OSD settings. You then have the more awkward vertically mounted OSD controls, which take a bit of getting used to. A serial cable link can also be made from a PC to the LCD4000, but control is limited to switching the unit on or off, or changing the input signals. Lastly NEC’s downloadable NaViSet Administrator software enables remote management of several screens via a network.


Setting the price for a display like the LCD4000 is no easy task. At this stage, costs for 40in TFT panels are still high and you can’t expect prices to fall too far in the near future. That said at the time of writing the LCD4000 is available at a relatively competitive £3,966.08, and considering its size and potential cost of ownership it will undoubtedly generate a lot of interest.


”’Verdict”’


Although the LCD4000 is not directly pitched at the home user I have a feeling it’s going to appeal to home cinema enthusiasts that were considering a plasma display, as well as those interested in a vibrant and detailed public screen with reduced running costs.

Score


Score in detail

  • Image Quality 9
  • Value 8