Sagem Axium HD-D56B 56in DLP TV Review - Sagem Axium HD-D56B Review


As we hinted in the previous paragraph, the D56B sadly does not include among its features a built-in digital tuner. But perhaps you could use the money you’ve saved on getting such a huge screen so cheaply on a Sky HD receiver?

Elsewhere, we’re pleased to say, the D56B does little to live down to its price tag. The DLP chipset at its heart, for instance, is a Texas Instruments’ HD+ affair, offering a very respectable 3000:1 contrast ratio and HD Ready resolution of 1,280 x 720. The set also employs Faroudja DCDi scaling to reduce jagged edges and make the picture smoother, and offers an ECO mode that reduces the output of the TV’s projector bulb to increase its lifespan and, with a bit of luck, improve black levels. Finally, there’s a handy set of twin-tuner picture in picture facilities so you can watch two tuner events or one tuner programme and one AV input simultaneously.

Although the smaller Sagem DLP TV we looked at a couple of weeks ago proved that the French company certainly knows its DLP onions, we frankly doubted that the same sort of quality could be maintained on a screen as big and affordable as the D56B. But we’re happy to say we were wrong.

The lack of video noise visible in the picture is particularly amazing. HD and progressive scan pictures look more or less completely immaculate, with no grain, dot crawl, motion noise or edge shimmer at all. More surprisingly, even fairly low-rent sources like a Sky One standard definition broadcast look smooth and polished. And remember, we’re talking here about a standard definition picture that the TV is stretching to fill a mammoth 56in screen – way bigger than the standard definition format was ever supposed to go.

While we’re on the subject of noise, it’s a relief too to discover that digital feeds via the set’s DVI socket are largely free of the blocking artefacts witnessed with similar feeds on some rival HD Ready TVs.

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