Next to impress is the D56B’s colour tone, as the set combines eye-catching vibrancy with outstandingly natural tones during practically all scenes be they bright or dark. The tones also stay natural with all sources, be they standard or high definition. This all makes a refreshing change from the slightly weird colour tones experienced with some of our test scenes on many of the D56B’s flat panel rivals.
If rear projection TVs tend to have a fault, it’s that they’re not very bright. But the D56B is having none of that, pumping its picture out with plenty of vim – especially if you’re not using the Eco mode.
We’re not necessarily saying that you shouldn’t use the Eco mode, though, as you may like what it does with the TV’s black levels: that is, take them from very good all the way to excellent. Rare indeed are flat TVs that can make dark scenes look as, well, dark as the D56B. The blackness doesn’t seem forced either, as black parts of the picture still contain enough subtle details to give them a sense of depth.
Rear projection TVs are often considered to fall slightly short when it comes to sharpness. But again the D56B confounds this argument by looking every bit as detailed and clear with high definition as a good plasma TV.
Even the mighty D56B, though, can’t completely escape a couple of DLP technology’s traditional problems. First, during horizontal camera pans you can sometimes see fizzing noise over certain colour tones – especially people’s skin. Also, you can sometimes detect momentary flashes of colour striping over bright parts of the picture – a DLP phenomenon known as the rainbow effect. But aside from this not really terribly annoying duo, everything is sweet.
Even the D56B’s sound is pretty tasty – provided you’re careful how you set it up. Avoid the Dynamic Bass or Loudness options, and you’ll enjoy a soundstage rich with bass rumbles and treble details, complete with smooth, clear speech handling.
The D56B is another DLP triumph for Sagem, and once again opens the door to a world of truly giant home cinema pictures for people who probably thought they’d never be able to afford them.
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