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Mitsubishi LT-40134


Ease of Use


Mitsubishi LT-40134 LCD TV
  Size: 40" LCD TV
  Resolution: 1920x1080
  MSRP: $2,199
Mitsubishi LT-40134 40" LCD HDTV
Dick De Jong
October 21, 2007
HDTV Solutions

Mitsubishi's LT-40134 is a 40" 1080p LCD. Like many TV makers, Mitsubishi has begun to roll out HDTVs featuring the new hot buzzwords for 2007, HDMI 1.3 and 120 Hz. The LT-40134 is 1.3 compatible, but it is not a 120 Hz TV.

It does accept 1080p 24 Hz signals, but its native playback is 60 Hz. If you are particularly sensitive and perturbed by judder – that stuttering effect in camera pans or tilts – then you may wish to consider one of Mitsubishi's Smooth 120 Hz TVs like the LT-46244. For me, I do notice judder occasionally, but it's way down my checklist when judging a TV.

Topping my list are picture quality and ease of use. HDMI 1.3, with its increased bandwidth, has the potential of improving both video and audio quality. You probably have heard the terms Deep Color and x.v.Color being bandied about in press releases. They are two technologies that increase color depth and space. This Mitsubishi supports both of them. Though, right now, little or no commercial Deep Color or x.v.Color content is available. So we're talking future-proof.

Mitsubishi LT-40134 Video Review

(Editor's Note: We have posted a video review of this Mitsubishi HDTV. You can see it here.)

As for today, it took me a while to dial in a satisfactory picture on the LT-40134. But when I did, it delivered a sharp, bright, and pleasing image. And I appreciated the adjustment tools provided.

Indeed, this is a feature-rich TV, which can make it a bit daunting for the pop-the-box, plop-the-TV, turn-on-the-game kind of guy. Don't get me wrong, you can do that. But this is the type of TV, if you take the time and make the effort, it will perform cartwheels for you.

Out of the Box
It's amazing that only a few short months ago, a 40" HDTV seemed gigantic. But I've been reviewing a number of 50" TVs lately and by comparison, the LT-40134 looks tiny.

Mitsubishi LT-40134

The illusion is reinforced by this display's one inch thin bezel. The Thin Frame design shaves off at least a couple of inches over its bulkier bezeled brethren. The svelte 37" width allows this 69 pound Mitsubishi to squeeze into cabinets that other fatter framed TVs couldn't.

For me what's more important is that the TV swivels on its stand 30 degrees left and right. Like most LCDs, the picture washes out a bit when you sit off to the side. Being able to swivel the TV gives you a little more flexibility in placing it.

On the back are three HDMI inputs, two Component inputs (YPbPr) with matching stereo Audio Ins, two S-Video, two Composite (with Audio), an SPDIF (optical) digital Audio Out and a Service port. There is no VGA connector. If you want to plug in a computer, you use the HDMI in.

Mitsubishi LT-40134
Mitsubishi LT-40134 Back Connection Panel Diagram (not actual orientation)

This is a full fledged HDTV with integrated NTSC/ATSC/QAM tuners and two RF antenna inputs. Since the tuner system is Clear QAM compatible, you can attach your cable TV signal directly into an RF connector and tune in unscrambled cable stations.

For convenience, on the side is another connection panel with an extra HDMI and Component input. Also, a USB port is provided where you can upload JPEG photos and view them in HD on the monitor.

As I mentioned, the LT-40134 contains a lot of features that once you get over the initial learning curve, you might find valuable. For example, when you turn on the TV for the first time and plug in a source, it suggests that you label the input, like DVD player, and then asks if you want to go through the process of having the TV's remote learn the DVD player's remote commands.

Mitsubishi LT-40134 Remote

Mitsubishi provides two NetCommand IR (infrared) emitters that attach to the other devices' remote control sensors. You plug the IR cable into the back panel.

If you are a one-remote-control-for-all-the-devices master of your TV domain type, you'll be in hog heaven – once you work your way through learning the remotes for the cable box and DVD player and VCR and A/V receiver and microwave oven.

The remote control itself is partially backlit. The middle portion glows red. I like the big buttons and easy to read labels. But for some reason that I attribute to my genetic makeup, it seemed that over 80% of the time that I picked it up, it was upside down.

Surprisingly, for as feature laden as this TV is, it does not have picture in picture functions, which is fine with me though I know for some of you that omission may be a deal breaker.

Our basic setup procedure remains the same. We're using the Oppo DV981HD DVD player and the Digital Video Essentials DVD, (the SD version), to calibrate the monitor. We attached the Oppo's HDMI out to the HDMI input on the Mitsubishi and used test patterns to adjust black level, white level, and color bias. The DV981HD can upconvert a standard definition DVD to 1080p, which is the setting we used for this 1080p LCD.

The Picture Menu provides the basic controls: Contrast, Brightness, Color (Saturation), Tint (Hue) and Sharpness. Also, you have Picture Mode presets labeled Brilliant, Game, Bright and Natural. The default setting is Brilliant, which is way, way too vivid for my understated tastes. Natural was a much better choice for a starting point.

The Color Temperature selections are High (Cool) or Low. The manual states that "Natural/Color Temp at the low setting displays video at approximately the 6500K industry standard for NTSC pictures."

The menu also contains a Deep Field Imager switch, which when turned on dynamically enhances black levels for added contrast. You can also adjust the Backlight brightness which defaults to maximum.

Mitsubishi LT-40134

The real power in the setup controls was located in the PerfectColor and PerfectTint menus. The PerfectColor sliders allow you to adjust saturation for six individual colors, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Magenta, and Cyan. PerfectTint adjusts the six hues.

The manual does not give many clues on how to apply these tweaks. I found they were particularly valuable with a color bar pattern as a reference source. With my red, blue, and green filter that comes with the Digital Video Essentials DVD, I felt I could really zero in on my adjustments.

Of course, well calibrated test patterns are one thing, prime time programming can be a horse of a different color. Even though I was definitely in the ballpark, I still wanted to turn down the Saturation a notch or two.

When finally dialed in the picture quality was consistently good, especially with HD material. Skin tones stayed solid. Sharpness was particularly evident on football and baseball games.

LCD technology has come a long way in the last couple of years in its ability to create deeper blacks, but the LT-40134 still pales in comparison to the current crop of plasmas. And it becomes even more apparent if you are sitting off to the side. Now, I'm not talking about a big difference. And for many people, the reflection problems common in plasmas are a much greater concern. Also, if you are looking for a TV in the 40" range, you are not going to find many plasmas that small.

Finally, I'm not a big believer in an HDTV's ability to reproduce home theater quality sound from the tiny internal amplifier and those slimmed down speakers. You really need a separate audio system. With that said, most of you will be using the TV's audio. And I understand why. Let's just say that the LT-40134's less than stellar audio performance may just make you reconsider that decision.

Mitsubishi LT-40134

The Mitsubishi LT-40134 is a feature-rich 40" LCD with future-proof functions like HDMI 1.3 connectivity and support for DeepColor and x.v.Color content. Its sharp and bright picture was consistently appealing. The audio, not so much.

Star Ratings Header

First, realize, that ratings are relative to when the review was written. The obvious example is Value, what you could purchase for $2000 two years ago or even two months ago would seem like a bad value for that price now.

Second, we have given only a precious few 5 Star ratings, which we reserve for truly outstanding accomplishment.

Performance: 4.0
Picture detail with HD material was great. Skin tones were consistently good. I would prefer deeper blacks and the better contrast that goes with it. The audio speakers were under performers.

Features: 4.5
Videophiles will really appreciate the PerfectColor and PerfectTint image controls. If you like multifunction remotes, you'll be over the moon. If it offered PIP options, I might have sprung for a 5.

Ease of Use: 4.0
To get full value out of all the features, I feel that you will have to do some heavy lifting. It will be worth the effort.

Value: 4.0
The LT-40134 is a bit pricey for a 40" 1080p HDTV. But if its features are what you want, then add a half a point.

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