Review: Mitsubishi WD-65837 HDTV

Nothing complements an intense fragfest or cinematic epic like the splendor of a giant 1080p screen. Unfortunately, leveling-up to a truly king-sized HDTV has traditionally meant parting with an ungodly sum of cash. Not so with Mitsubishi’s WD-837 series.

With three gi-normous sizes to choose from (65, 73 and 82 inches), these rear-projection behemoths offer an unparalleled size-to-price ratio, not to mention a room-eclipsing picture.

And that’s about where the good news ends.

Despite decent color accuracy, the 65-incher we tested came with resoundingly blah black levels — especially compared to other LCDs and plasmas we’ve reviewed this year. Additionally, some annoying picture uniformity issues are made even more glaring by the set’s massive screen. Add to that some less than stellar noise-scrubbing skills, as well as sub-par dejudder processing; this big screen’s siren song quickly fell on deaf ears.

DLPs also have their own special “quirks,” and we were reminded of all of nearly all of them when testing this set. Those include a bulbous rump (no wall mounting), screen warm up times approaching a minute, plus the burden of replacing the set’s bulb every 3,000 to 6,000 hours (bulbs can range from $100 to $200 a pop).

Even the feature that had held the most promise, the set’s purported “3-D-readiness,” was a bit of a bummer. In order to take advantage of this stereoscopic goodness, you’ll need to part with well over an extra $1,500 (Sayonara budget hunters!). That’ll secure you one of Nvidia’s 3-D Vision Kits — which includes two pairs of shuttered glasses and an IR emitter — plus a separate media server capable of serving up the requisite two-picture effect. Regrettably, you’ll then be limited to playing PC-only titles (no Xbox 360 or PS3 compatibility), not to mention a meager array of 3-D movies.

Is it entertaining to watch your Left 4 Dead teammates scream as they get pulled away by Smoker zombies in 3-D? Sure. Is it worth paying an extra $1,500 for? Absolutely not.

At the end of the day, if you care about picture quality but still want to go big, we recommend going with a plasma screen — prices for those sets happen to be insanely cheap right now. Granted, they won’t get much bigger than 65 inches, but that should be more than enough to sate your big-picture appetite. Just remember, the bigger the screen, the more it’ll advertise its flaws.

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