Sometimes an excellent operating system can be made even better
- Excellent image quality, attractive 'old school' design, low price, good range of connection options, no over-sharpening
- No HDTV tuner, limited calibration options, cramped AV connections, some pixelation and noise in some of our tests
The Sanyo LCD-47XR2 sits at the low end of the market when it comes to price, but has the image quality and overall performance that makes it a viable budget alternative to some of the big boys.
Price$ 3,999.00 (AUD)
The Sanyo LCD-47XR2 is a 47in LCD television with a native resolution of 1920x1080. It breaks the current mould of piano-black televisions and harkens back to a time when speakers were side mounted and widescreen televisions still looked wide. We ran an extensive series of tests and were surprised by how well the panel performed. It still had some minor issues here and there, but on the whole it is an excellent television, especially considering the price point.
If you are looking to buy this television, you are probably one of the many who are getting in on the HD movie era. Since the panel is full high definition, we figured the best thing to do, first cab off the rank, is test the 1080p capabilities.
We were pleased with the HD-DVD movie tests. They weren't perfect, with noticeable noise and a loss of detail in dark areas, but the colour and black levels were superb and we found no pixelation to speak of. Turning up the contrast fixed the problems a little but if pushed too far, the contrast would blow out the image.
It's the hardest part of our job, but we forced ourselves to sit down and play some HD video games. To bring you an accurate performance result, these tests had to be repeated over and over for hours on end - especially when our character died.
Using the Xbox 360 at 1080p, we experienced pixelation on curved and diagonal edges but found no other problems. The noise issues from the movie tests weren't present while smacking down terrorists in Ghost Recon and the contrast range was impressive. We also checked how well the gaming tests would run at 720p resolution and found that the pixelation issue was greatly reduced, though not completely removed.
Standard definition content rarely looks good on a 1080p television but since we all have our favourite movies on DVD, we tested the panel to see how good they would look. There was the usual up-scaling noise but the image quality was still very good. There was no discolouration or excessive block noise and only a small amount of pixelation on edges. If you are thinking of buying this television, keep in mind that DVDs won't look mind blowing but you won't have to throw away your collection either.
If you want to connect a PC to the television, you will be happy to know that it performed well in our tests. We were only able to display a maximum resolution of 1600x1200; however, the results were crisp and clear with no obvious visual aberrations. Some banding was seen in our resolution tests but this doesn't seem to affect regular use.
One of the most impressive things about this panel is that it displayed no over sharpening across all resolutions. Strangely enough, there is also no option in the calibration tools to change the sharpness levels either so it's a good thing that it performed so well.
There are some things about this unit which are annoying. The most annoying thing about it is the position of the input ports. They are all at the rear and facing downward with very little room between the stand and the ports. This makes connecting your devices very cumbersome and with no side ports, hooking up something temporarily is a pain. The integrated TV tuner only supports analogue signals, which is far below the industry standard these days.
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