I recently purchased he HLS5687W, and all I can say is wow. I didn't realize how big the TV really was. When I got home I set it up and turned on the TV immediately. I had ordered some HD channels from my network earlier that week so I could be prepared when I got my TV.
** My TV is NOT callibrated yet. The following review is based on the TV out of the box **
Some First Thoughts of HD Broadcasts:
I turned on HBOHD, which was playing an "HD" movie from the early 90's, so the picture was decent. The picture Still looked better than other channels, but I wasn't very pleased.
I figured this wouldn't be the best way to see how good the picture was, so I turned to Heaven of All Channels, Discovery HD Theater. WOW. When I looked up at the TV, my jaw dropped in awe. I sat there for about 20 minutes gazing at the beautiful picture!. Planet Earth is my new favorite show!
After watching hours of Discovery HD, I changed back to HBO which was playing some action movie. The picture looked much better than the previous movie. I guess it might have been the fact that the other movie was from the early 90's.
The picture quality of normal broadcasts was fine. The colors were richer than those of my old TV which was not an HDTV. I didn't really see any distortion in the picture, besides the preview channel.
Now for the fun!
I have a pretty decent laptop that I play alot of games on, so I thought of connecting it to my TV. I went out to bestbuy and grabbed a VGA Extender Cable, so I could sit on my couch with my laptop and play games on the big screen!
I connected the laptop to my TV, and all I can say is wow again! I wasn't expecting to see an amazing picture.
Some First Thoughts of PC->TV via VGA:
After I connected the VGA cable, I turned the TV to the PC setting and the picture popped up. At a first glance, the picture quality was great. I could actually read the text from my desktop icons and the colors were beautiful. Nothing was blurry or blotchy. I was sitting about 10 feet from my TV, and I could read text perfectly. The one thing that bothered me was the fact that the picture did not fit into the screen. I'm not an expert, so I'm guessing it's becuase my monitor only supports 1440x900 and not 1920x1080. The picture was not distorted or stretched in any way, it just didn't take up the whole screen. The picture took up most of the screen. There were black bars surrounding the picture, but they were only about 1" thick. If you look at the picture, you can barely tell there are black bars there becuase of the black casing on the TV.
I started playing a movie from my computer through Windows Media Player. The picture was amazing! Again, no blurred or blotchy spots. The colors from the TV made the picture look so much better than that of my laptop. I think I've found a new monitor for my laptop/desktop.
I opened up Steam and launched HL2:Episode 1. I jumped in a saved game I had and started playing. At this point I had been very pleased with the TV, so I really tried to bring out some flaws or see something that wasn't so amazing. I started to "spaz" my character, moving the mouse really quick back and forth and shooting rapidly to try to create a blurring effect or to have some blotchiness show. Nothing. I tried the rocketlauncher at my feet, multiple grenades at once while jumping and spinning; nothing! I went into some of the darker places in the game, and this is where I saw some minor things that could be fixed with a few tweaks. The blacks were well, black. In the darker parts of the game, it was darker than usual(on my laptop screen). Since I was using the default settings, I knew it wasn't a big problem. The whites looked fine, I didn't really notice anything like I did with the blacks.
My next test involved a more "cartoony" game, but a game that is very rich in color. I opened up World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade and logged in. The log in screen looked great, showing alot of different colors. The colors blended together very well, no jaggies or blurriness here. I entered the game, and again the same thing as before, I tried to see if I could find some imperfections. I joined a raid group, and entered a high level instance. I had 24 other people on my screen all casting spells/attacking all while fighting a huge boss. The experience was epic. The brightness of the colors and quality of the picture really stood out from other tests becuase the look was unique. There aren't many games that look like WoW, and if you've played the game you know what I'm talking about. This definetly passed my test.
I am now waiting on the Xbox Elite and the Xbox HDDVD player. I can't wait to see how the Xbox looks on this TV via HDMI. I've heard great reviews via VGA, so I think I'll be pleased. I will write a review of how this looks, and possibly take pictures. I will be getting the Xbox 360 Elite the day it comes out, so expect a review that day. I will probably purchase the HDDVD player with the 360, so I will watch a movie and write a review on that as well(hopefully Children of Men if they have it in stock).
This TV has been one of the best purchases I have ever made. I am very pleased with this set. I can't wait to play 360 games on this and watch movies in HD!
If I was unclear about anything, or you want more information, let me know. I can test other things or explain some things in finer detail if you felt you didn't get enough out of the review.
I do have a few questions:
-Can someone post "eliabs"(don't know if thats how you spell it) settings? I havn't changed anything yet, so with the correct settings it should look a littler better.
-If I connect the 360 via HDMI to my TV, can use optical out to go into my reciever so I can get surround sound? If not could someone post some alternatives to this?