HDTV

NuVision NVU65FX5 65" LCD Flat-Panel HDTV

ARTICLE INDEX

Setup

The menu system of the NVU65FX5 is pretty straightforward and intuitive. The TV has five preset picture modes, Normal, Vivid, Sports, Movie and Custom. They can be toggled by pressing the Picture button on the remote. They are not selectable from the onscreen menu. The only mode that allows picture adjustments is Custom. In fact if you try to adjust anything in the other modes, the TV automatically switches to Custom. The differences between the various modes are in the selected color temperature, gamma, backlight, brightness and contrast. The color space remains the same regardless of which mode is used.

The main menu has six submenus for Picture, Audio, Function, Channel Tuning, Picture-in-Picture, Time, and Color Calibration. Picture Settings gives you all the typical adjustments, Brightness, Contrast, Color, Tint, Sharpness and Color Temp. The Color Temp choices are Warm, Normal, Cool and Vivid. Vivid is another term for “very cool” as it measured almost 10,000 Kelvin! In the Advanced menu are the controls for backlight, noise reduction, gamma, game (to reduce processing lag), FX5 (5:5 pulldown) and FFM which is the frame interpolation feature. This has Low, Medium, High or Off settings. More info on FX5 and FFM in the benchmark section.

The Audio Settings menu has adjustments for balance, a 5-band equalizer, simulated surround sound, audio language, digital output (PCM or bitstream), speakers on or off, lip sync and a screen blanker. The digital audio is useful when you’re using the onboard tuner and you want the Dolby Digital audio from hi-def channels. As the review unit I received did not come with speakers, I was unable to test the audio capabilities of this TV.

The Function Settings menu lets you choose the on-screen display language and timeout. You can turn closed captioning on or off here as well. There are also controls for zoom mode (stretch or letterbox) and overscan (which is zero by default). Other aspect ratio choices are found on the remote and are zoom, 4:3, 16:9, Panorama and 1:1 pixel mode.

The Channel Tuning menu activates the auto tune function to scan for signals (antenna or cable feed). You can also add or erase channels manually if you wish. The Picture-in-Picture menu lets you select the PIP position and adjust brightness, contrast and color within the PIP window. This is also where you select the PIP source. Any active input can be used. The Time menu activates the sleep timer functions. You can also set the TVs clock manually or have it download time and date from an antenna or cable TV connection. There are even functions for time zone and daylight savings.

The final menu is called Color Calibration. This is where all the calibration controls lie and as such requires a passcode to enter. As I said earlier, picture adjustments can only be made in the Custom mode. Settings are per input so you can calibrate various sources individually. There are four color temp memories which can be calibrated independently. When I was using this menu to make my adjustments I encountered a small land mine. If you start in any picture mode other than Custom, the NVU65 will automatically change to Custom but inherit the settings from the mode you were in. For example, if you try to adjust Vivid, the TV will switch to Custom and overwrite the settings in Custom with the settings from Vivid. The workaround is simply to avoid making any adjustments without switching to Custom first. The other modes have fixed presets and cannot be changed. I wish NuVision would have locked out the ability to make changes in the other picture modes so you can’t accidentally change Custom. My recommendation to NuVision owners and installers is to omit the Menu button from any universal remote used to control the TV. That way, the user can switch picture modes but not adjust any settings in the menu.

Calibration was pretty straightforward. I started by turning down the backlight to 20 percent to achieve a decent black level. I was still able to reach a peak light output of nearly 38 foot-Lamberts which is plenty for all but the brightest rooms. At the default backlight setting of 80 percent the peak white is somewhere near the brightness of the sun at almost 95 foot-Lamberts! The default gamma setting of 2.2 measured closer to 1.9. I quickly discovered that raising it actually lowered the gamma reading. Setting a value of 2.14 gave me flat gamma tracking and an average of just over 2.2, very nice!

For white balance adjustments I used the Normal color temp as my starting point. With the available gain and bias controls for each color I achieved very good grayscale tracking. Finally, I used the blue-only mode to tweak color and tint. Color only required a single click upward and tint was fine at the center position. The end results were quite good and can be seen in the benchmark section. There is no color management system on the NVU65 but since the HDMI color space option is pretty close to HD standard Rec 709, it wasn’t missed. S-video and composite inputs will switch the TV to the correct SMPTE-C (Rec 601) color space for standard-definition content.