Pros: Attractive,HD picture quality, sound, flexibility
Cons: Need a good size room
There are different types of Widescreen TV's out there, and all have their own good things about them. The Widescreen TV's that use newer DLP or LCoS technology are great, since they are lower maintenance, however the initial cost of them can be pretty high. The Toshiba 57HX83 still uses the old CRT technology, but for a much lower price, you can still enjoy great High Definition viewing. I've already gotten spoiled with HD, after only owning this set for a couple weeks now. Watching standard broadcasts just does not cut it anymore.
Would this suit everyone, probably not, since the size can be a problem for some people. Depending on the size of the room it will be used in, the set can take up a lot of space. My Living Room is plenty large enough, and it accommodates the TV very well. Some people have purchased these large sets, and after delivery, decided to send it back because they cannot fit it anywhere in their room. One thing is for sure, even though they look big in the store, they look even bigger in your home. The stores have a lot of space, therefore causing somewhat of an optical illusion, as the set appears somewhat smaller until you try to get it through your door. So, you certainly want to consider your available space before deciding on the set to have delivered.
I've tried putting the set in several different spots, and after several times of moving it, (which is quite easy since it is on wheels) I did notice that a corner seems to be the best place. When I put it flat up against a wall, it just does not work too well for a couple reasons.
First, projection type TV's are best viewed when your view is mostly mid-screen. Being too much on the sides, the picture is more difficult to see, and it is also darker.
Second, keeping all of my furniture arranged for proper viewing was difficult to do when it's flat against the wall as well.
Third, the TV is 2 feet deep, so it will stick out form the wall. The corner of the room seems to be able to absorb some of that depth. And because it will be angled in the corner, it will view much better from most sitting positions.
This model seems to have plenty of options, so many in fact, that I'm still learning what they all do! This model is also known as the "Cinema Series", and it certainly deserves that title. There are 3 different Cinema Screen modes, and they can all be changed right form the remote. The sets display modes as follows:
Natural - for standard 4:3 programs, but gray bars will appear on each side, which the manual advises not to use for long periods of time, due to "Screen Burn"
Full - for Widescreen DVD and HDTV
Theater Wide 1, 2, and 3 - Although they do not work with HDTV programs, they will eliminate the gray bars associated with 4:3 sizing. I personally liked "Theater Wide 1," it stretched the screen only slightly, and only bit off a little from the top and bottom. It was the best mode I could find that suited my "Non-HD" needs. But from time to time, I have flipped back & forth, depending on what I watching. It is nice to have that flexibility
The Toshiba 57HX83 had the best picture that I could find in televisions in the same category. From edge to edge, the picture quality is clear. Unlike other sets that get out of focus when you look towards the corners of the screen. Also this particular set has the brightest picture of them all, even more so than the competitive Mitsubishi or Sony units. One of the problems with Projection type sets is that they can be dark in certain parts of movies, but this one was bright enough to see things clearly, things that similar units showed as too dark, and hard to see details.
Most Projection sets also have a convergence adjustment that should be performed periodically in order to maintain picture quality. It would be done manually, and could take some time, as well as being difficult for some people to deal with. The 57HX83 has a button called the "Touch Focus" in the front panel, which will automatically adjust the focus, with no trouble at all, with only the touch of a button.
The TV is attractive, and the base is black, as is the upper half, which I prefer over the newer units that have silver bases on the sets, that only seems to "Cheapen" the look of it as far as I'm concerned. But, to each his own I guess. It is large, and the dimensions are as follows:
52-3/4 inches wide
55-3/4 inches high
24 inches deep
And weighs 204 pounds
Don't let the weight scare you, it rolls very easily with the built in casters, even over carpeted floors. It will be heavy and bulky to move, when you decide to settle into another home someday, but with the proper lifting straps, and 2 good size men, it's not as bad as it seems.
The rear panel includes just about every connection you might need. Although Toshiba does not recommend using this set as a computer monitor, so keep that in mind. DVI (Digital Visual Interface) for new high-definition tuners, satellite receivers, and DVD players. It also has 2 sets of component-video inputs, and that provides some needed High Definition and DVD connection options. I used the component video cables for my DVD player, and all I can say is "WOW" The clarity, and brilliant colors that come from it are so great, it is difficult to describe. The only thing that I've tops that, is to use the DVI connector, which gives you a 100% digital signal. I do not have that connector on my DVD player, but I do have it on my HD box. I will be purchasing that cable in the near future, to see what that gives me. Going from standard analog RCA video plug to either of the above mentioned HD options, is astronomically better. You have to see the difference to really appreciate it.
The remote control is quite versatile. It not only controls this set, but it can be programmed to be used for up to five other different units. It can work for your DVD player, VCR, Satellite/Cable box, Stereo receiver, etc. And at night when the lights are out, it has a really nice blue backlight for the buttons, so you can see what you're pressing. It lights up with one button, and as a battery saver, it dims by itself, until you press another button.
Toshiba's menu system made using the TV's features so easy, a novice would have little trouble, if any at all . In addition to a custom video settings for every input, you can change between one of three picture presets, Sports, Standard, and Movie. The TV converts standard interlaced programs to either 540p (progressive-scan) or 1080i (interlaced), and its "dual-picture," or "POP" mode, which places two images side by side on the screen, works with both standard and high-definition sources.
There are some pretty nice speakers built in to the base of this unit. and this one is different because it has separate tweeters. Most sets try to give you all the highs & lows from one large speaker. The woofers are excellent, and when you increase the bass, it has some really deep sound. Combine the increase of bass, with turning on the "Sub Base" setting, and increasing it's output, you'll hear some incredible pounding bass, that you never thought was possible from only 40 watts!! I was truly amazed, and just loved it. The nice thing about having the rich sounds built in, is that you sometimes do not need a surround receiver to get theater sounds.
If you can accommodate a set this large, the Toshiba 57HX83 will deliver some awesome image quality, especially in movies with lots of dark scenes as I've mentioned above. But to truly appreciate it's full potential, High Definition, or DVD progressive scan will be required.
The price was less than the units that were considered to be "Top of the Line", but it certainly cannot only keep up with them, it passes them up on a few things.