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AUDIOPHILE AUDITION - web magazine for music, audio & home theater

   December 2003, Review 1 [2] [3]

Mitsubishi - PD-5010 50" High-Definition Plasma Display
SRP: $9,999

Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Inc.
9351 Jeronimo Road
Irvine, CA 92618
Phone: (949) 465-6000

* 50" Widescreen (16:9) High Definition Upgradeable Plasma Display.
* Can be wall mounted or used with optional tabletop base.
* 1365 x 768 pixel array for true high definition resolution.
* 1000:1 contrast ratio delivers bright whites and deep blacks.
* Motion-adaptive 3D Y/C comb filter.
* Film Mode with 3:2 pulldown compensation.
* Three preset color temperature modes.
* Custom programmable color temperature mode for the video enthusiast.
* Four Zoom modes.
* Accepts 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i video signals.
* Accepts VGA, SVGA, XGA, SXGA and UXGA computer monitor signals
* Accepts W-VGA and W-XGA widescreen monitor formats.
* Advanced Multi-Image Display supports PIP , POP or Split Screen (side-by-side) images.
* Inputs for composite video, S-video, component video and RGB (D-Sub15 and 5-BNC).
* Built-in 2 x 7 Watt audio amplifier (6 ohms) for use with external speakers (not included).
* Dedicated IR remote control that can also be connected by wire.
* MonitorLink™ proprietary Mitsubishi digital interface for use with future products.
* DVI/HDCP compliant digital video interface.

Screen Size:
43.5" (H) x 24.5" (V) inches
1106 (H) x 662 (V) mm
Diagonal 50"
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Resolution: 1365 (H) x 768 (V) pixels
Pixel Pitch: 0.032" (H) x 0.032" (V) inches
0.81 (H) x 0.81 (V) mm
Color Reproduction: 256 levels, 16,770,000 colors
Signal Sync Range Horizontal: 15.5 to 93.8KHz
(Automatic: Step Scan)
Vertical: 50.0 to 120Hz
(Automatic: Step Scan)
Input Signals RGB, NTSC (3.58/4.43), PAL (B, G, M, N), PAL60, SECAM
Input Terminals:
Visual 1 (Analog)
Visual 2 (Analog)
Visual 3 (M-Link)
Mini D-Sub 15-pin
BNC (R, G, B, H/CS, V)
Visual 1
Visual 2
Visual 3
RCA Composite
BNC Composite
S-Video (4-pin mini DIN)
Visual 1
Visual 2
RCA (Y, Pr, Pb)
BNC (Y, Pr, Pb)
Audio: Stereo RCA x 3 (Selectable)
External Control : D-sub 9-pin (RS-232C)

Product Dimensions: 30.2" (H) x 49.5: (W) x 4.68" (D)
766mm (H) x 1257mm (W) x 119mm (D)
Weight: 98 lbs. / 44.5 kg
Power Supply: 120V at 50/60 Hertz
Operating Temperature:
Humidity: 0° - 35° C (32° - 95° F)
20 to 80% (no condensation)
Storage Temperature:
Humidity: -10° - 50° C (14° - 122° F)
10 to 90% (no condensation)
Regulations: UL Approved (UL 60950/CSA C22.2, No. 60950)
DOC Canada requirements
Meets FCC Class B requirements
Remote cable
RGB cable (D-sub 15-pin to D-sub 15-pin)
Ferrite Cores
Warranty: 1 years parts and labor
Menu Languages English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish and Swedish

Plasmas displays have always had a look that appealed to the masses. The latest generation of plasma displays are elegant with bright, high contrast pictures, making them ideal for today's design- conscious consumer. Mitsubishi's PD-5010 is one such beast with a 16:9 widescreen picture measuring 50-inches diagonal and capable of producing a beautiful image. The PD 5010 measures a mere 4.7 inches deep and weighs approximately 100 pounds. The native resolution is 1365x768, making it a true high definition product. A variety of video inputs are available on the PD-5010 along with several two-channel audio connections. There's even a built-in audio amplifier that can drive a pair of external speakers with a minimum impedance of 6 ohms. There are no tuners built into the PD-5010, so this must be addressed as part of the installation. Fixed pixel displays such as this require internal scaling of all incoming video sources and the PD-5010 includes both a high-performance video scaler and an excellent 3:2 de-interlacer. This display is designed to be wall or table mounted. For this review we mounted the display on the optional Mitsubishi Plasma Display Stand (MB-5010) that came with the review system. This heavy-duty stand is all-metal and provides a stable base for the hefty display.

The front of the PD-5010 is very streamlined with a few buttons hidden away on the lower left of the housing. The Menu/Enter button selects from the menu system. Volume Up/Down buttons control the volume and are also used to navigate along with the Left/Right buttons. The Input/Exit button cycles through the inputs (Video1, Video2, Video3, DVD/HD, RGB/PC1, RGB/PC2 and MonitorLink). The power button and indicators are located on the lower right side of the display. When switching between different types of inputs on the PD-5010, the upper right corner of the screen shows the active video input (i.e. RGB/PC1, MonitorLink, DVD1, DVD2, etc.).

The left rear side of the PD-5010 contains all the connectors used to mate to the display. The video connections are partitioned into three groups (Video, DVD/HD and RGB/PC). The Video inputs are for the composite and S-video signals. The composite input can be either an RCA or a BNC connector, both of which are provided. The DVD/HD inputs accept component video (YPrPb) via three RCA connectors and the RGB/PC input accepts video either through the VESA (15-pin D-sub) connector or through five BNC connectors that can be configured for RGB/HV or YPrPb component video. There are six RGB Select Modes to optimize the picture depending on the source generating the video for the RGB inputs. Three separate pairs of audio inputs are also available for any of the video inputs being selected. These audio signals get automatically switched to drive the speaker output terminals located on the center rear of the display. The PD-5010 has a DVI connector that is labeled MonitorLink (an interface designed to work with Mitsubishi's tuner/controller). Some of the documentation also seems to indicate that this DVI interface is strictly a proprietary Mitsubishi digital interface. However, we confirmed that this interface does indeed work with DVI/HDCP compliant hardware. In fact, Mitsubishi confirmed that their MonitorLink system comprises of a DVI/HDCP connection and an RS232 serial interface for command and control data. Fourteen pages of the User Manual define each and every command used to control the display. This is essential for custom installations that take advantage of sophisticated controllers. To test the DVI/HDCP interface, we connected the display to our Samsung SIR-T165 digital set-top box. There's also a push button switch located near the bottom to completely disable the front panel controls, which can actually come in handy if the display is used around young children.

The remote is a slim ergonomic design that has all the frequently used buttons in easily accessible places. The on/off power buttons are located at the top of the remote with the video input select buttons just below them. Each of the video select buttons has several input functions. The Video button selects Video1, Video2 or Video3. The DVD/HD buttons cycles through the DVD1/HD1 and DVD2/HD2 inputs. The RGB/PC button cycles through the RGB/PC1, RGB/PC2 and MonitorLink inputs. Menu controls are also provided to navigate through the on screen menu system. Video Settings include Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness, Color and Tint. Picture Mode allows the user to select from Memory, Theater, Normal or Reset. Color temperature can be set to High, Medium, Low or Custom. The Audio menu provides Bass, Treble and Balance controls. The Monitor Setting menu gives the user full control of horizontal and vertical position and size. Also located here are adjustments for Fine Picture (Flicker) and Picture Adj (Image resolution). The Function menu has controls to adjust the position of the on screen menu text to one of nine locations. One nice feature is the ability to select the grey level of the side bars when watching 4:3 images. Sixteen different levels are available. Cinema Mode can be turned on to properly detect film source material and perform reverse telecine (also known as 3:2 pulldown). The Options menu allows the configuration of the Audio1, Audio2 and Audio3 inputs to a corresponding selected video input. The BNC connectors can be set for RGB or component video. RGB Select chooses between Auto, Still, Motion, Wide1, Wide2 and DTV. HD Select cycles through 1080A, 1080B and 1035i. Finally, the Information menu displays the Frequency, Language (English, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Swedish) and Color System (Auto1 for NTSC, Auto2 for PAL, 3.58 NTSC, 4.43 NTSC, SECAM, PAL-M, PAL-N, PAL-60 and PAL).


Using the custom setting in the Color Temperature menu, we were able to adjust both RGB Gain and Bias levels. We took color measurements using our Sencore CP5000 All-Display Color Analyzer. We then calibrated the PD-5010 using the custom menu controls. Calibration was simple with the menu controls provided. The graph shows the results of all the measurements including the fully calibrated results. The calibrated settings resulted in excellent color tracking (see green plot) across all IRE levels. The PD-5010 produced accurate colors with impressive shadow detail. The black level on this display was similar to most high quality plasmas we've seen. Deep blacks or the lack there of, was more noticeable in a dark theater setting and not a significant problem in well lit rooms. The light output of this display produced almost 50 foot-Lamberts, making it ideal for rooms where sunlight may be difficult to control. We certainly recommend reducing this light output to help extend the life of the display.

Display Primaries
We measured the primary colors produced by the PD-5010 using our GretagMacbeth Eye-One Pro Spectrophotometer along with the Milori ColorFacts software. The CIE chart indicates where the ideal primaries are located where the three small points make a dark triangle. The measured primary colors are marked by the red, green and blue markers connected together with the white triangle. Only colors inside this triangle can be produced by the display by definition. Colors looked excellent overall with deep reds, lush greens and rich blues. Skin tones looked natural and color fidelity of the many high-definition pictures we saw were beautiful with this display. The vivid colors looked similar to a good high resolution CRT display, without the problems associated with geometry, convergence and high voltage stability.

We connected the PD-5010 to the new Mitsubishi HD-5000 A/V Controller/Receiver, which we will be covering in a separate review. We also connected the Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U high definition D-VHS VCR using the FireWire (IEEE1394) interface. The advantage of the HD-5000 is the ease-of-use the product offers its customers. Using the MonitorLink interface (DVI and RS-232 serial link) to the display, the HD-5000 can control the PD-5010 including powering on the unit. Instead of having to turn on the display first followed by the rest of the equipment, the HD-5000 A/V Controller commands the display to turn on directly through the serial link. In addition, the MonitorLink input on the plasma is automatically selected for viewing the video being sent by the HD-5000. Using the sophisticated NetCommand 2.0 interface built into the HD-5000, we had full control of the HS-HD2000U D-VHS VCR. We decided to pop in our favorite reference D-VHS video, Bikini Destinations from HDNet. All basic functions were controlled using the remote that came with the HD-5000. We didn't even need to touch the remote control that came with the D-VHS VCR.


Picture quality on the PD-5010 was spectacular. Once we properly calibrated the display, flesh-tones came alive with natural hues and shadow detail was more evident than with the uncalibrated picture. Scenes from HDNet's Bikini Destinations really unleashed the best high definition attributes of the PD-5010. We had a variety of material to test with the PD-5010 including over-the-air and DirecTV high-definition content. It was a true joy to watch NBC's Law & Order - Special Victims Unit with so much clarity using the HD-5000. The resolution was incredible, giving the viewer a whole new level of watching television that almost looked three-dimensional. The perfect geometry and bright picture worked well in our viewing room where daytime lighting is difficult to control.

Scenes from Toy Story produced an excellent picture with low noise and impressive color fidelity. Even with the internal scaling that takes place in the PD-5010, the picture quality was wonderful without obvious artifacts. While we tried to stay away from poor source material, I couldn't help but try some composite-based material like VHS and laserdisc. The PD-5010's 3D Y/C comb filter does a good job with this material while minimizing separation artifacts. While resolution was certainly limited in the case with VHS, the picture still looked acceptable without some of the typical artifacts one might see with fixed pixel displays. In fact, the PD 5010 looked much like a large CRT display when viewing this material with high contrast and smooth edges. Over-the-air NTSC video looked similar, but with better resolution and a higher signal-to-noise ratio than the prerecorded formats. We did notice some posterization with material that faded to black. This was fairly infrequent, yet worth mentioning for those interested.

The PD-5010 also has a very nice PIP (Picture-in-Picture) feature that allows video from two different sources to be displayed on the screen simultaneously. The two inputs being displayed can have completely different scan rates and resolutions. The PD-5010 will automatically synchronize the two inputs to be properly displayed on the screen. We found this feature to be very useful especially when the user is using a large number of the video inputs.

The Mitsubishi PD-5010 is an impressive display that is capable of producing a stunning high definition image. The sleek contemporary design of the chassis works well in any modern home. The large number of video inputs and the built-in audio amplifier with audio switching offers greater flexibility to its customers. The 1365x768 native resolution results in spectacular detail when viewing high-definition material. While no plasma has perfect black level, the PD 5010 certainly performed well and impressed all those who watched it in our theater room. The 3:2 deinterlacer and scaler make the PD-5010 a serious consideration for those willing to dish out the bucks for a quality high-definition plasma display.

- Kevin Nakano

[Reprinted with permission from LOS ANGELES AUDIO FILE
Any comments or questions regarding the LAAF Web Site should be forwarded to
Copyright © 1985-2003 L.A. Audio File.]

Review System
Preamplifier/Processor: Parasound AVC-2500U THX-Ultra DTS/DD Preamp/Processor
Amplification: Parasound HCA-2205AT THX-Ultra Five Channel Amplifier
Bass Management: Miller & Kreisel BMC Mini 5.1 Bass Management Controller
Front Speakers: Miller & Kreisel S-150THX (L+R) and S-150AC (Center) Speakers
Rear Speakers: Miller & Kreisel SS-250 Tripole® Surround Speakers
Subwoofer: Two Miller & Kreisel MX-350THX MkII THX-Ultra Push-pull Subwoofers
Room Treatments: Echo Buster panels and Bass Buster towers
Set-top Box #1: Samsung SIR-T165 Terrestrial HDTV Receiver with DVI
Set-top Box #2: RCA DTC100 HDTV/DSS Satellite Receiver
HDTV Receiver/Controller: Mitsubishi HD-5000 Receiver
D-VHS VCR #1: JVC HM-DH30000U D-VHS High-Definition D-Theater VCR
D-VHS VCR #2: Mitsubishi HS-HD2000U D-VHS High-Definition VCR
DVD/CD/SACD Player: Sony DVP-NS900V DVD/CD/SACD Player
DVD Audio/Video Player: Kenwood Sovereign DV-5900M 400-Disc DVD Changer
A/V Cables: Ultralink Platinum and Advanced Performance Series Cables
DVI Cable: Monster Cable M Series M500DVI DVI-D Cable
Power Conditioning: Panamax MAXÆ 5510 ACRegenerator
Video Generator: Sencore VP300 SDTV/HDTV Video Pattern Generator
Color Analyzer #1: Sencore CP5000 ISF Certified All-Display Color Analyzer
Color Analyzer #2: GretagMacbeth Eye-One Pro Colorphotometer with ColorFacts Software

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