Olevia LT30HV Overview and Setup
I can remember a time not too long ago when I had to move my 110lbs 32" CRT tube based TV into my new home without the luxury of a dolly or close friend nearby. I remember thinking to myself, one day those spiffy lightweight flat panel displays will be affordable enough to the average consumer making these big bulky CRT based TVs a thing of the past. Well four years later, the SYNTAX group brought my thoughts to realization with their new lightweight and affordable LCD displays.
The Olevia LTHV30 is a 16x9 HD-compatible (480p, 720p, 1080i), 30-inch LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) with 1280x768 pixel resolution, 750:1 contrast ratio, and 80,000 hour backlight life. This unit sports Dual-NTSC tuners with PIP, Split-Screen, and Multi-Screen display capability, using a Standard RF input, as well as Composite, S-video, Interlaced and HD Component. There is also a DVI-HDCP input for use with DVI equipped DVD players and HD-set top boxes. Additionally there is a standard VGA input that allows the LT30HV to be used as a PC monitor. The onscreen menu can be set to opaque or translucent. All controls can be accessed either from the unit itself or via the supplied remote control. I was disappointed that there was no feature supported on the LT30HV for the user to re-label input names. The standard nomenclature of video input names (IE. YCbCr, YPbPr, DVI, etc) are not very intuitive to most users as to which sources they correspond to.
For audio, there are two 10 wpc built in amplifiers with removable side mounted speakers and a line output for optional subwoofer. A Headphone output is included, as well as stereo audio outputs for connection to a home theater system. The LT30HV comes supplied with a table stand, but can be wall mounted via optional wall mounting kit.
Set-Up & Calibration
Unpacking and installing the LT30HV was a breeze. I effortlessly placed this lightweight display (40lbs) of on my bedroom entertainment rack, made the appropriate connections, and was on my way to watching DVDs in the comforts of my own bedroom.
To make all the connections you must first remove the appropriate back covers depending on with I/O interfaces you plan to use.
- Back Cover A: unveils the DVI/HDCP, VGA video interfaces, RCA audio inputs, speaker output terminals, and a service port for service professionals only.
- Back Cover B: unveils S-video, Composite video, Component video, Audio inputs and outputs, subwoofer output and earphone output.
- Back Cover C: remove this to flush mount the display for wall installations.
The On Screen Display (OSD) is fairly straight forward and allows for picture and audio adjustments, aspect ratio, as well as configuring favorite channels, and parental controls.
For video set-up the user is allowed to adjust standard picture controls such as brightness (black level), contrast (white level), tint (hue), saturation (color), sharpness control. You also have the ability to adjust color temperature, noise reduction, and independent red/green/blue gain control (more on this later).
On the audio side there are user adjustments for bass and treble, but not for subwoofer level control. Thus you must calibrate the subwoofer with reference to the main speakers and tweak it via the subwoofer level controls anytime there are major level differences between the main speakers and subwoofer depending on source or program material.
Screen size has three aspect ratio settings; Full (16:9), 4:3, and Zoom which is used to enlarge 4:3 pictures while attempting to preserve the aspect ratio. Picture in Picture (PIP) can be selected in a variety of options including: split screen, pop3 and pop12 allowing the primary display to be located on the left split of the screen on pop3 mode or centered in pop12 mode while 12 pictures surround the primary display allowing the user to choose their selection.
The front panel adjustment controls are recessed under the main panel, a good measure to keep prying hands of children out of reach. Although I must confess at times I personally had difficulty reaching them myself. The black oval vertical circle indicates when the Display is in power standby mode outlined with a hypnotic blue illumination .
White and Black Level Adjustments
Using my trusted Avia disc, I calibrated the LT30HV as best as possible given my toolset at hand and figuring that most people purchasing this display would probably do the same or less. I adjusted the white level control (aka. contrast/picture) down so that both needle pulses were visible as per the respected avia test. Black level control (aka. brightness) was also adjusted down so that only the slightly brighter black needle pulse was visible and the black background was black.
Realizing most displays are factory configured with white and black levels as well as color temperature levels set too high (mostly to look good on a showroom floor), a good rule of thumb I have found is to turn down both contrast and brightness controls about 50% as a starting point. This will ultimately save display longevity as well as provide a more accurate and balanced picture with a better contrast ratio.
Sharpness control was only adjustable in incremental 25% step sizes. I would have liked to see more precision offered here like most conventional sharpness controls found on other displays. I did my best to adjust it within the guidelines of Avia.
Saturation (Color/Chroma) Adjustments
I found the color accuracy to be quite good out of the box with only a slight emphasis in red, or more popularly known as red push. I simply knocked the Red gain control down a few ticks and I was good to go. It was nice to see the LT30HV offered independent Red, Green, and Blue gain controls in addition to a Saturation control and an assortment of Color temperature settings (cool, normal, warm). I used the "normal" setting for color temperature as it revealed the most accurate picture setting.
The picture alignment of the LT30HV was dead-on from the factory. I also verified circle hatch test patterns for 4:3 and 16:9 display modes which also revealed excellent results.
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