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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Maxent MX-50X3

As with almost all 50-inch plasmas on the market, the Maxent MX-50X3 has a native resolution of 1,366x768--that's plenty of pixels to resolve all of the detail in 720p HDTV sources. All incoming resolutions, including HDTV, DVD, standard TV, and computers, are scaled to fit the available pixels.

Like some rival models, namely the V Vizio P50HDM and the Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK, the Maxent MX-50X3 skips many of the convenience features found on most HDTVs. The set lacks a built-in ATSC tuner for off-air HDTV broadcast reception, a standard TV tuner, and a CableCard slot. In other words, to watch HDTV or standard TV on the Maxent, you'll need to connect either a cable or satellite box or a set-top off-air receiver. PIP (picture-in-picture) is just about the only convenience feature of note.

There are a few picture-enhancing and setup features worth mentioning but not many. Selectable color temperatures include Warm, Natural, and Cool, with Warm being relatively close to the broadcast-standard color temperature of 6,500K. Position and size controls are handy since they give you the ability to center the picture on the screen properly and further reduce the set's overscan. We also appreciated the Maxent MX-50X3's independent input memories.

Connection options are adequate if not overly generous. Unfortunately, there is only one HDMI input--we'd like to see at least two, as found on the rival Vizio mentioned above, so that you could hook up
both a scalable DVD player and an HDTV set-top box, for example, to separate digital inputs. Analog inputs abound: we counted two component-video and two A/V inputs with S-Video and composite video. There is one 15-pin VGA input for computers (as high as 1,280x1,024 resolution), a pass-through VGA output, and an RS-232 control port for programming touch-panel remotes. On the audio side, you'll find a subwoofer output and a set of stereo audio outputs as well. Missing from the list is a set of easy-access front-panel A/V inputs.

Source: cnet

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