While higher-end Mitsubishi models such as the WD-52525 have graphics-heavy, icon-driven menus, the text-based menu system inside the WS-55315 looks decidedly basic. Nonetheless, it's fairly easy to navigate and has most of the familiar options. The medium-size remote is a model of finger friendliness, although it took us a few minutes to get used to the off-center Enter key. The remote can control up to four other pieces of A/V gear and features backlighting for a couple of major keys.native resolution based on a pixel count. Instead, the company lists the set's native resolution at 1080i for high-def--all incoming 1080i sources are passed on without conversion--and 480p for all other sources, including DVD and standard TV. Unlike many microdisplay sets, the WS-55315 is not designed to accept computer signals.
While the Mitsubishi WS-55315 lacks a built-in HDTV tuner and is not digital cable ready, that's not a big deal if you plan on getting HD through your local cable or satellite provider. The set will display high-def when connected to an external HD source such as a cable or satellite box or an external over-the-air tuner. It is worth noting, however, that since the television cannot display a picture when fed 720p material, you must set your external HD source to output everything at 1080i.
In other respects, the 55315 is quite well equipped. Its picture-in-picture feature can display two same-size images side by side--including, surprisingly, two 1080i images from the component-video and DVI inputs. With standard-def sources, you can choose from among five aspect-ratio selections, while 1080i sources allow only two choices. Additional features include independent input memories, three selectable color temperatures, and a 64-point convergence adjustment to properly align the tubes. Environmentally conscious viewers will appreciate the Energy mode, which reduces the set's energy consumption while on standby (that is, turned off and waiting for a remote control to turn it on).
The set's connectivity is commendable, especially for an entry-level HDTV. On the back panel, Mitsubishi provides three wideband component-video inputs (the third can also accept RGB-HV signals), two A/V inputs with S-Video, two RF inputs, and a DVI input. Also on the back are a monitor composite-video A/V output and an RS-232C serial port for connection to external control devices. An extra A/V input is on the front.The WS-55315's image quality is generally good for a set in this price range. Our favorite feature is the adjustable color decoder, which allowed us to get the color balance nearly perfect. Before the fix, out-of-the-box color was exceedingly red; a redheaded young lady we saw on Discovery HD's promo spot had unrealistically ruddy skin. After our calibration, her skin appeared delicate and lifelike, and her hair looked natural instead of punk-rock red.