HP MD6580 and MD5880 1080p Rear Projection HDTV Review

HP have now discontinued their rear projection HDTVs including the two reviewed here however, they have introduced a new line of LCD and Plasma Flat Panels.

Hewlett Packard’s (HP) MD6580 and MD5880 1080p Rear Projection HDTV’s are part of the popular and growing range of lower cost, high definition, rear projection televisions incorporating microdisplays using DLP, LCD, or LCoS technology.

Both the MD6580 (65 inch) and the MD5880 (58 inch) are DLP microdisplay powered with a native resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Image processing is powered by a single Texas Instruments HD4 DLP chip.

Picture Technologies Used

  • Wobulation For both models Hewlett-Packard have used their “Wobulation” technology for reducing the cost of high resolution displays. Texas Instruments have a similar technique which is trademarked as SmoothPicture which is used in marketing by some manufacturers. Drawing from their experience with overlaping of printing ink, HP use Wobulation to double the horozontal image resolution from any video source. Each frame is actually produced by the projection of two subframes slightly offset (by the wobbling back and forth of the DLP chip micromirrors) in extremely rapid succession. The human eye interprets the result as a single seamless image of higher definition.
    Wobulation eliminates the ‘screen door’ effect plasma and LCD displays are prone to. However, it must be applied carefully so that image sharpness is not reduced. HP have aspirations of using 4x wobulation for quadruple resolution both horizontally and vertically.
  • Dynamic Black DynamicBlack, also a trademark of Texas Instruments, is used in both models for the provision of deeper black levels with improved image detail in darker scenes. A contrast ratio of 12,000:1 is quoted.
  • Motion Adaptive Deinterlacing Both HP models also incorporate Motion Adaptive Deinterlacing which detects and compensates for motion in pictures, reducing any contouring and visual noise without affecting picture detail.
  • True-to-Life-Color True-to-Life Color is a technology aimed at producing accurate color temperature and warm, natural tones.
HP MD5880 Rear Projection TV

Rainbow Effect

Manufacturers of single-chip DLP displays attempt to minimize any “rainbow effect” by using, fast rotational speed, multi-segment color wheels. In this case HP have opted for a seven-segment color wheel. Before making a decision, potential purchasers of single-chip DLP rear or front projection products should always arrange a viewing as although big strides have been made in reducing the incidence of “rainbow effects”, sensitivity varies from person to person.

Both the HP models use a projection lamp cooled by an internal fan. The 150W UHP lamp is rated for a life of 6000 hours (to half brightness).

Thought has gone into good sound

To provide a better audio experience matching the visual one, HP’s MD6580 and MD5880 have audio provided by SRS Lab’s patented SRS TruSurround XT surround sound technology. For more information on the equipment supplied by SRS Labs can be found on their web site.


An excellent, convenience feature of these two models is the location of the input/output jacks in an illuminated, recessed cavity at the front of the set, behind a large, drop down panel.

Both units have the following video connectors; 2 HDMI, 3 Antenna Input, 2 High Definition Component Input (Y, Pb, Pr), 3 Composite Video/ S-Video (3 total, either composite or S-Video) and Composite Video Out. Audio connectors include; 2 Stereo audio inputs, 1 Digital audio out and VGA. Those purchasers with an eye to the future will be pleased to know there is the capability to receive 1080p content through the component and HDMI inputs (at 24, 30, and 60 fps with HDMI). There are molded paths under the sets to give space for connected cables to be run in a tidy fashion.

Universal Remote

In an example of listening to customers, the remote control is a universal unit that can be used with other HP equipment including HP TV, HP Digital Entertainment Center, DVD player, cable box, satellite receiver, audio system, digital video recorder, VCR, or HP projector.


Warranty on the MD6580 and MD5880 is a one-year limited warranty with in-home repair.

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