Samsung DLP - I finally decided, no thanks to accurate literature

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Don Petsche, May 9, 2003.

  1. Don Petsche

    Don Petsche Agent

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    After much debate, and a lot of research, I've ended up with the Samsung HLN5065W. I picked it up yesterday. I decided I wanted DLP or LCD Projection for a number of reasons. With my viewing distance of 10-14ft the 50 inch set is plenty big for me, and talk about vibrant! I looked at both the GWII LCD and the DLP I ended up purchasing. The GWII just didn't have the punch, although it did give me a more consistent impression. I can't really explain it better than that. I've taken the plunge, and got the sammy.

    I admit I'm hot and cold with the picture right now. When the picture is on certain sources, WOW. Other times, well, I've got some definite tweaking to do, that is if I can figure out how to gain access to the service menus! I've got a calibration CD, not the full AVIA, but a starting point. Can anyone help with access codes?

    I think I got a fair deal on this HDTV, from BB of all places. No other outlet in my area had either the DLP or LCD sets in stock. I couldn't find the new Samsung (N instead of M) anywhere, so bought a display unit, at a substantial discount. . which included a 4 year extended plan and other incidentals. I've got the 30day no question return policy I'm working under as well. I don't know the exact hours on the bulb - but I did know more of what I was getting otherwise. I decided a few hours on the bulb were worth no surprises OTB.

    I have to say Samsung hasn't helped themselves much with the lack of consistent information out on these DLP sets! Near as I can tell the HLN5065W and the HLN507W are identical inside, despite posted materials on the net to the contrary, including some people's forum opinions. Even the Samsung website is confusing! Anyone else find this a stumbling block? It took me some days before deciding a good service plan can make up for the impression of a manufacturer perhaps not fully having its act together. As an example, I've read those who've been in the service menu have documented the HLN5065W includes the FLI chip, DCDi just isn't advertised on the set exterior of the monitor. I have the Film user menu choice, would like to see from the service menu what it says. There are a lot of digital processing options on this monitor, I've had a lot of fun in the first 24 hours!

    Learning as I go! This is FUN!
     
  2. Chris.CA

    Chris.CA Auditioning

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    Hi Don,
    I just noticed your post. I had just posted about shopping for the new Samsung DLP's. You are right, getting info from the lterature or web site is a trying expierence. And there are contradictions all over the internet.

    Please post if you have luck tweaking the picture quality.
    I had them change between different sources at the store( some were horrible looking while others were amazing) and I am ready to buy. Right now I am just checking forums to see peoples feed back.

    Good Luck
     
  3. Don Petsche

    Don Petsche Agent

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    I'm still playing, not having ventured into service menus yet, I have discovered one very important thing regarding quality. The DNR option (digital noise reduction) turned on makes a HUGE difference on all sources for me. The N series set has independent memory for features based on input source, so even though it may be on for one, it is likely not for all...took me a bit to realize that was part of what was going on. I'm still deciding if I like the DNIe...

    I've got a few splitters on my analog cable source, and what started out complete crap on this screen is slowly getting better. I'd say its as good as my CRT was already. . . I wonder if a signal booster will help?

    As for DVDs, progressive scan through component hookup remains unbelievable!
     
  4. Don Petsche

    Don Petsche Agent

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    I did get the codes. Over on avsforum, search samsung service tweaks. This set does have the FLI2300 chip according to the menu - so what if the advertisements don't say it. Regarding quality, changing gamma from 4 to 0 had an interesting effect, if not for the red push. (I also went and got a signal booster, old analog cable now looks great, not good, *great*).

    My "calibration" settings - (still too chicken to mess with much in service) from user menus:

    Contrast: 92
    Brightness: 44
    Sharpness: 0
    Color: 47
    Tint: 46/54

    GAMMA 4 (default)

    I'm still messing around, I'll probably end up changing these many more times.

    I also found out how many hours were on the bulb (listed under options on service menu) - if you buy a display you can get the information ahead of time.

    This is a GREAT HDTV - I highly recommend it!
     
  5. Robert Wainwright

    Robert Wainwright Stunt Coordinator

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    Do a search on AVSForum or HomeTheaterSPOT about DLP bulbs. The horror stories about the bulbs only lasting 470 hours (while they're rated for 8000) and 14 weeks for a replacement drove me away. I also couldn't find an N series nearby. I opted for the Pioneer Elite based on great feedback everywhere I looked and my old set is a Pioneer.

    Best of luck.
     
  6. Jon Accamando

    Jon Accamando Auditioning

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    I also have been searching for the DLP units around my area. I am in Los Angeles. I was looking for the HLN617W, but do you think it's worth it to get the good deals that are out there on the 50" these days? I live in a small one bedroom apartment and don't sit but maybe 10 feet from screen. Let me know your opinions! Thanks!
     
  7. Don Petsche

    Don Petsche Agent

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    The 50" is a nice size for me, actually at 10ft it feels a bit too close. I find the best distance about 12ft. .

    Last update, after time with AVIA (Ovation DVD from Bestbuy, not the full AVIA, but basics and some advanced):

    I switched to GAMMA 0, from default of 4 in service menu, this fixed the blacks, filling in missing detail, as well as seemed to soften/clear some of what I interpreted as blur of detail in sporting events. Don't know why, the picture is just more even for me now.

    I still think the reds are a little hot, but not bad, and worth getting the blacks back. That blue strip hue saturation setting procedure is rough! Sharpness is impossible to tell, I tweaked that up and down with fine print on screen until it was easiest to read.. .the AVIA pattern did nothing for me. I've gone through this a few times, Calibrated to DVD, here is what I've settled on after a few more days:

    Mode: Custom
    Color Tone Normal
    DNIe On
    Digital NR ON
    Contrast 92
    Brightness 66
    Sharpness 30 (Have set down to 0, 13 - not much diff)
    Color 43
    Tint 46/54.

    I think a real calibration by a pro would do this set wonders, but I'm not sure how much it would cost,(I use several different inputs) or if there is anyone in my area that even does it.

    Chris, let me know what you decide, if you can get a chance to tweak a store unit. GAMMA might be tough, as you have to get to the service menu, but I think it might be the simple tweak (that and noise reduction) that makes the most difference. I will admit pro sports on this set may not be as good as I've seen on others, having watched some of the NBA playoffs. Still better than my old CRT. I'm not an avid sports watcher, and the other DLP benefits make that sacrifice for me no big deal. Movies, animations, regular programming picture is stunning more often than not. I've noticed the set is very sensitive to signal. If the feed is bad, the picture is horrible. I would assume a weak HD signal is just as bad as a weak SD? Artifacts, blurs, galore? Good feed,like progressive DVD, picture as good as any plasma I've seen. $20 booster on my cable was money well spent. The viewing angle flexibility and no burn in weighed heavily for me. Not to mention 50" significantly less $$ than plasma.

    I hope to find a VGA cable to hook up one of my PCs and try DVD that way one of these days.
     

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