Samsung HL61A750 Review

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Cloud, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    Even though I haven't had very good luck with my internet service in the past month or so, I have had a good chance to run my new HL61A750 through its paces.

    A few questions I've been asked:

    Size -
    From the top of tv stand to the bottom of the screen is 7". Nice for setting a smaller center channel speaker on the stand in front of the tv, except then the remote wont hit the sensor on the tv. Otherwise its a little 'blingy' at first, but hardly noticeable after a while.
    The top and both sides are roughly 1/2", so the overall size is mostly the screen.
    I have a fairly deep tv stand and I have it about 6" away from the wall to help with running wires, and from the wall to the front of the tv is still only 24". The tv itself is barely 14" deep.

    Viewing angle -
    Side to side is not bad at all. With 0 degrees being directly on the side of the tv and 90 degrees being directly in front of the tv, I often sit at my computer, which would be 45 degrees, while watching tv and notice no degradation in color, lighting, or quality. Pretty much equal to being directly in front of it. 45 degrees to 0 degrees there is some loss, but not nearly as noticeable as the last dlp set I had. The only point in my room where I can get less then about 30 degrees is less than 4 feet away from the tv, so pretty much any place I could sit in the room has good side to side viewing.
    Top to bottom is a little different. With 0 degrees being directly below it, 90 degrees being directly in front of it, and 180 degrees being directly on top of it, there is no loss between roughly 55 degrees and 135 degrees. Between 135 degrees and up to about 160 degrees, there is a slow loss of light. Above 160 degrees and you can start to see a shadow effect caused by the screen and screen cover reflecting differently. Between 55 degrees down to about 45 degrees there is a loss in light as well, and below the 45 degree angle you can start to see the shadowing again. Pretty much any standard seating allows the viewing angle to be optimum. Extremely high seating or sitting on the floor directly in front of the tv are pretty much the only times when the viewing angle will cause a problem.
    When checking out the viewing angles for the extreme sides, top, and bottom, I was forced to be within a couple feet of the tv - not really optimum viewing distance. My computer is on a 45 degree side angle about 5 feet away and on a 90 degree top/bottom angle and the picture looks great. My normal seating is about 10ft - 18ft away, and any side to side angle or top/bottom angle short of standing on the 10ft chairs produces a perfect picture.

    Room Lighting -
    I have my tv on a west wall with two very large windows. Even as I write this at 7pm with the blinds open and the sun blinding me, the tv still produces enough light to be seen clearly and it only gets better the darker the room is.
    With the blinds closed and the room lights on I notice no reflections or washing effects at all.

    Picture -
    I may be a little biased in this portion of my review as my reciever upscales everything to 1080p. I haven't had a chance to run any lower quality stuff directly through the tv yet, but low quality home movies that I have burned to disc (again, upscaled through the receiver) still look great on the tv. Blu-ray and HD-DVD's running at their native 1080p look absolutely stunning.
    The color is great. My last dlp set (hd-ila) had really deep and rich blacks, but had too warm of a look on bright colors and whites. This set seems to have not only stunning blacks and deep/rich dark colors, but also seems to do very well on the brighter colors and whites. The led's seem to do a far better job than the old bulb units.
    The display is full color, full lit from corner to corner. A lot of people have been worried about seeing dark sides and fading at the corners. I have not seen anything like this. The led bulb does a good job lighting up the entire screen. No worries here!
    Another few pluses of the led's:
    No rainbow effect. I rarely noticed it on my old set, but when I did it really bothered me.
    No warm up time. About 5 seconds after hitting the power I have a full color, full lit picture. Not that the 20 or so second warm up time was all that bothering on my old unit, but its a nice change.

    Connections -
    Here is one of my three complaints on the unit.
    The connections are plentiful enough for me since my receiver handles all of that any way. The problem is, they are on the right side of the tv. May not be a big deal for some, but I have my entire rack setup on the the left of the tv and I have to order a few new cables do to being just to short now.
    The tv senses what connections have things connected to them and separates the osd list into whats plugged in and whats not so you don't have to scroll through all the inputs to get to the ones you want. The problem with this is, you have to have something plugged in and turned on (even if its in standby mode) in order to be able to select that input. You cant switch to an input that doesn't have anything plugged in to it. A better choice for fast scrolling of the inputs would be that of the toshiba lcds (and probably others, but toshiba is the only one I have experience with) where there is a list of inputs and you can simply press a number on the remote to select that input.

    The Remote -
    On to complaint number two, which coincidentally leads to complaint 3.
    The remote is well laid out and easy to get used to. It has a backlight function for night viewing. It can be programmed to use with other devices. All the standards of a remote. Except it only works part time. Until I bring myself to buying a harmony remote ($$$), I have a remote for just about everything. And when using more than just the tv remote, the tv seems to forget how to communicate with its remote. When just flipping channels or using only the tv remote, it works fine 100%. Start messing with the receiver when I have the tv on and suddenly no tv remote. Use the dvd remote while the tv is on - no more tv remote. Play the Wii while the tv is on - no more tv remote. It seems that no matter what kind of remote it is, as long as its ir it will cause the tv to forget all about its remote. The only solution is to turn the tv off for a while or use the buttons on the tv.

    The buttons on the tv -
    On to the final complaint. The buttons on the tv are located on the bottom right side of the tv. Dismissing the fact that I have to walk up to the tv and move anything out of the way to get to the buttons, they are in just the right place that even with my long arms I still can't get a good view of the tv while I'm using them. I have to basically stretch my arms to the buttons while trying to stand in front of the tv to see the screen and guess at which buttons I'm hitting. It gets frustrating navigating through the menus only to find the menu I want and accidentally hit the cancel button instead of the accept button. Wouldn't be a big deal if the remote didn't stop working all the time!!




    Overall opinions of the tv -

    Picture: 9 out of 10. Stunning picture running 1080p, great color, great lighting. Downside is the viewing angles all dlp's suffer from.

    Audio: 8 out of 10. I only ran the tv speakers for a minute, but they sounded good for tv speakers. Running the tv sound out of the tv to the receiver via composite rca's resulted in a very quite sound. Remedied by cranking the receiver volume or running the sound directly out of the cable/dish box for those with cable/dish.

    Functionality: 9 out of 10. This score suffers due to the remote issues and bad placement of buttons. Although on a tv like this, I don't know where buttons could be better placed short of on the front with a flip down cover of sorts to hide them.

    Overall: Overall I am very satisfied. After owning an older HD-ILA dlp set, a lcd set and a newer plasma set, I would rank this at the top of the list. Better in pretty much every aspect over my HD-ILA set. Makes the lcd look archaic. And rivals the plasma in producing great color without having to worry about burn in, not to mention the size/price ratio blows the plasma out of the water.

    If anyone has any specific questions, feel free to ask. I will do my best to answer them and help anyone out!
     
  2. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    This is no big deal, especially since they've quit making them, so I shouldn't say anything. But I can't help it. I just hate seeing that.

    Why do so many people think that JVC's HD-ILA, and Sony's SXRD tvs are DLPs? They ARE NOT DLP sets! Not even close to DLP! They are LCoS tvs (Liquid Crystal on Silicon). They were my choice in a tv. I hate plasmas because of reflective screen. LCD is ok, except when they go over 52" screen size, they become outrageously expensive. LCoS had better blacks and better pictures overall than DLP. DLPs have improved since they are using LED light source now, and got rid of the color wheel.

    I'll probably go with DLP for next tv, since the LCoS tvs are no longer available.
    Just trying to educate folks, on the technology. I had a loud argument with a salesman in Sears one night, because he called a Sony SXRD, a DLP. I let him and his manager know that he needed to learn what he was selling! [​IMG]
     
  3. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    Sorry about confusing the technology names, I guess I was always under the impression they were dlp.
    Regardless, I still prefer the color depth and light from the Samsung LED DLP over my old JVC HD-ILA. And I bought that set because I preferred it over every other DLP set I compared it to.
    I really liked to the color in the plasma's as well, especially the dark and crisp blacks. Besides the outragious cost/size ratio of the bigger/nicer plasma sets, I was very turned off by the overly excessive heat the screens gave off.
     
  4. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Don't worry about it. Like I said, I probably shouldn't have said anything. It's just one of those little things that bugs me. The Samsungs are nice. That's probably what I'll get, when I can. Plasmas have a good picture. I just can't stand the reflective screens. I'm so tired of seeing room lights, and even myself, in my crt's screen, and the plasmas are the same way. I hate it with a passion!

    I want a minimum of 60" screen size. Wouldn't mind a 70" either. Here is an example of what I said about LCDs over 52", being outrageously expensive:
    Samsung - 70" 1080p Flat-Panel LCD HDTV - LN-T7081F
    I know you'll get two of them, right? [​IMG]
     
  5. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    I love this review of it:
    Customer Rating: 5 out of 5 5.0 5
    Can't stop watching 06/13/2008
    By JRu1977 from P Town, VA Read all my reviews Read all my reviews

    Pros: Great price, good picture
    Cons: None

    "Bought this TV for the bathroom and I have no regrets. I stay in the tub so long watching that my skin wrinkles and my legs fall asleep. Wife thought I was crazy for buying this (she wanted a new Escalade) but she has come around. Thinking about getting another one for the garage so I can watch Dicovery Channel while I change my oil."
     
  6. Captain Spaulding

    Captain Spaulding Second Unit

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    Thanks for the review, Jeff. Do you hear any fan noise coming from the Samsung? I had a Mitsubishi DLP a few years ago and was really annoyed by how loud the fan, and especially, the color wheel were. I know the LED sets no longer use color wheels. Thank goodness! It sounded like a blender on my old set!
     
  7. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    No fan noise at all. With the TV on and all other noise gone, I still can't hear the TV running at all.

    And an update on the remote problem. A call to Samsung remedied this. All I needed to do was reset the remote, which was as hard as holdling down the power button on the remote for 30 seconds. Works like a charm now!
     
  8. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks for the review (and follow-ups).

    Maybe I will reconsider getting this set at the model's year end or something, if the 58" plasmas don't look like they'll come down much in pricing.

    BTW, have you noticed any geometry issues w/ it so far (due to some flexing in the screen and chassis?)? There were lots of talk about that over in AVS a couple months back when I was all ready to take the plunge. That was partly why I decided to hold off.

    _Man_
     
  9. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    I have noticed none at all. The 61" model seems to be free of that problem, but the larger models are plagued with it. Thats one of the reasons I didn't go with Samsung's larger 7 series dlp, or any larger dlp for that matter. The 73" Mitsu at best buy had a sagging screen when I was buying my tv, which made me glad I didn't go with that one. So far so good on the 61" though!
     
  10. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    Great review, Jeff! Thanks for taking the time to post that.

    I currently own a JVC Dila 52". It's in our bedroom, and my viewing distance is right about 9 feet. It looks good in there, but I'm tired of changing bulbs EVERY year, and I'm enamored with the 61" Sammy you reviewed. My plan is to bequeath the JVC to my oldest daughter and move on up to this set.

    My viewing habits are:

    --45% gaming (360, PS3 soon)
    --35% DVD
    --20% HD DirectTv

    I guess my only concern is this beastie might be too big for my distance! LOL How's it look at 9 feet? Hard to tell Best Buy, especially when it's surrounded by tv's with 'hotter' pictures. I don't want a rampant case of silk screen or anything like that, though I love a big picture.

    What I love about this 61" is:

    --LED light source...no lamps to buy!
    --Way less heat going into the room.
    --No fan noise
    --Bigger is always better? (concern about silk screen...)
    --No LCD issues with fast-moving baseballs/objects, judder, etc.
    --Better contrast than my JVC, better blacks.
    --Power efficient, and fast turn on.

    Whacha think? Or should I just go for a 52" LCD flat? Can't go plasma due to screen reflections, concerns of burn in (I know it's supposed to be better), screen/brightness fading, the usual plasma concerns (if I'm out of touch, plasma-lovers, then please enlighten me! I'll listen).
     
  11. Cloud

    Cloud Agent

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    I originally was thinking of a plasma or lcd for size reasons. I quickly dismissed the lcd's as I was very un-pleased with the picture on them. Side by side, the lcd's seemed to lack in both color and clarity compared to the plasma's. I also started noticing a sort of matte look to the lcd's the longer I watched them. From that point, I started comparing the DLP sets to the plasma's. I was turned off by many things on the plasma's, but my main concern was picture quality. The 7 series LED DLP sets that samsung makes, along with a high end mitsu model that I can't remember, where the ones I really liked. After comparing the set I bought to a comparable size plasma, I was convinced that the DLP was the way to go.

    On a side note, I lost about 6" of depth going DLP versus Plasma but the comparable size plasma's were double the weight of the DLP. I also noticed a lot of heat coming off the screens of the plasma. On my current LED DLP unit, I have roughly half the amount of heat coming from the TV as I do from the receiver. My opinion on what to get would look like this: 1st choice - LED DLP, 2nd choice - A high end Mitsubishi bulb type DLP (I was really impressed with there high end models), 3rd choice - Plasma, 4th choice - LCD.

    Hope that helps!
     
  12. Dan Keliikoa

    Dan Keliikoa Stunt Coordinator

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    Nice reply, Cloud. I think we're on the same page here. Plasmas are REALLY nice...but the two negatives for them are pretty big for my situation:

    --They DO generate enough heat that it would cause me problems in my small bedroom, especially in Memphis summers (would be nice in the winter though LOL).

    --Screen reflectivity would be an issue. I've dealt with this before on a MITS RPTV in a fairly controlled (but not perfect or ideal) 'theater' room I had at another house, and it was kind of annoying. My lighting control is twice as bad here, even for evening viewing.

    The one other thing is I like buying tv's from Best Buy, but the plasmas they have only seem to come in 50" or 58"...no 52" which would be an exact screen-size replacement for my JVC, and I wouldn't want to go sub-50".

    Obviously, 58"s are too expensive and probably too big for a direct view display in that room. I can 'get away' with a 61" RPTV because they don't 'pop' as much with a retina-searing experience.
     
  13. AmusingistheDawn

    AmusingistheDawn Stunt Coordinator

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    I just bought this same tv. I haven't even messed with it yet, but the review just makes me feel even better about my decision. My question to you though is what settings you have. I'm going to go home and calibrate via DVE. Just wondering if you have done the same? I found this review on amazon as well...
    Suggested Picture settings

    Picture mode: Standard
    Usage: What I like for normal Cable/HD viewing. Provides extra "pop", and 3D-ish look but clearly over saturated.

    Contrast 97
    Brightness 48
    Sharp 0
    Color 49
    Tint 46/54

    Detailed Settings
    Black Adj off
    Dyn Contrast Low (Adds the "pop" many people are looking for)
    LED Control Auto (Sometimes turn down to medium at night)
    Gamma 0
    White Bal -4
    Flesh Tone -3
    Edge Ehancement off
    xvYCC off

    Picture Options
    Color Tone Normal
    Size Just Scan
    Digital NR Auto
    DNIe Off
    HDMI Black Lvl Normal * See notes below
    Film Mode Auto
    Blue Only Mode off
    Color Gamut sRGB

    Picture mode Movie
    Usage: Movies, Blu Ray playback. Generally, the most accurate mode

    Contrast 100
    Brightness 47
    Sharp 0
    Color 49
    Tint 50/50

    Detailed Settings
    Black Adj off
    Dyn Contrast off
    LED Control Medium
    Gamma -3
    White Bal 0
    Flesh Tone 0
    Edge Ehancement off
    xvYCC off

    Picture Options
    Color Tone Warm 2
    Size Just Scan
    Digital NR Auto
    DNIe off
    HDMI Black Lvl Normal * See notes below
    Film Mode Auto
    Blue Only Mode off
    Color Gamut sRGB
     
  14. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Jeff,

    Wish I would have known about that remote issue.. I was going to take a mint condition floor model HL67A750 at Circuit City for $1849 but the remote would not work the set for some odd reason. I opted for the new one in the box for 2099.

    I love both the HL61A750 and the 67A750. I decided to go for the 67 because I have the room for it and have ZERRO regrets going with Sammy Phlatlight DLP. I hope DLP sticks around because with the inception of Phlatlight and with better optics these sets can get even thinner and honestly they can KILL in the marketplace.
     
  15. AmusingistheDawn

    AmusingistheDawn Stunt Coordinator

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    ...having some issues getting my tv to where I want it. I do wonder though, is there a break-in time on this tv? It seems to be getting more detailed the longer I have it on. I still think it could be better though.
     
  16. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Chris,

    No break in that I am aware of, LED's emit the same output from the day they are made to the day they die, they don't dim over time and they don't get brighter.

    I will get my settings to you tomorrow evening.
     
  17. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Chris,

    There was no break-in time requirement for my 67-inch Samsung, either. I can look up my settings tonight, but I do know I used Movie mode as my starting point for calibrations of all sources -- HDTV via Comcast cable, Sony S350 BluRay player and Panasonic RP-91 DVD player. I initially had the CATV and Panny connected to a component video input, but now have everything going into a single HDMI input since upgrading my receiver to one with HDMI switching support.
     
  18. AmusingistheDawn

    AmusingistheDawn Stunt Coordinator

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    thanks, i also have everything going through single hdmi connections. The picture seems very dull and drab. For HDtv...I was expecting to be amazed, but it just seems mushy. My older 27"JVC tube tv made HD from dish look awsome...but the picture on this tv makes me feel like im looking at my old JVC from 1 foot away where you can see every imperfection in the screen
     
  19. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    Have you tried connecting your HD source directly to the TV instead of passing it through your receiver to see if that may be causing some issues? My Pioneer Elite receiver does not seem to affect the image quality of HD sources being passed through at all -- the picture quality is identical whether I run my HD cable box through my receiver or directly to the TV, and I am doing a component video to HDMI conversion in the receiver (the cable box is not HDMI). The Pioneer does not attempt to upconvert 1080i signals to 1080p, though. I do not know how your Denon handles this.
     
  20. AmusingistheDawn

    AmusingistheDawn Stunt Coordinator

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    Everything I've seen so far says that my receiver will upconvert everything via HDMI. The oppo player is supposed to do the same, but all my dvd's keep the 480 light lit.
     

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