TO ANYONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT CALIBRATING (OR WHO HAS SCREWED IT UP ALREADY):
I made the same STUPID, STUPID
mistake of going in to the service screen because I simply wanted to check how many hours we've used our TV in the past 2 1/2 years. Well, this was by far, the DUMBEST THING I've ever done with an electronic piece of equipment. I was even forewarned that accessing the SERVICE menu could cause irreparable damage, and I was still cocky enough to believe that I knew what I was doing (even though I am very technologically savvy).
Let me be clear... UNLESS YOU ARE A TRAINED, CERTIFIED, EXPERIENCED TV PROGRAMMER, OR REPAIR TECHNICIAN, DO NOT SCREW AROUND IN THE SERVICE SCREEN!!!
Save yourself hours of issues (and potentially a permanently busted TV)!
So what happened, is that I accidentally hit the "CALIBRATE" button (as it is the first option on the SERVICE SCREEN). The remote isn't user friendly when it comes to using the service screen - the buttons you use, don't match up to the "flow" on the TV. The TV started calibrating a frozen image from the show "COPS". I didn't know how to stop it, and didn't understand that it was completely screwing it up, until after it finished calibrating.
Anyway, my wife and I just finished spending over 10 hours working on fixing the TV since last night - and thank goodness she's one hell of a GOOGLER. Even though I found this website last night with info about the fix, it took digging further to help find the correct calibration image to fix the issue.HERE'S THE STORY:
I have a Samsung LCD LNT-4661F
, built in early 2007. Last night, after reading about the checkerboard fix, I gave it a try - NO SUCCESS.
BUT, in the end, a different way of using the checkerboard DID work, so read on (if you've made the same mistake and still need help).
As it turns out, you have to have the checkerboard image the exact same resolution of your TV. Mine was 1920x1080
. I used an 8 x 8 Black & White checkerboard image, using my PS3 (using the "VIEW PHOTO" feature).
When using the checkerboard image (or any other calibrating image), MAKE SURE THERE IS NO OTHER "INFO" ON THE SCREEN
(such as the little menus that show "next" or "back" or other random information). The image MUST BE completely isolated, with nothing but the full-screen 8x8 B&W checkerboard, with a native resolution equal to your TV.
FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO NEED THE 1920x1080 8x8, I've linked to it from my PHOTOBUCKET account, because I know how frustrating and tough it was to find it!
DOWNLOAD THE 8X8 BLACK & WHITE 1920 x 1080 HERE:
Where I first went wrong (using the checkerboard fix) is that I wasn't using the proper image resolution (and I think it was also associated with two, very fine lines on the left and top of the image that showed on the screen, since I was using my wife's computer with HDMI output). Point is, it wasn't isolated and the resolution wasn't correct.
Once you have confirmed you have the correct image and it is loaded FULL SCREEN somehow (PS2 / PS3 / DVD / COMPUTER, any HDMI input), carefully re-run the CALIBRATION from the service screen. Don't touch any other settings in the service screen, just the HDMI calibration! Give the calibration about 1-2 minutes to run, and then turn the TV off for at least 60 seconds. The calibration that FIXED my TV only took about 30 seconds to run. PREVIOUSLY, when I tried calibrating using different images (THX image from a DVD), and the image with the incorrect resolution, it took 5 or more minutes. If it takes that long, it's likely not calibrating correctly.
Now, I still have an issue with the CONTRAST... When I change the contrast from the main menu up and down, each "value" (between 1-100) GREATLY increases or decreases the contrast. And it "cycles", as in, a setting of 98 looks normal, but if you set it down to 93, it is nearly BLACK. But, when I go down one more to 92 it is back to SUPER bright (too bright), and so-on. It does this over and over again, every 5 or 6 values, from 1-100.
This seems to be the only issue we still have after fixing it. I think it's about 99.9% of where it was before I got completely moronic and screwed with the SERVICE SCREEN...
So, let me say it again... I highly recommend that even the "TECH SAVVY" folks NEVER play with the SERVICE SCREEN unless you absolutely know what you're doing. In fact, unless you are so qualified,
that you can actually modify the settings with your eyes closed, I'd say never
screw with it. I mean, I consider myself incredibly tech savvy... I build computers, component by component, install and configure massive home audio surround sound systems, can disassemble and reassemble a car, just about everything; but the first and only thing I've run into that I could NOT wrap my mind around was this calibration issue!
Everyone else who's made this same mistake knows how sickening the feeling is, believing that you may have just trashed your $3,000 TV... Trust me - it's not worth playing around with; just don't mess with it!
On another note... Thanks to everyone for their help on these forums. I'd be crying myself to sleep every night had I not come across this forum, which helped me put the pieces together on how to fix it!
-Matt & Wife!