Last week I posted an S.O.S. regarding my 46HX909. I mentioned several issues, including issues with the image quality - especially with skin tone - and some mechanical problems I was having with my set. A few nice folks here asked me to post my picture settings, which I'll do below, but unfortunately, in trouble shooting with Sony, I had to reset everything, so I'm kind of back at square one, with regards to settings. I also have an update regarding the mechanical issues I was having. I would love some additional feedback in both these areas.
First, regarding image quality:
After drawing several comparisons between the image quality of my 40-inch Samsung edge-lit LED TV and the HX909, I finally set them up side by side, with the Samsung running via HDMI and the Sony via component cables. Watching the same cable feed, I was able to get the settings pretty close between the two. The main differences I'm noticing in terms of color reproduction is that with both units in the standard setting, and color temp set to neutral:
The Samsung's whites are "whiter" - perhaps with a very slight blue tinge compared to the Sony. The Sony's whites have a warmer or browner tinge. I tried setting the the Sony to "cool" which I hate, but wanted to see if I could match the shade of white, but it looked REALLY cool and didn't match the Samsung at all.
My biggest complaint of Sony's color reproduction. Compared to the Samsung's reds, the Sony's look almost "mustardy." The reds have a slight burnt orange tinge to them - it's really apparent when viewed side-by-side.
Okay, maybe THIS is my biggest complaint with Sony. When viewed side-by-side, skin on the Samsung had more red/pink "pigment" where skin on the Sony looked greenish/yellowish in comparison. Skin on the Samsung just looks more natural and healthy to me; I had been using the word "pasty" to describe skin on the Sony and it was strikingly apparent when I had the sets running side-by-side.
Black and White:
Viewing black and white footage, on the Samsung the blacks and grays looked, well, like normal black and white footage; on the Sony, the image looked almost like sepia in comparison. Very weird. Perhaps the same yellowish quality that I'm seeing in the whites, reds, and skin tones is what I'm seeing here.
If anyone has any suggestions how I can better match the whites, reds and skin tones to be closer to the Samsung's - most importantly getting the reds to be more true red and skin more red/pink and less yellow - I would GREATLY appreciate it.
Here are the current settings of the Sony that are as close as I can get them to the Samsung's image so far:
Picture Mode: Standard
Color Temp: Neutral
Noise Reduction: Low
MPEG Noise Reduction: Auto
Motionflow: Clear 1
CineMotion: Auto 1
Black Corrector: Medium
Adv. Contrast Enhancer: Off
LED Dynamic Control: Standard
Auto Light Limiter: Medium
Clear White: Low
Live Color: Off
White Balance: default
Detail Enhancer: High
Edge Enhance: Low
I'm sure most of you who are using professional calibration settings are cringing at these settings, but I'm simply tweaking my newly reset default settings to match my Samsung's image as closely as possible. Like I said, it's pretty close, except for the whites, reds and skin tones.
Now, as far as the mechanical issues are concerned, the most troubling issues I've experienced so far are the following:
Random/intermittent lag/delay in the onscreen menu.
I'll be pressing the volume up button, for example, and suddenly, even though the green light on the TV is flashing (receiving the signal) the horizontal blue bar and the numbers on the far right stop responding. Then, suddenly, they will JUMP to the proper position. I also noticed the same behavior when scrolling through the menus, where the onscreen menu will basically freeze and jump ahead to catch up with itself. Unfortunately, this issue is extremely random and, therefore, very hard to reproduce. I had an authorized Sony repair guy come take a look and, while he did catch the volume bar lagging and then jumping ahead, he didn't consider it a particularly serious issue. What do you think? Has anyone here experienced this type of menu "lag?"
Set turned itself off and then back on
This happened twice. The first time, I attributed this to the fact that I was repeatedly turning the set off and on, trying to reproduce a random delay I had noticed, where the set wouldn't immediately turn back on after a power off. The second time, however, it occurred a about 5-10 seconds after powering up the set for the first time that day. I turned the set on, saw the image come up, then the set shut off and then back on. I thought I was sitting on the remote, but I wasn't. This happened a week ago and hasn't happened since, but it really had me upset. Of all the issues I mentioned to the Sony repair guy (random delay turning on immediately after a power off, lagging menu, etc.) this was the one issue that troubled him.
As I'm mentioned numerous times, I can't find any more 46HX909's at any Fry's in southern California, so exchanging this unit for another one is not an option. The Sony repair guy, after contacting Sony for their take on the issues, recommended replacing the main board and, possibly the remote pre-amp board. The main question I'm faced with right now is whether I want to have a brand new, two week-old TV taken apart and repaired. I'm very OCD about these things and one slightly dinged or stripped screw on the back will drive me nuts! On the other hand, if the only alternative is to return the TV and have to settle for a different model somewhere down the line, perhaps it's the right thing to do.
Is what I'm experiencing just the normal, idiosyncratic behavior of modern TV sets? Since these behaviors are so random, am I better just living with the set as it is or should I be running to Fry's to get my money back?
As always, any and all feedback would be GREATLY appreciated.