Sceptre X37SV-Naga review - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 10:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Note: This post has been updated to include answers to questions up to page 2 in this thread so after you read this post, you can skip to page 2 if you want to avoid chatter.

I just plugged in my Sceptre 37" 1920x1080 TV, and here are some first notes / thoughts, along with some pictures.

Packaging: Good, not great, Unless they throw it it'll probably arrive OK. It's double boxed with nothing in between the 2 boxes, good so that you can save the original box for storage, but I would have preferred some air between the boxes because UPS is about the worst carrier out there when it comes to damaging shipments.

Contents:
* Remote
* Batteries for Remote.
* Cable - HDMI on TV end, DVI on PC end. It's only 3' long though.
* Cable - Audio/Video/Composite
* Cable - Component
* Cable - Mini audio cable (headphone size on both ends perfect for sound blaster)
* Cable - Power
* Cable - VGA
* Two wires for hooking up attachable speakers
* Manual

Picture:

I'm really only going to hook up a PC via HDMI/DVI, and I have no good source of NTSC video so you're going to have to rely on someone else for that info. I did hook up an HDTV antenna though.

As far as the PC input via HDMI, it really does look great, I tested it at 1920x1080 from a Radeon X800XL, it did 1:1 pixel perfect soon as it booted up. It's 10am, and sunny and theres a window behind the TV, but blacks are pure black and whites are excellent. The backlight has 8 levels (0-7) I have it on 4 now and am completely satisfied by the brightness and blackness. I could probably punch it down a few notches as well.

I see no banding but I'm not an expert on this as I have never actually seen that sort of thing. The only thing I can notice is that if you turn the lamp up to max, and look hard it's slightly brighter around the edges, not much though. I think most people wont see that, and I can only see it when I really try to find something wrong, and it's in HDMI mode with a blue windows desktop background with lamp full on

Dot pitch is evident though when you're sitting with your eyes closer than 24" from the TV , and is a little annoying, but when I sit 24"+ from the screen its not an issue at all. It's also annoying to have to turn your head left and right to read the whole screen lol but thats life in the fast lane.

OTA HDTV:

There is an issue:

Any channel you tune to will say what it's being broadcast in in the EPG. The OSD always says 720p no matter what channel you are on. I've asked Sceptre about this and they say it's a bug, and the 720p is incorrect. I'm not so sure I believe them though. This unit may be using a tuner that has a max output of 720p, and therefor not delivering true 1080i to you.

Other than that, I was really impressed that it could pull in stations that neither my HDTV Wonder, nor my Fusion5 could see. But after a few hours it seemed as though the sensitivity of the tuner degraded and I went from 8 channels back to 4. Perhaps heat is a factor here? Unfortunately, I can't find any content playing at the moment that isn't just upscaled 480i, and the problem with that is that most of the local stations have pathetic upscalers, not to mention the extremely awefull analog->digital conversion... I have always seen alot of blooming, ghosting, and aliasing from local upscaled HDTV (this is on 3 different systems) due to crummy conversion/upscaling at the source. One 1080i channel showing 480i upscaled looks really good though.

One annoyance I can see is that it doesn't always get the aspect ratio right on "auto" mode. That's kinda common but the kicker is that you switch between "auto" and "4:3" "zoom" "19:9" and "partial zoom" on a global basis... that is if you switch on one channel, then change the channel, you have to switch back to Auto, or the appropriate aspect. There's no way to save aspects on a per channel basis. Highly annoying. I'm not much of a TV watcher though, so it's not that big of a deal for me.

On Screen Guide.
It's no TIVO, but seems adequate. It appears that the guide is generated in a res closer to 640x480, and then overlayed on the video (not the panel) so when you select a zoomed aspect ratio, your guide is zoomed off the top of the screen lol.

DVD via PC
Well, I just built this PC so dont have DVD installed yet, but I do have DIVX, and I played a 2.1gig divx of the 9gig enhanced matrix in DVI at 1920x1080, and well, I'm really blown away by it, Looks are all subjective, but I have to say it looks better than my 23" HP widescreen LCD, better than my 720p Panasonic projector (AE-700), and better than any LCD source I've seen (quite a few). As far as color levels, depth of color, black and white levels, it really reminds me of my 32" SD Sony TV that I got rid of a few years ago, but of course this has a much sharper image.

PIP:
I'm not all too impressed with the PIP functionality as a whole. (but then again, I never am) I may not have it all figured out yet, but it looks like there are 2 sides to the TV, one has HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI, the other side has NTSC TV/AV1/AV2/Component.
When you are watching the first side(HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI), you can PIP NTSC TV, AV1, AV2, and that's it.
When you are watching the second side, you have more options but it gets more complicated. I dont have a full matrix of the possibilities.
there is a button on the remote labled PIP Audio, you press it and it toggles between main audio, and PIP audio. When in DVI mode on main picture, you can surf channels in the PIP as well The pip aspect ratio is fixed at 16:9 with no apparent way to change it, and it appears that all sources are stretched to fill the PIP window. The size of the pip window can be toggled between 1/4 screen size, and 1/16 screen size with another size in between. There is no accurate positional control available for it, you can put it in one of the 4 corners but not move it around. There is also a swap button on the remote to swap pip<->main, and the sound follows the swap. The PIP window has a bright red border around it about 1/4" wide.

Sound:
I think it's safe to say no one is going to rave about the high def sound. There is no bass at all. (I guess the subwoofer out should be a clue). It doesn't sound completely awfull, I mean theres not alot of distortion or anything. It looks like it would be easy to open the detachable speakers (a few screws) and replace the speakers inside with some quality ones. It appears there are 3x3" circular shaped speakers in each side. This thing does look overbearing with the speakers attached, and if you have a bright light source behind it (window like me) you can see some light coming through between the gap between the speaker and the case. As soon as I dig up my old 5.1-in-a-box from the basement Im taking off the speakers and running with that... More for aesthetic reasons than anything else.
* Update * I have come to realise that the sound from this unit is pathetically bad. Frequency response is non linear, everything sounds muddy, and everyone is reporting hiss and buzz.


Inputs:
The inputs look to be the same as pictured on the Sceptre website, so have a look at the pic there. Although they are all downward facing which I find kinda annoying.

Case Quality:
The case looks fine to both myself, and the wife. The stand does look cheap though. There is no tilt or swivel on the stand. On the back, the power rocker is slightly tilted on it's mount, minor defect but no one will ever see so I'm not worried.

Dead Pixels:
When I get within 6" or so I can see one pixel in the lower center that has a dead blue component. This wont bother me though because it's bright yellow on a white screen, and black on a black screen... i.e. its invisible for most conditions even when up real close.

Mounting holes:
It has mounting holes, looks like the screw holes are about same size as vesa monitor mounting screws, but the spacing is much larger... I dont have a metric ruler handy but the spacing between the holes is 17.5" horizontal and 8" vertical.
It looks like you could flush mount this baby directly to the wall, and still be able to connect/disconnect cables while it's mounted (Provided you have a small hand or can borrow one).

PC Standby:
Unfortunately, the LCD Panel goes bright blue when the PC puts it on standby.
I didn't wait long to test if it eventually decides for itself to go into standby. I never really turn mine off so it wont be an issue for me but for those who do that could be annoying.

My testing method: In display properties, screen saver tab, clicked power, set "turn of monitor" to 1min, then waited 60 seconds, it went bright blue, waited 5 minutes, still bright blue.

Additional Notes/Quirks:
* When selecting DVI/HDMI, there are 3 modes, the first one crops , says HDMI, the second one crops, says HDMI/HDCP, the third one says DVI and doesn't crop. Don't panic when you get a cropped image like I did, just keep cycling

* You cant select any of the video sources directly, you cycle through 4 on one button, and the other 4 on the other.

Summary:
I'm happy I bought this thing, and would do it again. It's probably the best PC Monitor you can buy that's over 30" and with 1080p display. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that plans to use it solely as a TV though. To get the potential from this set I think you have to use external video sources.

Attached Images: Shows packaging, accessories, and comparison side to side with 15" lcd on monitor arm.
Dan K
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post #2 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 10:55 AM
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Did you try with 1920x1080 from the PC ?

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post #3 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Just with the DVI/HDMI. It works perfect, 1:1 pixel map, also cleartype font smoothing looks great (perfect).

Dan K
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post #4 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:15 AM
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Wow! Thanks for the quick review dkelly.

Can you let us know when you get a chance, if the Sceptre LCD works with computer standby mode? It would be very annoying when the LCD stays on when my computer goes to standby mode. =)
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post #5 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:22 AM
 
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Thanks for the review. Do you have a software DVD player you could check to see how a DVD looks when upconverted to 1920 x 1080?
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post #6 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately, the LCD Panel goes bright blue when the PC puts it on standby.
I didn't wait long to test if it eventually decides for itself to go into standby. I never really turn mine off so it wont be an issue for me but for those who do that could be annoying.

My testing method: In display properties, screen saver tab, clicked power, set "turn of monitor" to 1min, then waited 60 seconds, it went bright blue.

Dan K
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post #7 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:26 AM
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Sorry to bother you while you are enjoying your new LCD... =)

Another request when you get to it... Can you give us your opinion on the PIP? I know you said it's only hooked up to the computer but I think it will be interesting to see the picture quality of the SDTV in PIP while browing the net on the computer.

Gratz on your LCD... looks like a winner =)
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post #8 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randall Morton View Post

Thanks for the review. Do you have a software DVD player you could check to see how a DVD looks when upconverted to 1920 x 1080?

Well, I just built this PC so dont have DVD installed yet, but I do have DIVX, and I played a 2.1gig divx of the 9gig enhanced matrix in DVI at 1920x1080, and well, I'm really blown away by it, Looks are all subjective, but I have to say it looks better than my 23" HP widescreen LCD, better than my 720p Panasonic projector (AE-700), and better than any LCD source I've seen (quite a few). As far as color levels, depth of color, black and white levels, it really reminds me of my 32" SD Sony TV that I got rid of a few years ago.

Although that's only in video playback, in Windows it looks pretty darn good, my only annoyance is the pixel spacing, which I understand is a problem with any display this size, and I really have never sat this close to anything this size so I have nothing to go on. Really I know Im sitting too close, this thing wasn't designed to be viewed at 24"... when I pull my head back another foot, it looks perfect.

I can't get over how bright this thing is at %50 lamp power. I'll have to wait to tonight to see how bad it does in dark rooms, I've always heard that's LCDs weak spot.

Dan K
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post #9 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:37 AM
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Thanks for the review dkelly, I am jealous mine hasn't shipped yet though heh.
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post #10 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:44 AM
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dkelly: Thank you so much for the quick, thorough review AND photos. Hope you are having a ball with it.
Does my video card need to support the 1920 x 1080 exactly, ie., do I need to go into DISPLAY PROPERTIES;SETTINGS;SCREEN RESOLUTION and be able to find exactly "1920 x 1080?
My card is the ATI Radeon X800 XT WITH 256 mb.

Thanks again for sharing all with us. Richard

Richard, Santa Cruz, CA
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post #11 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardorser View Post

dkelly: Thank you so much for the quick, thorough review AND photos. Hope you are having a ball with it.
Does my video card need to support the 1920 x 1080 exactly, ie., do I need to go into DISPLAY PROPERTIES;SETTINGS;SCREEN RESOLUTION and be able to find exactly "1920 x 1080?
My card is the ATI Radeon X800 XT WITH 256 mb.

Thanks again for sharing all with us. Richard

Those resolutions scale many times according to your monitor, you should be fine, dont worry about it
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post #12 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:50 AM
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Did the package as delivered feel as though it was 101 pounds, as the UPS shipping info states? Or do you think that it weighs in closer to the 60 pounds as Sceptre lists for the set with its stand attached?

JER
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post #13 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 11:53 AM
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Looks great! Eagerly awaiting this unit.
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post #14 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardorser View Post

dkelly: Thank you so much for the quick, thorough review AND photos. Hope you are having a ball with it.
Does my video card need to support the 1920 x 1080 exactly, ie., do I need to go into DISPLAY PROPERTIES;SETTINGS;SCREEN RESOLUTION and be able to find exactly "1920 x 1080?
My card is the ATI Radeon X800 XT WITH 256 mb.

Thanks again for sharing all with us. Richard


You should be perfectly fine with your X800 as my 9800 Pro vcan display 1920x1080 on my Dell 2405 just fine in both DVI and VGA.
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post #15 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:17 PM
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Thanks for the review I would love to hear some feed back on SD TV to see how the scaler anti's up. I should have mine tomorow.

Jay
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post #16 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Reeve View Post

Did the package as delivered feel as though it was 101 pounds, as the UPS shipping info states? Or do you think that it weighs in closer to the 60 pounds as Sceptre lists for the set with its stand attached?

60lbs... Either UPS uncrated it in the truck, or they misweighed or they ripped someone off It has UPS sticker on it and doesnt look like it was crated so I think one of the latter
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post #17 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardorser View Post

dkelly: Thank you so much for the quick, thorough review AND photos. Hope you are having a ball with it.
Does my video card need to support the 1920 x 1080 exactly, ie., do I need to go into DISPLAY PROPERTIES;SETTINGS;SCREEN RESOLUTION and be able to find exactly "1920 x 1080?
My card is the ATI Radeon X800 XT WITH 256 mb.

Thanks again for sharing all with us. Richard

I just plugged it in and it autodetected 1920x1080. This was ATI X800XL so Im sure it will be the same for you.

Dan K
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post #18 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pospower View Post

Thanks for the review I would love to hear some feed back on SD TV to see how the scaler anti's up. I should have mine tomorow.

Jay

Well, I plugged my HDTV antenna into the SD input, and couldn't get any great reception on any channel. One was soso reception, and it looked VERY smooth.. better than any Plasma I've seen in bars. But that may have just been some noise. Going to have to wait for someone with cable or something like that to really tell you.
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post #19 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Krumm View Post

Sorry to bother you while you are enjoying your new LCD... =)

Another request when you get to it... Can you give us your opinion on the PIP? I know you said it's only hooked up to the computer but I think it will be interesting to see the picture quality of the SDTV in PIP while browing the net on the computer.

Gratz on your LCD... looks like a winner =)

I'm not all too impressed with the PIP functionality as a whole. I may not have it all figured out yet, but it looks like there are 2 sides to the TV, one has HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI, the other side has NTSC TV/AV1/AV2/Component.

When you are watching the first side(HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI), you can PIP NTSC TV, AV1, AV2, and that's it.

When you are watching the second side, you have more options but it gets more complicated. I dont have a full matrix of the possibilities.

There is no sound in PIP mode, so I dont think you'll have much fun watching tv in PIP when computing unless you really don't need sound (bloombergs?).

I really can't comment on PIP picture quality but it does appear slightly strectched horizontally. You can adjust the size of the PIP (4 sizes), and set it in one of the 4 corners, and that's about it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly View Post

I'm not all too impressed with the PIP functionality as a whole. I may not have it all figured out yet, but it looks like there are 2 sides to the TV, one has HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI, the other side has NTSC TV/AV1/AV2/Component.

When you are watching the first side(HDTV/VGA/DVI/HDMI), you can PIP NTSC TV, AV1, AV2, and that's it.

When you are watching the second side, you have more options but it gets more complicated. I dont have a full matrix of the possibilities.

There is no sound in PIP mode, so I dont think you'll have much fun watching tv in PIP when computing unless you really don't need sound (bloombergs?).

I really can't comment on PIP picture quality but it does appear slightly strectched horizontally. You can adjust the size of the PIP (4 sizes), and set it in one of the 4 corners, and that's about it.


What about OTA HDTV ? try it out?

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post #21 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 01:51 PM
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Just out of curiosity, does this unit have a standard VESA mounting capability so a wall mount can be attached and if so is it a VESA 100 or 200 spacing? Thanks.

I am still awaiting ship notification as I ordered on August 22 minus 3, right after they changed from 7 to 10 days delivery to 15 to 20 days...rats.

Sounds like you got a good one. Wonder how it will work with an upconverted HDMI output from DVD.
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post #22 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DREAMSOURCE View Post

Just out of curiosity, does this unit have a standard VESA mounting capability so a wall mount can be attached and if so is it a VESA 100 or 200 spacing? Thanks.

I am still awaiting ship notification as I ordered on August 22 minus 3, right after they changed from 7 to 10 days delivery to 15 to 20 days...rats.

Sounds like you got a good one. Wonder how it will work with an upconverted HDMI output from DVD.


I think it does have a stadard mount.... you can even purchase one from costco its right on the page there.

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post #23 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 02:14 PM
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dkelly,

Could you post a pic of the input ports within the context of the whole set. The Sceptre profile pic doesn't indicate where on the set the ports are (I see that you state they are downward facing - are they on the bottom/back of the set?). Do you see a problem with flush wall mounting and still being able to route the cables behind the unit (assume a wall mount bracket with 1-2" of clearance) to a wall jack near center back?

Thanks
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post #24 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 02:19 PM
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You do know you have to now spend a LOT of time answeing Qs for all. right! LOL. I don't have a Q for you. Congrats on your purchase. Thats a BIG monitor for browsing though!!
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post #25 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by donsev View Post

dkelly,

Could you post a pic of the input ports within the context of the whole set. The Sceptre profile pic doesn't indicate where on the set the ports are (I see that you state they are downward facing - are they on the bottom/back of the set?). Do you see a problem with flush wall mounting and still being able to route the cables behind the unit (assume a wall mount bracket with 1-2" of clearance) to a wall jack near center back?

Thanks

Done. Attached are pics of the back of the unit.

It looks like you could flush mount this baby directly to the wall, and still be able to connect/disconnect cables while it's mounted (Provided you have a small hand or can borrow one).

Dan K
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post #26 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 03:39 PM
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Someone posted on the main thread that a CSR claimed there is "supposedly yes" QAM support. Is this accurate? I'll be really disappointed if the CSR is wrong.

Quote:


Q: 3. Does the ATSC tuner support unscrambled digital cable-QAM?

A: once again supposively yes, but not tested so I cannot confirm


Former Top 1000 Amazon reviewer bemoaning the loss of objective user reviews. Amazon, stop your complacency!
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post #27 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 03:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DREAMSOURCE View Post

Just out of curiosity, does this unit have a standard VESA mounting capability so a wall mount can be attached and if so is it a VESA 100 or 200 spacing? Thanks.

I am still awaiting ship notification as I ordered on August 22 minus 3, right after they changed from 7 to 10 days delivery to 15 to 20 days...rats.

Sounds like you got a good one. Wonder how it will work with an upconverted HDMI output from DVD.

It has mounting holes, looks like the screw holes are about same size as vesa monitor mounting screws, but the spacing is much larger... I dont have a metric ruler handy but the spacing between the holes is 17.5" horizontal and 8" vertical.

Dan K
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post #28 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mallu2u View Post

You do know you have to now spend a LOT of time answeing Qs for all. right! LOL. I don't have a Q for you. Congrats on your purchase. Thats a BIG monitor for browsing though!!

Haha, no problem, I'm just sitting here with my mouth hanging open looking at it anyways

I'm not going to be doing a ton of browsing on this thing. The machine it's hooked up to has dual opterons, and a terrabyte RAID5 on it with about 700gigs of DiVX movies, that's about 700 movies. Thats what this monitor is for It's sitting in the bedroom to help me fall asleep at night I've also got a wireless 108mbps connection to the Panasonic AE700 projector upstairs and 23" monitor in the living room so it shares well.

The only problem now is that I'll have to trash alot of the low bitrate (CD sized) DiVX movies and start replacing them with the dual CD size ones because this thing shows more of the compression artifacts.

Now all I have to do is port ffdshow's scaling to be multiprocessor so I can upsize using lancosz directly to 1920x1080, and still have all the noise reduction algorithms plugged in.

I'd say anyone who's doing what I'm doing will be very satisfied with this monitor.

I'm guessing it will get mixed reviews as a TV though, although what 30+" doesnt get mixed reviews?

Dan K
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post #29 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BobSalita View Post

Someone posted on the main thread that a CSR claimed there is "supposedly yes" QAM support. Is this accurate? I'll be really disappointed if the CSR is wrong.

How do I tell? It does have a HDMI with HDCP option, DTV doesnt say anything about QAM... I dont' have a cable box to test with and I understand that QAM is a cable thingy.

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post #30 of 3746 Old 08-24-2005, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by lowspeed View Post

What about OTA HDTV ? try it out?

Yes I did. I was really impressed that it could pull in stations that neither my HDTV Wonder, nor my Fusion5 could see. Unfortunately, I can't find any content playing at the moment that isn't just upscaled 480i, and the problem with that is that most of the local stations have pathetic upscalers, not to mention the extremely awefull analog->digital conversion... I have always seen alot of blooming, ghosting, and aliasing from local upscaled HDTV (this is on 3 different systems) due to crummy conversion/upscaling at the source. One 1080i channel showing 480i upscaled looks really good though.

One annoyance I can see is that it doesn't always get the aspect ratio right on "auto" mode. That's kinda common but the kicker is that you switch between "auto" and "4:3" "zoom" "19:9" and "partial zoom" on a global basis... that is if you switch on one channel, then change the channel, you have to switch back to Auto, or the appropriate aspect. There's no way to save aspects on a per channel basis. Highly annoying. I'm not much of a TV watcher though, so it's not that big of a deal for me.

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