Originally Posted by david09
Just to add to the boatload of info in this thread, I'll share my impressions on my new Samsung 4661f. That might serve as therapy at the same time.
To be blunt, I'm disapointed, but I think it's a matter of not liking this technology rather than this specific set, so please don't get too defensive on what I'm going to say, as it likely applies to many other sets / brands / imaging technologies.
This is my first HDTV, I had a JVC 32" CRT before, and I feel the downgrade moving to LCD on some aspects of the picture for a $3000 CND TV is unacceptable, but that's just me.
The colors and high resolution on HD content are fantastic, no complaints there. But the black detail and overall dynamic range is quite poor. Everyone was raving about how black the Samsungs could get. Yeah sure, if you don't mind not seeing a thing in the darker scenes but clipped blacks with no chromatic and tonal information whatsoever. If you want to actually see near black areas of the frame and their content, you'll have to turn the brightness level up quite a bit, to the point where you have grey blacks. I have tweaked the settings to no avail, there is no way around it, it's an either or situation. So which is more important? Deep blacks or black detail? At this price point, I'm baffled that I have to choose.
My second big grip is with SD content. I'm sorry but it is nothing short of ugly. I've heard comments about the HD sets showing the imperfections in the SD signal, therefore making it look worse. This is inacurate. Comparing side by side with my CRT, I can see that the biggest problem is resolution loss, which has nothing to do with the set showing how much junk is in a SD signal. The upconversion step either from the cable box (Explorer 8300HD) or TV softens the image so much that it feels like I'm watching SD content on a cheap 20 year old CRT TV. I'm a big hockey fan and this is quite a concern for me because I just watched a game in SD resolution and it was plain mediocre. The enjoyment is gone. I was getting a crisp and detailed image on the CRT, but the 4661f was providing a muddy, artifact filled, soft and overall piss poor rendition of the broadcast.
My final grip is motion blur. There is indeed motion blur, quite apparent in a hockey game, especially in HD where the sharp image when not moving much contrasts dramatically with the blured image with fast movement, and while less of an issue to me, it is yet still something more to be puzzled about. And for the ones wondering, yes, I do know what motion blur is quite well, I shoot videos for a living, and I'm quite familiar with all the visual elements I'm speaking about here.
What happened on the market place so that when 5-10 years ago $1500 would get you the very best the industry had to offer in terms of picture quality and technology, which at the time was CRT, now doubling that amount will get you a downgrade on almost every aspect of picture quality but resolution on HD content and maybe color rendition?
I mean this is an owner's thread for specific models so I'm posting my impressions here since I'm a 4661f owner, but I feel this extends to all the current LCD / plasma models out there from what I've seen in store.
Now after all that, you must be wondering why the heck did I buy it if a hate it so much? Well first of all I don't hate it, I'm passionate about the fact I had much higher expectations due to price point and the fact technology is supposed to go forward, not take steps backward in some areas and forwards in others. I feel that on lots of things (motion blur, upconversion quality, dynamic range, etc.) this technology as well as plasma is a step or two backwards.
But I also know that I needed something smaller to go into my small living room, so retro or front projector solutions weren't an option, and since I'm meeting clients at home for video previewing, I also welcomed the bling factor of this kind of set to show the clients the final product on. They, contrary to me, will not be concerned or even notice most of the time the problems I'm speaking of here.
Anyways, I'm not going to bring it back and start testing dozens of models in a frantic search for the perfect TV. Simply because from all I've read and seen in store, this is the best flat panel TV this kind of money could buy me (and that's the scary thing). I also see some of the other concerns that have been expressed such as clouding, uneven lighting, overscan, etc. But to me, those are non-factors. These are the kind of minimal imperfections I can live with any time. Dynamic range, softness and motion blur however, harder to ignore.
I'm going to wait for the technology to mature to the point where I can get a dynamic range that at least rivals the best CRTs out there. Maybe the new LED TVs will be it, but from this techology switch experience, I remain very sceptical. I have a Samsung 275T LCD monitor for computing which I enjoy and appreciate very much, but TV / movie watching has other requirements, and I feel LCD cannot meet them at this point in time, nor can plasma (burn-ins, wha?!? And we accept to pay thousands of dollars for a disposable TV? Boy we're real suckers aren't we?).