Samsung PN42A400 42" 720p Plasma - AVS Forum
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Old 11-28-2008, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Since I know several people have purchased or are thinking of purchasing this set given how prominently it was advertised for Black Friday, I figured I'd start a thread for information on this panel.

Official Samsung Information

Detailed Spec Sheet

Tsanga's Settings (originally for Samsung PN50A450)

Feel free to post your questions about this model, initial impressions based on the specs, and experiences so far if you have purchased the set. I'll update this OP as more information is available.
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Old 11-28-2008, 09:22 AM
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It looks like a rebadged 4254 to me, I think that all of Samsung's black Friday TVs are rebadged 07 models. (the a500 LCDs are the old 61 series, and these a400 plasma sets are the 54 series based on the bezel design and number of inputs) which is sad as this years Samsung's were a rather large step forward over the 07 models. (especially in the IR department on the plasma side)

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Old 11-28-2008, 02:04 PM
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how do you know this is true?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

It looks like a rebadged 4254 to me, I think that all of Samsung's black Friday TVs are rebadged 07 models. (the a500 LCDs are the old 61 series, and these a400 plasma sets are the 54 series based on the bezel design and number of inputs) which is sad as this years Samsung's were a rather large step forward over the 07 models. (especially in the IR department on the plasma side)

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Old 11-29-2008, 09:27 AM
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I bought this tv at BB yesterday and am sitting on it for now. According to a reviewer on the BB website, he quotes this tv as having "No QAM", which directly contradicts the Samsung site. Can anybody who owns this tv verify this? I just don't think a quality company like samsung would put a tv out w/o having QAM, which would be a deal killer for me. thanks in advance.
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Old 11-30-2008, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodivista View Post

I bought this tv at BB yesterday and am sitting on it for now. According to a reviewer on the BB website, he quotes this tv as having "No QAM", which directly contradicts the Samsung site. Can anybody who owns this tv verify this? I just don't think a quality company like samsung would put a tv out w/o having QAM, which would be a deal killer for me. thanks in advance.

I have this TV, unfortunately I do not have cable service to test QAM functionality. However, according to crutchfield this TV DOES have a QAM tuner:

crutchfield.com/p_305PN42400/Samsung-PN42A400.html?tp=161
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Old 11-30-2008, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I've had it running quite a bit since I bought it Friday morning. I cannot verify the QAM since I'm in a rural area and don't have cable.

I turned the brightness and contrast way down, and I did notice a clear increase in false contouring. One thing I did wonder is how much of the false contouring is source quality and how much is picture processing. I don't recall any false contouring to this point while watching OTA HD, but I haven't seen a lot of scenes with opportunity for it. I have yet to purchase an Upconverting DVD player, so at this point I'm just watching SD DVDs over regular RCA connection...not even progressive scan at this point. I must say that even that looks great on this set, although anything would look better than what it did on the 27" Magnavox CRT.

So far this panel has met my expectations. My only hope is that I don't regret taking this one over the Panny TH-42PX80U that was on sale for the same price. For my money I wanted the better color accuracy over the slightly better black levels, so as long as this set continues to perform to expectations I think I've made the right purchase.

Next challenge is the wall mount over the fireplace.

Anybody else fire up their 42A400 yet?
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:07 PM
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i also bought it for 800 from sears.com

at the moment they are having issues billing me for it, however i believe this is just the old 5054 model.
i already own the 4254 model and love it. I expect the same great quality from this set once i get it
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Old 11-30-2008, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon View Post


So far this panel has met my expectations. My only hope is that I don't regret taking this one over the Panny TH-42PX80U that was on sale for the same price.

I had the Panny first, and I had to return it since it gave out after only one day. As far as picture quality is concerned I find the Samsung to be much, much better. The Samsung is brighter and the picture is much crisper, the contours on the Panny looked kinda washed out. The Samsung also does pixel-for-pixel resolution for 1024x768 with a PC hooked up through HDMI or VGA, while the Panny did not.
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:14 AM
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Can anyone tell me if getting a TV without 1080p at this point is worth it? Would I be missing much getting a tv that only goes to 720p?
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Old 12-01-2008, 08:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallows View Post

Can anyone tell me if getting a TV without 1080p at this point is worth it? Would I be missing much getting a tv that only goes to 720p?

At any size 50" or under you're very unlikely to even be able to see the difference.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:43 AM
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does anyone have the config specs for this tv?
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Old 12-01-2008, 01:24 PM - Thread Starter
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What specifically are you looking for, amossade? Break-in settings? Normal viewing settings? Defaults? General spec sheet?
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Old 12-01-2008, 04:56 PM
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Just got it hooked up, ill be honest. i sit about 8 feet away and the 42inch samsung i have def looked clearer, however i plan on sitting about 12 feet away and at that distance it looks just a good. no one should be sitting less than 10 feet away from a set this large anyway.
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Old 12-02-2008, 10:35 AM
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This is my first HDTV, so I'm kind of a newb. The salesman at Best Buy recommended getting it calibrated after 100 hours to get the best picture, decrease energy consumption, and extend the lifetime of the TV. Is this really necessary? Is there a way I can do it myself?
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schwagg View Post

This is my first HDTV, so I'm kind of a newb. The salesman at Best Buy recommended getting it calibrated after 100 hours to get the best picture, decrease energy consumption, and extend the lifetime of the TV. Is this really necessary? Is there a way I can do it myself?

Yes, the salesman gave you good advice. Here's a link to the lna450 calibration thread, you should be good using those settings:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1042607
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Old 12-03-2008, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gsakes View Post

Yes, the salesman gave you good advice. Here's a link to the lna450 calibration thread, you should be good using those settings:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1042607

Why would you want to use the LCD calibration settings on a plasma?
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Old 12-03-2008, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon View Post

Why would you want to use the LCD calibration settings on a plasma?

Oops - I meant the PN42A450, there are some calibration suggestions here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...1042350&page=2
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon View Post

At any size 50" or under you're very unlikely to even be able to see the difference.

I'm either going to get a 42inch samsung plasma or a 50inch depending on the sales. If there's no real noticeable difference at those sizes between 720p and 1080p then I won't worry about it.

thanks.
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallows View Post

I'm either going to get a 42inch samsung plasma or a 50inch depending on the sales. If there's no real noticeable difference at those sizes between 720p and 1080p then I won't worry about it.

thanks.

Seating distance plays a big part in it as well as eye sight, I can see SDE on my 42 inch 720p plasma at 7 feet, (and I usually sit 6 feet from it) so if I ever step up to a 50 inch screen, 1080p is a must for me.

The best thing to do is get real close to a 720p 50 inch plasma and notice the pixel structure and then slowly back away until you can no longer see it, if that distance is a good bit less than your viewing distance, then 720p might work for you. (you can usually spot SDE a tad better in your home than you can at the store) Everyone has a different SDE threshold and then there are others that don't even care if they can see it, you need to do some in person comparisons to determine where you fall in all of this and how much it bothers you, if it even bothers you at all.

The point where I can no longer notice the SDE on a 50 inch 720p set is almost 9 feet, which is too far away from the display for the type of viewing that I enjoy meaning that I need 1080p on a 50 inch screen.

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Old 12-04-2008, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PENDRAG0ON View Post

Seating distance plays a big part in it as well as eye sight, I can see SDE on my 42 inch 720p plasma at 7 feet, (and I usually sit 6 feet from it) so if I ever step up to a 50 inch screen, 1080p is a must for me.

The best thing to do is get real close to a 720p 50 inch plasma and notice the pixel structure and then slowly back away until you can no longer see it, if that distance is a good bit less than your viewing distance, then 720p might work for you. (you can usually spot SDE a tad better in your home than you can at the store) Everyone has a different SDE threshold and then there are others that don't even care if they can see it, you need to do some in person comparisons to determine where you fall in all of this and how much it bothers you, if it even bothers you at all.

The point where I can no longer notice the SDE on a 50 inch 720p set is almost 9 feet, which is too far away from the display for the type of viewing that I enjoy meaning that I need 1080p on a 50 inch screen.

Thanks for the tips. I can say that my brother has a 50inch 1080i samsung plasma and I didn't notice any SDE at 8-10 ft viewing distance.

Now I'm not really sure how 720p and 1080i match up. I don't even see 1080i advertised anymore. They're definitely different resolutions though.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:50 PM
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Can a person get IR from the break-in DVD color-screen images? I'm among the paranoid, and these posts seem to say don't sweat it, but here's my story.
Bought a Samsung PN42A400, last Monday, downloaded the burnin DVD disk from here and began running it. First day, ran the DVD overnight but the player apparently stopped, leaving a white screen for 2-3 hours. Since then, the screen (power off) is whiter than when I brought it home. Is this IR? Hope it's not burn-in(!) Will it go away naturally? Should I use the DVD again right away or wait until the whiteness disappears?
One other possible reason for the oddity. I have the DVD player hooked up through our VCR, (yes, I'm just entering the 21st century), so the cables into the TV are RCA audio L/R and a single video (into the component green jack, right?) Is this a problem for the DVD break-in? Should I get component video cables to break this in best?
Thanks for help and hints!
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dallows View Post

Can anyone tell me if getting a TV without 1080p at this point is worth it? Would I be missing much getting a tv that only goes to 720p?


I have a 60" 1080P for the family room because I run both PS3 & BR and XBOX 360 & HDDVD for gaming and watching HD movies on it. I am looking at getting a 42" Plasma or LCD for the bedroom and I can't justify getting a 1080P which is why I'm looking at this set. I'm only going to hook it up to a HDDVR Direct TV receiver so the wife can watch TV while I'm using the 60" in the family room. I don't ever plan on hooking up a 1080P source to that TV so why pay for a 1080P when the 42" 720P's can be had for as cheap as $700? You're not going to get a true 1080P feed from digital cable or HD satellite anytime in the near future anyway. The closest they've even talked about it is Video on Demand which will be a 1080P feed but I haven't tried it yet.
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Based on what I've seen so far, I think you'll be happy with the 42A400.
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Old 12-06-2008, 01:50 PM
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Hi...just got the PN42A400 at CC for 650...anyone recommend any good break in settings?
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Old 12-06-2008, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Apollyon View Post

Based on what I've seen so far, I think you'll be happy with the 42A400.

Talking about me? lol.

I'm considering it. That or the set above it. The 42A450.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:10 AM
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Has anyone noticed a problem with clayface? When I watch talk shows like Letterman or Leno the faces are terrible. This is using the set on the ClearQAM channels that Verizon FIOS makes available.

The other thing I noticed is that animated DVDs seem to have colors that are way over saturated.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trek930 View Post

Has anyone noticed a problem with clayface? When I watch talk shows like Letterman or Leno the faces are terrible. This is using the set on the ClearQAM channels that Verizon FIOS makes available.

The other thing I noticed is that animated DVDs seem to have colors that are way over saturated.

Yes, I've noticed the clayface problem every now and then. My assumption was that it was because I had turned many of the settings down, including contrast. I've noticed some false contouring here and there as well, but it was also in SD DVDs and again with the settings turned down.

Haven't played any animated DVDs, but the colors on the Wii games (particularly Super Mario Galaxy) don't look oversaturated to me.

What do you have your pictures settings set to?
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:23 AM
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Currently my settings are all over the place as I've been experimenting. However, I saw the problems I mentioned at the default settings.
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Old 12-09-2008, 01:35 PM
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Hi..i have a 42" PN42A400 connected to DishNetwork's VIP622 via HDMI.
I am also connected to a SONY Upconverting DVD player via another HDMI.

i was wondering if someone could recommend a good DVD calibration for me...i saw many and since I am a novice at this, am not sure which one to use.

Thanks.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:33 AM
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Well, I FINALLY made the jump and got a HD set. I purchased the pn42a400. After messing with the settings my self for a bit I just could not get it to look good. So, I decided to run around the web and try to find something to help me make this TV look as good as it should. I found in this thread a link to some calibration settings:

Here are the settings on my Samsung so far:
Mode: Movie
Cell: 10
Contrast: 55
Brightness: 53
Sharpness: 0
Color: 50
Tint: G50/R50

Detailed:
Black Adjust: Off
Dynamic Contrast: Off
Gamma: 0
Color Space: Custom
Red: R50 G6 B2
Green: R0 G49 B9
Blue: R4 G0 B36
Yellow: R47 G51 B14
Cyan: R3 G51 B48
Magenta: R48 G5 B40
W/B (from Warm2 color temp):
R-Offset: 26
G-Offset: 25
B-Offset: 26
R-Gain: 29
G-Gain: 25
B-Gain: 18

I tried these and (sorry to the poster of these settings...) and it looks TERRIBLE on my set. I am not sure how to explain it but, the areas of black look like they are... watercolor black. They look really splotchy. The whites now look grey and washed out. All of the colors look, kinda bland. Anyone else try these settings and get different results? Am I just doing something wrong? Are not all sets the same? Should I just go ahead and pay the Firedog to come out and calibrate my set or what?

I am a newb to the HD scene and I REALLY like the community here so far. You all seem very nice and helpful without ever making anyone look as stupid as I am Thanks in advance.
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