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Plasma Flat Panel Displays

11:59 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 58
01-05-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hi there everyone!

I just picked up a 50B540 for an amazing price and have been messing around with it for a few days now. Generally, I am pretty satisfied with it so far.

Have tried to search this entire forum including an extensive Google search for more pro' info on the 2009 5 series Samsung plasmas. Other than the Sammy 2009 general thread, the PN5xB650 Owner Thread, but I cant find much. I do realize that the differences from the 09 series are not that big, there firmware, scailers, screen coatings / options etc. are. Only my questions cant be answered from the current threads on this board.

I was also hoping that many of the advanced users could shed some light on a few questions I had regarding the 5 series plasmas (PNxxB5XX)

Therefore, I decided to start this thread for the 2009 5 series owners out there that want to share comprehensive info, calibration and user opinions.
(Mods, if there is such a thread, please delete/modify as needed)

First off, my general opinions about this set:
I have 4 other plasmas and a few LCDs - some calibrated / some not - and Id have to say that even tho this is not a 650 or 8, it's a damb good plasma. Colour accuracy is pretty good out of the box with just a high touch of red/blue in the grey scale. The overall black levels are better then the Panasonic equivalent and its brightness is very close to my 720p plasma making it very watchable in the day. The only issue I have is its video processor is not the best when watching any content lower then 720p using its own scalier. (but whos gonna watch 480i content over composite?)

My Questions:
Ok, now for my questions (which have a lot to do with the service menu)
Now, most users - even pro calibrators will not touch the service menu unless necessary, but curiosity has gotten the best of me.

Question 1
I have changed the model in the Service menu from 540 to the 560 - which I know has the Crystal Engine right? So, I have noticed that the picture does become a little smoother and the gradiation improves abit. Problem is, that when I try to enable CineSmooth, its always greyed out. So - is true 24 CineSmooth crystal engine hardware dependent? If so, why did the picture slightly' improve when selecting a higher model in the firmware?

Question 2
Now, I know most of you try not to stress your panels and get accurate Gamma curves by lowering effective brightness, but I want to increase' the brightness of this set - I essentially want to get the same level of contrast/brightness that I see in Standard Mode' in Movie Mode'. Where in the service menu can I adjust MOVIE mode settings for sub Cont/bright as well as AVG. Are they suppose to be linked in the standard W/B menu? Cause I cant adjust any of the MOVIE Offset/gain settings in the service menu - they just do not move (stays-locked in the same value)

Question 3
Does anyone know a lot about the service menus and options for 2009 Samsung plasmas?
Would like a breakdown on the safe options and explanation on others - (maybe someone could post a service manual?) - the Samsung plasma tv faq is outdated and non of the info there is remotely the same as the service menu options on this set.

(Please see attached pictures of service menu on my 50B540)

Anywho, for anyone who wants some sort of start, I have my current settings listed below
I have a lot of windows in my house and a lot of ambient light - also screwed with the gamma in the service menu by 0.2% (gamma - 0.98) so my setting might be too bright for some.

Here they are:

CELL - 10
TINT - G51/R49



kanpol's Avatar kanpol
03:35 PM Liked: 11
post #2 of 58
01-05-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
since you are already playing around in the service menu, if you want to enter advanced hit the zero(0) 4 times in a row keep trying and it will open advanced.

In expert if you change N/D adjust to on you will turn on your day-cal and night-cal on in the user menu under movie mode.
10:47 AM Liked: 10
post #3 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
kanpol - Thank you so much for the Advanced service access info.
I was able to level the brightness of the movie move without sacrificing the gamma curve too much. I have attached a picture showing my MOVIE' mode settings. (see attached)

Please BE CAREFUL not to over drive your brightness ESPECIALLY Contrast, as any value over 200 will result in blooming' and a pinkish glow on bright white areas.

BTW, if your Samsung has a Pink' problem, out of the box, it could be one of 2 things - voltage regulator for panel dimming, or overdriven contrast values (usually a power supply problem or the panel is defective and cant take the voltage supplied properly)
Also, if you are experiencing BUZZING - this is nothing to be too alarmed at, as its just the filter caps in the power supply oscillating the pre-charge for the panel.

LCDs will buzz too, as the inverters ceramic components in the transformer will do the same thing for a backlight on full.

Anyway, I know this was brought up before in other threads, but I have concluded that Samsung has sacrificed panel brightness for energy savings. Here is the basic explanation. My Samsung draws 336watts on a pure white screen with factory settings. Cranking up the contrast (in service menu) brought up the white level overall, but still was cut off by the voltage limiter at a full white screen still capped 340watts. I therefore brought up the voltage slightly using the trim pots on the regulator and adjusted the Dimmer' in the service menu.

My Samsung is now drawing 423watts on a pure white screen and seems almost twice as bright. - in fact, its almost identical in brightness to my old 720p Samsung. The new panel seems to be stable even at this brightness. Therefore, I would conclude that Samsung cheated and limited overall panel brightness to achieve energy ratings. Shame.

Now, for the big question - did I destroy the sets ability to display accurate colours by increasing its brightness? Well, I don't have the equipment to test this BUT I do have a reference. My father has a Samsung PN50B650, he recently got this TV with my brothers help. I looked at them in movie mode - warm1/warm2 side-by-side and tried to compare them with my own eyes.

After minor adjusting in the service menu (r/b), and some tweaking to the white balance for 20min, both sets colour looked' almost identical. The only difference was that the whites on mine where twice as bright and this made them look a bit too blue/red. I then did some more adjusting in the serve menu (w/b) and got the whites spot on with the 650. The 650 has a better filter coating on the screen & supposedly a better video processor, but Id have to say, my new tweaked 540 popped compared to it - Id have to say that the blacks looked almost blacker because of the added contrast.

I think my father wants me to do this to his 650 - which will surely give better results.

Now, the only bad that came out of this is that I have noticed a bit more banding' in light areas where there is a solid dark area. Most Samsungs suffer from this. Im not too concerned as its barley noticeable and absent on checker patterns.

- Samsung dimmed the 2009 plasmas to make them energy compliant
- I was able to bypass this without noticeably' sacrificing colour accuracy/blacks and gamma
- I was able to make a 540 look better then a 650 (with exception of the crystal engine - which made no difference at all when watching HD content in 1080i or 1080p)
- the 5 series panels and video processor is not as bad as the higher end models 6+

There are still some questions I would like answered, and I still want to put together a more comprehensive list of service menu options & tweaks. (service manual too)

Oh, and if any of the experts could comment on what I did or review my questions in my first post. Maybe I can be corrected in my conclusions.
philtubes's Avatar philtubes
11:06 AM Liked: 10
post #4 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 151
Joined: Apr 2007
Did you actually update the firmware to the 560 or just change to the 560 in the service menu. I have followed the thread for updating the SM to the 560 but there are no concrete observations as to what improvements are gained if any. I have a 530 and don't want to bother with making changes in the SM if there are only "I think it's better" improvements.
philtubes's Avatar philtubes
11:09 AM Liked: 10
post #5 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 151
Joined: Apr 2007
JF-GINO, you mention the reason for the buzz, what can be done to eliminate it. Would changing out the caps for higher voltage ones do the trick?
arfster's Avatar arfster
11:43 AM Liked: 10
post #6 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 2,919
Joined: Feb 2006
I've figured out what pretty much everything in the b5xx service menu does, so feel free to fire any questions.

For accurate gamma curves, I found -1 was necessary. At 0, you end up with gamma at around 2.05-2.12 or so. At -1 it ends up spot on 2.22 once you've set brightness (57 for me) and calibrated white balance. This might vary between sets of course.

The 650 has the same panel afaik, but it does have the advantage of a CMS. With the right tools you can get a slightly better picture as a result. 500 series have only 2D colour controls in the service menu, not quite as useful. Still helpful though, as magenta and cyan are quite a way off by default, and red is oversaturated.

@jf-gino: for the level of options you're playing with, a colorimeter is an absolute must (x-rite i1 display LT is pretty cheap). This sort of stuff you can't do by eye :-)
philtubes's Avatar philtubes
12:29 PM Liked: 10
post #7 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 151
Joined: Apr 2007
Hi Arfster. Could you post your settings, I know it will be slighter different from set to set but I don't have calibration tools and I'm using settings published in a 550 review which I think look very good but I'd like to try alternatives. BTW, this TV is a gift when found on sale.
01:07 PM Liked: 10
post #8 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hey philtubes,

Changing the Caps, or other high voltage parts will not solve this problem. I do not suggest swapping out caps for higher voltage ones either. I do have a solution for buzzing power supply’s tho.

A plasmas power supply (even LCD) is like a fancy computer controlled Ballast. The high voltage components can oscillate and buzz if they are not placed on the board properly, or harmonically resonate within the plasma case/bezel. To fix or cut down on the buzz, I would suggest gluing down all the power supply components so the are not loose. Then baffling the back metal cover with electrical tape not covering the grills.

This should help. My cousin bought a Panasonic which buzzed (loud enough to be annoying at times), so I did this, and the buzz was almost eliminated.

My Sammy buzzes a bit, but only with it muted and with my face 1 foot from the screen LOL – very common for high voltage devices.

BTW, I only changed the model in the service menu.
All firmware’s come with all the builds to control all models in a series.
BUT just in case, I do not suggest you update the firmware with the 560s firmware,
The video processor is 'suppose' to be a bit different (I doubt it) so you might actually get negative results (firmware reads the chipset also so u might not be able to force flash anyways).

Would be cool tho, just to have CMS (3d colour controls) as I think the 560 has them like the 6 series no? could be wrong.

The only real advantage to changing the model number in the firmware is so you have the option to enable ‘cinesmooth’ 24p, yet Im still on the fence if this option works when enabled. (anyone wish to verify?)

For u, the other advantage would be access to the usb port and being able to view photos and music.

In any case, I do not recommend U doing any of this without knowledge on what u are doing. I have an electronics/programming background and I always confidently proceed with care.

Hi Arfster, I was going to pick up an X-Rite i1 – only $220.00 frm Henrys right up the street frm my house. I agree with you 100% on using the right tools here. Cant wait to properly calibrate this set.

Ur also very right about the CMS on the 650. I feel like swapping plasmas with my father when hes not home – he prob. wont be able to tell the difference. It’s a good tool to have indeed.

Ill fire my service mode questions as soon as I map the entire menu.
Thanks for your help and knowledge, its much appreciated!
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
02:33 PM Liked: 11
post #9 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
JF-GINO did you try the cal-day and cal-night. Your opinion on them. I have the B450 and I notice if I turn on the cal-day and night in service menu it wont show on user menu but if I change model to 560 in service menu then the cals show up in user menu.
Please try the cals, I would like to hyere someones opinion on them.
I was wondering if anyone knows what WM_Calib is in the service menu and what it does if you highlit it and press enter?

There is also an option somewhere in advanced that turn on 1080p/48.
Is Dynamic CE and Dynamic Dimming best to leave off or is it for LCD and samsung just left it in the service menu.
03:00 PM Liked: 10
post #10 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hey kanpol,

I have not tried the cal-day/night yet but will take a look soon.
What ever you do DO NOT PUSH WM_Calib. U will never get ur TVs colour the same after pressing this (unless you have written down ur ADC settings)

What WM_Calib does is, if you have a signal generator, you supply the TV with a reference pattern (eg. NTSC colour bars pat86 whatever) press that option, and the RED/GREEN/BLUE drives on the video board will be automatically calibrated for white.
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
03:22 PM Liked: 11
post #11 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
glad I never hit it Basically If I had my ps3 showing colorbars and then hit it it would sort of do a calibration correct.
The reason why I ask about the cals is at least with my tv when it on the cals day or night the colorspace, black tone and dynamic contrast cannot be changed. The choices can be changed example colorspace you can switch between auto and native but the actual picture wont change, the same goes with black tone and dynamic contrast. I dont use thoughs but I have a feeling they're stuck on high like in Dynamic mode.
pinstripe12's Avatar pinstripe12
04:29 PM Liked: 10
post #12 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2010
i have the pn50b530, and ive noticed the front panel buttons are pretty much worthless. sometimes they work, sometimes they dont. anyone have some experience with this problem? i can usually turn the tv off using the button on the front, but it takes a couple swipes, and i rarely can turn it on that way. not a big deal, easier to use the remote anyway, but seems very odd. there is very little input lag, everything is very smooth. still some minor image retention after playing games or leaving up white text on black background for awhile. always goes away. slight buzzing, but not noticeable over even low volume from speakers.

other than that ive been extremely happy with it. so glad i went with plasma instead of lcd.
philtubes's Avatar philtubes
04:55 PM Liked: 10
post #13 of 58
01-07-2010 | Posts: 151
Joined: Apr 2007
You know, I've got to wonder that even though you have the ability to go in and change to the 560, the lower # sets just aren't equipped with these features, yes they are turned on and may show up in the user menu but are they actually doing anything. The reason I pose this question is because I have not read of anyone that stated "Yes, I can see the difference and the feature is absolutely working".
10:27 AM Liked: 10
post #14 of 58
01-12-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hey pinstripe12,

Not sure why the front panel buttons are not working properly for you. I believe they are capacitive. Mine seem to work with just a gentle swipe (almost too sensitive). Might be the capacitive sensors are not seated close enough inside the bezzel.

As for what philtubes is asking, I too would like some sort of conformation that firmware functions are working on lower sets (Eg - Cinesmooth24) - Does this work perfectly when enabled in the sevice menu on lesser models?

BTW, What exactly is Panel Dimm - INT in the service menu?

Also, I see the 1080p/48 option discussed a lot - in my opinion has nothing to do with picture - I believe it forces 4800khz audio out of HDMI only with no downsampling (could be wrong tho)
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
09:36 PM Liked: 11
post #15 of 58
01-12-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
JF-GINO did you ever try to switch on the cal modes yet? Just curious cause to have your opinion on it.

edit JF-GINO I just looked at 1 of your servicer menu pictures and saw the "DIMM TYPE" your were talking about and what I think it might be is the internal memory, I know computer memory is refered to as "dimm" laptop memory is "so-dimm". So maybe it means the memory is internal(INT).
10:00 AM Liked: 10
post #16 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hey kanpol,

I just tried the day/night cal this morning and I get very negative results.
When activated, I get an inverted image with only cyan colours (looks like night vision)

Must be a difference in the video I do not remember hearing anyone with other models having this effect. As for the dynamic contrast and other options, they 'Do' work in this mode, but the modes are useless with my set.

Also, All of my settings give values between 0-255 on all options, they overdrive the settings when set over 128.

As for the Dimm type, u might be right, I just assumed it might have to do with the Panel Dimming, (full white level threshold cap)
Muza's Avatar Muza
10:06 AM Liked: 10
post #17 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 18
Joined: Sep 2003

Is there a way to reduce the green output in the service menu? I have a problem with greenish blacks (1% to 6%) and its not possible to correct with the white balance controls.

10:51 AM Liked: 10
post #18 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Muza, This can be done in the service menu If you just want to dial it down a bit, but I suggest you wright down your default settings and not mess around too much. U should get it pro-calibrated for best results.

First, what picture mode are u using (movie, normal etc.) and what colour temp setting (norm, warm1, warm2 etc)? This is important.

If its in Movie mode (as you should be using) and for example, warm1 - then in the advanced menu, Mode - turn this ON (movie mode is now on - colour mode should be movie) and select colour tone - warm1 or 2 or norm. The adjustable values will be grayed or active respectfully. U can adjust the RED or BLUE gain/offset-Cont. If your black/grays are kinda greenish, then you need to adjust the GAIN (as offset- adj basicly the balance of contrast white)

Because u can only adjust RED or BLUE, I would suggest bringing up both equally until u get your desired result.

If its in the NORMAL or DYNAMIC mode, you can adjust the white balance (gain) in the ADC/WB menu under Options. Just dial down the green gain ( 128 default )
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
11:01 AM Liked: 11
post #19 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
JF-GINO my bad, sorry forgot to tell you to hit reset on the user menu of both cals. sorry bout that, the main reason for that look is flesh tones. But please go back to cal-day and cal-night in user menu and hit the rest settings in both and they will look fine, once again sorry bout that.

my dynamic contrast, black tones and color space can be changed in the Cal-modes to the different option on each of these but I can see no resaults when I cycle through them. for example on dynamic contrast when I switch between low medium and high I can see no noticable change.
arfster's Avatar arfster
11:02 AM Liked: 10
post #20 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 2,919
Joined: Feb 2006
You might find the processor won't allow it - on mine offset specifically aims at IRE25, and affects ire20 quite a lot as a result (and it basically acts as a baseline point for 30+, the angle of which is set by gain). However, I can't move ire10 at all.

Having said that, green is basically ruler flat for me regardless of mode. It's blue and red that shoot off a bit at ire10 - here's a quick calibration I did earlier:

That's a ps50b530, European model. Settings were brightness 61, contrast 85, gamma -2, movie/warm1 (you need that high brightness cos lowering contrast, lowering gamma and my white balance settings all crush blacks). Service menu colour points and white balance have been moved a bit.

You can also do a little better than that - that one took 5 minutes, I know the ballpark settings pretty well by now! Anything under deltaE (the bottom graph) of 3 is basically perfect though, and even under 10 is fine.

ps if you're having fleshtone issues, it might be your yellow isn't too spot on - particularly the hue. It doesn't need to move far for skin to look strange.
kamilyo's Avatar kamilyo
11:53 AM Liked: 10
post #21 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009
I have samsung 50b550. I messed with the service menu today and by accident I changed the "type" now I don't know which one to set. There are 3 settings with 50 at the beginning 50FMFU4, 50FSML4 and 50FSPL4. I have no idea which one it was before. I tried to set 50FMFU4 and 50FSML4 already but it seems it has no effect on picture quality. But I have this feeling that if it is set wrong it can do something bad to the panel or mainboard of the TV. Please could somebody help me and check what they have set as "type" in service menu???
12:16 PM Liked: 10
post #22 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hi kamilyo,

I have the B540, the panels are the same - I think mine is set at 50FSPL4, but Ill
post it when I get home frm work (assuming U dont get an answer by then)

Also, flesh tones can be fixed slightly in the Advanced menu once again, see attached picture, where U can somewhat adjust by 3D calibration options.

I had some magenta fleshtones, so pulled down the magenta saturation abit (notice its all in hex) and then re-calibrated. Problem solved. I would suggest not extensively using these adjustments without a calibration tool tho.

BTW It seems that IRE10 always results in too much red, this helped allot here as well.
Muza's Avatar Muza
01:25 PM Liked: 10
post #23 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 18
Joined: Sep 2003
Hello JF-GINO:

The tv is in Movie mode and Warm 2 temp, and it's already calibrated using hcfr and a dtp94 porbe, the values are all good and the delta-e are all below 2.7(from 30% to 100%), but i still have greenish grays, most noticeable on night or space (as in science fiction) scenes, also my set looks too green in warm 2, i tried to calibrate on Warm 1, but no matter what temp I'm still stuck with the lower blacks looking green.
Also green is clipping at the top(from 90% on), blue and red look ok on test patterns, i was hoping to lower green output (0 to 100%) to solve both problems.

kamilyo's Avatar kamilyo
03:20 PM Liked: 10
post #24 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2009
Thnaks JF-GINO! Now I feel much better with the TV set properly
07:14 PM Liked: 10
post #25 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Confirming my TYPE = 50FSpl4
OmegaR3D's Avatar OmegaR3D
07:41 PM Liked: 12
post #26 of 58
01-13-2010 | Posts: 342
Joined: Oct 2009
I loved cinemasmooth but had to stop using it on my PN50B530 because the audio was always out of sync even with my receiver using a 100ms avsync (max possible) it wasn't enough. I'm pretty sad about going back to normal that was the first eye popping feature I'd ever used on a HDTV.

I also changed my "type" in the service menu. Can someone post the default type for PN50B530?
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
12:57 AM Liked: 11
post #27 of 58
01-14-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
JF_GINO did you try those Cal-settings again after doing a reset in the user menu?
06:18 PM Liked: 10
post #28 of 58
01-14-2010 | Posts: 31
Joined: Dec 2009
Hey kanpol,

Did a re-set on the day/night cal modes as u suggested and started fooling around. My picture enhancement settings also do not work in the 2 modes. I believe that they are disabled as to allow accuracy when calibration is done leaving post processing options off. They might be able to be enabled in the SM. It is cool to have these extra modes but I do not know how accurate they are outside of the picture modes as I have not the means to measure them.

Im in the process of getting a DTP-94 sensor of my own soon.
kanpol's Avatar kanpol
06:29 PM Liked: 11
post #29 of 58
01-14-2010 | Posts: 374
Joined: Nov 2008
I just did a test, I have no sensors either so its only by eye, but what I did was set cal-day to the same settings as dynamic mode. set the color temp to cool and it looked exactly the same when switching between to two. Then I set cal-night and movie mode the same and turned dynamic contrast to highest and black tone to highest on movie mode and they both looked the same, then turned black tone and dynamic contrast off in movie mode and there was a difference. So it seems that those features are automatically set to high but we cant be certain till someone can measure them. ehh worst case senerio we have a dynamic mode with gamma, white balance and all 4 color temperatures available, lol.

JF-GINO do you know what happens if you hit the eepprom reset in the service menu?
arfster's Avatar arfster
09:06 PM Liked: 10
post #30 of 58
01-14-2010 | Posts: 2,919
Joined: Feb 2006
Originally Posted by kanpol View Post

JF-GINO do you know what happens if you hit the eepprom reset in the service menu?

Do not do that :-)

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