Samsung PN59D6900 light level changes - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-12-2011, 11:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Two weeks ago, I got a very nice PN59D6900 from Future Shop (included 2 pair 3D glasses, 4 Shrek 3D movies and Samsung 3D BD-D5500 Blu-Ray player). I was happy with the deal and the plasma display is amazing (this was an upgrade from a 10-year old 50" Panasonic 720p commercial plasma with no TV tuner).

But there's a problem.... Periodically, while watching, I will notice the light level goes up and/or down at random times. It's as if the voltage went up/down and a light bulb dims. Sometimes it might go down and come back up in a few seconds or a few minutes later.

Note that I am not using any TV/Internet/wi-fi connections/sources. I am ONLY watching discs - some DVD and some Blu-Ray. I haven't even had a chance to try 3D yet. Immediately after I plugged in the TV, I did connect it to my router and updated the firmware. I haven't updated the Blu-Ray player yet.

When this occurs, I back up the player and re-play the scene and I never see the same change in level. It has also happened on several discs. So it's not the disc. I doubt that it's the player (hooked up with HDMI to RX and then HDMI to plasma). The RX isn't very good (Sony STR-DG720), so a new RX will be the next thing to buy.

Tonight I was watching a Blu-Ray disc and the brightness changed up/down over a period of 2-3 seconds, which is something I haven't seen before (usually it just goes up and then down again a few minutes later).

I have never encountered this in the past 10 years (same building) of watching the 720p plasma, but then again, it was a commercial display panel (no TV tuner), so it might be significantly more robust.

The set is only about 2 weeks old. I haven't changed any settings yet or done a burn-in prior to calibration. Is this light level change a known problem? I haven't talked to the Samsung or Future Shop guys yet.

The settings appear to be factory defaults:

picture mode: standard
cell light: 10
contrast: 95
brightness: 45
sharpness: 50
color: 50
tint: G50, R50
auto adjustment (disabled, can't select)

Advanced
black tone: off
dynamic contrast: high
gamma: 0
expert pattern: off
RGB only mode: off
color space: native
white balance: all RGB gain/offset are set at 25
10p white balance: off (disabled, can't select)
flesh tone: 0
edge enhancement: on
motion lighting: on
xvYCC: off

System/eco solution
energy saving: off
eco sensor: on

software: 001009 (updated on first day of ownership)
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-13-2011, 04:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

Two weeks ago, I got a very nice PN59D6900 from Future Shop (included 2 pair 3D glasses, 4 Shrek 3D movies and Samsung 3D BD-D5500 Blu-Ray player). I was happy with the deal and the plasma display is amazing (this was an upgrade from a 10-year old 50" Panasonic 720p commercial plasma with no TV tuner).

But there's a problem.... Periodically, while watching, I will notice the light level goes up and/or down at random times. It's as if the voltage went up/down and a light bulb dims. Sometimes it might go down and come back up in a few seconds or a few minutes later.

Note that I am not using any TV/Internet/wi-fi connections/sources. I am ONLY watching discs - some DVD and some Blu-Ray. I haven't even had a chance to try 3D yet. Immediately after I plugged in the TV, I did connect it to my router and updated the firmware. I haven't updated the Blu-Ray player yet.

When this occurs, I back up the player and re-play the scene and I never see the same change in level. It has also happened on several discs. So it's not the disc. I doubt that it's the player (hooked up with HDMI to RX and then HDMI to plasma). The RX isn't very good (Sony STR-DG720), so a new RX will be the next thing to buy.

Tonight I was watching a Blu-Ray disc and the brightness changed up/down over a period of 2-3 seconds, which is something I haven't seen before (usually it just goes up and then down again a few minutes later).

I have never encountered this in the past 10 years (same building) of watching the 720p plasma, but then again, it was a commercial display panel (no TV tuner), so it might be significantly more robust.

The set is only about 2 weeks old. I haven't changed any settings yet or done a burn-in prior to calibration. Is this light level change a known problem? I haven't talked to the Samsung or Future Shop guys yet.

The settings appear to be factory defaults:

picture mode: standard
cell light: 10
contrast: 95
brightness: 45
sharpness: 50
color: 50
tint: G50, R50
auto adjustment (disabled, can't select)

Advanced
black tone: off
dynamic contrast: high
gamma: 0
expert pattern: off
RGB only mode: off
color space: native
white balance: all RGB gain/offset are set at 25
10p white balance: off (disabled, can't select)
flesh tone: 0
edge enhancement: on
motion lighting: on
xvYCC: off

System/eco solution
energy saving: off
eco sensor: on

software: 001009 (updated on first day of ownership)

Hi :0)

Samsung calls this feature "Auto Contrast" and you cant do anything about.

In my opinion its the worst feature i have ever seen on a TV.

Its implemented to save power so that the TV could get the "Energy Star".

If you cant get used to it, i would recommend returning the TV ASAP ...
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post #3 of 28 Old 07-13-2011, 04:31 AM
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Try Movie mode and see if it helps any. Mine had terrible brightness pops on Standard mode but they have toned down a lot on Movie mode. I am still in the "break in" stages so I have yet to calibrate mine but I did test a few 7000 settings and none of them blew me away over the preset movie mode. I like the relax mode presets as well, just brightens the picture a little over movie mode. Dynamic is terrible, I switched it to that mode during some golf and the grass looked almost neon green, awful...
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-13-2011, 04:36 AM
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Turn off dynamic contrast. That seems to be the problem.
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-13-2011, 07:10 AM
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Certain settings will help, but in the end they will always be there. I recommend either returning it or call samsung and schedule a main board replacement.

For now, turn off eco sensor, motion lighting, edge enhancement and set dynamic contrast to low, set to movie mode (try an online calibration or just put it on warm 1 for now to not make your white too brown).

Do not accept these fluctuations. These are unacceptable for a 2011 plasma and should not be treated as such.
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-13-2011, 10:37 PM - Thread Starter
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As soon as I switched it to Movie mode, dynamic contrast, edge enhancement and motion lighting all went off. Then I turned off eco sensor. I will watch another disc tomorrow to see what that does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Nova View Post

Certain settings will help, but in the end they will always be there. I recommend either returning it or call samsung and schedule a main board replacement.

Jay, you recommend a board replacement, which is fine, but you also seem to be saying that won't fix it and the problem will always be there. Can you clarify please?
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

As soon as I switched it to Movie mode, dynamic contrast, edge enhancement and motion lighting all went off. Then I turned off eco sensor. I will watch another disc tomorrow to see what that does.



Jay, you recommend a board replacement, which is fine, but you also seem to be saying that won't fix it and the problem will always be there. Can you clarify please?

No no no, I meant the problem will always be there UNLESS you get a board replaced, panel replaced, or whatever the source of the problem is. Get a hold of Samsung ASAP to get the problem recognized and fixed. Sorry if I wasnt clear.
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Jay - ok, understood.

I just called 1-800-SAMSUNG and spoke to a guy. He told me to go to the picture diagnostic and tell me if the problem is there. Well, that diagnostic shows a picture of people at the beach. After 30 s, the picture and menu disappears. I told him there was no problem in the 30 s that I watched it and he says the TV is probably ok then. I told him I would have to watch it for an hour to be sure about it but the picture and menu disappears after 30 s. That was lost on him. I told him not to write down "test ok".

I told him I was using the Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-Ray player connected via HDMI and he didn't seem to care. He said that's only one source - you have to try other sources. Well, I don't have cable, satellite or even an antenna. I have been watching only DVDs (Blu-Ray). This problem shows up on every DVD I have watched. He told me go out and buy an antenna and try it. He said he can NOT go any further until he eliminates the source as a possible problem. So instead of watching a stable, high-quality source, he wants me to hook up an antenna and watch a lesser quality OTA signal.

I don't know how some of you guys can cut through the boilerplate and end up talking to engineers or otherwise good guys on this. I told him that there were numerous reports on AVSForum about this problem and he said he didn't know anything about that.

Frustrated. I really don't want to spend the next month going back & forth about this. Perhaps the only solution is to walk away and return the whole package.
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

Jay - ok, understood.

I just called 1-800-SAMSUNG and spoke to a guy. He told me to go to the picture diagnostic and tell me if the problem is there. Well, that diagnostic shows a picture of people at the beach. After 30 s, the picture and menu disappears. I told him there was no problem in the 30 s that I watched it and he says the TV is probably ok then. I told him I would have to watch it for an hour to be sure about it but the picture and menu disappears after 30 s. That was lost on him. I told him not to write down "test ok".

I told him I was using the Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-Ray player connected via HDMI and he didn't seem to care. He said that's only one source - you have to try other sources. Well, I don't have cable, satellite or even an antenna. I have been watching only DVDs (Blu-Ray). This problem shows up on every DVD I have watched. He told me go out and buy an antenna and try it. He said he can NOT go any further until he eliminates the source as a possible problem. So instead of watching a stable, high-quality source, he wants me to hook up an antenna and watch a lesser quality OTA signal.

I don't know how some of you guys can cut through the boilerplate and end up talking to engineers or otherwise good guys on this. I told him that there were numerous reports on AVSForum about this problem and he said he didn't know anything about that.

Frustrated. I really don't want to spend the next month going back & forth about this. Perhaps the only solution is to walk away and return the whole package.

did u turn off all of the settings as suggested earlier and put it in movie mode? if not, turn off dynamic contrast, edge enhancement, dynamic lighting, and eco sensor.

also, i understand your frustration, i've been there before, but as an engineer myself i can understand why he would want you to try a *different* source to verify it's the tv and not the blu ray player. let us know if the settings helped!
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

Jay - ok, understood.

I just called 1-800-SAMSUNG and spoke to a guy. He told me to go to the picture diagnostic and tell me if the problem is there. Well, that diagnostic shows a picture of people at the beach. After 30 s, the picture and menu disappears. I told him there was no problem in the 30 s that I watched it and he says the TV is probably ok then. I told him I would have to watch it for an hour to be sure about it but the picture and menu disappears after 30 s. That was lost on him. I told him not to write down "test ok".

I told him I was using the Samsung BD-D5500 Blu-Ray player connected via HDMI and he didn't seem to care. He said that's only one source - you have to try other sources. Well, I don't have cable, satellite or even an antenna. I have been watching only DVDs (Blu-Ray). This problem shows up on every DVD I have watched. He told me go out and buy an antenna and try it. He said he can NOT go any further until he eliminates the source as a possible problem. So instead of watching a stable, high-quality source, he wants me to hook up an antenna and watch a lesser quality OTA signal.

I don't know how some of you guys can cut through the boilerplate and end up talking to engineers or otherwise good guys on this. I told him that there were numerous reports on AVSForum about this problem and he said he didn't know anything about that.

Frustrated. I really don't want to spend the next month going back & forth about this. Perhaps the only solution is to walk away and return the whole package.

Request service for a rep to come out and check it. You will get the run around on the phone or through email. Thats unless you really want to raise some hell over the phone. Which is really tempting...

http://www.samsung.com/us/support/service/request

Their picture quality test is only a picture too. FBr happens primarily with motion or a change in camera perspective. This is what I am doing, but you can certainly do what you want.

I noticed the problem early on, I did research and found it wasnt anything I was doing. Did the service request because the thing is under warranty and not working properly. Then scheduled a visit with the Samsung tech. He came, he saw, he was confused. Claimed he never seen it before and called HQ and THEY never seen it before either.

He is going to contact a software engineer and try to reproduce the problem elsewhere to see if it is an issue with just my tv or something widespread through the tv's firmware. I have 2 weeks for him to get back to me and either fix the problem (unlikely) or return it and go Panasonic.

Yes Panasonic has the same issue, but there is already a firmware developed that supposedly fixes the FBr overseas. A global version of it is supposed to reach out in the next couple weeks. Plus, some of the new Panasonics already come with the firmware built in and have not exhibited FBr at all.

Good luck!
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 09:51 AM - Thread Starter
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I emailed the salesperson who sold me the TV. Here is his response:

Quote:
I have heard of this problem although it doesn't seem to happen on every unit. I've also heard that turning off the feature that does the automatic light room adjustment helps.

I have had 2 other units like this and on both those units customer's did have calibration's purchased and once the calibration was done the problem went away. So I guess those would be 2 options. The calibration is $299.99 but since they were on promotion last week for 199.99 I could honor that price for you. I will say that other than solving that problem customer's were beyond happy with the improvement in picture quality and the decrease in heat that the calibration gave them. Let me know if that's something you would like to proceed with.

95% of his response revolves around making a few bucks by selling me something else. I guess I should have expected as much from a sales person.

Although calibration will affect colour, contrast, appearance and overall picture quality, I don't believe that calibration can possibly have any effect on the intermittent light level problem.
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-14-2011, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kheovnien View Post

did u turn off all of the settings as suggested earlier and put it in movie mode? if not, turn off dynamic contrast, edge enhancement, dynamic lighting, and eco sensor. ..

I made the changes, but haven't gotten around to watching anything. I'll do that tonight.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-18-2011, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems to be better with lots of things turned off, but perhaps I'm not noticing it as much as I did on the first disc I tried (Quo Vadis Blu-Ray). On that sword-and-sandals 1951 movie, there is relatively little movement or change in lighting. Each scene stays pretty much in the same place. So it was pretty easy to see the entire screen go dim or bright. Action movies are so fast and flashy, it's not as easy to see. I will continue to watch to see if I can see it again. Perhaps I'll have to watch Quo Vadis again (it's a verrrrrrrrry sloooooow movie, so it will be a challenge).
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-19-2011, 02:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

It seems to be better with lots of things turned off, but perhaps I'm not noticing it as much as I did on the first disc I tried (Quo Vadis Blu-Ray). On that sword-and-sandals 1951 movie, there is relatively little movement or change in lighting. Each scene stays pretty much in the same place. So it was pretty easy to see the entire screen go dim or bright. Action movies are so fast and flashy, it's not as easy to see. I will continue to watch to see if I can see it again. Perhaps I'll have to watch Quo Vadis again (it's a verrrrrrrrry sloooooow movie, so it will be a challenge).

Check it with Pan's Labirynth, there are quite a few scenes where the auto contrast kicks off on panny and samsung plasmas.
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-19-2011, 08:53 AM
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I notice it on everything but anything bright will really bring it out the worst.
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post #16 of 28 Old 07-19-2011, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean202 View Post

Turn off dynamic contrast. That seems to be the problem.

This is most likely the problem. I don't know why people are ignoring it, but it will cause what the op is describing (especially when it's set to high).

To the OP, dynamic contrast will adjust contrast depending on what you are viewing. It happens in real time. There is a good chance that turning the function off will solve the issue.

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post #17 of 28 Old 07-19-2011, 11:40 PM - Thread Starter
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I will check Pan's Labyrinth. I only have DVD version though, not BD.

After reviewing a lot of the settings that might be related to this, I can find only 3 that might be the culprit.

(a) Eco Sensor
It says it adjusts the screen brightness relative to the room brightness. I guess the Eco Sensor shouldn't have an effect if the room brightness remains the same throughout the program. Otherwise, it will adapt to changing room brightness, if people are coming and going and turning lights on/off. I watch TV in a black room, but I turned it off anyway.

(b) Motion Lighting
This one seems like it would be a real problem! It says it "reduces power consumption by reducing screen brightness when the picture on the screen is in motion". DUH! Why would you want to do that!?!?! Needless to say, this one is OFF.

(c) Dynamic Contrast
The e-manual doesn't really say what this does other than "adjust contrast". I assume that it dynamically changes the contrast to avoid torching the screen. For example, if it encounters a picture with a white building against a dark background, it would lower the contrast. Why, because a high contrast image like that would be harmful to the TV? Even if so, surely it would be ok for a few seconds. I can understand why it would change the contrast if you were watching a game on TV and a high-contrast scoreboard along the edge showed up and persisted through a 2 hour game. But there shouldn't be any problem while watching a movie or TV show.

Jay, do you have all 3 of these things turned off and you still notice it?

My Future Shop sales guy said he had read on CNET about a possible firmware fix for this. I know there has been some discussion about a coming fix for the same problem on Panasonic, so I asked him to verify whether he read this for Panasonic or for Samsung. I asked him for a URL to the discussion. He hasn't responded yet.
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-20-2011, 04:10 AM
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Yes, all 3 are off. It is not the settings, it is the tv. Samsung tech already came out and tried their source with their wiring as well. He called it an unnatural "flicker" in his notes and is supposed to get back to me any day now. Not holding my breath.
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post #19 of 28 Old 07-20-2011, 06:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldways View Post

I will check Pan's Labyrinth. I only have DVD version though, not BD.

After reviewing a lot of the settings that might be related to this, I can find only 3 that might be the culprit.

(a) Eco Sensor
It says it adjusts the screen brightness relative to the room brightness. I guess the Eco Sensor shouldn't have an effect if the room brightness remains the same throughout the program. Otherwise, it will adapt to changing room brightness, if people are coming and going and turning lights on/off. I watch TV in a black room, but I turned it off anyway.

(b) Motion Lighting
This one seems like it would be a real problem! It says it "reduces power consumption by reducing screen brightness when the picture on the screen is in motion". DUH! Why would you want to do that!?!?! Needless to say, this one is OFF.

(c) Dynamic Contrast
The e-manual doesn't really say what this does other than "adjust contrast". I assume that it dynamically changes the contrast to avoid torching the screen. For example, if it encounters a picture with a white building against a dark background, it would lower the contrast. Why, because a high contrast image like that would be harmful to the TV? Even if so, surely it would be ok for a few seconds. I can understand why it would change the contrast if you were watching a game on TV and a high-contrast scoreboard along the edge showed up and persisted through a 2 hour game. But there shouldn't be any problem while watching a movie or TV show.

Jay, do you have all 3 of these things turned off and you still notice it?

My Future Shop sales guy said he had read on CNET about a possible firmware fix for this. I know there has been some discussion about a coming fix for the same problem on Panasonic, so I asked him to verify whether he read this for Panasonic or for Samsung. I asked him for a URL to the discussion. He hasn't responded yet.

Dynamic contrast tries to obtain optimum contrast for the so called best picture in real time, not to prevent screen torching. If what you are watching has little contrast, it will increase it so the image doesn't look flat and drop back to normal when there are lots of bright and dark sections in the image. In reality, this feature is not very good for critical viewing.

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post #20 of 28 Old 07-20-2011, 07:59 PM - Thread Starter
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They are trying to be too clever. In all my years of watching TV of all kinds, I have never sat down to watch a program (of any kind) and said "Hmm, for this movie or TV show, I think I'll walk over and twiddle the contrast knob to adjust the contrast". People don't do that. You bought your TV, set it up and didn't touch the brightness, contrast or whatever for the next 20 years.

Even if I wanted to adjust it, I certainly would never consider doing it several times during the program. It's almost as if the engineers who designed or conceived of this feature never watched TV in their life!
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-21-2011, 01:07 AM
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So, is this FBr something that exists on all PN59D6500 TVs? I just ordered one as it only seemed to be a problem for a small % of owners -- many owners do not seem to complain about it. Is it that those owners aren't as perceptive or is it that only some of the sets have this issue?

If it is an issue that plagues all PN59D6500's, I might want to cancel my order. Any thoughts?
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-21-2011, 08:52 PM
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Same quandary here -- I have Vann's agreeing to pricematch US-Appliance's great PN59D6500 bundle, but obviously there is a time limit to how long that pricematch will last. The Auto-Contrast thing is starting to make me antsy.

I am pretty much choosing between the 55ST30 and 59D6500. I really like the D6500's thin matte bezel, colours, and adjustability... but the ST30 always seems to look very crisp/contrast-y with deep blacks. A few weeks ago that 55ST30 somehow plummeted to 1,170 on Amazon -- and I'm rather regretting not pulling the trigger on that, since that was a solid 500 cheaper than the 59D6500 bundle. But of course now the 55ST30 is couple hundred bucks more and has been for 2 wks now.

There's something to be said for those extra 4", though. Not that BestBuy is the best place to view things from a critical eye perspective, but they happened to have the 59" directly below a 55"... and the increase in size is pretty stunning. Which makes sense, since the bigger the TV, the more actual pixels are involved in a 4" increase.

Really should just pull the trigger on the 59D6500 bundle (2 glasses, BD player, that 5-film Shrek thing) for 1,6xx. Probably not going to get a whole lot better of a deal than that, and I'm likely fooling myself if I'm somehow figuring that the ST30 is magically *tons* better than the D6500. By all accounts, they seem to be comparable sets, each with their own plusses and minuses, and each with their own supporters and detractors. If one was truly better than the other to any considerable degree, I think that would've shaken out in these forums in pretty short order...

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post #23 of 28 Old 07-22-2011, 04:07 AM
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For my set, setting the screen adjustment to "screen fit" has made FBr more gradual. Still totally unacceptable but a little better until the Samsung rep gets back to me.
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post #24 of 28 Old 07-22-2011, 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimchiHo View Post

So, is this FBr something that exists on all PN59D6500 TVs? I just ordered one as it only seemed to be a problem for a small % of owners -- many owners do not seem to complain about it. Is it that those owners aren't as perceptive or is it that only some of the sets have this issue?

If it is an issue that plagues all PN59D6500's, I might want to cancel my order. Any thoughts?

I have had my set for over a month and have never seen fluctuation brightness or pops. to be honest, i'm not really "trying" to find them, but i haven't seen them ever. screen uniformity is amazing (coming from an A750 samsung LCD) and the blacks are very good. also, 4" over the 55" panny is very noticeable and helped me pick the D6500 over the GT30 (along with the amazing color accuracy and aesthetics).
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-22-2011, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by supra92 View Post

There's something to be said for those extra 4", though. Not that BestBuy is the best place to view things from a critical eye perspective, but they happened to have the 59" directly below a 55"... and the increase in size is pretty stunning. Which makes sense, since the bigger the TV, the more actual pixels are involved in a 4" increase.

Each TV has the same number of pixels - 1920x1080. The larger screen has larger pixels. The smaller screen has a more detailed picture, at the same given distance. However, the difference is small, one might even call it negligible. So, I wouldn't even factor it into the comparison.
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post #26 of 28 Old 07-23-2011, 03:18 PM
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Yeah, that was simply a mis-statement on my part, clear and through. I was trying to convey the additional "square footage" concept, but failed pretty hard since 1920x1080 is, indeed, all one gets re: pixels. :-)
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post #27 of 28 Old 10-10-2012, 02:17 PM
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I have the same problem as Oldways.
I've been through the menu's a couple of times and as I see it it could never be dynamic contrast as this affects the colors and not the brightness.

Dynamic contrast was off by default and I still got it so there is another reason this is not the culprit.
I'm sick of this because I get sunlight on my screen at the end of the day, so I have to wait till its dark to not see myself in the reflection of my Samsung PS51E550 (Europe) and ofcourse it is then that the brightness change is most notable. It is almost like it is the cell lighting or backlighting of the screen because the blacks just become grey (good to see on 21:9 ratio movies with the black trim top and bottom.)

I hope you get an answer from your guy cuz this **** is annoying but never worth a 300 bucks recalibration.

Good hunting,

Trev.
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post #28 of 28 Old 10-10-2012, 02:50 PM
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http://www.avsforum.com/t/1389562/samsung-d-series-fbr-fix-discussion

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