Samsung Plasma Panel tweaks for better blacks. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Following in the footsteps of the LG tweak thread (thanks guys!), I have made similar modifications to my Samsung 51" D8000 with excellent results. 

It would be a good idea to read through that thread before starting, take notes and photographs of all original settings and most importantly: Don't try this if you are uncomfortable servicing your own hardware(these tweaks obviously void any warranty you have) and take proper precautions when working around high voltage power supplies!

And of course AVSFORUMS nor the posters can be held legally responsible for any mishaps, panel misbehavior and non-reversible disasters, proceed at your own risk.


First the measurements:

PN51D8000 pre/post tweak measurements, these were done in two steps. In the first step I just adjusted the drive voltages in the second both the drive voltage and rising ramp (timing) were adjusted. The rising ramp adjustment (Yrr) had the largest effect.
 

Pattern (measure black) pre-tweak[ftL] post-tweak[ftL] (voltage trims only) post-tweak[ftL] (voltage+timing trims)
Full Field Black CS off 0.016 0.012 0.005 - 0.006
100% white window --- 0.012 0.005 - 0.006
APL(small) -- 0.012 0.005 - 0.006
ANSI -- 0.015 0.006
CS on 0.021 0.019 0.01
APL(large) -- 0.019 0.011
Flashing color bars -- 0.028 0.012

The black levels are at the measurement limit of my probe. Reviewers with high-end meters have measured this panel type (51") at 0.012 ftL so if anything my meter is probably reading a bit high pre-tweak (0.016 ftL). Final values are at or below the limit of the meter so the best that I can say is that the post-tweak black level is no higher than 0.005 - 0.006 ftL.

UPDATE: Confirmed with large area photodiode measurement: mll=0.0056 +/- 0.0002 ftL

 

  mll [ftL] Contrast ratio
on/off [60Hz] 0.0056 5357
ANSI 0.006 3000
on/off [96Hz cinema smooth] 0.01 3000
mid-APL static 0.012 2500


Here is another measurement of the improvement highlighting the performance with real material and measuring the black bars during 2.35 material.

pre-tweak


post-tweak


Procedure I followed (refer to photographs linked below for location of trim pots):

1. Adjust Vs counterclockwise to reduce voltage from sticker reading of 205V
2. Adjust Vsc fully counterclockwise
3. Run the scrolling anti-IR pattern
4. Adjust Yrr clockwise in small increments until you see pixels misfires in the white portion of the scrolling pattern.
5. Back off a tad counterclockwise to prevent misfires.

Step 3 produces the most improvement so you could also try skipping 1 and 2.

Va, Ve, and Yfr were not touched.

Panel voltage and timing alignment info.



Vs/Va are on the power main supply board:

VsVa

Vsc is on the upper half of the Y-Scan board left of the main power supply:

Vsc

Yrr is on the lower half of the Y-Scan board:

Yrr

Side effects:

-Some "sparkles" against the dark background on a cold start - screen clears up almost immediately.
-Nothing noticed in normal view so far.


Which models will have the available trim controls?

All panels will have the Vs and Vsc voltage pots for minor tweaking.

Yrr pot should be available on:
All B series panels.
All C series panels.
All 400 level D series.

All 51" panels (confirmed for D and E series, F?)
59" and 64" 550 series, probably. (confirmed)
59" and 64" 6500, 6900, maybe (one report 6500 does not have Yrr).
59" 7000 and 8000, probably not but there may be some out there (Samsung revised Y-scan board sometime in late 2010).
64" 7000 and 8000, probably not but there may be some out there (Samsung revised Y-scan board sometime in late 2010).

 

59" (D-series and below) (60" E series and above) and 64" models have moved the voltage controls under digital control - Models without the Yrr pot might be adjustable via logic board register.

 

My current voltages:

 

 

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post #2 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 01:46 PM
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Excellent news!
Today I requested a service technician to come and examine my Samsung plasmas.
One of them ( 50" C430) is suffering from blacks (in fact dark greys) turning into grey.
(The other (43" D450) has excessive buzzing and really bad DSE - but the blacks are fine...)
Anyway, I will insist to have the C430 set re-adjusted, since it is certanly doable and the repair company should have all the documentation, tools and training to do that.
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post #3 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 02:15 PM
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Hello everyone, I own a Samsung pn64d8000 and I absolutely love this set. I use cue's calibration settings, and so I'm benefiting from some excellent color quality, and if I understand them correctly, black levels.

But I've read over a dozen times that when watching blue rays if one enables the cinema smooth, "black levels raise to undesirable levels." Maybe I'm blind, but I cannot see one single difference in the "black levels" when this feature is on or off.

So, this made me think that I have no idea what I'm looking at and I have no true understanding of what a TV with good black levels looks like. If I'm in a store and looking to identify horrible black levels (LCD's), and a TV with good black levels (typical plasmas), what exactly am I looking for with my untrained, naked eye? Does it have to do with the darkness of the black bars? When people say they see a raise in black levels with certain settings, where and how do they see this? Or are TV's like the pn64d8000 and VT30 just have levels so low, that most people with untrained eyes won't recognize a difference?
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post #4 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nkon View Post

Or are TV's like the pn64d8000 and VT30 just have levels so low, that most people with untrained eyes won't recognize a difference?

I think this is more often the case. Sets with black levels below a certain level (about 0.01 foot-lamberts when measured, this includes VT and GT pannys and the larger Samsungs) are very hard to tell apart unless viewed in a completely dark (blackout conditions) environment. Even then it takes a trained eye to assess the differences. Under normal viewing conditions for the average viewer you won't see a difference.
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post #5 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 02:31 PM
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Zoyd, I follow most of your post and I really appreciate you answering this question! It helps me to feel much better about my purchase. While I'm a perfectionist, all this talk about Sammys not quite reaching the blacks of the panasonics had me doubting I got a good set. But, I must say it is comforting to know that my untrained eye will barely notice a difference. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Thanks for taking to the time to make this thread and also answer my question. This place is awesome and mature.
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post #6 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 02:35 PM
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So it can be done on the Samsung plasmas as well, excellent work Zoyd. I can hear the panels being opened up and seeing the joy and excitement when the people see the final results. I do not have a probe to measure with but i am planning on getting a d3 pro with chromapure and might attempt but first making sure to take pictures of the trim pots before making any adjustments....
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post #7 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nkon View Post

Zoyd, I follow most of your post and I really appreciate you answering this question! It helps me to feel much better about my purchase. While I'm a perfectionist, all this talk about Sammys not quite reaching the blacks of the panasonics had me doubting I got a good set. But, I must say it is comforting to know that my untrained eye will barely notice a difference. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

Thanks for taking to the time to make this thread and also answer my question. This place is awesome and mature.

Watch in a dark room - this is where it will be most noticeable.....perhaps the most in completely dark/dim scenes
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post #8 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesco411 View Post

Watch in a dark room - this is where it will be most noticeable.....perhaps the most in completely dark/dim scenes

I get confused by this too. If I'm in a dark room what is it that I see, is considered to be the black level? Is it the dark grey I see when switching between inputs? Or, is it the really dark screen flashess (that makes the tv almost look so dark that it is powered off)? I guess that's where I get confused..
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post #9 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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The blacks within a picture are what's important. You can see what the minimum black level your display is capable of when viewing material which doesn't fill the screen (letter box (2.35 ratio) or pillar box (4:3) material), look at the area around the picture, is it black? or grey looking?
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post #10 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

The blacks within a picture are what's important. You can see what the minimum black level your display is capable of when viewing material which doesn't fill the screen (letter box (2.35 ratio) or pillar box (4:3) material), look at the area around the picture, is it black? or grey looking?

Interesting. I wouldn't say it is an absolute black, it's more like a soft black. The black in movies look fantastic though. But I wouldn't say the black bars in 16:9 content or letter box is as dark.
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post #11 of 386 Old 01-29-2012, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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The black within the movie can't be blacker than the side bars. It looks that way because of the way our eyes adapt to the whites. Deep blacks are most important when the overall picture level is low (think Dark Knight), if your blacks are not deep enough you will lose detail in that type of scene. In brighter scenes it doesn't matter as much because your eyes can't see it anyway.
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post #12 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 05:52 AM
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Blast it all to hell, I don't think my Australian 64" has the Vsc and Vrr pots. Is this possible or am I blind.


Edit:

I beg your pardon, I have found the vscan by examining some photos I took a while back of the y board. Now the hunt for Yrr. The boards on the 64 are different from the smaller set.
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Surprised this thread isn't becoming more popular....

that 51" tweak puts the D7000/8000 blacks equal to (or better than) the 50" ST30 + GT30 Pannys....
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post #14 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 06:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesco411 View Post

Surprised this thread isn't becoming more popular....

that 51" tweak puts the D7000/8000 blacks equal to (or better than) the 50" ST30 + GT30 Pannys....

before or after the ST30 and GT30 black rise
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post #15 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 01:53 PM
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That is funny. I measured my pn51d6500 with a Display LT at 0.011- 0.012ftL. Zoyd your's is correct at 0.012 before the tweak. What kind of difference are you noticing is it quite drastic? describe it if you can ...you say your are getting now 0.005 -0.006 ftL well that is half as bright so it should be noticeable .
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post #16 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh yes, it was immediately noticeable. Of course it makes the most difference at night with dim lighting but even in the daytime the entire picture is deeper and richer. I've never owned a panel with this black level but I can assure you I will never settle for less from here on out. Very addictive to watch.

I've borrowed a very sensitive detector to nail down the true mll and will post some measurements later after it gets a bit darker.
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post #17 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the efforts Zoyd... working around HV.... not a problem for us CRT projector types.... !
Would you say that the PN51D550 would have the same trim outs as mentioned?
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post #18 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
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post #19 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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I did a couple of measurement using a 1 cm^2 photodiode+power meter by calibrating against the D2 (where the D2 measurements are valid) with 5% and 10% patterns and then measuring black with the photodiode.

The average of the results was 0.0056 +/- 0.0002 ftL

One interesting note is the blacks drift about 0.0006 ftL with the lowest value obtained above right after running full screen material.
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post #20 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 08:23 PM
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Maybe we could get some pictures of this revamped set?
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post #21 of 386 Old 01-30-2012, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Very nice, zoyd. Now we need someone to get a 64 inch down from its normal 0.007 - 0.008 ftL range and see where it goes.

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post #23 of 386 Old 01-31-2012, 01:50 AM
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A big pat on the back to anyone that can find the Yrr on my 64" Y board ! I'm going nuts here...



Attachment 235835
LL
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It's a bit out of focus, what's at this location?

EDIT: Found a better picture. I can see Vscan adjustment but no Yrr (or Yfr) for 59" or 64" models, it's probably set electronically by the logic board.
LL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

It's a bit out of focus, what's at this location?

EDIT: Found a better picture. I can see Vscan adjustment but no Yrr (or Yfr) for 59" or 64" models, it's probably set electronically by the logic board.

Here is where I go Nooooooooooo........

Thanks anyway.
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I took a quick look at board pictures and this is what I'm seeing so far for Yrr adjustment

59"/64"
D8000: no
D7000: no
D550: maybe (I've seen two part#s for this, one with the control and one without)

51"
D8000: yes
D7000: yes
D6900: yes
D6500: yes
D550: yes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

I took a quick look at board pictures and this is what I'm seeing so far for Yrr adjustment

59"/64"
D8000: no
D7000: no
D550: maybe (I've seen two part#s for this, one with the control and one without)

51"
D8000: yes
D7000: yes
D6900: yes
D6500: yes
D550: yes

Is this the end of it for us then? Or would this indicate ability to set Yrr etc. values via service menu?

Here is a shot of the logic board upgrade menu on my AU 64" d8000, perhaps some indicators?



Attachment 235850
LL
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post #28 of 386 Old 01-31-2012, 05:44 AM - Thread Starter
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You can still adjust Vs and Vscan and maybe eke out another 0.003 ftL, what voltages are printed on the inside chassis sticker?

There are no logic board settings available in the service menu. However, if you are really motivated you can talk directly to the logic board via an rs-232 connection. The logic board runs a diagnostic program where you can read/write registers but figuring out who does what will not be easy. The rs-232 connections is either the labeled "ex-link" connector to the left of the ethernet port or if not there you have use two pins on the VGA connector.
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post #29 of 386 Old 01-31-2012, 06:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoyd View Post

You can still adjust Vs and Vscan and maybe eke out another 0.003 ftL, what voltages are printed on the inside chassis sticker?

There are no logic board settings available in the service menu. However, if you are really motivated you can talk directly to the logic board via an rs-232 connection. The logic board runs a diagnostic program where you can read/write registers but figuring out who does what will not be easy. The rs-232 connections is either the labeled "ex-link" connector to the left of the ethernet port or if not there you have use two pins on the VGA connector.

Haha, that will take someone more experienced than me.

Other than that, label is

Va 55
Vsc -197
Vs 217
Ve 93
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post #30 of 386 Old 01-31-2012, 06:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muzzakus View Post

Haha, that will take someone more experienced than me.

Other than that, label is

Va 55
Vsc -197
Vs 217
Ve 93

Mine are similar, when I reduce Vs to 199 and increase Vsc to -180 the mll dropped by 0.003 ftL
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