Is the Sampo 34WHD5 as good as it sounds? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 02-23-2002, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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After months of reading and weighing the merits of direct view vs. RPTV an the challenges of the room I have (space, light, kids, ...) I am on the edge of buying the Sampo 34WHD5 ( http://www.sampoamericas.com/product...WHD5Specs.html ). Its a 34" direct view 16:9 monitor/TV.

I have an HTPC that I am anxious to get hooked up and the VGA input lets me go to 768 lines. The newest of these models has a rear S-Video input for the cable STB -> VCR -> TV for "family mode" (units with Serial number > 120600713 have the rear S-Video input).

I am hoping that someone who has one of these can help with a couple of questions:

1) What zoom modes are supported for 4:3 content (e.g. pillar mode, full zoom, full stretch, and partial zoom with partial stretch)? How do they compare to the 34" Panasonic or Toshiba?

2) Are the remote codes supported by most universal remotes? I have a 27" NEC presentation monitor but my cable remote does not know about this model so we have one remote to change channels and one to adjust the volume. A good leaning remote can solve this but its one more obsticle for an otherwise patient family.

3) Have I missed anything obvious (or not so obvious :) )?

I am pretty certain that this set is actually made by Monivision (DM7352) with a Toshiba tube. Sampo seems to have a better distribution and support structure and is somewhat better known.

I would really like something a little bit bigger like in the 40/42" (16"9) range but basically means plasma and 3x the money of this Sampo ($2K at http://www.discounts-n-deals.com ). In my many searches of this site I did find an announcement of a 40" 16:9 direct view set but that looked quite a ways out and much more money.

Many thanks

Ken
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-24-2002, 06:32 AM
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I too am interested in this set ;however, i have heard that the new sampo WHD6 is due out soon(May). The WHD6 is supposed to be an improved version of the WHD5 (wil include a line doubler & more feature fill remote as well as rear svhs input) I am not sure if it will still use the toshiba micro filter tube or a panny "data" tube. Prima is also supposed to have a promising 34" 16:9 set(with a quality line doubler) in the same price range (hoping to see a review of that set soon) If you can't wait buy.com has the sampo for 1799.00. Hope this helps

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post #3 of 6 Old 02-24-2002, 02:59 PM
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I would wait for the new model. I own the present model and while it generally looks good to great, it has some nagging geometry and purity problems. The geometry problems are somewhat easy to overlook but the poor purity is especially evident on scenes with large expanses of white, such as ice hockey or snow.

Also, there are no stretch or fill modes. You must implement those with your settop box or manually use the width and height controls that are accessible from the remote control.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-24-2002, 08:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hmmm...

I have done a lot of digging but I missed the 34WHD6 announcement (thanks echo4747). In general I like to try to find the sweet spot that is a step back from the hottest new thing.

In my case I need to keep the non-HTPC users in the house happy and they mostly watch 4:3 programs and videos. A line doubler would be nice but I have that covered in the HTPC but a mode that makes 4:3 look OK is critical.

cwood, you said that the stretch and fill could be done with the remote. Are these settings stored independently for each source? If so I might be able to setup the cable box -> VCR -> TV input so that it looks right if I can then switch to other inputs without having to re-adjust everything. Does this make sense?

How about the remote? Has anyone tried driving the Sampo with a "universal" remote?

Thanks

Ken
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post #5 of 6 Old 02-24-2002, 11:56 PM
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Ken-
My Sampo works fine with a Home Theater Master MX-500 remote, but it had to learn all the functions. Nothing was "pre-programed".
PQ on std tv is great with a line doubler, but is marginal w/o. Some sort of line doubler is needed.

HTH
Jeff
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post #6 of 6 Old 02-25-2002, 12:37 AM
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Most reviews that compare the WHD5 to other 34" direct views, all seem to claim that the picture blows the others out of the water. The only comparable unit that is as versitile that will take 1080i, 720p, 480p AND 1280 x 720p vga input (to 120htz) (with a .82mm dot pitch) is the princeton graphics AF3.0HDS 16:9 30" (but has .63mm dot pitch) which, according to the sampo rep, has a SAMPO tube. The other 34 inchers (pan, sony, tosh, etc) have more amentities and are more user friendly, but when it comes to a sharper, more accurate image, the sampo seems to win hands down.

I spent quite a bit of time at the SAMPO booth at the 2002 CES, snooping around about the WHD6. I was quite impressed with it when it was hot off the press 1/14/02 and mentioned it in this post before the information was public.

At the CES, a 480p loop was being shown which looked great. The big difference in the WHD6 is that it has a great internal line doubler for 480i signals. It also has 2 HD inputs instead of one on the WHD5. The remote is more user friendly and has multiple buttons for input selection, instead of having to scroll through them serially. As for the aspect ratio changes for each (individual) input, I'm not sure if they are memorized or have to be changed manually.....you could call cs at 1-866-SAMPO-22 and ask. The other question I had, not answered at the exhibit was whether you can manually adjust the kelvin temperature based on HDTV or PC inputs like you can with the princeton. You may want to ask that as well. Or would the unit pick up the input automatically and adjust the temp accordingly?


Personally, I think the sampo blows the other 34s away. They have excellent customer service and seem to have a dedicated support staff. I plan to use a WHD6 in the bedroom when its available '2nd quarter'.

The sampo rep mentioned that the price of the 6 should be comparable to the 5 (retail). But, if you can't wait, you can pick up a 5 for $1750, but you'll have to tack on another $600 for a DVDO outboard doubler.

Good luck and give them a call. They should be very accomadating.
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