Maximizing PQ on a $2500 plasma display - tweaking the Akai PDP4294 - Page 14 - AVS Forum
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post #391 of 412 Old 02-11-2004, 04:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Now accepting offers on my Samsung SPN4235 Service Manual...

It was not in the best of shape when it came to me - it's basically just a bunch of photocopied pages in a cheap, flimsy plastic binder. Some of the pages are already falling out, and I pulled out the most important ones (w/the service menu settings) but will reinsert them before mailing it, of course.

I paid $30 for it, and I sure don't need it any more. Truth is, you probably don't either since I've posted the best part... but if anyone wants it, PM me. The first reasonable offer will be accepted.
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post #392 of 412 Old 02-15-2004, 06:04 AM
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Elvis et. al.:

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

After originally being quite happy with my Sammy I began to see the clayface and other issues discussed in this quite remarkable thread. Used the tweaks listed and viola everything looks great.

The irony--the show I was watching while doing the tweaks--Elvis in Memphis.:D

Thank you all again............

JHawk
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post #393 of 412 Old 02-15-2004, 06:36 PM
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Does anybody have an original AKAI 4294 (not Samsung 4235) service menu default value for Component 1 and Component 2. Post # 122 listed the value for DVI only. I would like to reset mine back to AKAI default in all menus. There was a post that indicated that while in the reset menu as the word "reset" is on the screen to press the enter again and it will go back to the AKAI default, I tried it but it did not work ?? May be I am not doing it right ?

thanks
mp
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post #394 of 412 Old 02-16-2004, 08:41 AM
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I just returned my Akai this weekend to Costco. I was planning on keeping it even though I was not totally happy with the picture. I bought the unit in last August and did not feel right about abusing their return policy. Then the Superbowl Carolina sock literally glowed with teal. Then I watched the Matrix reloaded again. That was enough, great price but not worth it, I tweaked around and still wasn't happy with much other than the latest Disney DVD's. Finding Nemo is stunning, I just don't have that kind of extra cheddard for the kids TV.
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post #395 of 412 Old 02-22-2004, 11:43 AM
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Hope I am not resurrecting a thread that was supposed to die but.....as a follow up to my post from a week ago I have one more question.

First let me say I'm still very pleased with the improved PQ. However, I'm still seeing some shade variations,ie, a light green wall will have some areas of darker green that fade in and out. Faces are great, it's just those larger areas of all one color that are the problem.

My question then is...which SM(or Elvis tweak) would improve this? Does anyone have settings which eliminate this problem.

I've read through this thread many times but still probably have missed the answer somewhere.

TIA,

JHawk
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post #396 of 412 Old 02-23-2004, 08:24 PM
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Well I'd like to start up this thread again as a Samsung owner, as I'm looking
for a solution for some of the problems with this set. Like others have said, you get the settings tuned for one DVD and things look great but then you pop in another DVD and the picture looks terrible again (posterization). I do have DVDs which look excellent and I am convinced the problem stems from the flea shop scaler they shoved in these units. If you want to convince yourself that this set is capable of excellent image, get a hold of the Samsung demo DVD (I was tempted to swipe it from the store). It displays a FLAWLESS picture with no posterization going through a full range of colours and events like skydiving, race car driving and black scenes. They had a progressive player attached to component1. I'm planning on experimenting with a MYHD card.

Anne mentioned a horrible green tint with the Samsung which I've never seen. I was at another shop today and saw my Samsung running on component2 side by side with other plasmas and it was HORRIBLY green. No one in their right mind would buy this set looking like that. I'm glad to say the problem is isolated to component2 since I've always run SVGA and never have experienced anything like that on my Samsung. Anne is quite correct that is a universal build problem. Samsung should be making a voluntary recall to fix this problem or issuing some sort of rebate.

I can't comment on settings as I haven't fiddled enough to find a proper solution.
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post #397 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 07:56 AM
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I found that hooking up the TV through DVI port helps with all the problems described. Some DVD are better recorded than others, for example, Underworld is recorded in High Def. and it looks great even through Components (Component 1 and 2 are the same, no diff.). Using the Bravo D1 player throuh DVI, the PQ is unbeleivable. Other DVDs that are not recorded in HD are not as good. The key to unlock this unit is connection through DVI, unfortunately, there is only one DVI port. Also, the DVI connection can not correct the poor signals from either the cable STB or Satellite, worse, it amplifies the bad signals. Sometimes, watching the SD and Digital channels through RF (Coax) is better than other connections. The HD channels are always better through DVI.

mp
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post #398 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 08:03 AM
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these comments were made over a month ago on the previous rendition of this thread.

Kitty-direct finally refunded my refused delivery. Although they did not refund the shipping charges. I was hoping I might get that back as well since I never set eyes on the package.
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post #399 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 12:02 PM
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OK. So after reading through all of this, I am still left with the question, "Should I buy this set?" If you take Costco out of the equation, it seems to be a no brainer to buy the Panny instead for almost the same price. However, I am a first time plasma buyer and I have a projector in a dedicated theater room in my basement where I do all of my "critical" DVD watching and XBOX gaming. So this set will be primarily for SD and HD general TV watching in our family room and will replace a 32" Hitachi 4:3 HD tube set that is being fed Comcast Cable via a Motorola STB. My wife wants a plasma to go over the fireplace as it will make our whole room "work". I want to spend as little as possible and I LOVE Costco, so it seems like this is a pretty good set for the price considering the "Costco warranty". When I read this post by Elvis early on in this thread, I was ready to go pick up the set....

"With these settings, I have eliminated the problem in which out-of-focus objects are highly posterized; now they're just out of focus. I've also eliminated the problem in which noise (motion) was present - even on a freez-frame - in posterized areas. Posterization has not been eliminated, but is greatly reduced and not terribly bothersome (in fact it's barely noticeable). Edge noise is much improved as well- title text is much cleaner. Compression artifacts are also much less noticeable. Further improvements may be possible, but at this point, my wife says that she doesn't want me mucking with it any further. (She says it looks far better than any plasma we've seen in any store... And I'm inclined to agree.)

The "looks far better than any plasma we've seen in any store" line means alot to me, especially since it was from someone who has obviously done alot of research and tweaking. However, as we all know the story ends with .............

"So that's it for me... stick a fork in me - I'm done... throwing in the towel... hanging up my gunbelt... calling it "quits". For just a couple hundred bucks more, Panny TH42PWD-6UY here I come. Costco can have this one back."

So, assuming I am not looking for perfection and would just like to get a similar (to even slightly inferior) picture to what I have now from my 32" tube from a viewing distance of about 12' to 15', with the convenience of being able to hang it on the wall (and thus make my wife happy), and have the peace of mind of the Costco warranty (making me happy), all for under $3k, is this set a good buy for me?

Thanks,

Craig
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post #400 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 01:03 PM
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Gator,

I owned three of these sets. Here's my opinion, FWIW:
I purchased the first one in November of 2003. It had a very good picture, kind of dark and lacking shadow detail, but very good non-the-less. No posterization, no banding (from 12 feet distance). I wondered what everyone was talking about when they said there were problems with the picture. For me it was a keeper and I could live with the few shortcomings I did see.
Then came the now famous coupon sale at Costco. You see I purchased my TV for $2999, and it was significantly less now, $500 less to be exact ($100 less + $400 coupon). So I called Costco and asked them about price matching. They said no, not after 30 days, but they would GLADLY refund my money and I could buy a new one, which I did.
The second one buzzed. It didn't buzz loudly, but it buzzed noticeably. I thought it over for a week and decided that even for $2499, I did not want a TV that buzzed, especially since I knew my first one did not. Back it went.
Being a glutton for punishment, I purchased a third AKAI. OH BOY! Now I knew what all of the bad picture posts were about. This one didn't buzz, but it looked horrid in low light to black scenes. It posterized like crazy! Needless to say it went back.
That was the end of my Costco AKAI experience. I was too embarrassed to try another one. I didn't want their entire stock of Akais to end up on a truck back to the manufacturer.
This story has a few lessons (in my opinion):
1. These AKAIs have little or no quality control applied at the plant.
2. In order to tweak something you have to have a good foundation (I had a decent, but not great, foundation with my first one).
3. The Costco return policy is REAL and it is EXCELLENT!
4. Greed, contrary to Mr. Gordon Gekko , is not always good. BUT HEY IT WAS 500 BUCKS! and I played by their rules and lost a decent TV in the end.
5. This set is NOT, despite information I have read on this forum, an EXACT copy of the Samsung, SOMETHING is missing.

In the end, I ended up with a Panny PWD6UY. Of course, that was after trying the Vizio P4 (also from Costco, it buzzed REALLY bad), and the new Zenith 42" ED (not a bad picture, but I felt it lacked shadow detail). I decided that there was a reason that the Panny had such a following here, and got such good reviews. I got it for about what I paid for the first AKAI. Of course I didn't get dual tuners, speakers or a stand. Also, it doesn't have as many inputs, but it does have one heck of a good picture.

If I were you I would closely evaluate my needs, and if I TRULY felt that picture quality was not an issue I would go for it. After all, you have read the threads, you know the downsides and you have an EXCELLENT return policy with Costco. I would not buy this from anyone but Costco. The risk of getting a bad one is too great.

- Brian
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post #401 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 02:25 PM
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Thanks Brian, that is exactly what I was looking for. I think I will probably take a chance on getting a good Akai and see for myself.

The only other question I have is, can I buy a wall mount that will work with both sets in case I end up returning the Akai and buying the Panny? I would hate to have to eat the expense of a mount if the Akai does not work out, much less drill more holes in my wall.

Thanks Again.
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post #402 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 06:19 PM
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Gator,

Glad that I could help. As long as you go into it with clearly defined expectations, knowing the risks, and are willing to exercise your return option if needed, you should be fine.

Concerning wall mounts: I was a loser in that department, so I'm afraid that I can't be of much help. You see, I purchased a Chief PRO model for the AKAI and even had it hung on the wall from mid-November until mid-January. Then when I finally decided on the Panny, I discovered that I needed a new plate that mounts to the TV. The wall mounted hanger worked fine still, but there are various adapter plates for different plasmas (at least that's how the Chief worked). There may be different manufacturers that make a truly universal mount, but the one I had won't do it.
I ended up ordering the replacement plate and talking Chief into letting me return the AKAI model for a hefty re-stocking charge. Still, it beat just throwing it away. Go to mountsandmore.com they were very helpful with the switch and are very good to deal with. They also carry a lot of different manufacturers.

Another option:
If you buy the AKAI at Costco, it comes with a table stand (two feet that hold it up). You could just use that for a little while until you decide if you want to keep or return. You should know fairly quickly if you're happy with the AKAI, and shipping from mountsandmore only took about a week for mine.

Good Luck,
Brian
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post #403 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 09:16 PM
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Gator,

I'm using the Sanus Universal Mount. I works great and should be adaptable if you decide to go with the Panny. I got mine at eTronics. Hope that helps.
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post #404 of 412 Old 02-24-2004, 10:51 PM
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I'm a Samsung owner and have compared the 6UY and 4235 side by side. The Panasonic is way better. But all things are relative; in this case relative to the price to performance ratio you desire and how much you wish to spend. The Samsung is capable of a good picture but you might need special hardware/configuration. It'll never look as good as the Panasonic. But that doesn't mean the Samsung is bad. It can be, but you should be able to correct that to good (but I'm not convinced it can always be made great). With many movies it does look great. However to make it consistently perform well may involve additional investment in other equipment such as the Bravo as one person mentioned. I've found inconsistency using an SVGA connection off a PC equipped with a Nvidia Ti200 card. I'm not sure if the problem stems from the fact the Samsung only permits widescreen off the SVGA input by using its internal scaler to stretch. Plus it has the pixel shift constantly running (causes a shimmer with thin lines). The Samsung's scaler is most definitely low-end. It could also be my underpowered video card but I'm reluctant to dedicate my main computer with a ATI 9800pro to it. I will experiment and report my findings over time.

I recommend going out to a store and examining the Samsung perform. The Samsung looks stunning when running the Samsung DEMO disk from a progressive DVD player. Equally as sharp as the Panasonic and no posterization whatsoever. That demonstrates that the screen is very good on this unit. However, the electronics are weak with numerous flaws as others have noted here. I wish the blacks were deeper but the Samsung cost me 50% less than a Panasonic. Given you may need to buy special equipment to make this screen perform well, the price may approach the Panasonic. In that case, it is an easy choice towards the "out of the box" great picture, rich blacks, and great scaler of the Panasonic. If I wasn't saving at least 25% I wouldn't even consider the Samsung.

Buying from Costco is a real incentive since you can with no risk examine the unit on your own turf and decide if you're satisfied or unhappy with what you got for the money.

Oh, as for the wall mount, don't even consider installing a plasma until you can consistently obtain a picture you're satisfied with. Do what the other person mentioned and stick with the table stand initially.

Perhaps the Akai's are the Samsung units failing QA standards. I've heard no excessive buzz on the three SPN4235's I've examined.
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post #405 of 412 Old 09-12-2004, 09:31 AM
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In all the reading I have done, nobody has address the differences between the PDP4294 and PDP4247.

Now, here is what I experienced at Costco. I went to one store location and saw two models of Akai plasma. First one was a 50" model (number I cannot remember because wasn't interested in that large of one for my bedroom), but the 42" one was a PDP4247.

I liked the picture quality even tho is was on the floor and probably just turned on and left out of the box settings. It was playing the Lion King DVD and it looked pretty darned good. It didn't have that organic moving pixel look (even on a still frame, the pixels look like that are still moving) that I have always thus far hated in plasma.

So, I thought $2999 cdn was pretty good for that size plasma and what seemed to be pretty good quality. So, I went to my local store later, but they had none of those 42" ones in yet. THEN came a coupon for the 42" Akai plasma. I inquired about when they were getting the PDP4247 in. They typed PDP4247 in their system (as intructed by me) and 4 units came up enroute. When they finally came in, I was away but I had my friend buy it for me and he told me later on that the model that came in was the PDP4294. My friend has also told me that his "CRAPPY" experiences with it thus far echo that of the majority of this thread.

So what I would like to know is if a) the PDP4247 is indeed better, newer, faster, stronger, etc or does it just behave better for animation b) is this model also a rebadged sammy (and if so what model).

Really, the question is what gives?

Thanks
Calvin
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post #406 of 412 Old 11-22-2004, 03:43 PM
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I hate it when my first post turns out to be a question, but I've exhausted all other avenues (including reading this thread from start to finish).

I have just received a Samsung PS-42D4S 42" plasma display, and noticed some of the picture quality issues discussed in this thread. I also experienced the lip-sync problem that others have mentioned. A Samsung tech came out to fix the lip-sync problem by accessing the service menu and reducing the delay from 3ms down to 0ms. Unfortunately he barely spoke any English and as a result I could not pursuade him to part with the service menu code.

Google tells me that pressing MUTE, 1, 8, 2, Power on the remote with the display turned off should give me access to the service menu. This thread suggested doing it really fast to make it work. No luck as yet. As I press the 8 button the display powers up. If it's a speed thing then I'm stumped as to how to enter the combination fast enough - I even used my Philips Pronto to learn the infrared codes for each button and created a macro to blast them at the screen without any delays. Still no luck.

So after all that background, my question is this: can anybody offer any further advice to help me access this menu? A Pronto config file with the codes pre-programmed into it perhaps? Or a website with discrete infrared codes for each of the necessary buttons... Maybe the access code is different on this particular model and I'm wasting my time.

Based on the level of community participation here I'd be surprised if nobody knows the answer - you guys seem to have built a very detailed database of configuration settings, and I'm looking forward to tweaking this display to overcome the few minor shortfalls that it suffers from out of the box.
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post #407 of 412 Old 11-23-2004, 03:54 AM
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A bit of trial and error, plus some luck lead to discovering the correct service menu code for this model of PDP: Info, Menu, Mute, Power. For some other models you might have to substitute Display for Info.

Now I get to spend the next few weeks (years?) sorting out the image quality :(
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post #408 of 412 Old 04-09-2005, 01:47 PM
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For Canadians...just read a post that This unit avail from Costco ...$2000.

We used to transcribe....then tape....now we record.
What next?
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post #409 of 412 Old 04-09-2005, 05:39 PM
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Yes it is and PQ is horrible that's why almost all the peeps that had this display returned them.
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post #410 of 412 Old 12-09-2005, 10:53 AM
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Deleted - realized I was just being a whiner. :)
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post #411 of 412 Old 12-09-2005, 02:54 PM
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I don't feel comfortable going back and editing posts that were made before I became a mod(the prices are probably meaningless now anyway). So, I'm leaving the pricing stuff further up on this page(post #408, etc..)

That said, please, no more pricing talk or retail links. Thanks much.:)

NoSloppy, congrats on the Sammy.:)
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post #412 of 412 Old 12-19-2005, 08:32 AM
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So after all that(reading every page of this thread), turns out that my new Sp-r4232 Samsung has a service menu completely UNLIKE what's been posted here. Unfortunately, I DO have posterization on SD broadcasts, slightly less on DVDs, and barely any on HD content. Very annoying that this beautiful screen has to look annoyingly sub-par for the majority of what it displays - there is no ignoring it. Grayscale just slams from black to med gray. Lighter grays->whites are smoother, but faces look terribly hard shadowed/highlighted...I can't stand it.
In addition, the HDMI input only allows you to choose 16:9 or 4:3, no zoom, panorama options. The Scientific Atlanta HD DVR won't spit out HDMI and Component simultaneously...only HDMI and "out 2" composite/stereo - designed to go to a VCR. So, sure 'nuff, I switch to the A/V input to watch SD so I can zoom away the side bars, and not have to watch football-heads, and switch to HDMI input for HD content.
BIG dissappointment that HBO On Demand movies, or any On-Demand that I could find..ARE NOT in HD. Ugh.
TV cannot receive any (i) signal except 1080i. Only 720p, 480p (standard) and 480p (widescreen). So much for using the internal upconversion.
ho hum. Oh well.


Someday - it'll all be HD, I can only hope.
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