Maximizing PQ on a $2500 plasma display - tweaking the Akai PDP4294 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 06:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Here it is - finally - as promised.
Sorry for the delay!

For those unaware, Costco created a stir back in August when they made this plasma display panel available for $2699 (after a $300 coupon which was mailed to Costco members.) Now Costco is doing it again, but even better... They've reduced the price from $2999 to $2899, and they've mailed out a coupon for $400 off (valid starting tomorrow, 1/19 through 1/25), making this, quite possibly the world's first $2500 fully featured, good PQ 42" plasma.

This thread is meant to be a reference on squeezing every last bit of performance out of this budget ED panel.

Complete feature list and specifications are available from Akai's website, but here are the highlights:

FEATURES
  • 42" 16:9 WideScreen EDTV Plasma Monitor
  • 852 x 480 native resolution
  • HDTV compatible- accepts 720p and 1080i input signals
  • High Contrast (1200:1)/High Brightness (700 cd/m2) Panel
  • Progressive Scan (Faroudja DCDi)
  • 2 component video inputs, 1 S-video input, 1 composite video input, 1 VGA computer (15 pin D-Sub RGB) input, 1 HDCP compatible DVI input (DVI-D)
    (Note that the service manual for the Samsung SPN4235 makes no distinction between Component 1 and 2 inputs with regard to HD signals. Contrary to popular belief, both inputs are listed as being capable of 480i/480p/720p/1080i.)
  • Table-top stand and speakers included (when purchased from Costco)
  • 3:2 Pulldown ("Film Mode")
  • Picture In Picture with dual NTSC tuners
  • Digital Comb Filter
  • 1,677 Million Colors (256 grayscale levels)
  • 160 Degree Viewing angle
  • Fanless cooling system
  • Multi-layer Anti Reflection Filter
  • Dimensions (W*H*D): 40.4" x 24.8" x 3.11"
  • Weight: 68 lbs
The FCC ID number shows that the Akai plasma is manufactured by Samsung and is a rebadged SPN4235.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/attac...chmentid=11671
(The Samsung 4235 retails for around $4000.)
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post #2 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This PDP has been discussed extensively (in this thread) and there's a lot of valuable information to be found there, but rather than forcing people to sift through 800+ posts in 28 pages (as of this writing), I'll cover the highlights here...

Most people (myself included) have found the right-out-the box picture quality to be less than stellar. Less than optimal default/factory settings (for contrast, brightness, sharpness, color and tint), can be easily fixed using Avia/DVE (or even the THX Optimizer if you have the "THX glasses" or a blue filter.) I highly recommend doing this soon after connecting and turning on the display.

For those who don't have Avia or DVE (you really should get one of them!) or who don't have a blue filter/glasses to use with the THX Optimizer, I'll post
My (User) Settings...

Contrast 44
Brightness 62
Sharpness 32
Color 40
Tint (R/G) 55/45

(YMMV, but it should be a reasonable starting point.)

Even after such a calibration, several problems continue to plague this display...[list=1][*]Posterization - visible bands of colors instead of a smooth color gradient - especially noticeable on objects which are not in focus.[*]pixelization- compression artifacts are frequently exaggerated on SDTV sources.[*]lack of shadow detail - objects in (especially very dark) shadow are often displayed as a dark blob and are frequently posterized.[*]Black and/or dark gray areas have a greenish haze over them.[/list=1]

Some 4294 owners have reported that the following measures improved picture quality:
  • Don't use the S-video input
    "DVD looked horrible running under S-video but great once I hooked up the component video."
    "ReplayTV through S-video, analog cable signal - very dull
    ReplayTV through standard RCA cable - Much, much better picture"

    "I don't know why the S-video picture is so bad but I can live with RCA connections"
    "I found RCA video signal to look better than S-Video"
    "The rca video seemed to have less blotchy color/smearing than the svideo."But then there's...
    "I used the standard red, white and yellow jacks at the beginning then swtiched to using S-Video... S-Video was much better in every way."
  • Use the DVI input...
    "PQ was terrific. Particularly in outdoor scenes, the colors were vivid, the screen bright and skin tones detailed and realistic. Some scenes were simply stunning"
    "Hooked it up with the 2 meter DVI cable I purchased with the D1. I watched various parts of the Matrix, Lord of the Rings-2 towers, Fifth Element, and Lost in Space all at 1080i and I am very impressed with the picture quality."
    "I'm using the Samsung 160 receiver and I have it hooked to the Akai via the DVI cable that came with the receiver. Even the regular channels on satellite look better now too."
    "DVI is the key that unlocks the potential of the Akai 4294 and the Samsung 4235."
    "I was surprised how much better the DVI cable made my regular channels look !"
  • Use a progressive scan DVD player (instead of the built in deinterlacer)
    "recently had a breakthrough of sorts. I've been relying on the panel electronics to de-interlace a signal carried over component video cables and purchased a Sony 725P progressive player. The difference is like night and day!"
    "At first DVD's didn't look to good to me until I realized my player wasn't set to "progressive scan". Made a big difference."
    "pixelated pic on dvd composite and component, but the pixelation disappeared and became a good picture when i switched the dvd player to progressive mode."
  • Use a different DVD player
    Not all p-scan DVD players are created equal. Some 4294 owners have reported dramatic improvements as a result of using a different DVD player.
  • Use an HTPC
    "DVD through the PC looks fantastic!"
    "All I can say is, the DVD's coming from the PC are absolutely beautiful."
    "All I can say is, the DVD's coming from the PC are absolutely beautiful. I started a thread about it even because it was amazing."
    "I hooked up OTA HDTV through my HTPC last night and it looked great. I'm only running through VGA at 1024x768 (waiting for the DVI cable). But it looked fantastic."
    "They all looked about the same (not good) except the PC input, which looked great."
    "I'm using a HTPC for movie playback and the quality on my Akai excellent."
    "If you want to see an amazing picture on DVD through the Akai, try using a home theater PC. I had 2 friends over the other night - one with a fujitsu and one with a Panny - and both said that the picture was the best they had seen on an EDTV."
  • Tweak the settings in the service menu
    This has been the subject of much, much discussion. Some people have found that certain adjustments to certain settings in the service menu alleviated some of the problems to some extent...

    "I've adjusted my set using values I found in another thread (the service menu) and it looks better"
    "I'm happier and happier as I adjusted the on screen settings...! It's a whole new screen...anyone who owns a 4235 or akai rebadge owes it to them self to use the service menu..."
    "I have since tweaked the other inputs through the Service Menu and it's make a huge difference"
    "First impressions: LOTS of pixelation using the component video inputs and my old DVD player (Toshiba SD-1200). I went into the service menu and adjusted the TH Corning and CE Gain settings to a few of the values I saw suggested and it's night and day."
    "My DVDs look great now after the service menu tweeks"

    But then there's the counterpoint...

    "I decided to try the array of Service Menu Tweaks posted earlier. After making the changes I proceeded to reset the basic controls with the same THX optimizer. I couldn't get the contrast or brightness settings in range at all. With one of the dark scenes on the screen in pause mode, I could see what each setting was doing and what effects they had on the screen. I noted a distinct loss of contrast and a grainy effect on the overall screen. It minimized the posterization but it washed everything out and made images less distinct, less crisp."
    "returned my Akai to Costco today for an exchange. The difference is night and day. Out of the box ringing/banding was barely detectable. Posterization was gone. Low lite pixilization was much better. All the settings in the service menu were the same as original unit before the tweaks."
    "I made those changes in the service menu and didn't like the picture. Colors seemed to be washed out, so I reset it and it looks better that way to me.
    "

    "After groing through the settings menu, I didnt like my changes."
    "We tweaked the service menu, and while we thought at the time we had improved the pic, only after a couple month's of watching did we realize that many of the same PQ pitfalls still existed, and most, just as bad as before the tweaks."
    "I'm extremely pleased with my Akai 4294 and haven't had to tweak the service menu."
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post #3 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 07:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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NOTE that service menu tweaking is the most extreme/dangerous measure you can undertake. Prior to doing so, it is highly recommended that you read the remainder of this post, as well as the 4 subsequent posts.

The effects of some adjustments made while in the service menu are visible in real time - WYSIWYG. Others have a much more extreme effect while in the service menu than you'll see after you exit the service menu. Still others appear to have little or no effect while in the service menu but will leave you shocked and apalled once you exit the service menu.

It's very important to note that selecting "reset" in the service menu does NOT reset changes made to SM settings. It is therefore highly recommended that the existing value(s) be written down prior to any tweaking.

It is also important to note that every time you enter the service menu, your user (contrast, brightness, sharpness, color, and tint) settings are automatically reset to the (poor) factory defaults.

The service menu is accessed as follows...
  1. Turn on the display and select the input that you want to adjust.
  2. Turn the display off
  3. In quick sequence (on the remote) press the "Mute" button, then the "1" button, then the "8" button, then the "2" button, then the "Power" button.
    That's Mute,1,8,2,Power
The display should come back on with the service menu displayed.

After you've finished making changes to the service menu settings, you simply power the set off, then back on. You do not need to use the "Reset" option in the service menu in order for your s.m. settings to be saved (as was reported in the previous thread.)

As a public service (and because there will inevitably be those who will make SM changes without first writing down the factory settings) the factory default settings, as published in the Samsung SPN4235 Service Manual are listed below.
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post #4 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
MENU 7 - Dnie
TH EDGE - Think this is EE (Edge Enhancement). I set this to 2. Playing with this throws off User sharpness control - After lowering I have to set sharpness in movie mode to ~40 instead of 25

NR SELECT - Think this is some type of Noise Reduction mode option. I set it to 0. Not sure what affect its having.

CE GAIN - Contrast Enhancement. I set to 0. Appeared to improve color saturation quality.

SKIN ON - Believe this is skin tone normalizer function. I set this to 0

TH CORING - Probably Digital noise removal. I set this to 60. This, in conjunction with TH EDGE seems to get rid of most of the ringing issues.

BLACK GAIN - IRE Level or some type of Gamma adjust? No idea, but it made DVD look a bit better when I bumped it up from 0 to 5.

MENU 9 - A/D Converter
Y OFFSET - This appears to be some sort of gamma adjustment for the ADC. Setting it to 30-35 will most likely get rid of most of the posterization type effects (but not 100%). Heres a good test - put on Lotr dvd and go to chapter 10 to where the hobbits are hiding under the tree and the Ring Wraith is bending down to look. You will likely see lots of the posterization issues. Then tweak the Y OFFSET down to 30-35 and it should clear up.
In my own experience, these tweaks were fairly ineffective. At one point, I personally threw caution completely to the wind and made [b]numerous[b] service menu adjustments. The results were nothing short of dramatic - I drastically reduced edge crawl and posterization, eliminated the green fog that appears in dark shadowed areas, and in general had the picture looking absolutely stunning. Then, a few scenes later, it was awful - whites (and anything brightly lit) were glaring and the picture looked very out of whack. Still, it was encouraging. Unfortunately, I had tweaked too many settings at once, so there was no way of discarding the bad without also discarding the good. So I reset everything to the factory defaults and vowed to tweak more cautiously and methodically.

I also ordered (and have since received) a service manual for the Samsung SPN4235 in an attempt to get more information on the service menu settings. (As near as I can tell from numerous calls to Akai and Samsung, there is no dedicated service manual available for the Akai PDP4294 - only the one for the Sammy 4235.)

Unfortunately, very little is made clear (with regard to service menu settings) by the service manual; the factory defaults are listed, but (with one or two minor exceptions) not defined, explained or elaborated upon. Where explanations are available, I have included them following the appropriate S.M. section below. I have begun searching the net for details on other settings and will add them as I find them. Further, I will attempt to pester Akai and/or Samsung to get detailed information on the definition and effect of each setting. Hopefully some of the more knowledgable forum members will also contribute where possible to shed light on some of the cryptic parameters listed in the service menu.

One very interesting point is that many of the default settings listed in the Samsung service manual were different than the factory defaults that my Akai came with, so I changed all these settings to the values in the service manual. This resulted in a significant improvement in overall picture quality, but it did not fully eliminate any of the major issues as listed above.
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post #5 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Note that Samsung publishes the service menu settings in a table with 5 columns. The first column is for the parameter (service menu item), the remaining four columns reflect the value given for a specific input. (Note that Samsung groups Composite Video, S-Video, and Standard Definition Component 1 and 2 into a single column.) The other three columns are for High Definition Component 1 and 2, VGA and DVI. In all but a very few instances, the settings are identical in all four columns. Where the settings differ, I will make them bold.


 =======   MENU 1: UPD64083 - COMB FILTER     (TV-AV)   ========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| VAPGAIN        |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
| VAPINV         |         16         |    16     |  16   | 16  |
| YPFP           |          3         |     3     |   3   |  3  |
| YPFG           |          9         |     9     |   9   |  9  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 =========  MENU 2: VPC3230 - MAIN VCD     (TV-COMP)   =========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| CONTRAST       |         43         |    43     |  43   | 43  |
| BRIGHTNESS     |         27         |    27     |  27   | 27  |
| PEAKING        |          5         |     5     |   5   |  5  |
| CORING         |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| LUMA DELAY     |         255        |    255    |  255  | 255 |
| HPLL SPEED     |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| YUV CONTRAST   |         29         |    29     |  29   | 29  |
| YUV BRIGHTNESS |         68         |    68     |  68   | 68  |
| YUV SATCB      |         42         |    42     |  42   | 42  |
| YUV SATCR      |         42         |    42     |  42   | 42  |
| YUV TINT       |          3         |     3     |   3   |  3  |
| SATURATION     |        2000        |   2000    | 2000  |2000 |
| TINT           |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 =========   MENU 3: VPC3230 - SUB VCD     (TV-COMP)   =========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PIP CONTRAST   |         43         |    43     |  43   | 43  |
| PIP BRIGHTNESS |         27         |    27     |  27   | 27  |
| YUV CONTRAST   |         29         |    29     |  29   | 29  |
| YUV BRIGHTNESS |         68         |    68     |  68   | 68  |
| LUMA DELAY     |         255        |    255    |  255  | 255 |
| H POSITION     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| V POSITION     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 ======   MENU 4: FLI2200 - DEINTERLACER)     (TV-COMP)   ======
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| Y CLAMP        |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| C CLAMP        |         512        |    512    |  512  | 512 |
| Y DELAY        |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
| C DELAY        |         11         |    11     |  11   | 11  |
| MOTION DETECT  |         48         |    48     |  48   | 48  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 MENU 5: ASI500 I - SCALER MAIN/OSD (ALL EXCEPT SUB CONT/BRIGHT)
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| R CONTRAST     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| G CONTRAST     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| B CONTRAST     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| R BRIGHTNESS   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| G BRIGHTNESS   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| G BRIGHTNESS   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| TEXT ALPHA     |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| TEXT THRESHOLD |          7         |     7     |   7   |  7  |
| FILTER ML      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| FILTER MR      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| FILTER FR      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| FILTER MC      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| FILTER UC      |         16         |    16     |  16   | 16  |
| FILTER LC      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| FILTER YPASS   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| R GAMMA        |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| G GAMMA        |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| B GAMMA        |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| H POSITION     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| V POSITION     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| H SIZE         |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| V SIZE         |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| OVERSCAN B     |         63         |    63     |  63   | 63  |
| OVERSCAN G     |         63         |    63     |  63   | 63  |
| OVERSCAN R     |         63         |    63     |  63   | 63  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 ========   MENU 6: ASI500 II - SCALER PIP     (ALL)   =========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PIP R CONT     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| PIP G CONT     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| PIP B CONT     |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| PIP R BRIGHT   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP G BRIGHT   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP B BRIGHT   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP FILTER LC  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP FILTER ML  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP FILTER MR  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| PIP FILTER UC  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


NOTE: Not all of the Akai settings for the following section are
listed in the Samsung service manual, and several of the settings
in the service manual are not in the Akai service menu.


  MENU 7: DNIe - PICTURE ENHANCER (ALL EXCEPT SUB BRIGHT/CONT)
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| Akai DNIe Service Menu Settings From Samsung Service Manual   |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| SUB BRIGHT     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| SUB CONT       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| NR SCALE MAX   |         52         |    48     |  48   | 48  |
| NR SCALE MIN   |         18         |    16     |  16   | 16  |
| CE UPPER       |         240        |    240    |  240  | 240 |
| CE CUTOFF      |         64         |    64     |  64   | 64  |
| CE GAIN        |         48         |    48     |  48   | 48  |
| PATT SEL       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| WTE GAIN       |         58         |    58     |  58   | 58  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| Akai DNIe Service Menu Settings Not Listed In Samsung Service |
| Manual (Values shown are Akai factory defaults. Thx wille389! |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| TH HPF         |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| TH EDGE        |          5         |     5     |   5   |  5  |
| NR SEL         |          2         |     2     |   2   |  2  |
| DCE GAIN       |         96         |    96     |  96   | 96  |
| SKIN ON        |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| CTI GAIN       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| DE NOISE GAIN  |          8         |     8     |   8   |  8  |
| TH CORING      |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
| NOISE TH3      |         100        |    100    |  100  | 100 |
| H CONT         |         63         |    63     |  63   | 63  |
| V CONT         |         63         |    63     |  63   | 63  |
| BLACK GAIN     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| WHITE GAIN     |         31         |    31     |  31   | 31  |
| WTE GAIN       |         176        |    176    |  176  | 176 |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| Samsung DNIe Service Manual Settings Not In Akai Service Menu |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| DE GAIN COR    |          3         |     3     |   3   |  3  |
| DE GAIN CLIP   |         60         |    60     |  60   | 60  |
| WTE Y THRE     |         230        |    230    |  230  | 230 |
| WTE C THRE     |          2         |     2     |   2   |  2  |
| SYNC MODE      |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| RED COMPENSA   |         616        |    616    |  616  | 616 |
| BLUE COMPENSA  |         616        |    616    |  616  | 616 |
| RAST VSIZE     |        1023        |   1023    | 1023  |1023 |
| RAST HSIZE     |         895        |    895    |  895  | 895 |
| SHARP OFFSET   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 =====   MENU 8: CXA2151HD - COMPONENT MUX     (COMP-PC)   =====
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| GAIN-SEL       |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| CR GAIN        |          7         |     7     |   7   |  7  |
| CB GAIN        |          7         |     7     |   7   |  7  |
| YB GAIN        |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 ======   MENU 9: AD9883 - A/D CONVERTER     (COMP-PC)   =======
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| R GAIN         |         142        |    142    |  142  | 142 |
| G GAIN         |         142        |    142    |  142  | 142 |
| B GAIN         |         142        |    142    |  142  | 142 |
| R/CR OFFSET    |         60         |    60     |  54   | 54  |
| G/Y OFFSET     |         48         |    48     |  54   | 54  |
| B/CB OFFSET    |         64         |    64     |  54   | 54  |
| AUTO COLOR     |          -         |     -     |   -   |  -  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 == MENU 10: LOGIC - PDP DRIVER     (ALL EXCEPT DRIVE/CUTOFF) ==
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| R DRIVE        |         140        |    140    |  140  | 140 |
| G DRIVE        |         130        |    130    |  130  | 130 |
| B DRIVE        |         120        |    120    |  120  | 120 |
| R CUTOFF       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| G CUTOFF       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| B CUTOFF       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| GAMMA          |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| GTS SET        |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| ERD MODE       |          2         |     2     |   2   |  2  |
| RANDOM NOISE   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| DIFF FILTER    |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| APC            |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
| APC SET        |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| APC VALUE      |         127        |    127    |  127  | 127 |
| ACTIVE VPOS    |         12         |    12     |  12   | 12  |
| ACTIVE HPOS    |         19         |    19     |  19   | 19  |
| VSYNC POS      |          3         |     3     |   3   |  3  |
| HSYNC POS      |         32         |    32     |  32   | 32  |
| VSYNC WIDTH    |          2         |     2     |   2   |  2  |
| HSYNC WIDTH    |         12         |    12     |  12   | 12  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 ======== MENU 11: TP-LOG-ASI - TEST PATTERN     (ALL) =========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| LOG PATTERN    |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| LOG HIGH LEVEL |         255        |    255    |  255  | 255 |
| LOG LOW LEVEL  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
| ASI COLOR BAR  |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


 ========= MENU 12: OPTION - TM_ALS42N02_001     (ALL) =========
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
|                | TV, Video, S-Video | Component |  PC   |     |
|    Setting     | Component 1/2 (SD) |  1/2 (HD) | (VGA) | DVI |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PIX SHIFT      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=Off; 1=RF, Video, S-Video, Component 1/2; 2=PC; 3=All |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| SHIFT TEST     |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=Minute; 1=Second                                      |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PIX NUMBER     |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
|       Number of pixels that shift left/right                  |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| SHIFT LINE     |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
|       Number of lines that shift up/down                      |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| SHIFT TIME     |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
|       Time set during shift test                              |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| NUMBER RANGE   |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
|       Shift range                                             |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| LINE RANGE     |          4         |     4     |   4   |  4  |
|       Shift range                                             |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| COUNTRY        |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
|       0=Korean; 1=America; 2=Japan                            |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| TEMP PROTECT   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       Not used                                                |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| DNIe DEMO      |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=Off; 1=On - Used in conjunction with DNIe Demo button |
|       (not on Akai remote), creates split screen with/without |
|       DNIe for the purpose of comparison.                     |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| DNIe THROUGH   |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=Not through; 1=Through - I believe this to be a DNIe  |
|       bypass but no one seems to be able to set this to "1"...|
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| VIDEO MUTE     |         10         |    10     |  10   | 10  |
|       Unit=100mese- Mutes video when incoming signal is low   |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| IRC AFN        |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=General American mode; 1=Military American mode       |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| LANGUAGE       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=English; 1=French; 2=Spanish                          |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| CUSTOMER       |          0         |     0     |   0   |  0  |
|       0=CE; 1=VMB                                             |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| TUNER          |          1         |     1     |   1   |  1  |
|       0=1 Tuner; 1=2 Tuners                                   |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PILOT HIGH     |         21         |    21     |  21   | 21  |
| &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Stereo <-> mono boundary value&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| PILOT LOW &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;| &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; 16&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;| &nbsp; &nbsp;16 &nbsp; &nbsp; | &nbsp;16 &nbsp; |&nbsp;16 &nbsp;|
| &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; Stereo <-> mono boundary value&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|


&nbsp;======================= MENU 13: RESET ========================
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|
| Used to reset user settings only (not service menu settings.) |
|----------------|--------------------|-----------|-------|-----|

NOTE: &nbsp; This is not necessary in order to save your changes to
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; service menu settings, as has been reported.
NOTE 2: This might possibly work for resetting service menu
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; settings back to factory defaults as reported here
&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; (This didn't work for me, though.)
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post #6 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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First a word about my approach...

I think it's all about maximizing PQ with the worst signal first, then working my way up...

There's little doubt in my mind that when I hook up my HTPC via DVI, DVDs are going to look fabulous. There's NO doubt in my mind that this display is capable of great PQ. Likewise, HD is sure to look fantastic. But if my HTPC is having problems, I want to know that I'm still going to get the best possible PQ from my DVD STB.

Likewise, I can probably maximize PQ for a p-scan input, but then, what have I done for the SD (s-video) input from my DirecTiVo? By focusing on 480i first, I hope to insure the best possible PQ on SD content. Then I work my way up. This is my general philosophy overall, and the settings in this post and the one that follows are all geared toward a 480i input signal...

After setting *ALL* my service menu settings to match the settings in the Samsung service manual (as documented above), I made the following minor changes (all of which are flying by the seat of my pants/trial and error changes):

MENU 5 (ASI500 I - SCALER MAIN / OSD)
G GAMMA 38 (from 32)
This seems to have reduced the "green fog" effect in darkly shadowed areas. Note that the effect of this adjustment is much more dramatic while in the service menu than it is once you exit it.

MENU 7 (DNIe - PICTURE ENHANCER)
As previously reported, DNIe seems to be the culprit for much of what ails the PDP4294, so I have focused largely on these settings, and the results have been rewarding. Here are ALL my new settings for DNIe (Menu 7)...

SUB BRIGHT=0
SUB CONT=0
NR SCALE MAX=64
NR SCALE MIN=8
TH HPF=0
TH EDGE=4
NR SEL=0
CE UPPER=240
CE CUTOFF=64
CE GAIN=0
DCE GAIN=128
SKIN ON=0
CTI GAIN=2
DE NOISE GAIN=0
TH CORING=63
PATT SEL=0
NOISE TH3=155
H CONT=32
V CONT=32
BLACK GAIN=2
WHITE GAIN=8
WTE GAIN=58
CTE GAIN=176

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.)

So, I'll leave this as a base for others to start from... If you find further tweaks that prove beneficial, please post them here.

REMINDER: Don't forget to readjust your user settings after making changes to the service menu (or even going into it - without even making any changes!)
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post #7 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 09:29 AM
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Thanks for taking the time to post such a complete compilation.
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post #8 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 11:50 AM
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ElvisIncognito:

I second marchristensen's comments, great job!

As a matter of interest, do you know if anyone has had the panel calibrated (ISF or otherwise)?
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post #9 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 11:52 AM
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Ok, I printed out your tweaks and gave them a shot. Just got the Akai last night at Costco.

I have a sony DVP-C660 (5 disc changer, no prog-scan, bought 11/2000).
I am running monster component cables to plasma.

The settings seems to have helped show hidden features in dark scenes - but the hidden features are all blotchy and fake looking.I have been using Nemo as my reference - the submarine scene with the sharks has lots of dark zones and green coloring.

I have Seabiscuit too and that whole movie just sucks with this tv. The faces are all weird looking - is this "clay face"?. I, all the grass scenes are super green, the large land scape scenes (with mountains etc.) are real dull and fuzzy.

I am certainly not ready to give up on the tv yet, I love the picture size, included speakers, dual tuners PIP, etc. and the price is awesome with discount coupon, executive membership 2% cash back and Amex 2% cash back.

So any suggestions on what to try next to convince me it is a good tv with DVDs?

Shall I try my laptop as a DVD player?
Shall I run out an get a prog. DVD player?

No real rush here since the Costco policy is so sweet, but if this thing is going to suck forever I want to get the Panny order in asap.
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post #10 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 01:22 PM
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Picked mine up last night and set it up. The HD channels are nice but the rest are OK at best. I noticed the reds were to bright on reg mode but seem better on the movie setting. Overall I think I'm satisfied. We ended up going with the executive plan to get the 2% more off and will bring in the receipt tomorrow to get the $400 off. If the PQ can get better with tweaks that is a plus. I'm a rookie to this but will try. You cant beat the return policy, in fact we bought a DVD/VCR player about a year 1/2 ago and they said we could return it. So we bought a GoVideo VCR/DVDprog combo. It cant play homemade VCD's. So back it goes.

Some questions :confused:

Should I keep the SA3250HD/STB set up at 1080i?

Is the awia? test DVD recommended and where and what is a good price?

Where and how much is the wall mount for the AKAI?

Can anyone recomend a small subwoofer to hook up to the Sub out from the Akai?

Anyone know of a progressive scan DVD player that plays mpeg1,2, VCD's, CDRW's? I been noticing that the ultra cheap DVD's can but the PQ isn't as hot. Daewoo, Apex, etc.

Aloha

SA 3250HD via component to the Akai

HT rookie.
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post #11 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Anyone know of a progressive scan DVD player that plays mpeg1,2, VCD's, CDRW's? I been noticing that the ultra cheap DVD's can but the PQ isn't as hot. Daewoo, Apex, etc.
I've got the Panasonic DVD-F85, which is a 5-disc changer. I believe it does all of what you're looking for, as well as DVD-Audio. The progressive scan output looks great on my Panny 42PWD6UY--possibly just slightly better than using interlaced output and the plasma panel's deinterlacer, though it's so close as to be hard to tell the difference. It's also a reasonably inexpensive player--a good option until the "next generation" players with DVI output mature, IMO.
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post #12 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 02:48 PM
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Freek,

What is your opinion of the DVD play back...before and after tweaks in service menu?
I am running out the door hear to get a player with progressive playback so I can figure out if this is worth keeping.
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post #13 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by franz-man
Freek,

What is your opinion of the DVD play back...before and after tweaks in service menu?
I am running out the door hear to get a player with progressive playback so I can figure out if this is worth keeping.
Well as soon as I found out it would'nt play SVCD's made from my cpu I was turned off. I must of not set it up because the picture was all fuzzy thru the component hook up. I am thinking of the Liteon DVD recorder on sale for 250 today.

HT rookie.
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post #14 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Boden
ElvisIncognito:

I second marchristensen's comments, great job!

As a matter of interest, do you know if anyone has had the panel calibrated (ISF or otherwise)?
I considered having this set ISF cal'd but it's not cheap - $400~$500. Didn't want to spend that on a monitor that I wasn't sure I was going to keep. (And that was the impetus for my trial-and-error service menu tweaking marathon.) Now that I've gotten it to where it is, I don't think there's any way I'd get my $400-500 worth...
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post #15 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 08:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by franz-man
Ok, I printed out your tweaks and gave them a shot.
Did you first make sure that ALL the values in ALL the menus matched the settings that I posted from the Samsung service manual? This alone made a big difference on mine, and my SM tweaks are built upon that...
Quote:
I have Seabiscuit too and that whole movie just sucks with this tv.
Strange... Seabiscuit looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G on mine. It has become my reference DVD for verifying virtually all aspects of PQ.
Quote:
Shall I try my laptop as a DVD player?
Shall I run out an get a prog. DVD player?
Highly recommended. Please let me know how that works out. In addition to whatever (software) DVD player you use, be sure & setup Powerstrip - with it, you can output 852 x 480p. (You could also try 1280 x 720p & let us know if this is an improvement.)
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if this thing is going to suck forever I want to get the Panny order in asap.
It shouldn't... mine doesn't.
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post #16 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 09:21 PM
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Thanks for all the great work.

Some questions/comment

I have been trying to optimize my akai as well

I wondered if different units are calibrated differently

First, you changed all of your roffset, yoffset, and boffset to 54.

I found that lowering roffset from 70 to 54 gave a very red picture, unbearable when using component1 progressive..are we talking about the same thing? I actually increased it to 74 to decrease red push.

Also, by raising y offset, are you able to get any shadow detail? I found that I had to lower y offset from 45 to 40 to get better shadow detail (i think this raises total luminance)

My factory defaults for the a/d converter menu are:

R GAIN 128
G GAIN 127
B GAIN 128
R/CR OFFSET 70
G/Y OFFSET 45
B/CB OFFSET 60

so perhaps there are big differences between individual units as these are very different than what's on the manual.

What were your factory defaults? Is the reason I am getting different results because I am not changing ALL of the values you suggested from the samsung manual?
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post #17 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by franz-man
Ok, I printed out your tweaks and gave them a shot.
Did you first make sure that ALL the values in ALL the menus matched the settings that I posted from the Samsung service manual? This alone made a big difference on mine, and my SM tweaks are built upon that...
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I have Seabiscuit too and that whole movie just sucks with this tv.
Strange... Seabiscuit looks A-M-A-Z-I-N-G on mine. It has become my reference DVD for verifying virtually all aspects of PQ.
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Shall I try my laptop as a DVD player?
Shall I run out an get a prog. DVD player?
Highly recommended. Please let me know how that works out. In addition to whatever (software) DVD player you use, be sure & setup Powerstrip - with it, you can output 852 x 480p. (You could also try 1280 x 720p & let us know if this is an improvement.)
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if this thing is going to suck forever I want to get the Panny order in asap.
It shouldn't... mine doesn't.
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post #18 of 412 Old 01-18-2004, 10:51 PM
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Elvis,

My bad...I didn't quite get that I had to get the system exactly like the Samsung service manual...I thought that was for reference in case anyone wanted to set the system back to shipping configuration.

I will give that plan a try tomorrow since I have the day off.

Thanks again for the help...let's hope it works.
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post #19 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 05:39 AM
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Elvis,

can you comment on shadow detail in dark scenes? I think that is this display's weakest point. How is it compared to a panny (if you have access to one)?
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Quote:
Originally posted by superflysocal
I wondered if different units are calibrated differently
You can be almost certain of it, but I expect that the differences are pretty subtle from one to the next.
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First, you changed all of your roffset, yoffset, and boffset to 54.

I found that lowering roffset from 70 to 54 gave a very red picture, unbearable when using component1 progressive..are we talking about the same thing? I actually increased it to 74 to decrease red push.
I think it's probably important - for everyone to note - I am NOT using the progressive scan output from my DVD player. All along I've found it hard to believe that the internal deinterlacer on this set was inferior to what' built in to a $150 DVD STB. I mean, we're talking about a Faroudja DCDI circuit, here!!

Maybe that has something to do with it... maybe it behaves differently with CR/Y/CB OFFSET than with R/G/B OFFSET.

I kind of doubt it, though... I didn't pull that 54 setting out of thin air - I simply used the recommended setting for the VGA/DVI inputs (which should have the best/most accurate color - not to mention the fact that most people report better results using the VGA or DVI inputs (and thus, R-G-B/CR-Y-CB OFFSET set to 54.) So, maybe your DVD player is the culprit.
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Also, by raising y offset, are you able to get any shadow detail? I found that I had to lower y offset
from 45 to 40 to get better shadow detail (i think this raises total luminance)
Again, I suspect this is probably due to using the progressive output from your DVD.
Quote:
What were your factory defaults? Is the reason I am getting different results because I am not changing ALL of the values you suggested from the samsung manual?
VERY possible. As I said in my previous post, setting ALL the SM values to match the Sammy service manual was a big improvement in itself. I recommend trying that, plus the settings above, using the interlaced output from your DVD. (And don't forget to re-set your user settings!)
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post #21 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by superflysocal
Elvis,

can you comment on shadow detail in dark scenes? I think that is this display's weakest point.
I *can* comment, but I probably shouldn't... You see the problem is my frame of reference - a very nice NEC PG6200 (6PG Xtra) CRT projector. Black levels and shadow detail like almost nothing else out there, so you learn to cut everything else a little (or even a lot) of slack.

I don't have access to a Panny 42, and haven't had the opportunity of extended viewing on one that's been well calibrated. If someone in or near San Diego would like to invite me over, I'll be happy to reciprocate. (I'd also be happy to show my set's adjusted PQ to anyone in or near San Diego who has an Akai 4294 (or is considering the purchase of one.)

To answer your question, though, I think shadow detail on my setup is pretty good.
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post #22 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 07:12 AM
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I can only comment on "out of the box" viewing since I haven't done all the tweaks as Elvis layed out.

In a word - bad. Any shadow zone (like deep water scene in Nemo or bottom of the boat where Nemo gets captured) or black object (like the jacket of horse trainer in Seabiscuit) completely loses any detail and is solid black.

I don't have direct access to panny, but I have been searching for months and I have viewed the same Nemo scenes while at the stores. When they were working (ha ha ha) I felt the panny did an outstanding job of showing all detail (clothes had texture, hair looked real, all of the image was viewable and detail existed). With my Akai out of the box all the images seem very fake and weird - like I am looking at an LCD at an off angle.

I have the day off and the wife has a long list of errands and such - but I will get through Elvis's complete list above and re-comment.

Like others I am comfortable with keeping it until I have tweaked it to my satisfaction or until I get fed up with it and return to Costco.

Let's just hope that day comes soon where I can decide.
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post #23 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 07:43 AM
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Elvis,

So you are saying all of your findings above are through a 480i output?

I don't recall you saying that from the beginning, that changes everything.

I do recall that when I made roffset, yoffset and goffset it was good for 480i, but horribly red for 480p, so it does make a difference. Problem is, if I recall correctly when you make a change for these settings, does it know remember it for 480p as well?

Its funny that the menu label specify PC/Comp on the A/D menu (menu 9), leading you to believe that this menu is only available or only affect PC or component input, but it does not appear to be the case. Does it say anything on the service menu about that?
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post #24 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisIncognito
for everyone to note - I am NOT using the progressive scan output from my DVD player. All along I've found it hard to believe that the internal deinterlacer on this set was inferior to what' built in to a $150 DVD STB. I mean, we're talking about a Faroudja DCDI circuit, here!![/b]
As a point of reference, this needs to be tested in each case. My Pio 4300 (another Costco item) is an HD panel and scales everything to 768p. I thought, as you, it must be better at deinterlacing than the $160 Pio DVD player. However, using a nice digital DVD source like Star Wars II, it was obvious the plasma panel scales a progressive source far better than interlaced. Watch chapter 9, from about 5 seconds in. As the camera moves in on the "council", look at the robe edging on the figure seated 3rd to Yoda's right. It is a striped pattern. As the camera moves in watch for pixel crawl. On 480i I see the pattern move. On 480p it is stable. In fact, the DVD looked dead until I switched the player to progressive. This would be much different on an ED screen which is just de-interlacing and not scaling.

Bill
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post #25 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 08:36 AM
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So I have tweaked the Akai 4294 as suggested for 480i DVD player.
My findings with DVD playing...

Out of box the system was unwatchable, unbareable.
After the tweaks the system is now watchable but distracting and not worth $2.6K.

The colored areas and black/shadow areas are just too unreal to me. All I see is massive stepping/transitions from one color or shadow to the next. Every piece of fabric seems to be shiny like a silk suit and every face has big blotches, all the hair looks like Maxx Headrum (-sp?).

I even bought a prog. DVD player last night and some wires to get my PC hooked up to the PDP. No luck in improving the picture - in fact I think the image was better with 480i player.

The only "good" thing about this player so far is normal analog tv shows. I am amazed that they are watchable and relatively clear. To put this all in perspective I would rather watch standard out of the wall cable over DVDs at this point and I would certainly rather keep watching my Sony 27" CRT and get my money back.

Wife and I are running out to see other plasmas (again) today to make sure we aren't just being picky. But last night while getting the cables for pc hook up we spent time and CC checking out the Akai 4290 - that thing kicked ass for some reason - so something tells me we will just confirm what or eyes are telling us. I know there was a thread on this topic that I will have to go and read again.

Thanks for the help, any suggestions would be appreciated. All I can say is "thank god for good Costco return policy" - cause I have a 99% guess that I will be using it.
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post #26 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by superflysocal
Elvis,

So you are saying all of your findings above are through a 480i output?

I don't recall you saying that from the beginning, that changes everything.
I forgot to mention that. My bad. Will have to edit one of the initial posts and include that info. Sorry...
Quote:
Problem is, if I recall correctly when you make a change for these settings, does it know remember it for 480p as well?
I'm not sure. You'll have to try it and let us know... ;)
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Its funny that the menu label specify PC/Comp on the A/D menu (menu 9), leading you to believe that this menu is only available or only affect PC or component input, but it does not appear to be the case. Does it say anything on the service menu about that?
No, it doesn't, but I'm not sure "Comp" means "component"... I believe they use "PC" to mean "VGA" and "COMP" to mean DVI... of course, that doesn't necessarily help clarify this.
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post #27 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 09:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by franz-man
So I have tweaked the Akai 4294 as suggested for 480i DVD player.
My findings with DVD playing...

Out of box the system was unwatchable, unbareable.
After the tweaks the system is now watchable but distracting and not worth $2.6K.

The colored areas and black/shadow areas are just too unreal to me. All I see is massive stepping/transitions from one color or shadow to the next. Every piece of fabric seems to be shiny like a silk suit and every face has big blotches, all the hair looks like Maxx Headrum (-sp?).

I even bought a prog. DVD player last night and some wires to get my PC hooked up to the PDP. No luck in improving the picture - in fact I think the image was better with 480i player.
My original intent was to tweak individual settings - trial and error - and try to determine and document what effect each one has, so that if someone is experiencing a particular problem (e.g. posterization), they'd know which setting(s) to adjust. In practice, though, this is VERY difficult...[list=a][*]There are SO MANY settings[*]The settings interact with each other A LOT[*]For many of the settings, the effect of adjusting them is not visible (or is far different than what's shown) while in the service menu[*]Every time you go IN to the damned service menu, the picture you see is with the default user settings - which are bad - and there's no way of adjusting those while in the SM. THEN, when you exit the SM, you have to reset the user settings every time BEFORE evaluating the effects of the adjustments you made.[/list=a]All in all, it made more sense to just stop once I got the picture looking really excellent and publish those settings.

It's really disappointing, given the effort I put into this, that it hasn't proven more beneficial to others. I did this in the hopes that it would not only increase my enjoyment of this panel (and preclude me from having to return it and buy something more expen$ive) - and I've certainly achieved that - but also that it would benefit the user community overall. I'm sorry I wasn't able to accomplish that.

franz-man, I 'm not sure how big of a deal price is for you, but if money is an issue, I'd suggest exchanging the set at Costco - perhaps the next one will respond better to these settings.
Quote:
The only "good" thing about this player so far is normal analog tv shows. I am amazed that they are watchable and relatively clear.
That's another thing I forgot to mention in my initial posts - these tweaks have done AMAZING things for the PQ from my DirecTiVo. HUGE improvement.

I think perhaps it's time I posted some screenshots...
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post #28 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 09:56 AM
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Elvis,

Do you know how to get into the service menu using the menu buttons on the set itself? I don't have the remote for my Samsung plasma and might order another, but since I use a HTPC not having the remote is not a huge issue for me. I'm still learning all this video stuff but already have some image quality issues with the SPN4235.

I can say this much, using dscaler with a VHS VCR attached I was able to get beautiful proportional widescreen that rivals my Viewsonic P815 21" in color and quality without any artifacts or posterization ... No doubt this plasma is capable but it does have issues with the internal scaler.

Glenn
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post #29 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as I know, Glenn, it can't be done without the remote. You might want to pick up a universal remote at Radio Shack for $20 and plug in the right code for Samsung. I'm betting it'd work.
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post #30 of 412 Old 01-19-2004, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by ElvisIncognito
I think perhaps it's time I posted some screenshots...
So much for THAT idea... they came out looking REALLY crappy. Maybe it's my camera, maybe it's my technique, but nothing at all worth posting. Sorry...
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