2008 Samsung HLxxA650 DLP Owners Thread/FAQ - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

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Rear Projection Units

Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
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05-31-2008 | Posts: 844
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Samsung HLxxA650/Series 6 DLP Thread/FAQ

FAQ updated 6/14/2009, change log at end of FAQ
Note: The layout of this thread is borrowed from the excellent 2008 Samsung 61" HL61A750 and 67" HL67A750 LED DLP owners thread and FAQ maintained by mike_pro. Mike has allowed me to use data from his FAQ as long as we share info with him as well. Much content here was written or researched by Mike for the HLxxA750/Series 7 LED based DLPs then rewritten making it specific to the HLxxA650/Series 6 lamp based DLPs. Also I've added new Series 6 content as well. Of course the major difference between these two Samsung DLPs is the light engine, LED for Series 7 and lamp for Series 6. Series 6 comes in more sizes, too.

An earlier 2008 Samsung DLP discussion thread 2008 Samsung DLP's Discussion (HLxxA650/A750) was started by JohnAV January 6th when Samsung announced its 2008 models. It is a gold mine of information for the HLxxA650/Series 6 as well as HLxxA750/Series 7. (The image above on the left is from John's thread.) After the new models became available in late March, Mike started his HLxxA750 thread as many people wanted a separate owners’ thread and I’m hoping there is interest in this HLxxA650 thread as well. Of course much of the information in this FAQ was harvested from the 2008 Samsung DLP discussion thread so credit must be given to those who participated there as well. A big thanks to JohnAV and all who posted valuable info in that very long thread!

Another thread that has lots of useful information is the 2007 Samsung HL-Txx76 Owner's Thread started by mantraxl. Much about the HL-Txx76S applies to the A650. Thanks to everyone who posted info there as well! Somewhere in that huge thread Shinka completely dismantled his set and put it back together, taking pictures all along the way. Very interesting and informative!

In a recent review CNET gave the LED-based HL61A750 their highest rating for a DLP HDTV. Much of the information in that review applies to A650 models too so it's well worth a look: CNET HL61A750 Review Also the HL61A650 was reviewed in the December 2008 Home Theater Magazine: HT HL61A650 Review

If you don’t find what you’re looking for please read through the entire thread as not everything can be included in this first post however it’s possible you’ll find what you’re looking for elsewhere in the thread. This first post condenses information found throughout the thread and other sources to make it easier to locate important information but not everything can be included here. I would suggest looking at the other 2008 Samsung DLP threads linked above if you can’t locate what you need. This FAQ/owners thread is a work in progress and hopefully will improve over the next few months.

Feel free to ask questions here as the other threads are very long. Someone will help you. Of course please post information to add to the FAQ!!
Although this is called an owners thread feel free to post questions if you're interested in these models.

Samsung HLxxA650 Series 6 Widescreen DLP® HDTV with 1080p Resolution
• Available in four sizes, 50", 56", 61" and 72"
• "Piano Black" cabinet
• Slim depth and slim bezel (0.6") - fits where others won’t™
• Samsung Cinema Smooth™ 120Hz light engine:
-- Full HD 1920 x 1080p performance featuring digital format converter for all inputs
-- Next generation DLP® from Texas Instruments switches 15,000 a second for razor sharp moving images
-- Single-panel DLP® design--crystal-clear picture without any possibility of convergence errors
-- Smooth, high detail, film-like images for an inviting picture experience
-- Contrast ratio 2500:1
• Energy Star® Compliant (0.5 Watt standby)
• Improved analog and full digital NTSC/ATSC Tuners with Clear QAM (local channel, digital cable tuning capabilities)
• Automatic channel tuning for up to 181 channels
• Special filter to reduce or eliminate reception problems
• Fine tuning controls for the sharpest picture possible
• Built-in multi-channel sound decoder for stereo and bilingual listening
• Single user interface for easy menu navigation
• Entertainment mode custom picture settings
• Automatic on/off timer
• Special sleep timer
• Widescreen with adjustable image size and life-like clear images provided by DNIe technology
• Detailed picture settings modes to correspond with your color and image preferences
• AV network system (Anynet+) enables you to control Samsung AV devices from this TV
• Entertainment modes for Sports, Cinema, and Game. Game mode accelerates playing speed with an external console is connected to the TV
• Source, tools, picture size and entertainment buttons on the remote for quick access to common functions
• Custom picture and audio settings are saved to each input source
• JPEGs and MP3s on USB drives can be viewed and played using the Wiselink® feature
• Software/firmware can be easily upgraded from a USB drive (when new software is available)
• Indicator lights up front that provide system information, troubleshooting help
• 3D HD ready - Future-proof your HD experience
• Full featured backlit remote control
• Hidden speaker system (DACS™): 10W x 2 Watts per channel
• SRS TruSurround XT™
• Digital audio 5.1 output (optical)
• MTS Stereo
• 3 HDMI 1.3a inputs (HDMI - CEC enabled)
-- 480p/720p/1080i/1080p (60Hz/30Hz/24Hz) input support
-- HDMI with universal CEC system control
-- Simplay certified for cross component compatibility
• 2-component video inputs (480i/480p/720p/1080i/1080p)
• 1 S-Video inputs
• 2 A/V composite inputs
• Wiselink® USB 2.0
• PC video input, two: RGB/D-Sub and HDMI/DVI input with 1080p Input Support
• PC audio input, two
• RS232C port for system control
• 1 year parts and labor, including lamp. (15 months if you register the set online) In-home service backed by Samsung toll-free support. 1-800-SAMSUNG
• Floor stand: Samsung TR500X3B (adjustable, fits 50", 56" and 61" models) or the Samsung TR72B for the HL72A650

Samsung's features page for the HL61A650: 2008 Samsung HL61A650 Features

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it wise to buy a rear projection TV in 2008? Isn't the technology dying off?
Well, there's no doubt that more flat-panel LCDs and plasmas are sold today, and that most manufacturers have stopped making RPTVs but there still are exciting models from Samsung and Mitsubishi and new technology being offered. Also there is no doubt you get the biggest bang for the buck with DLPs - just look at the deal-breaking extra $2000+ cost of a name-brand 58" 1080p plasma or LCD over a similar sized 1080p Samsung or Mitsubishi DLP! (Which of course forces most people to buy a smaller HDTV than they really wanted and/or go for lower resolution 720p models and lesser known brand names.) Add to that similar features/specifications, less weight, superb PQ, freedom from motion blurring of LCDs and image burn-in/retention of plasmas plus much less power consumption than a 1080p plasma or LCD of similar size and you have to wonder why people pay so dearly for flat-panels unless they have an application where the flat-panel flat-out MUST be mounted on the wall. However as flat panel HDTVs got larger and cheaper DLPs got squeezed out of the under-50" piece of the market and this is a trend that will continue. For 2009 it's likely that RPTVs will not be offered in a size smaller than 60" but they will own the 60-73" slice of the market. Below are recent articles predicting a bright future for DLP technology that hopefully also includes RPTVs.

Update: At the January 2009 CES Samsung has stated it will not offer 2009 DLP models. However they may continue selling the 2008 DLP line well into the 2009 model year, depending on demand. People have reported sets manufactured in January 2009 and this may continue further into 2009. If you want a Samsung DLP don't wait too long, they won't make 'em like this anymore. Mitsubishi will be the only manufacturer with a 2009 line of DLPs. If you do buy a DLP read about extended warranties toward the end of this FAQ. New A650s and A750s are hard to find in B&M stores so online sales are getting to be the last source. And if you buy a store demo unit remember it could have gotten heavy use for many months, maybe a couple thousand hours on the lamp. Inspect a demo carefully and look for signs of abuse. Be sure it comes with the right remote - and manual if possible.

Compared to flat panels, RPTVs look lousy in the showroom. Why would anyone buy one?
Simple. Bang for the buck. How else can you get a large screen with the latest features for 1/2 to 1/3 the cost of a similar sized flat panel? It is true that DLPs don't show off well in the store (often because dealers and manufacturers would rather sell more expensive flat panels) but one can be adjusted to look absolutely terrific in your home. Sometimes the converse is not true and an LCD will show off better in a bright store than it does in your home. Most people are very happy with their new DLPs. See the question above for more info.

DLP? RPTV? What should I call these durn things?
RPTV stands for rear projection TV. All 2008 RPTVs use DLP technology now that Sony has discontinued their RPTV models at the end of the 2007 model year. Samsung and Mitsubishi are now the only RPTV manufacturers and both use DLP technology.

What is DLP?
Digital Light Processing (DLP) is a trademark owned by Texas Instruments and is used to describe TI technology used in many High Definition projection TVs. A complex silicon chip called the Digital Micromirror Device (DMD) which has as many as 2,000,000 mirrors that pivot about 15,000 times a second is used to produce a high definition display. To see a video of how the process works click this link: http://www.dlp.com/includes/demo_flash.aspx . For more information see http://www.dlp.com/hdtv/default.aspx .

Why should I get a Samsung RPTV instead of Mitsubishi?
Mitsubishi DLPs offer a lot for the money and TI's new DarkChip4 technology gives superior black level performance but most people notice sharper resolution, better color reproduction and much better video processing in the Samsungs this year. In a recent review CNET gave the LED-based HL61A750 their highest rating for a DLP HDTV. Much of the information in that review applies to A650 models as well. CNET HL61A750 Review. CNET gave the Mitsubishi WD-65735 a lesser review. CNET Mitsubishi WD-65735. Of course Mitsubishi has higher end models than the WD-65735 so compare every DLP in your price range and you be the judge since what you perceive is what's important. Update: At the January 2009 CES Samsung has stated it will not offer 2009 DLP models. So if you want a Samsung DLP don't wait too long, they won't be around much longer. Mitsubishi is the only manufacturer with a 2009 line of DLPs.

What models does this FAQ cover?
This thread applies to Samsung’s 2008 Series 6 lamp illuminated DLP models: the HL50A650 (50”), HL56A650 (56”), HL61A650 (61”) and HL72A650 (72”). There is also the HL67A510 (67") at Costco These HDTVs are basically the same except for screen size. All meet HDTV’s highest standard, 1080p (1920x1080 screen resolution).

What are the screen sizes, dimensions, weights and prices of the Series 6 models?
Model - Screen size - Dimensions (WxHxD) ---- Weight - List Price - Sale Prices
HL50A650 - 50” ----- 45.2" x 31.8" x 12.8" ---- 56lbs -- $1299.99 ---- $800
HL56A650 - 56” ----- 50.4" x 34.9" x 14.0" ---- 61lbs -- $1499.99 ---- $900
HL61A650 - 61” ----- 54.8" x 37.7" x 15.4" ---- 76lbs -- $1799.99 --- $1000
HL67A510 - 67” ----- 62.4" x 44.2" x 17.8" ---- 98lbs -- $2399.99 --- $1500 (available at Costco)
HL72A650 - 72” ----- 68.8" x 46.8" x 20.4" --- 108lbs -- $2999.99 --- $1600

To view the specifications page of the HL72A650 Series 6 at Samsung.com click > HL72A650 Specifications These specs should apply to other screen sizes in Series 6 except for size and weight. You can change the search for other screen sizes or to see other models. On the webpage click “download PDF” to download a copy of the HLxxA650 manual. The HL67A510 link is HERE. From the specs it appears the HL67A510 is more closely related to the 2007 HL-T series than to the A650 DLPs but it is a lamp model and has been sold in the 2008 model year so it's included in the FAQ.

What size should I get?
If your viewing area is large enough it's tempting to get the 72" model but that's not always the wise choice. Carefully measure your room and seating distance and viewing angles. For most people the 56" or 61" is about right so be sure if you're considering the 50" or 72". Cut a piece of posterboard to the dimensions of the screen (see above) to get a better idea how the HDTV will look in your room.

Quote: Originally Posted by eyost http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14609248
"Mes44, I'm like you, when I go to the theater I usually try to find a seat that will allow me to see the entire screen without moving my head (side to side). Do you know of any calculator that is available for this approach (in selecting the proper HDTV screen size)?..."

Quote:Originally Posted by mes444

Just my little old eyes calculator, also known as, MLOE measure .

At 10' feet I have a 56" 1080p, I could go up to 60" and still not have to move my head for a full view. Any larger and the head would have to start to move. But that's just me.

What you should do, for your own best opinion, is go to a Magnolia or someplace with a darkened viewing area. Take a chair and move it to the distance you will be sitting from your tv. Center seat. Find a tv the size you think you want. Sit down at your home seating distance, for about 15 minutes and watch a few different things. This is actually what I did when I bought my 56". The larger TVs annoyed me, the smaller ones were too small.

There is really no way someone else's chart or opinion can tell you what you need. The sit and watch test works the best.

Does this FAQ also apply to the Series 7 HLxxA750 LED based sets?
Much of it does as Series 6 and Series 7 are similar except for the lamp or LED engine. However, for information on Series 7 please click on Mike’s link above to get more specific details.

Why get an HLxxA650 lamp based Series 6 over the HLxxA750 LED based Series 7?
  • You want a larger or smaller screen size. The HLxxA650 comes in 50” 56” and 72” sizes which are not available in the HLxxA750 line. (Only the 61" size is offered in both series.)
  • Your budget is tight but you still want a full featured 1080p large screen HDTV. And you realize that going for the lower cost Series 6 now means you’ll likely need to replace a lamp down the road.
  • You’re happy with the tried and true lamp based technology or think you see a difference in PQ or brightness. (Be careful with this one though as the Series 7 is amazing and extremely reliable.)
  • The viewing angle is slightly better in Series 6. Could be important if seating in your viewing area is spread out.
  • The "hot spot" is less noticable in the A650. (See more below under "Possible issues with Series 6".)
  • You don’t need the Picture-In-Picture feature of Series 7.
  • Bargain prices.
  • Less need for an extended warranty if you get the bargain priced 50" or 56" models.
Why should I get the Series 7 over the Series 6?
  • The Series 7 has an LED light source that should last the life of the set. No lamp to dim as it ages then finally need replacement.
  • Nearly instant startup times, with instant brightness. No waiting for the lamp to warm up.
  • You want the Picture-In-Picture feature of Series 7 (however this isn't full PIP from every source).
  • Fewer moving parts, fewer things to break. Since there’s no fast spinning color wheel that sometimes can have a high pitch whine, Series 7 may be quieter.
  • Less chance of seeing the Rainbow Effect (see below) as the LEDs cycle faster than the color wheel.
  • Better black level performance.
  • You need a 67" model which isn't offered in the Series 6 line and the 72" HL72A650 is too large. Of course there is the HL67A510 lamp model at Costco.
  • Series 6 and 7 have the lowest energy consumption of just about any large TV so both are very "Green" (see power consumption below). Still, the LED light engine is slightly more efficient, costing about $10 less a year to operate than the lamp light engine.
Is this HDTV hard to set up?
As far as general set up the A650 is similar to most modern TVs. Find a safe location that's suitable for viewing and make sure you have good clean AC power as you should for any expensive solid state device. A surge suppressor/line conditioner or UPS is not a bad idea. Make sure the viewing area isn't too bright and that reflections aren't a problem. Try to locate the seating area directly in front of the DLP since DLPs have a definite sweet spot and the picture dims as your horizontal viewing angle increases. Vertical angles are a bigger issue so normally you'll want a TV stand that's 19-20" tall to get a bright picture with vibrant colors. DLPs are not heavy but are awkward so you will need two people to get it safely in your house and on the stand.

An important thing to remember is you shouldn't power cycle the set quickly. Turn it on and leave it on if you'll soon be watching it again. Turn it off and leave it off as continuous heating and cooling of the lamp shortens its life. Powering on and off quickly is especially harmful so don't let young ones play with the remote until they understand not to hit the power button repeatedly.

As far as setting up the set for TV reception and other inputs, it does take time because there are so many menu items that are configurable but this is a good thing. You can start out with out of the box factory settings and do all right at first. Also the user manual is good and there is a lot of help on AVS. As you become more familiar with the unit you can customize menu settings in almost any way you see fit. Remember you can customize settings for each input source so take advantage of that. When you return to each source its preprogrammed settings will be in effect. Toward the end of this FAQ in the Recommended Samsung DLP Picture Settings/Calibration section are picture settings that have worked well for others. Like most high quality HDTVs, professional calibration is an option if you're not happy with your best effort.

What video sources and resolutions can be used for this TV?
Well of course this set has an NTSC tuner and SD inputs so you can connect it like any older TV to standard definition analog sources such as cable, antenna, DVD, VCR, etc. It also has a built in ATSC tuner so is fully DTV compliant and is capable of displaying full HDTV/1080p. It can handle HD programming from HD cable/satellite and even free over the air High Definition. These signals are normally 1080i or 720p. If you have a high definition media player like Blu-ray or HD DVD you can connect them to HD inputs such as HDMI and view discs in full 1080p and even at 24 frame rates. Having an HDTV this large and this good cries for a HD media player! You also can connect video game consoles and PCs.

Why would anyone buy a Series 6 model when the contrast ratio has dropped drastically from 10,000-to-1 in 2007 to 2,500-to-1 in 2008?
Oddly that is the official spec from Samsung while the A750 and last year's models are spec'ed at 10,000:1. But TI says its current DarkChip3 (which is the DLP chip in the 2008 HLxxA650 just like last year's models and the A750) has a contrast ratio of 20,000-to-1. All reports comparing the 2007 and 2008 models say the contrast ratio is excellent in Series 6. This year's PQ certainly has not deteriorated, if anything it's better. Either this is a mistake in the specs that hasn't been corrected or Samsung is using a different method of reporting contrast ratio in the A650. It is true that the A650 doesn't have the absolute best black level but most people find the overall PQ to be excellent.

So the Series 6 and Series 7 don't use the new TI DarkChip4?
That's correct. There are rumors that Mitsubishi had exclusive rights to the DC4 in 2008 so Samsung had to continue using the same DLP as last year, which would be DarkChip3. All 2008 Mitsubishis did get the DC4 and seem to have better black level performance, however overall Samsungs tend to outperform Mitsubishis. Hopefully Samsung soon will take advantage of the DC4's amazing 500,000-to-1 contrast ratio!
See this post http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...2#post13922332

What improvements do 2008 Series 6 models have over 2007 HL-Txx76S models? I see closeout sales on last year's models so want to compare.
Series 6 has many significant enhancements over last year's model: USB 2.0 instead of 1.1, an improved light engine, an improved mirror system, improved button layout on the remote control with all buttons backlit, improved menus, better analog and digital tuners and a much stronger and deeper chassis that corrects many geometry issues caused by the UltraSlim 2007 case. Unfortunately it lacks the second RF input of the 2007 models and the second S-Video port and the remote no longer is a universal remote. I was able to compare a 2008 HL56A650 and 2007 HL-T5076S side by side in my home shortly and could see differences. The HL56A650 definitely had less geometric distortion, what did show up was most prominent about 5" from the top of the screen - not 2007's infamous "Samsung Smile" at the bottom. It was easy to press in the top of the older chassis over an inch which wildly bent the display downward; this has been largely corrected in the more rigid 2008 case. I tuned in stations with both sets and noticed the 2008 ATSC tuner was much better, a weak digital station that gave 4 bars of signal on the old set had 6 bars on the new one. And the new tuner was much faster locking in a station, the old set took about 4 seconds and the new one maybe 2. Other than geometric distortion the PQ of both sets was excellent, difficult to tell much difference. Lastly, compare carefully - often closeout prices of 2007 models are no better than sale prices of 2008 models!

Is geometric distortion common in these sets? How noticeable is it?
DLPs do suffer from bending lines and tilted displays. Normally it's hardly noticeable but most people can see even minor bowing or tilting when full length horizontal or vertical bars are on the screen so menu screens or scoreboards on sporting events are a good way to check. You can also display a test pattern to check out your set (see below in the Service Menu section). Samsung will repair or replace a set that's out of tolerance or you can return/exchange the set to the dealer. Be certain your geometry is truly out of tolerance as the replacement set may be no better. Reading through these threads you'll see people who have returned many sets looking for perfection but this isn't fair to the vendor or Samsung or the rest of us who eventually pay for that. People who are really bothered by this might do better with an LCD or plasma set as they tend to have better geometry. Again, to most people this isn't a big issue and is something you are happy to live with in order to have a big beautiful display at such a great price. Most people realize they got a large, stunning HDTV though it's not 100% perfect in every area. This is something you should look for in the showroom when you're comparing TVs; look for it and see how much of an issue it is for you. See more below in "Possible issues with Series 6 (and other DLPs)/Extended Warranty/Troubleshooting".

How does the A650 stack up as a PC display? How about for the PS3 and XBox 360?
It is a beautiful PC display but you'll have a little overscan that probably can't be corrected. This is inherent in DLP displays. Otherwise text is crisp and the PQ is great. For the PS3 and XBox 360 see the recommended settings in the A750 FAQ. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1029686

Can you get a 1080p signal from a Component input?
Yes but some people have issues getting 1080p when connecting an Xbox to the TV using the component inputs. In this case, the best connection option for Xbox is VGA cable or HMDI if you have that.

Does this TV have 120Hz processing? Is it like the high end LCDs I see in the store? If it's 120Hz why does it say 60Hz when I press the info button?
While the A650 and A750 have been advertised as doing 120Hz video processing that's mainly for the 3D features of the TV, or to provide two full screen independent images at 60Hz to users. These features require special glasses and must be supported by the source material. However, DLPs rarely suffer from motion blurring so 120Hz processing isn't necessary as with LCDs. Higher end LCDs have a feature called Motion Enhancement, etc. that enhances and smoothes the motion of the image. This often has the effect of making film look like video, and can also cause what is known as TBE or triple ball effect, where you might see three balls on a fast moving baseball due to software frame interpolation. Since DLPs have a hugely faster update rate, this is not needed. The 120Hz on this TV is used to provide judder free display of 24fps sources, such as Blu-ray/HD DVD movies but it's not entirely effective. When you press the info button on the remote, it shows the frame rate of the SOURCE material. For regular TV this will usually be 60Hz. For Blu-ray/HD DVD it will be 24Hz.

Does this TV support 1080p/24fps?
Yes, to some degree if your HD Disc player also supports 1080p24 and is set properly to output it. Some Blu-ray players don't support it but the PS3 does. The same goes for HD DVD, I have tested this with a Toshiba HD-A30 and my HL56A650 locked in at 1080p24 automatically to both HD DVD and upconverted SD DVD discs. PQ for normal movie discs definitely improved over 1080p60 and judder reduction was quite noticeable in fast action sequences or when the camera pans quickly. It isn't perfect though and it's hoped that next year's DLPs will handle 24 fps better.

Does this set support Samsung's DLP® 3-D television?
Yes, the Series 6 and Series 7 both support this feature that was introduced in Samsung's 2007 DLPs There are special jacks on the side to connect the extra hardware and PC. For more info see: http://pages.samsung.com/us/dlp3d/index.html and http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1032892

How do you clean the screen?
Use the cleaning cloth that came with the set or other dry microfiber cloths of good quality that are used for camera lenses and mirrors. For hard to remove smudes some people have used LCD cleaners but go lightly and start on small spots first.

Any other standard maintenance?
See page 92 of the manual for more information. Also be aware that over time dust and pollutants can grime up the optics and mirrors. This may take years to become a problem but if there are smokers in the house or you do a lot of smoky cooking the buildup can be fast. If you think your PQ has gone fuzzy after a year or so you may have to clean the optics, light path and both sides of the screen.

How long does the lamp last?
Approximately 5000-15000 hours depending on usage and the quality of your electrical source.

Will setting the brightness or contrast too high lessen the life of the lamp?
It may. Powering on and off frequently probably is more detrimental. More can be found below:

Are there other ways to extend lamp life?
Yes, take a look at this: http://fixyourdlp.com/blog/?p=30

Does replacing a worn out lamp truly restore picture quality to like new?
As a lamp ages its light output lessens until it's obviously too dim and there may be a shift in hue toward a yellowish white output as well. It may even burn out. When it's time for replacement there will be a definite deterioration of PQ and brightness. Unlike other types of HDTVs that don't allow user replacement of the light source, a proper replacement lamp should restore a DLP to like new performance.

How much does a lamp cost? Which lamp does Series 6 use?
There should be a sticker on the left side of the HDTV with the lamp info. The replacement lamp part number for the HL56A650 is BP96-01653A and it's available from Samsung for $193.55 w/enclosure. It can be found elsewhere much cheaper, around $100-150.

Is the lamp hard to replace? Instead of replacing the lamp is it better to replace the TV instead?
If you're handy with tools and read warnings and instructions, lamp replacement isn't that hard. It can be done in 15 minutes and should restore performance to like new. If the TV is four years old when it's time or if you want to move up to newer technology, a new TV is a consideration. Still, we're talking about the A650 which is a modern full-1080p HDTV. If the set is good otherwise, a $125 lamp replacement makes a lot of sense.

What stand should I use with this HDTV?
The Samsung adjustable floor stand, model TR500X3B, works well for all A650s except the HL72A650 which uses the Samsung TR72B stand. Both have an open design and glass shelves and hold up to four home theater A/V components. Google TR500X3B or TR72B to see more info. If you go with a third party floor stand try to get one that's 18-20" tall. Warning: a tall stand may make you wish you were sitting on bar stools!

Which remote control models work with Series 6?
The original Series 6 remote control is BN59-00673A (see picture above). It's a nice design with every button backlighted but is missing last year's extra control buttons for other devices. Remote BP59-00125A from last year's HL-Txx76S works well, too. Remote BN59-00598A for many Samsung LCD models works well but is missing the WISELINK button and a few others (its PIP button of course does not work with Series 6). These last two remotes are universal remotes that I noticed would control a Samsung SIR-T451 HDTV tuner but not their newer DTB-H260F ATSC tuner.

WISELINK enables you to view JPEG photo files and listen to MP3 audio files on a USB Mass Storage drive plugged into recent Samsung TVs' USB port. The features and controls are fairly extensive, see page 68 of the user manual for more info.

So it's true that the HL72A650 is the world's largest MP3 player?
Yes, it IS slightly bigger than Samsung's earlier YP-MT6 MP3 player! And its display size easily puts any iPod to shame!

Will the TV's optical digital audio jacks provide Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound?
Yes, but only from the internal ATSC tuner and only when the OTA (over the air) broadcast carries DD5.1. DD5.1 sound from external sources will not be passed on, only PCM.
From page 15 of the Series 6 DLP TV User Manual: "When the receiver (home theater) is set to On, you can hear sound output from the TV’s Optical jack. When the TV is displaying a DTV(air) signal, the TV will send out 5.1 channel sound to the Home theater receiver. When the source is a digital component such as a DVD and is connected to the TV via HDMI, only 2 channel sound will be heard from the Home Theater receiver. If you want to hear 5.1 channel audio, connect the DIGITAL AUDIO OUT (OPTICAL) jack on the DVD player or Cable/Satellite Box directly to an Amplifier or Home Theater, not the TV." (Of course if your DVD player or other device only has Coaxial DD5.1 out and your A/V receiver supports that, coaxial will work as well.)

This is not a problem at all, it makes perfect sense to route digital audio output of all components including the HDTV directly to the digital A/V receiver. No need to divert them through the TV.

What's the power consumption of Series 6 and Series 7? How much does it cost to operate them?
DLP HDTVs are a lot cheaper to operate than plasma or LCD HDTVs of the same screen size. According to the March 2008 Consumer Reports magazine a typical 56" RPTV costs $65 annually to operate, assuming 8 hours of use per day at 10.65 cents per KiloWatt-Hour of electricity. A 50" 1080p plasma costs $110 and a 52" LCD costs $80. Crutchfield has done power consumption tests on many 2008 Samsung DLPs and that information is condensed in the chart below. I also used a little simple math to devise a conversion factor between Crutchfield and Consumer Reports since Crutchfield uses 6 hours of daily use at 10 cents per KWH. The conversion factor is 1065/1000*8/6 or 1.42. Multiplying Crutchfield's annual cost by 1.42 produces the CR annual cost.

Samsung ---- Power --- Power -- Monthly - Crutchfield's - Consumer Reports' ------- Consumer Reports ------ Consumer Reports
Model # ------ On ---- Standby -- Cost --- Annual Cost ---- Annual Cost -------- Annual Cost 50" plasma--- Annual Cost 52" LCD
HL50A650 -- 183.92W - 0.47W --- $3.38 ---- $40.56 -------- $57.60
HL56A650 -- 183.94W - 0.48W --- $3.38 ---- $40.56 -------- $57.60 -------------------- $110 ------------------- $80
HL61A650 -- 186.94W - 0.50W --- $3.44 ---- $41.28 -------- $58.62
HL72A650 -- 210.15W - 0.50W --- $3.86 ---- $46.32 -------- $65.77

HL61A750 -- 156.29W - 0.59W --- $2.88 ---- $34.56 -------- $49.08
HL67A750 -- 150.12W - 0.65W --- $2.77 ---- $33.24 -------- $47.20

To double check my math and Crutchfield and Consumer Reports I plugged my HL56A650 into a Kill-A-Watt meter and found it used 1.49 KWH over a day being on 8 hours and on standby 16 hours. Multiplying that times 0.1065 times 365 gives a figure of $57.92 a year, extremely close to my calculation of Consumer Reports' annual cost at $57.60. The results are amazingly close considering rounding errors, individual TV variations and not using a stopwatch to measure a day's use down to the second. In fact if my house voltage was just half a volt higher than Crutchfield's the figures would be dead on.

Due to LED illumination the two Series 7 models are some of the greenest HDTVs you can buy. Looking at the chart above the annual electricity cost of the HL61A750 is almost $10 less than the lamp based HL61A650 (which is no slouch itself). Very green!

For more info and background on HDTV power consumption see: http://www.crutchfieldadvisor.com/S-.../TV-power.html
CNET also has info on this subject: http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6475_7-....html?tag=lnav
Thanks to videobruce for the two links above and more in his thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=975348

Does this set support discrete power on/off via IR?

Do IR codes go directly to their inputs?

Does this TV work properly with the voice sync feature of HDMI 1.3a?
Series 6 and Series 7 are HDMI 1.3a compliant, but may not support every feature of 1.3a

Recommended Samsung DLP Picture Settings/Calibration:
Most people leave their HDTV set at factory defaults but that's a shame since intelligent adjustments will deliver a stunning display from just about any Samsung HDTV. There's absolutely no doubt factory settings are not optimized for most applications and that careful tweaking will greatly improve Picture Quality. You should become familiar with your picture settings menus to gain understanding of what your set is capable of and read more about calibration if you want to zero in on the best PQ possible for your viewing environment. You can try picture settings by the seat of your pants (not a bad idea when you're breaking in a new HDTV) or use calibration discs like the AVCHD disc or Digital Video Essentials (DVE). Be sure to clean up problems in your viewing area too, like lighting problems, reflections, viewing angles and interference. After your set has had a month or more usage consider having a professional calibrator come to your home to set everything spot on. Excellent information on calibration fundamentals can be found here, here and here. Also check out the Official 2008 Samsung HL61A750/HL67A750 LED DLP Settings and Calibration Thread since much of it should apply to the A650.

Remember that each input source can have its own custom Picture Settings. So you'll want to tweak settings for TV, DVD, Blu-ray - whatever your sources are. It will take some effort to get each input set up initially but this can be a real time saver since your custom settings are restored each time you select an input that you previously configured.

Everyone, please post Series 6 picture settings that work well for you. Below are some settings for LED and lamp based DLPs that have been recommended in the threads linked above and the calibration thread along with initial settings for my HL56A650 as I break it in. As usual, YMMV so experiment until you find settings that work well for you in your viewing environment. Remember, using someone else's settings can be helpful as you struggle to sort out picture settings but is not true calibration in any shape or form.

Samsung DLP Model .. A750 ......... A650 ......... A650
Picture Settings ........ mike_pro ... Quentin2 ... Home Theater

Picture Menu:
Picture mode .............. Movie ........ Movie ......... Movie
Contrast ................... 100 ............ 94 ............. 90
Brightness ................. 47 ............. 53 ............. 56
Sharpness ................. 0 ............... 0 ............... 0
Color ........................ 49 ............. 46 ............. 47
Tint (G/R) ................. G50/R50 ..... G50/R50 ..... G52/R48

Detailed Settings:
Black Adjust .............. Off ............. High .......... High
Dynamic Contrast ....... Off ............. Off ............ Off
LED Control ............... Medium ....... N/A ........... N/A
Gamma .................... -3 .............. -3 ............. -3
White Balance ............ 0 ............... 0 ............... 0
Flesh Tone ................ 0 ............... 0 ............... 0
Edge Enhancement ..... Off ............. Off ............ Off
xvYCC ...................... Off ............. Off ............ Off

Picture Options:
Color Tone ................ Warm2 ........ Warm2 ........ Warm2
Size ......................... Just Scan .... Just Scan .... ?
Position .................... N/A............. N/A ............. ?
Digital NR .................. Auto ........... Off ............. Off
DNIe ........................ Off ............. Off ............. Off
HDMI Black Level ........ Normal ........ Normal ........ ?
Film Mode ................. Auto ........... Auto ........... ?
Blue Only Mode .......... Off ............. Off ............. Off
Color Gamut .............. sRGB ........... sRGB .......... sRGB
3D Effect .................. Off ............. Off ............. Off

(1) Detailed Settings available only in Standard or Movie Mode
(2) xvYCC available only when Picture Mode is Movie and external input is HDMI or Component
(3) Color Tones Warm1 and Warm2 available only in Movie Mode
(4) DNIe available only in Dynamic Mode
(5) HDMI Black Level active only with HDMI source, may not be compatible with all HDMI devices
(6) Film Mode is supported in HDMI @ 1080i and ATV/DTV/Video/S-Video/Component @ 480i and 1080i
(7) Blue Only Mode available only in Standard or Movie Mode
(8) 3D Effect requires a PC connected to HDMI3/DVI input and other hardware/software
(9) Dynamic Contrast set to Low allows you to back off Contrast in the Picture Menu, gives more range if necessary

Service Menu (Warning! Stay out of here unless you know what you're doing)
How do I access the service menu?
Caution, entering the service menu also will reset your User Menu settings to their defaults. Write down your custom settings beforehand as you will have to redo your contrast, brightness and other settings whenever you go to the service menu.

To enter the service menus: With the TV off, press these buttons on the remote unit - Mute, 1, 8, 2, Power. To back out of a service menu item, hit the menu button.
Be careful in the service menu, if you don't know what you are doing you can screw up your set! If you do feel adventurous it's a good idea to grab your digital camera and take pictures of service menu screens before making any change. At least you know what the default was if you have a picture.

What are all of these service menu items?
See the list here thanks to ztkp01.

In the service menu you can check the number of hours the TV has been watched (well, turned on) in the Options menu. (The number of hours on the lamp.)

How can I bring up some test patterns from the service menu? (Useful to check the set's geometry)
From the service menu, you can get to the test patterns by going to the DDP3021 menu, and choosing Test Pattern (DDP). You can then right arrow through various test patterns. There is one for adjusting the picture position that may be useful for checking geometry.

Is there another way to display a test pattern without going into the service menu?
You can check your set's geometry using this image, (right click it and save to your hard disk or to a USB thumb drive and connect it to the TV). http://psleng.dyndns.org/files/tv_test/grid.jpg You you can also use the THX Optimizer test patterns in the Setup Menu of some THX DVDs. Many Pixar DVDs such as Finding Nemo have the THX Optimizer.

Is it safe to use the calibration option in service menu?
This is a warning, if you do this option you may need to turn the color management system back on using the CCA service menu item. Remember you can cause all kinds of problems for yourself if you don't know what you're doing in the service menu! People have even turned off the display completely and of course can't see to correct it.

Possible issues with Series 6 (and other DLPs)/Extended Warranty/Troubleshooting
Should I buy an extended warranty? What is the cheapest place?
It is up to you. Consumer Reports doesn’t recommend extended warranties for plasma and LED HDTVs but DLPs are prone to more service calls than flat panels. Still CR data from thousands of DLP users indicates only 1 out of 10 DLPs need service in the first three years. I decided to gamble and did not get an extended warranty for my HL56A650 so just have the 15 month Samsung warranty (the normal twelve plus three extra months for registering online). That's a little easier when you spend about $1,000 than if you spend over $2,000 for a more expensive model. Do your homework though as many retail stores warranties are too expensive. One popular alternative on this board is the Mack extended warranty offered with special AVS discount pricing here. Remember that some warranties cover lamp replacement and some don’t.
Mack Warranty info with special price from Texas Tapeworks.

An interesting thread on extended warranties can be found HERE

Do the 2008 lamp-based models have the UltraSlim cabinet that caused geometry problems in the HL-Txx76S 2007 lamp-based models?
No, Samsung abandoned the UltraSlim case after just one year. The 2008 case is deeper and stronger, very similar to the 2007 and 2008 LED models. While this hasn’t solved all geometry issues at least the problems are much less pronounced this year. The following is a great explanation of last year's problem:
Quote:Originally Posted by audiophile42

While I can't comment on the LED vs. Lamp issue, I can comment on the 'screen sag'. There was an issue with the 2007 Lamp based sets, and to a lesser degree the LED sets (I believe), where they would exhibit horizontal bowing. Imagine horizontal lines not being completely straight, but forming a smile at the edges. It is caused by less than rigid screens, and compounded by the case design on these models. In particular the Lamp based sets, HL-TXX76s.

They developed these "Ultra Slim" cases, which were 6-8" thinner depth wise compared to the previous versions. To achieve that, they changed the optic system and added another mirror in the top of the case, which would magnify any geometry problems. The case is also very, VERY flimsy. If the case was sturdy, I imagine the bowing problem would be much less severe, as it would support the screen. So to sumarize, we've got an additional mirror, a flimsy case, which is pushing down on a flimsy screen, causing it to bulge out causing the smiley face effect.

I've had the HL-T5076s since June '07, and above is what I understand is the problem. I haven't complained to Samsung yet, because I know they don't have a fix as this is an inherent design issue with the Ultra Slim cases. Some have gotten lucky after going through multiple replacements and gotten one with little to no bowing, but who wants to exchange their TV 4 times. The good news is that the '08 models no longer utilize this design, and have gone back to the previous slightly deeper cases. While we won't know for sure until the sets start trickling into stores and the first AVS'ers get them in house, it's a fairly good bet the 'screen sag' won't be an issue this year. If that's so, I'll be calling Samsung to complain until they give me a non bowing set. Hopefully this is helpful in explaining the geometry problems of last years televisions. Maybe someone else can discuss LED vs. Lamp. BTW, aside from bowing, the PQ is outstanding!

So there are no convergence, tilt and geometry issues in the 2008 models?
DLPs rarely have convergence issues like older CRT RPTVs but this technology is prone to suffer from geometry and/or tilt issues. However most people are pleased with the picture quality and find geometric distortion to be within acceptable limits. If you look carefully at a straight line displayed across the top of the screen you may notice the left or right side is 1/8" higher than the center or 1/4" higher than the other side. Tilt may be adjusted by moving the DMD light engine but if it's within tolerance Samsung will not touch it. Some people return set after set in an effort to get rid of tilt and bending but most people hardly notice it in normal use and realize they got a large stunning HDTV though it's not 100% perfect in every area. There were major tilt/bending problems in the 2007 lamp models that have been largely corrected in 2008. Flat panel LCDs and plasmas tend to have less geometric distortion but there are other disadvantages to these technologies and they are extremely expensive in sizes comparable to DLPs.

I see blurring and artifacts when watching fast action or sports on TV. Is something adjusted wrong or is something wrong with my TV?
This likely is macroblocking or other issues with the source, not the TV itself. It often is noticed in satellite or digital cable subscriptions where high compression is used to squeeze more channels in the available bandwidth. Unlike LCD HDTVs, motion blur isn't much of an issue in DLPs so you'll rarely see it from a 1080p24 HD DVD or Blu-ray source. Even OTA DTV broadcasts are more immune to macroblocking than cable and satellite due to less compression.
Quote:Originally Posted by aaronwt

This happens with all broadcast sources. I've seen it on every HD broadcast I've watched since 2001. Anytime there is fast motion, bright flashes or fast pans it will cause it. And if the provider or channel lowers the bit rate it will be worse...

The display dims when I sit off to the side or get up from my seat. Can that be fixed?
DLPs do not have great horizontal viewing angles and the vertical angle is even worse. LCDs suffer from this as well while CRT and plasma sets excel. You should arrange your viewing area to minimize large viewing angles if possible. If your DLP is on a tall stand you may need to angle it downward or better yet get a stand that's more like 18-20 inches high.

Whether the set is on (with a dark screen) or off there is a light area on the screen toward the bottom center. Is this normal?
This is common and probably is a reflection of ambient light off the mirror in the TV. There is an insert included in the parts bag along with the manual that mentions this effect. When the lights in the room are turned off the reflection should go away.

Hot Spots: I recently saw the Samsung 67" DLP set on display and there was a bright horizontal portion of the picture that moved up and down as the viewing position moved up and down. At eye level the bright area was straight across the middle third of the screen. Is this a normal effect of DLPs or were the TVs just set up too bright in the store?
Quote:Originally Posted by Darin

The high gain screens used by the vast majority of RPTVs do definitely induce uneven brightness... there will always be a "hot spot" of high brightness that follows the line between your eyes and the point of projection. But your eyes do tend to "adjust" to it, and for me, it only becomes noticeable when I move. This is a bigger issue with some sets than others. When I was shopping, I was choosing between the current Mitsubishi sets, and the LED Samsungs. I felt the Mits had more even brightness than the Samsung. But I didn't look at the bulb-based Samsungs... it may simply be as Quentin said... more with LED than with bulb, rather than more with Samsung than with Mits. They may be using higher gain screens on the LED models to maximize the apparent light output.

What is SSE?
Silk Screen Effect. It is the "sparkly" or "shimmery" look on bright backgrounds, like sky shots. It is caused by the high gain screen used in DLPs. The effect can be reduced with proper brightness and contrast adjustments.

What is SDE?
Screen Door Effect. DLP TVs tend to be immune to SDE but it's noticeable in LCD flat panels where at close viewing distances fine lines can appear between pixels which gives the effect of viewing the image through a screen on a door or window. This is more noticeable in large screens but you can see the effect even on a small PC LCD monitor if you get close or use a magnifying glass.

What is The Rainbow Effect?
Quote:Originally Posted by gtunney

The rainbow effect occurs when your eyes move quickly across a single chip DLP display. Note that this will occur with both front and rear projection systems. What you will see are bright objects separating into the colors of the light projection system, usually red, blue and green. Someone once captured this effect on their video camera which you can see at ftp://ftp.extremetech.com/pub/extrem...ainbowClip.wmv If you have The Incredibles or Finding Nemo, run the THX optimizer video option. When you see the white circle test, you can see RBE by moving your eyes quickly back and forth...

Note: RBE is less of a problem in newer TVs. Some people are very sensitive to this effect but most never notice it. If it bothers you the LED A750 models may correct or at least lessen the problem. Also Mitsubishi lamp models may handle RBE better.

Is there any routine cleaning or maintenance I need to do?
You need to provide a few inches of room to the rear and sides for ventilation of the TV. Of course you want good clean AC power and should unplug the power and cable/antenna during storms or power outages. A UPS may be a good idea for your home theater components. Of course don't plug things into the wrong jacks, always be sure of what you're doing. Make sure you have a strong stand that is proper for the TV and that it isn't unstable. Don't use a wet cloth to clean the screen, use the included soft dry cloth. Since it's hard to clean later, don't touch the screen or get food or drink on it. Inform kids to keep their fingers off. Refer to page 92 of the manual for more info.

An important thing to remember is you shouldn't power cycle the set quickly. Turn it on and leave it on if you'll soon be watching it again. Turn it off and leave it off as continuous heating and cooling of the lamp shortens its life. Powering on and off quickly is especially harmful so don't let young ones play with the remote until they understand not to hit the power button repeatedly.

There are black spots on the inside of the screen, can this be corrected?
Most likely dust or something on the inside of the screen from shipping. This likely can be removed by opening up the circular access ports on the sides of the rear of the TV, and reaching in with a soft microfiber or lens cloth to remove them.

I change my picture settings but they change back to the default, why is this?
Your set probably is in Store Demo mode. Go into the Setup Menu and select Plug&Play then in that menu change from Store Demo mode to Home Use. See page 17 of the user manual for more info or this link: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=14553194

Why does the Black Adjust setting sometimes stay on High even though it says Off?
When you go from Standard to Movie mode, or back to Standard, sometimes you may notice that blacks are suddenly very dark and being crushed. This may be because Black Adjust in Detailed Settings has been changed to High, even though it says Off. To fix, change the setting then change it back to Off.

Is there updated firmware for Series 6? How do you update the firmware?
So far there isn't new firmware for Series 6, Series 7 has an update to solve a power cycling issue. If new firmware does become available see page 67 of the manual for upgrade instructions.

Does Series 6 have the power cycle issue of Series 7?
So far there haven’t been any reports of this in Series 6.

Why do I get reflections in the top black bar?
Many users have reported that when watching a movie with black bars at the top and bottom, if a very bright object is at the top of the image, some light will bleed into the black bar. There is no specific adjustment for this and it would be difficult to correct with normal user menu controls. So far this seems to be an issue with A750 LED models not the A650. If it's a real problem with your set contact Customer Support.

Change log
06/14/2009 Added more info on weak black level performance
04/07/2009 Edited to remove postimage pictures that had been modified with vulgar language...
04/06/2009 Added link to HL61A750/HL67A750 Settings and Calibration Thread
03/18/2009 Added Home Theater Magazine Picture Settings
03/09/2009 Minor update to warranty section
03/02/2009 Added more info on how DLP works
02/19/2009 Added info on the HL67A510 at Costco
02/04/2009 Fixed broken link to Samsung's DLP® 3-D
01/31/2009 Added more info on extended warranties
01/21/2009 Added that Samsung will have no 2009 DLPs; Edited for readability
01/14/2009 Added maintenance tips
01/01/2009 Added link to Home Theater review of HL61A650
12/15/2008 Minor editing
12/12/2008 Added Samsung's features page for the HL61A650
11/26/2008 Added info on the Mitsubishi WD-65735
11/12/2008 Added info on video sources
10/23/2008 Reorganized FAQ
10/17/2008 Added info on "hot spots"
10/12/2008 Added more info on TV stands
10/06/2008 Minor editing for clarity
09/25/2008 Added PC/PS3/XBox 360 info (was lost in server crash)
09/23/2008 Added link to 3D thread
09/16/2008 Added another calibration link
09/07/2008 Added info on selecting screen size
08/30/2008 Minor updates...
08/12/2008 Recreating changes that were lost when the AVS database crashed
07/23/2008 Added link to CNET review of HL61A750
07/08/2008 Added information about lamp life and replacement
07/04/2008 Updated 1080p24 with HD DVD, Toshiba HD-A30 results
06/23/2008 Corrected standby power consumption to 0.5W as measured by Crutchfield.
06/22/2008 Added maintenance, precautions, cleaning info, etc.
06/21/2008 Another rewrite of the Picture Settings section, added Crutchfield newly posted HL72A650 power consumption estimate
06/18/2008 Inserted pictures of the A650, remote and inputs
06/17/2008 Rewrote the Picture Settings section
06/15/2008 Minor editing to clarify the wording throughout the FAQ
06/09/2008 Minor corrections, cleaned up the wording in a few places
06/06/2008 Updated power consumption estimates for the HLxxA650
06/04/2008 Reorganized the FAQ
06/03/2008 Added link to webpage about Samsung's DLP® 3-D;
06/02/2008 Added remote control unit info, added typical sale prices
06/01/2008 More revisions; added more definitions; added screen sizes, dimensions, weights and list prices of the Series 6 models ...
05/31/2008 Revisions, rewrites and deletions making FAQ specific to the HLxxA650
05/31/2008 Copied applicable parts of the thread "Samsung 61" HL61A750 and 67" HL67A750 LED DLP owners thread and FAQ" written and maintained by mike_pro (thanks again, Mike!)
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:27 AM Liked: 10
post #2 of 882
05-31-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Reserving this for future updates...

Please feel free to add information to this thread!
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:18 AM Liked: 10
post #3 of 882
06-02-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Reserving this for future updates, too.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:19 AM Liked: 10
post #4 of 882
06-02-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
I bought an HL56A650 at the local Best Buy during a Memorial Day week sale which has been extended till 6/7. The price of a penny under $1400 was competitive with open box units and closeouts of last year's models and of course you get a fresher TV with this year's features. This set was made in Mexico with a manufacturing date of March 2008. The replacement lamp is model # BP96-01653A (P132W).

Edit: RC Willey has the HL56A650 for a hundred less till 6/10/08 plus you get a $130 gift card. Other nice sales there this week. Best Buy did a price match for me at 110% of the difference plus a $130 gift card making the effective price $1160. No hassles at all, I'm pleased BB means what they say by "price match".

I was torn between the 56" and 61" size but in our room a 56" model is just right. (Unfortunately this eliminated the HLxxA750 from consideration as it's not available in less than the 61" size.) My wife and I are stunned by the incredible PQ of the HL56A650 even though I'm still tweaking the picture settings. We use it exclusively with OTA signals and an upconverting Sony DVP-NS77H DVD player. The ATSC tuner does an amazing job of pulling in local DTV and the prime time 1080i broadcasts knock your socks off. Upconversion of normal DVDs won't fool you into thinking they're Blu-ray but I have to say the process is darn good. I am relieved that my large DVD collection still looks great as I feared that the HL56A650 would make them look terrible. Planet Earth on normal DVD upconverted is impressive but lacks the detail of 1080i OTA broadcasts and of course the Blu-ray demos of Planet Earth in showrooms.

The internal speakers are adequate for casual TV viewing but like most people here I route the set's optical digital audio output to my A/V receiver to enjoy true Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. A big HDTV cries for good sound so it's insane not to use a better sound system than the internal speakers.

There is slight horizontal bowing toward the top of the screen but it's only noticeable with menus or sharp edges in the display. I thought about exchanging the set but on close inspection the floor model at Best Buy has about the same amount of bowing. Odds are I'd have to go through many exchanges to find one any better. If this type of thing bothers you then you may want to keep looking for a large HDTV. For us this stunning display that cost an amazing $3100 less than a 58" 1080p plasma next to it in BB easily offsets this glitch that really isn't obvious for most viewing. The other thing that impresses is the large number of inputs and many useful features. I think we're fortunate that Samsung has remained in the RPTV sector for another year. Let's hope there is a future for this wonderful technology though it will be difficult as large 1080p flatscreen prices finally compete.
xbbdc's Avatar xbbdc
09:51 AM Liked: 10
post #5 of 882
06-03-2008 | Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2007
i bought this tv (hl56a650) on may 9th from hometheaterstore.com for a price of $1299 with free shipping. after 2 weeks of delays, i finally got it and it was worth the wait! the PQ on it is very good!! using hdmi via motorola STB and comcast HD, getting 1080i is very nice. i went out the same day i got it and bought a philips 1080p hdmi dvd upconverter and it looks good as well, although havent tested the philips well enough... unfortunately normal tv doesnt look as well as it does on my toshiba md30h82. the sound is decent as well, like the previous poster, with a beauty like this, one needs surround sound to enjoy its glory... i will be building a HTPC for this tv since i can get 1080p movies from the net...

anyone know how to set up or link me on how to set up the 3-D ready portion?
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
02:22 PM Liked: 10
post #6 of 882
06-03-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Welcome xbbdc and glad you like your new DLP! Here's a link to Samsung's 3-D page which should get you started:

Ah, good - something to add to the FAQ!
jhferry's Avatar jhferry
10:09 AM Liked: 10
post #7 of 882
06-04-2008 | Posts: 842
Joined: Dec 2003
I am waiting on a replacement HL61A650, mine is physically warped causing all kinds of issues.

We need to get some calibration reports!
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
10:41 AM Liked: 10
post #8 of 882
06-10-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Man you've had a rough time getting a good unit, jhferry! I'm rereading the A750/A650 thread and saw all the problems you had with the HLT then to top it off Samsung sends you a bad A650! I hope this replacement does the trick.

My HL56A650 does have a slight horizontal sag most noticable about 5" from the top of the screen but nothing like the low hanging smile on the HLT I had to return before it. Since the display A650s at Best Buy are about the same as mine I'm going to keep this one. You really have to look for it. Otherwise the PQ is stunning.

I have a good feeling you'll get one you like this time... Good luck!
Stan Rozenfeld's Avatar Stan Rozenfeld
04:13 PM Liked: 10
post #9 of 882
06-15-2008 | Posts: 327
Joined: Jan 2002
I am considering buying a 72 inch DLP. I notice that they are both exactly the same size and depth. Yet, I notice that the new model is 20 lbs lighter! Any ideas why?

Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
12:33 AM Liked: 10
post #10 of 882
06-16-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Well the A650 line is lighter across the board than last years' HLTs but that's quite a difference in the big boys. I know the HLT had an extra mirror that was dropped in this year's models, maybe that plus some reinforcement, and probably an error in the specs like Amazon has with these two models.

I do know the HL56A650 weighs two pounds less than the smaller HLT5076S which can be explained by the mirror and mounting, but it seems a stretch to say that's what's causing the difference in the 72" models.

Hopefully someone will have a better answer!
Webhead68's Avatar Webhead68
02:49 PM Liked: 10
post #11 of 882
06-17-2008 | Posts: 39
Joined: Mar 2008
Quenin, Just got my new set to replace the HLT5076S (POS) and I have to say that the picture quality was just as good if not better and it was nice being able to pull up the guide and the TV not smile at me. Thanks for your help on the other thread. Now I guess I'll have to monitor this thread to see if anyone has a problem with this set.
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
09:13 AM Liked: 10
post #12 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 60
Joined: Jan 2008
I'm getting the HL50A650 on Saturday as a warranty replacement for my HL-P4663 that recently died. I'm really looking forward to the PQ on this model. Circuit City had their spliced up store feed and it didn't do the TV any justice. I'll have a PS3 and Verizon FIOS HDDVR running to the TV via HDMI.

One quick question....will the optical out do HDMI pass through or will I have to keep the optical cable plugged in from my PS3 to the HTIB receiver? Thanks and I can't wait for Saturday.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
04:21 PM Liked: 10
post #13 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
No, the optical out will just pass PCM from your HDMI source so you'll need the extra optical cable from your PS3 to the receiver to get DD5.1. Hope you like your new Sammy, jerlent. You too, Webhead68!
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
04:29 PM Liked: 10
post #14 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 60
Joined: Jan 2008
Thanks Quentin! I didn't think that it would do HDMI pass thru but it was worth a shot. Does the newer DLP's still suffer from the game lag? I know they have game mode and such but does it make up for it enough? By the way is it Saturday yet? LOL
left4dead's Avatar left4dead
06:25 PM Liked: 10
post #15 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 59
Joined: Sep 2005
Is it possible for some members to start posting their picture SETTINGS for the A650 series? In the combo thread, most of the settings posted are for the A750 models.

I'm interested to see what settings work best for the A650 line. Thanks.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
07:09 PM Liked: 10
post #16 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 844
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Toward the end of the FAQ above I did organize some picture settings, mostly of LED models but mine for the A650 are on the right. I agree though, l4d, let's get more PS input here!
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
07:15 PM Liked: 10
post #17 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 60
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I'm going to start with your settings and then work from there. My dad has a great eye for this so we'll see how much he thinks it needs to be tweaked. What were you hooked up to when you got your settings?
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:49 PM Liked: 10
post #18 of 882
06-19-2008 | Posts: 844
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CBS and PBS 1080i HDTV over the air... don't have Blu-ray yet so that's as good as it gets for me, which is terrific. I haven't tried a calibration DVD yet and there may be no point with just upconverted SD discs. Still, I'm more than satisfied with these settings in my dark basement media room. Friends and family are amazed by the PQ.

Anyway, the above is a good starting point. You should try a calibration disc if you aren't satisfied with how others' settings look in your viewing area.
left4dead's Avatar left4dead
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post #19 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 59
Joined: Sep 2005
Originally Posted by jerlent View Post

I'm going to start with your settings and then work from there. My dad has a great eye for this so we'll see how much he thinks it needs to be tweaked. What were you hooked up to when you got your settings?

After your dad finishes tweaking the settings, can you please post the final results?
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
12:33 PM Liked: 10
post #20 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 60
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I'll definitely post them up. I'll be running HDMI off a Verizon FIOS HDDVR and a PS3. See if it'll be different settings for each source.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
01:29 PM Liked: 10
post #21 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 844
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Mike_pro has a different settings for those sources with his HL61A750. You might want to look at the link above to his A750 FAQ as he has them posted there and there's not a huge difference for settings of bulb vs. LED.
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
01:37 PM Liked: 10
post #22 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 60
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Yeah I saw those also. I'll play around w/ them for a while. I can't wait! I"ve been with out my 46" for about 6 weeks. We've been forced to watch a 20" LCD that we've dubbed PIP. My eyes are going to thank me once we get back to normal viewing. LOL
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
07:33 PM Liked: 10
post #23 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 844
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Yeah hi def is pretty cramped on a 20" screen, you'll love your DLP! I've got a Samsung DTB-H260F HDTV tuner hooked to my 20" computer LCD via HDMI to DVI and it works great but sure is small now that I'm spoiled with big screen HD! I used to be more impressed, PIP is the right name.
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
08:06 PM Liked: 10
post #24 of 882
06-20-2008 | Posts: 60
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I already love my old HL-P4663 that died, but I'm going to love the HL50A650 even more. I'll be able to take full advantage of my PS3.
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
09:41 AM Liked: 10
post #25 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 60
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I got delivery this morning of my HL50A650 and I absolutely love it so far. I briefly tweaked the picture settings that Quentin posted and they look great. I did slightly modify them but not by much at all. I thought that the 50" might have been a little small but at my viewing distance and the overall size of the room, its perfect.

I got lucky that Pirate of the Caribbean was on Starz HD playing in 1080i. Everything looked great. On my old DLP I would sometimes get some uneven greens/blacks and it would looked blocked. Not with the new model. Everything was smooth and the colors looked great.

I then popped in Cars on Blu Ray. Of course that also looked beautiful. I've seen it on Starz HD before but that didn't do this movie any justice. The colors were vibrant and true. No pixelization whatsoever. I got done watching it and realized my PS3 needed a system update. So I do the update and it turns off and back on. I look in the upper left corner and see that the resolution was set at 1980x1080i!!!! I totally forgot to switch on 1080p before I watched it. Now I'll have to go back and see if there is any difference in 1080p.

Tonight I'll be watching I Am Legend on Blu Ray and will give you an update after. If you don't need to hang your TV on the wall DLP is definitely the best bang for your buck. I know the LED DLP might be a bit better but I'll take the old Lamp style any day.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:04 AM Liked: 10
post #26 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 844
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Glad you like your A650, jerlent and keep us in the loop with your tweaks! Not all of us can fit in a 60+ inch set so it's good that Samsung still has 50-56" models.

Man I've got to get a PS3 and some Blu-ray discs...
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
11:15 AM Liked: 10
post #27 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 60
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I would say a PS3 is almost a must have. I don't play games as much anymore so its great that it doubles as Blu Ray player. Now I just need to upgrade my home theater set up. I have an older Samsung HTIB that sounds pretty good but doesn't do a Blu Ray disc any justice. Even still for my next setup I won't go too high end. I was thinking about the Samsung HTIB that is just the receiver/speaker setup. I forget the model but it does Dolby TrueHD and also DTS HD.
Quentin2's Avatar Quentin2
11:49 AM Liked: 10
post #28 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 844
Joined: Nov 2007
Definitely look at mike_pro's PS3 Recommended Settings in his A750 FAQ, he's got a lot of info there.

Good luck with your audio system too. I have a cobbled up component system that works very well. Nothing like incorporating old-school Pioneer front speakers with 12" woofers into a surround/subwoofer setup. I tried to replace them with modern floor standing speakers but couldn't beat the sound at an affordable price. I bet there are terrific speakers at thrift shops that would surprise many people. Of course the problem with piecing together components is getting balanced sound, it's more likely you'll create a Frankenstein monster.
techdummy's Avatar techdummy
12:45 PM Liked: 10
post #29 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 28
Joined: Jun 2008
is the Rainbow effect present in this year's model of the 650? I know it has the wheel, but I don't see flashes of light. If I do that could be a problem for me.
jerlent's Avatar jerlent
01:10 PM Liked: 10
post #30 of 882
06-21-2008 | Posts: 60
Joined: Jan 2008
I personally haven't seen it yet but then again I've watched my 50A650 for 2 1/2 hours this morning LOL. I don't think its as prevalent as earlier generation DLP's. This is my 2nd DLP in 3 years and have not had any with the Rainbow effect. What model did you get by the way and welcome to the club.

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