Originally Posted by jorimt
I have a question about the severity of vertical banding from those that own the 46" or 55" F7100.
I recently purchase a UN46F7100 from Best Buy, and I've been noticing quite a bit of what appears to be vertical banding, mostly in solid dark grey screens (the Hulu app's background is particularly bad), or in any movie/game during pans in darker scenes. I took an image with a slightly textured dark grey fullscreen image on the TV via my PC in PC Mode (Standard mode, Backlight: 7, Contrast: 95, Brightness: 45, Sharpness: 50, Gamma: -1). Devoid the camera bringing out a brighter shade of grey than in person, the banding pattern/severity is virtually the same.
Final update on my panel replacement...
The service tech arrived today and replaced it. He was pleasant, and performed the switch with relative caution in about 15-20 minutes. He did use a drill as a screwdriver, but to no ill effect, and the good news is the outer bezel/casing survived without damage (the inner bezel was part of the new panel itself). With a panel replacement on this TV, it looks like the only original board that is swapped out is the "t-con" board (which also comes attached to the new panel), the remaining two are re-used from the old panel.
The new panel does have less
banding. I would post an image with the new panel displaying the test screen I used originally, but the improvement isn't really going to show on camera well. Good news is, in person, the amount of banding is better where it counts: actual content. Obviously, if this banding issue was unique to my original panel, with the new one, I would have seen almost none, or it would have been in a completely different pattern. Instead, again, there's just less, and what's there is in a very similar pattern. So this must be within the norm for all of these panels on this model, even the best ones; trying for a third would be pointless.
Also, the banding (on both my old and new panel) is only
visible with a solid dark grey screen, or during extremely slow nighttime pans in a video game. With a 30% grey screen (around the average test percentage for banding I believe) or brighter (solid colors included), it's basically invisible. So, banding-wise, I'm happy.
A positive and very unexpected side effect of the new panel is the black level. It looks like my old panel was more faulty than I thought, and wasn't properly implementing the micro-dimming feature (not to be confused with the energy-saving dimming issue that has been reported several times on this thread). That, or my last panel had a really bad black level. When I plugged the new panel in, I thought something was wrong, as all the black areas of the picture were actually dark, really dark. Before, I was getting a very washed-out look, especially with broadcast TV. I double checked all my picture settings, and sure enough, they were all the same as they were with my last panel, since this one retained whatever board saves picture settings. And Cinema Black keeps the bars in letterboxed movies darker than the content between it, even if the scene takes place in a pitch-black setting (which it wasn't doing before).
As for clouding, there is none that I can see, even with the backlight at max. The flashlighting on the left and right is more noticeable on a black screen with the new panel, but I think that's because it's dimming the screen more in the middle like it's suppose to. That, or again, for whatever reason, the black level is better.
So, unless this one randomly blows up, I think it's a keeper.