Originally Posted by JediPunisher
329D and 409D owners... We all know these LCDs will look great in HD, so please post your impressions of PQ from SD and DVD sources.
I've held off on making too many comments on my new LN-R409D because I just got HD service through DirectTV with an OTA antenna. While this is bound to get long, this is by no means a comprehensive or technical review. Honestly, I'm stepping up from a 1997 27" Panasonic Superflat CRT, so I don't have reasonable means for comparison unless you count in-store experience, and I don't. Now I have a new HR10-250 box, so there's another set of variables in the mix (output format and connection mostly).
I used an S-Video connection with my old DirectTV Tivo for a couple of days to show SD only, and results were mixed -- some channels looked great but others were not. With the new HR10-250 box, I've tried HDMI, but for some reason the audio from the OTA antenna wasn't passed through HDMI to the set AND the HR10-250 wouldn't output 480i even though the manual says it should (c'mon, I wanted to try it and see what the TV would do with it). So, I hooked up the HR10-250 via component and that's what I'm using now. I blame the HDMI failure on the HR10-250, but it's the only HDMI device I have so I can't test the LN-R409D with anything else.
My conclusion on SD output is that it can be very very good, but it is very source quality dependent. For example, OTA locals, even with SD programming, look great. The DirectTV digital sat feed of the same program is significantly worse. I'd describe what I'm seeing as blocky. I'm having a hard time settling on image adjustments for TV watching, because the ideal settings vary with the channel. If other more experienced users could post their settings that would be cool. I'll post mine, but I want to tinker a little more.
I liken this variation based on source/program to getting really accurate, unforgiving speakers. Boy they sound great when you're feeding them a great recording through a properly matched setup, but put a crappy CD player in the mix or play back a poorly compressed .MP3 recording and you're going to be able to tell right away. I guess that is a tangible result of high fidelity and high resolution.
I've watched parts of The Incredibles DVD after using the THX calibration, and the image is fantastic. I specifically watched some faster scenes to look for motion problems, and they aren't there. Amazing performance here, folks. My DVD player is a Sony AVD-C70ES, and I was using progressive output via component.
As for the obsession with user photos, I don't get it. Ever heard of Crutchfield.com? They have product photos from various angles, much better than anything that I could take. If you need someone to confirm that that is what it looks like, then here you have it. I'll try to take some photos tonight to show how it fits into my setup, but you're probably going to get more info from the Crutchfield photos.
One detail that is not represented well in the Crutchfield photos is the fact that the black bezel is extremely high gloss black. Not what I would have chosen, but we're getting used to it. And, at least the whole screen isn't shiny reflective glary glass like a plasma.
Besides the glossy bezel, I have one other complaint and that is viewing angle. Samsung's claimed 170 degree H/V viewing angle is one of the features that attracted me to the LN-R409D over much cheaper projection sets. And, I bet that you can see some image over that range. However, color varies greatly over this range, to a fairly annoying degree.
While I'm complaining, I can't believe the warnings throughout the manual on image retention / burn-in. I know that there is still some debateable low level of risk of this even with an LCD (although that Crutchfield page that I mentioned specifically says that you don't have to worry about it -- quite ballsy of them I must say). But, the manual specifically says that watching 4:3 TV or a DVD with letterbox borders can cause issues in as little as 2 hours! I'm not really afraid of that, but it is interesting that a manufacturer with so much knowledge about LCD panels would say this. I guess this might be a boilerplate-type warning that they issue for all of their TVs.
One last complaint, the TV speakers sound thin and muffled. Maybe I need to break them in or something, but ugh. I wasn't going to use them much anyway, but I thought that others might care.
So, overall the image is fantastic, but there are some issues here. I'm glad that I bought local and have a 30-day return to consider. This set hasn't wowed me enough to forget about that.