Originally Posted by tony400
I've already been disappointed in an earlier hdtv purchase of a Westinghouse HDTV. I wasn't about to make that mistake twice so this time around I saved up my hard earned cash for another several months and bought the flagship lcd model from one of the most reputable LCD manufacturers around (Samsung).
I purchased a samsung ln-s4696d. This TV cost me 8.5 times what my last tv cost! Even so, I've been disappointed in it's performance in some areas.
First some background...
I plan to eventually hook this tv up to one of the new high def dvd formats, once a winner is declared and the price comes down to the $300 range for a player. I also will be hooking up an Apple computer shortly for displaying slide shows to share with friends and family. For these two reasons I thought I wanted 1080 lines of resolution.
The location is on a wall opposite a southwest facing set of large picture windows. Since we do a lot of daytime watching on the weekends this ruled out plasma due to the reflections.
My main watching habits are general tv shows on channels like animal planet, fine living, science channel, hbo, fuel among others. Next we watch movies, most often saved onto our tivo, but occasionally (once a month or so) we rent a couple dvd's. I also watch a lot of hockey on FSNBA, always via the tivo recordings. Occasionally I play PS2 in the evenings. Even less frequently I'll get into the computer slide shows.
I've decided that due to the cost of this tv, I plan to keep it for 10 years.
Now onto the new setup....
Currently I've only watched it hooked up to:
A. An antenna for digital broadcasts
B. Via component inputs for a standard DVD player
C. Via S video to my tivo direct tv receiver
Next onto my findings...
1. The tv is much brighter, and works great in the room even with the sunny windows unshaded.
2. The articulating wall mount causes a lot of frustration, because Samsung placed the IO in line with the mounting screws! The wall mount system places a 1" diameter steel tube straight across this area. I'm unable to use high end connectors because they crash into the tube, I have to find very small connectors that are flexible and squeeze them into place.
3. The primetime HDTV over the air broadcasts are only so so. I compared the show 'House' on the directv tivo against the live broadcast in HDTV. The picture was incrementally better in the hdtv. Some of the things I noticed were the doctor was wearing a pinstriped gray suit in the hdtv, and wearing a solid gray suit in SDTV. I also noticed the wood grain in the office doors in the hdtv. Pretty minor things and I'd much rather use the tivo than suffer through watching live tv.
4. HDTV Football games are great on Fox, but on NBC they are only slightly better than SDTV on directv on my old Sony CRT (I tried to watch a game today to enjoy the tv, but I just can't get into football)
5. Nascar racing has a great picture too (but it put me to sleep).
6. kqed (public television) has 5 channels of coverage, but it's not very interesting.
7. About 4 days of live television is all I can take.
8. Directv recordings look like junk on this tv. Much much worse than on my Sony CRT (35" SDTV). This is a big problem since I really only like watching on tivo.
9. Older shows on directv look even worse, we watch Little House on the Prarie with my kids and the picture is terrible.
10. Now the REAL bug. When watching the Sharks on FSN+ the other day from the tivo recording, we found the picture very bad and blurry.
11. To top that off, we also found the tv choked on the motion between 5 and 10 times per period. The best way to describe the problem is that the action slows down for just an instant but it's very noticeable and irritating. (This never happened once on the CRT, so I'm sure it's a problem with the tv).
12. Getting even worse now was that the camera flashes at the arena come through on this tv as bright flashes and after a while they make you sick. Oddly enough, I've never once been to a professional sports event and wanted to take pictures, but apparently that is why people go. They take pictures even when nothing exciting is happening. The stadium needs to put an end to this if they want to continue to have people watch hockey on tv.
13. I watched another Sharks game from earlier in the week on FSN, and I thought the picture was perhaps slightly better, but it had the same slowdown glitch.
14. The sound in the tv is very bad - good thing I plan to use my surround system all the time.
15. Menus and graphics on the tv and on local hdtv broadcasts look REALLY good.
16. Standard def shows graphics look VERY bad.
Finally onto the conclusions....
*There's no way I'll watch 10 years of glitchy hockey so I think it's got to go back to the store.
*The only way I can watch hockey in HD is if I switch to comcast and I've only heard bad things about them. Their website sucks a**, (they have about 35 different channel packages so it took forever to figure out which one I needed). They don't offer Speed or Fuel in any of their regular channel packages which is a big problem. I priced out a package from them (digital plus and basic, with hdtv, and a hd dvr) and it's $96 a month! Crazy price!
* Even with switching to a HD DVR from directv, I figure the standard broadcast shows I watch most frequently will continue to have a crappy picture. Plus this would be the $300 investment in a piece of equipment that will become obsolete in less than a year due to the mpeg 4 switchover.
*I could try out the new series 3 tivo, but it's $800 plus a monthly fee AND I have to switch to comcast. This is a huge increase in the cost of this setup.
*My wifes a huge fan of the new tv on the wall, and said if I return it I'd better have a replacement when I get back from the store so I can't go back to my old Sony CRT.
*The NHL has to stop people from taking flash pictures somehow.
*Some local station needs to broadcast HDTV hockey over the air!
Is there a solution??!!! HELP!