Originally Posted by mindbend@mindben
This is my first post on these forums. Great place BTW.
First, please don't be offended or get defensive about my forthcoming comments. I know people get upset when negative comments are made about products that they prefer. Here goes...
I think I made a big mistake by buying an LN-S3241D. My plan was to have it be a temporary smaller set to get my by until Sony updated their XBR line to HMDI 1.3 (I just have it in my head I need HMDI 1.3 and the XBR, which gets rave reviews all around).
So I went to Best Buy and stared at LCDs for two hours and quickly narrowed it down to the Samsung LN-S3241D and a Sharp LC32D43U. Actually, to my eye, the Sharp looked bit better than the Sammy (darks were much better), but I hated the glossy finish of the Sharp. There was a Toshiba that looked pretty good too, but I hadn't read anything about it so I didn't factor it in. The rest were junk in that price range ($1,000-ish for a 32"). Some were so bad I couldn't imagine anyone buying them.
The video loop in the store was deceiving in hindsight. There was little fast motion, it was some slow pace nature stuff, a pinao player and a computer 3D thing. It all looked good in the store.
At home, the big thing is the blur. I can't stand it. It makes me crazy looking at it it's so bad. It's the kind of thing I could see a lot of people not being bothered by, but I am not one of those people. I edit video for a living, so I'm extra sensitive to such things. It's making this process nearly impossible. From what I've read on this forum, it looks like the LN-S3241D simply does suck when it comes to blur. I would go so far as to say it makes gaming out of the question for all but the most casual gamer on this TV.
Another thing is how digital video is resolved. We have digital cable (not HD yet) and the macroblocking is intolerable. It's unwatchable to my eye. Fast motion scenes actually are the most tolerable. It's subtle scenes that are particularly painful when all you see a person's face constantly shifting about. Infuriating. I think I'm going to go ahead and get HD service just to see how that helps. Believe me, I understand SD will not look as good as HD. But I'm not concerned about pure resolution or color fidelity, I'm concerned about the blurring and the pixel shifting/resolving.
I also find its dark levels to be pretty bad. But I knew that when comparing to the Sharp, I just didn't think it would bug me as much as it does.
I'm used to editing DV and HD footage on Apple Cinema Displays. Even my five year old 22" Cinema Display blows this TV out of the water. I was surprised by this. Is this normal? Am I expecting too much from a TV of this price? Are computer LCDs made that much better? I know in general they are, but I figured a lower res TV (non-1080 that is) would have performed better.
QUESTION 1: How much does that macroblocking or pixelization resolving (if I can make up terms) go away with HD source? I'm assuming it helps a lot to have HD but it's still going to be there to some extent.
QUESTION 2: Is this TV's blur issue common across brands? Is it just because it's one of the more consumer level TVs?Would $500 more gotten me a 32" TV without this blur?
QUESTION 3: How much does the connection type affect blur and darkness? I'm guessing it doesn't help blur at all, but probably helps darkness in that the footage has more headroom bandwidth. The HMDI connection from my Apple TV looks quite good, but I've only watched trailers (lower res than full purchase). To my eye, the Apple TV (HMDI) trailers look better than the DVDs (standard, not HD) I've viewed. Now the DVD player is my original Xbox with a crappy composite connection, so I know it can get a lot better. I will try a better player/connection soon. Also, I'm downloading an iTunes movie now, so we'll see.
I'm very seriously thinking of taking this TV back and bypassing LCD altogether and going back to CRT. This TV really turned me off and made me gunshy to even think about more expensive LCD models.
Thoughts? I'd love to hear feedback about how crazy I am or where else I should look or other things I should consider. Thanks for any help.
I just got the 3251
D and I'm perplexed by similar pixelation and blurring issues.
I do have HD cable (SAE8300HD, TW-NYC) using an HDMI connection and I see lots of ugliness even in HiDef although I'm not yet convinced this is the display.
I have my PC in HDMI1 and at all resolutions the image is superb.
Note: I've been using a Samsung SlimFit TXS3082 for a while. This is a HD CRT and although it has horrible geometry, bowing and blotchy problems, most if not all HD content looked good - the PC looked only fair on the SliFit.
The 3251D does look consistently better than the SlimFit on the Discovery Channel and a few others HD channels. However, the local HD news looked terrific on the SlimFit but there's a myriad of artifacts on the 3251. SD was fair on the SlimFit but almost unwatchable on the 3251 depending on the programing.
But again, I still not convinced it's the display.
Standard DVD and PC image quality is better on the LCD and some TW programing is the best I've seen. DNIe seems to accentuate poor content but help good content. I believe the only way to bypass this circuitry is to use "Movie" although I personally like a brighter image.
E.saving can also sometimes help minimize artifacts.
Could it be that quality of the signal- highly compressed and poorly upscaled. Is it possible that the CRT wasn't capable of displaying LCD detail? Why else would some HD programing, the PC and standard DVD's look so good?
I'm gonna buy a calibration DVD in the hope that I can minimize any display short comings.
I'm still a novice on this stuff. I'd appreciate anyone with more knowledge to chime in.
With some experimentation I've been able to almost eliminate artifacts on HD and make SD watchable. I've read a few posts suggesting these tweaks but when first tried these, I found the picture much to dark.
As suggested, the key is E.Saving set to MED or if possible HIGH and of coarse the MOVIE preset. When HIGH is engaged even the other presets fare pretty well. It takes a bit of getting used to this darker picture but I find it is rich and exhibits a lot of depth.
Most of the annoying pixelation, blochyness and silk screening disappear.