Well, this is going to be a report on my experiences between receiving my 5688 on Nov. 15th, and today, including getting the "Tilt Problem" fixed and a calibration by Jeff Meier of Acucal.
When I got the set, I was really impressed with the picture, after going with the Eliab basic settings. I was especially impressed with the quality of my htpc with HDMI and overscan turned off, which was a huge improvement over component to my old 55" Mits CRT. However, it wasn't long until I noticed the tilt problem, mainly because of the windows task bar gives a perfect reference of a straight line. My entire screen was tilted down on the left side when facing the set. Maybe only a quarter inch or so, but once I saw it, I couldn't keep my eyes off of it.
I purchases the set from Tweeter, so I called them. During the first 60 days, or possibly the first year (not really sure), here in Dallas, Tweeter seems to want to use their own Service Technicians. So I set up an appointment with them. A nice enough guy came out, and unfortunately did not know about the adjustment outlined in the service manual involving loosening the three screws on the light engine and rotating to adjust the tilt. He recommended that we had to replace the light engine, and also offered "I can't guarantee that the new one will be any better, its just hit and miss with these things". He also much to my dismay, demonstrated that one could grab the whole tv by the upper front corners, and literally bend the case so the tilt changes from down on one side to down on the other side. At this point I started worrying in the back of my mind that perhaps I shouldn't have moved, unboxed, and installed the set all by myself
. Although I was as careful as I could be, there were a couple of points where I had to lift one end up on the stand and then lift the other end, its darn near impossible for one person to gracefully lift the entire set correctly.
So at this point, I had already seen the "What's Inside" thread, and had found the tilt adjustment pictures. I PM'ed a couple of very useful members here who I will not name in the interest of privacy (but thanks a bunch, you know who you are!!), and verified that it in fact could be done, just a matter of how to convice the Tweeter tech that its possible. I was considering just doing it myself, but was reluctant to jeopardize my warranty.
In the end, I called Tweeter back and told them I had called Samsung, and got through to 2nd level support, and although they wouldn't give me the information, they said there was an adjustment for tilt documented in the service manual. I said "you have looked at the service manual, right?"
So then Tweeter calls me back in a couple of days and says my light engine has arrived, and the technician can be out Tuesday to replace it. I just kept quiet about that. When he shows up, he just goes ahead and says that he is going to do the adjustment, and even has the pages of the service manual printed out. So all in all, that went well, I think its ever so slightly tilted the opposite way, but its darn near perfect now. Only problem I had was after he left, and I went into the Service Manual to turn off overscan again, the entire picture was just slightly lower, and besides displaying the well known "junk lines" on SD Digital channels, also had a green line on top on all channels, even the HD ones. So luckily, I was in the service manual already, so I adjusted the Vertical Position, and now its perfect, even got rid of the SD static at the top, even with overscan off.
So now I'm happy, this was on January 4th. I had scheduled with Jeff Meier of Acucal to come out on January 9th. I have nothing but the highest praise for Jeff. As others have mentioned, he seems to use the most sophisticated equipment and custom software he developed. After using that to get everything very close, we spend another couple of hours viewing different material to get it fully tweaked in. Since I emphasized that I use the htpc for my main viewing, he spent a lot of time helping me with that, which really wasn't even his responsibility. He adjusted the HDMI from my TWC Cable DVR, the HDMI from my htpc, and the OTA/QAM tuner separately, and spent significant time on each one.
Jeff was very courteous, helpful, and professional. i believe he just enjoys seeing the end results (and has he put it, a poor quality picture makes him sick to his stomach)
. My overall impressions probably mirror what everyone else says. Its kind of like that last 1% tweak, you can probably live with a user calibration, but once you've seen it really nailed, there is no going back. I have to say that what I really notice are the colors, especially skin tones. It makes me wonder how I ever watched it before. Everything is so lifelike. I couldn't be happier, and from the time I decided to get this set, I had already included the price of the calibration as a necessary expense. Now I am glad I did.