After reading this forum for months, I finally gathered my courage and bought my very first projection TV. After a week of testing this is my first impression from a first time projection TV owner. Hopefully this will help newbs like me on what to expect from an HDTV and not get totally discouraged by boards like these.
TV: Samsung HLS-6187 DLP 1080 version
DVD Player: Denon 1920 - on HDMi 1
Game: Xbox360 on Composite 1
PC: Laptop on SVGA + Audio Cable
Cable: Comcast Motorola DCT6412 on Composite 2
Stand: Z-Line Designs 55" TV Stand
Viewing distance: 13-14feet about 25 degrees sideways
My First Impression:
The cable box was connected by the delivery people and it started up immediately. Once they left I examined the TV.
Looks: The TV itself is absolutely gorgeous. But this you can see at the store too. The Z-Line 55" stand goes really good with it since its the same color and same width. Very good first impression.
Vertical viewing angle is horrible, so when I stand up and move closer to the TV the picture quality deteriorates very quickly. However, the center of my TV is 2 inches above my eyes with my current setup and it works really well. Horizontal viewing angles are better but still very crappy compared to LCDs / CRTs. So if you have a sideways setup like me, don't expect to enjoy the screen for large angles. I knew what to expect from in-store testing so even though my first impression was disappointing, it works really well at home.
Fan Noise: The fan noise is barely noticable. Compared to the Motorola DVR or the Xbox, the DLP fan noise is completely irrelevant. I don't think I heard the color wheel at all. Overall noise even when I just run the TV alone on mute is very hard to hear. Very good first impression.
Setup / connectors / Remote:
Connecting the TV was a breeze. The TV is really light so its easy to slide away from the wall (glass stand) when you need to reach the connector panel. Connectors are nicely grouped and easy to connect. The TV remote has a well separated SOURCE button that cycles through the inputs. It also autodetects and skips the non-connected inputs. Very good first impression.
Regular broadcast is hard to watch since its grainy, and a lot of artifacts are everywhere. Some premium non-hdtv channels look very good though even in stretched mode. These channels are quite enjoyable. First impression is I would not reccommend this large TV for people who like to watch regular TV a lot. Letterbox mode didnt help the standard definition channels.
HDTV cannels looked very good and highly enjoyable. Hopefully once I set up my antenna I will get more of them.
4:3 Letterbox Edge bending - Keystone ) (
Barely noticable but this might vary by TV. Was much less pronouced then on the HLR display models in Best Buy. Very happy with mine.
DNIe: I can go both ways. Sometimes it feels better. Sometimes it feels worse with it. The jury is still out. Overall the way the TV shipped the image was very good. I did lower brightness, green, sharpness, and contrast since the TV was blindingly bright, but really just for testing purposes.
I watched Lord of the Rings and Doom in 1080i mode. DVD playback is simply unbeleivable. Picture quality is astounding. The built in speakers are excellent too. Very addicting. All around the DVD playback was a flawless experience. I did try component connection too, and noticed very little difference. But since the Denon 1920 has HDMi I might as well use it. I bought a $90 HDMi cable but I really doubt you need one. Very good first impression.
I was running in 1080i mode here too and played Full Auto in 2 player mode and single player mode. Motion blur not noticable. No apparent lag, but then its not exactly a timing sensitive game. I didnt have a chance to stream video from the XBOX yet, but will try later this week. Very good first impression.
Connected the laptop with a 6ft SVGA cable male-male, and an audio cable. The laptop came up immediately. I didnt even bother with changing the resolution.
I played back a few mpegs in full screen mode and it worked perfectly. Sound was a little weak but I didnt play with it too much. Very good first impression.
Overall I am very plesantly suprised by this TV and I am glad I went with it. I plan to test it extensively over the first 30days to make sure I don't overlook some defect, but my first week's experience has been simply amazing.
Thank you for all your help. I learned a lot from this board, even if it scrared the crap out of me about buying an HDTV.