I haven't noticed the sharpening artifacts of which you speak. I the image I see doesn't include the ringing and ghosting that you describe. When I look at text on my HTPC (Mac Mini @1920X1080 60HZ in 1 to 1 mode), the text looks as clean as I have ever seen, and working in education for a lot of years, I have struggled to get clean images that were heavily dependent on legible text being visible from the back of the room. With the cropping on, test patterns like the checker board and fine vertical or horizontal lines look banded. Turn the cropping off, and the patterns look as they should. Obviously, cropping and 1 to 1 mode are mutually exclusive. On other 1080p sources such as Bluray from my PS3, the image is as good as the source will allow, with the exception of backlight uniformity (lighter on the bottom corners) and black level on very dark scenes. Even DVD's and SD cable look good. So I wonder if perhaps the problem is with your particular set. Speaking of SVM, I thought that feature was limited to CRT's. I hadn't heard of it in relation to LCD flat screen TV's, though there are many edge 'enhancement' schemes out there that are usually some sort of sharpness. I don't think that it is possible to modulate the scanning velocity of a fixed pixel display... but I defer to the experts. I am just someone who has served as an informed consumer of this technology; more into the systems integration and component selection aspect of A/V as related to 'Smart Classrooms' than to a theater quality cinema experience. In the one room that was close to that ideal (actually a theater, originally with 35mm projectors), we used a decent 3 chip DLP Panasonic projector with a 20 foot wide screen. Though I have at times set up (focus, convergence, and seat of the pants calibration) CRT front projectors and such. That was of course after watching the experts and asking them all sorts of annoying questions...
Sorry to hear about your frustrations with your set... Myself, the only real fly in the ointment (at least the only one which has me considering returning it) is the unevenness of the backlight. The jury is still deadlocked on that one, but finances may yet convince me to keep it versus a step up to the 93 series Sharp at about 3k more.
Please post what you find out about your set and what you decide. I am also wondering how to do a firmware upgrade since there doesn't seem to be any instructions that I can find that apply to this model.
Originally Posted by helkins
Anybody manage to upgrade the firmware on this thing?
I bit the bullet and hauled a unit out from Sam's this weekend and observed my firmware was out of date (V63.7.3A17 vs. V63.7.4). Entering my serial number on the website gave me a downloadable firmware file that is nothing more than a .bin file when unzipped, no other firmware utility files included (whereas the instructions provided by a low level Syntax tech indicated there should be).
My tech support experience with Syntax so far has not been so great. The level one techs claim they don't know much about the set "because it's so new". Funny that the set has been completely wiped off the syntax website, not a single mention of it anywhere.
I called for two reasons:
1) To solve the firmware mystery. First tech emailed me instructions that I had already followed verbatim (assuming this was a FAT32 thumbdrive upgrade using the lone .bin file) and nothing happened. I was told to ask for "Level 2" tech support the next day and got the same "I dunno" response. SOMEBODY makes and designs this set, and I politely requested that I get in contact with such a person. Still waiting, we shall see.
2) I need to know if this set can disable SVM. I'm bummed nobody here noticed the profoundly visible edge enhancement processing in the picture and the fact it can not be disabled in the regular menu nor the service menu (at least with my firmware version). SVM has no place whatsoever on a HD picture and I will be promptly bringing this set back to Sam's for a refund if this can not be turned off. Turning the sharp setting all the way down does not help. The obvious signs of SVM are still there - the ringing, ghosting, and artifacts in the image, particularly text. This is observed on previously verified blemish-free 1080p material. The "Level 2" tech had no clue what SVM was but told me he would pass along my question to "engineering" to see what can be done. Again, we shall see.