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The Consumer Reports Jury is back...Samsung 5084...not glowing - Page 6

post #151 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiehowser View Post

This is a good post that explains why CR is the most trusted cosumer review magazine. They don't get cherry picked units and they don't accept advertising money. There is no conflict of interest. CR buys the exact same displays that any of could buy. They do an honest review. Anyone who disagrees has a hidden agenda. Consumer Reports has both technical experts and normal people participate in reviews.

I agree with the Consumer Report reviews. They are in-line with what I have seen. Panasonic is one of the best. Vizio is very good and bright. Samsung is low quality junk.

I've been called a Panasonic fanboy. However, there's no way Vizio is better than Samsung. LG makes all the Vizio panels and the price advantage of Vizio for the last 2 years has quickly disappeared. I don't think LG makes better plasmas than Samsung.

People seem to forget that Pioneer has had a reliability issue for many years. Panasonic and Toshiba have been the most reliable display devices. However, I don't think Toshiba has been making their own plasma displays.
post #152 of 350
I will only add that if you are a Pioneer or Panasonic or Sony or some other name brand, and you desire to market a new model successfully, then you would put a lot of extra effort into getting good technical reviews. Among other things, you might:

1) Select important components such as the flatscreen itself for image quality. Maybe you would pay extra money to the glass manufacturer for best quality screens for the first production run. Then you might make a normal manufacturing decision to loosen up the spec for normal production, and use cheaper panels for more profit.

2) You might specially select the electronics to match the cherry-picked screens so as to maximize overall performance.

3) You might hand-calibrate each early unit in a lab, although you know the extra labor would not be used in subsequent production units.

4) You would minimally do 100% inspection for defects such as stuck pixels and defective inputs. You would not want to be reading about how the reviewer exchanged his set.

Once you had succeeded in getting favorable reviews from the early production run units, you would thereafter follow a "maximum profit" scheme whereby you maximized profits for the remainder of the product life. You know that (aside from that pesky Consumer Reports) all the Web reviewers and magazines will move on to testing other new models, and never notice the change. You would be benefitting from the early favorable reviews of the model, and taking advantage of the majority of buyers who base thir purchase decision upon reviews rather than side-by-side comparisons in a brick and mortar store.

Now ask yourself how many of those Web reviewers and magazine reviewers are truly ignorant about these practices. After all, they must never annoy a paid advertizer, nor can they afford to wait for anything but a early cherry-picked unit to publish a review - if you snooze, you lose - Web reviews are sometimes published only days after the early units ship.
post #153 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

I've been called a Panasonic fanboy. However, there's no way Vizio is better than Samsung. LG makes all the Vizio panels and the price advantage of Vizio for the last 2 years has quickly disappeared. I don't think LG makes better plasmas than Samsung.

People seem to forget that Pioneer has had a reliability issue for many years. Panasonic and Toshiba have been the most reliable display devices. However, I don't think Toshiba has been making their own plasma displays.

I haven't seen a Toshiba plasma so I can't comment on them. Truth be told I didn't know Toshiba made plasma. I remember them making projection sets.

Samsung is so bad that if they were the only ones making plasma I would buy a LCD. The judder and flickering of a Samsung makes it nearly unwatchable when the background is white.
post #154 of 350
Gary McCoy. Just to comment on your post. It has always stuck out in my mind when a magazine or site mentions that they think they received a cal'd unit. Cnet has mentioned this numerous times and TH Mag has mentioned this about many of their Samsung samples. Every review of a Samsung display by HT Mag in the last couple of years has shown almost spot on color accuracy. This is always followed up by a comment that elludes to the possibility that they might have received a cal'd unit. But if Samsung send out all units this way, I applaud them. I don't know.

As this thread continues, I find myself wondering if their is any end to this craziness? Are we on a gaming forum? Do some of you really consider the product you bought that much superior to an equivilant product? I would be happy with every single product mentioned in this thread and I by no means believe what I have purchased now or in the past is the far superior to other products, it was best for my situation.

To call every product from a company "crap" is childish. To take personal shots at a complete stranger because they don't agree with your evaluation of a display is childish. To take the side of some company because you purchase their products and defend them to no end is ignorant. You might love them, but they ain't never gonna love ya back.
post #155 of 350
What is so funny is that up until about 5 years or so many have been use to 480i tv's including all the interlacing and other artifacts. And here we are pulling each other's hair out fighting for brand name superiority in the name of hdtv.
post #156 of 350
The degree of cheating going on with those early review units is amazing.

That's why for all the abuse they take, Consumer Reports has results that pretty much match up to what you can see in a large brick and mortar store, if you take the time to tweak each set's operator settings. That's because they are comparing normal production quality for each brand, not early units.

One amusing note: before I bought my 47" Westinghouse monitor, I would go into Best Buy and ask them to play a DVD I brought with me, that happened to be the Avia DVD. After tweeking the operator settings for brightness/contrast/color/etc. I would walk away with what was then the cheapest looking HDTV set displaying the best image.

But it never lasted. The next day the Westinghouse would again look like it belonged at the end of the row of screens with declining prices. All would be normal in the world of BB again.
post #157 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiehowser View Post

I haven't seen a Toshiba plasma so I can't comment on them. Truth be told I didn't know Toshiba made plasma. I remember them making projection sets.

Samsung is so bad that if they were the only ones making plasma I would buy a LCD. The judder and flickering of a Samsung makes it nearly unwatchable when the background is white.

doogie, your irrational Samsung hatred is amusing. You spend so much time bashing Sammy I'm not sure what you own. Tell about your TV for a change.
post #158 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

The degree of cheating going on with those early review units is amazing.

That's why for all the abuse they take, Consumer Reports has results that pretty much match up to what you can see in a large brick and mortar store, if you take the time to tweak each set's operator settings. That's because they are comparing normal production quality for each brand, not early units.

One amusing note: before I bought my 47" Westinghouse monitor, I would go into Best Buy and ask them to play a DVD I brought with me, that happened to be the Avia DVD. After tweeking the operator settings for brightness/contrast/color/etc. I would walk away with what was then the cheapest looking HDTV set displaying the best image.

But it never lasted. The next day the Westinghouse would again look like it belonged at the end of the row of screens with declining prices. All would be normal in the world of BB again.

Very interesting. Did you use the Avia Disk to tweak all the different screens, and concluded that the Westinghouse looked the best, or did you just tweak the settings on only the Westinghouse panels?

I am not sure what you may be hinting at with your last paragraph; are you indicating that you suspect that the store was intentionally calibrating how each panel looked to make the least expensive panels also look the worst?
post #159 of 350
I picked my Westinghouse out based on price/performance. I paid $1800 in November 2005 for an early LVM-37w1. That one ended up on the wife's desk at her employer, used for large spreadsheets (she's a CPA). Then I bought the LVM-47w1, and paid less than for the 37". No pretensions that I did anything but hunt for the best image at the lowest price. Now I'm lusting after a 50" plasma.

When it comes to BB and CC, if you shop early in the morning, you will see an obvious progression in image quality from cheapest to most expensive. Then if you go into the Magnolia Home Theater display at BB, the sets look better still. I'm not suggesting anything other than that somebody who cares takes the time to tweek the sets in the morning. At least at my local BB, this is not true on Saturday or Sunday morning - leading me to suspect the person doing the tweeking might be the manager of the TV department. I'm not suggesting any form of conspiracy exists. By noon of that day most operator settings have been changed by shoppers.

If you use the Avia (or Video Essentials) DVD and the color filters, you can do a better job than tweeking by eye alone. In the process you will set things like the brightness for best image in the ambient lighting. Even this is short of what you can acheive at home by entering the Service Menu on your set. Then the best you can do at home is not as good as paying a ISF professional with professional quality test equipment. But flat panels are so cheap nowadays that ISF calibration will probably only happen for high-end units sold by a full service installer.
post #160 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

...Now ask yourself how many of those Web reviewers and magazine reviewers are truly ignorant about these practices. After all, they must never annoy a paid advertizer,...

True, but also they must be truthful enough to maintain their reputation, which allows them to keep attracting readers in the long run.

Because the fewer readers, the fewer the greenbacks paid by those advertisers.

I do thing CS has its place, but I personally prefer the opinion of a knowledgeable reviewer I trust, to that of the cafeteria worker at CS (see my earlier comment on focus groups and why most discount stores set their TVs to "vivid".)
post #161 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

True, but also they must be truthful enough to maintain their reputation, which allows them to keep attracting readers in the long run.

Because the fewer readers, the fewer the greenbacks paid by those advertisers.

I do thing CS has its place, but I personally prefer the opinion of a knowledgeable reviewer I trust, to that of the cafeteria worker at CS (see my earlier comment on focus groups and why most discount stores set their TVs to "vivid".)

First off, it's CR not CS. Can you share your knowledge as to where CR gets its focus groups? My guess is not from the cafeteria. Thirdly, according to BB, CC, Ultimate, they unpack the displays and stick them on the shelves with no tweaking at all. The displays come from the factory preset in a vivid type mode.
post #162 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

First off, it's CR not CS. Can you share your knowledge as to where CR gets its focus groups? My guess is not from the cafeteria. Thirdly, according to BB, CC, Ultimate, they unpack the displays and stick them on the shelves with no tweaking at all. The displays come from the factory preset in a vivid type mode.

Just a comical example of how stores care/know little or nothing about the displays they are selling:

I was checking out the Samsung 71 series LCD at my local Fry's. I went into the settings (which were totally jacked) and made some basic adjustments. First of they had a BD demo going, but had the 120 hz option on high which gave it this Matrix, Neo dodging bullets effect to anything that was moving. I turned it off. I then put it in movie mode and adjusted the picture and brightness.

My wife and I took a step back and began to study the PQ. A Fry's salesman and his buddy walk up to the display. One says "this looks like crap" and returns it to vivid mode. I say "my wife and I are thinking of spending a couple grand on this display and you go and change the settings as soon as I put down the remote? You think that's a good idea?" He said no one would watch it the way I had it in their house.

I walked out of the store.

I was checking out the Pani pz700 with a px75 sitting right next to it. the 700 was playing the Happy Feet BD and the 75 was playing their crappy Discovery feed. I asked if we could get the same source on both displays because there is such a disparity between a BD and the Fry's feed.

The salesman explains that the 700 looks sooooo much better because it is 1080p and the 75 looks sooooo bad because it was 768p.

I walked out of the store.
post #163 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

First off, it's CR not CS....

Oh, O.K., you won the argument....

As to the "focus group" -like methodology, read your own post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

...They buy displays from stores just like we do. They blind test PQ using techs and non techs, they add up the results and publish them....

Where do you think they get what you refer to as the "non techs" who participate in those surveys? Who do you think generally has time to participate in focus groups?

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

...The displays come from the factory preset in a vivid type mode.

Duh.... Because manufacturers have done some "focus group" testing on their own, and "vivid" is what the same "non techs" who participated in the CR survey generally like best.
post #164 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by DPowers View Post

Just a comical example of how stores care/know little or nothing about the displays they are selling:

I was checking out the Samsung 71 series LCD at my local Fry's. I went into the settings (which were totally jacked) and made some basic adjustments. First of they had a BD demo going, but had the 120 hz option on high which gave it this Matrix, Neo dodging bullets effect to anything that was moving. I turned it off. I then put it in movie mode and adjusted the picture and brightness.

My wife and I took a step back and began to study the PQ. A Fry's salesman and his buddy walk up to the display. One says "this looks like crap" and returns it to vivid mode. I say "my wife and I are thinking of spending a couple grand on this display and you go and change the settings as soon as I put down the remote? You think that's a good idea?" He said no one would watch it the way I had it in their house.

I walked out of the store.

I was checking out the Pani pz700 with a px75 sitting right next to it. the 700 was playing the Happy Feet BD and the 75 was playing their crappy Discovery feed. I asked if we could get the same source on both displays because there is such a disparity between a BD and the Fry's feed.

The salesman explains that the 700 looks sooooo much better because it is 1080p and the 75 looks sooooo bad because it was 768p.

I walked out of the store.

You lose credibility by shopping for plasma's at Fry's Circuit City or BB. The best place to look at a set is probably Costco only because of all the natural light around. Costco doesn't have enough idiot workers to harrass you while making a choice.

In the south people call soda pop "coke" even if it's a Pepsi. Get me a coke just means get me a soda.

You cannot accurately tune a plasma without a tuning DVD, pluge patterns or a light meter. What if your tuning job did look awful? I'm not saying it did but it might.

I just realized recently that I'm color blind. I learned this from many Pioneer fanboys.
post #165 of 350
Oh, man, I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. Nothing gets me laughing like a Hans Gruber -a-thon.

Guys, stop letting him bait you, he's just a button pusher. He repeats the same things over and over, even when presented with physical evidence that contradicts his claims, and when somebody presents him with facts he usually just insults their intelligence or makes elitist comments. I think he just enjoys pushing people for reactions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans Gruber View Post

You lose credibility

Now, THAT is funny.
post #166 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

Oh, O.K., you won the argument....

As to the "focus group" -like methodology, read your own post:


Where do you think they get what you refer to as the "non techs" who participate in those surveys? Who do you think generally has time to participate in focus groups?



Duh.... Because manufacturers have done some "focus group" testing on their own, and "vivid" is what the same "non techs" who participated in the CR survey generally like best.

I read my own posts and do not see where I mention the phrase "focus group". I believe that is a term you used.

I have no idea where they get the non-technical people to review the displays but I would guess they are hourly workers at CR and they are often used for such endeavors.

I only mentioned that the displays are set at the factory because you stated that the discount stores do the set up.
post #167 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

...do not see where I mention the phrase "focus group". I believe that is a term you used....

Uhmmm..., you focus on words, but miss the semantic connections.

I'll try, again:

when your methodology involves collecting opinions about a product from a group of people, with the purpose of determining their likes and dislikes about the product, this quacks a bit like qualitative research, thus my remark that it is "focus group" -like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by andy sullivan View Post

...I have no idea where they get the non-technical people to review the displays but I would guess they are hourly workers at CR....

You may be close. They likely get paid a nominal amount for spending a few hours there. They probably had just finished picking the best toaster. Or, had just finished their shift at the cafeteria and wanted to earn an extra buck for watching TV

Anyway, I am arguing about CR's methodology, not about Panny vs. Pio. Even though I just got the 6010FD, if you read my earlier posts, I didn't think there was such a major difference between the two brands. I got it because I thought it was the best combo of street price/quality/size for me, at this time. I was initially looking at the new commercial 65" Pannys (and would still take one, at the same price:-)
post #168 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post

Oh, man, I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. Nothing gets me laughing like a Hans Gruber -a-thon.

Guys, stop letting him bait you, he's just a button pusher. He repeats the same things over and over, even when presented with physical evidence that contradicts his claims, and when somebody presents him with facts he usually just insults their intelligence or makes elitist comments. I think he just enjoys pushing people for reactions.



Now, THAT is funny.


I know, he's pretty silly. Obviously, I was trying to inject a bit of light hearted humor into an already petty an angry thread. I go to Fry's because it is litterally in walking distance of my home. My wife and I will go on walks and window shop. Sometimes I look at computers, dvds, and even the odd TV. I could, however just avoid the home theater area all together on my next walk as to not lose anymore of waning credibility. Ihope to have as much AVS cred as my boy Hans some day. I know. Impossible you say, but I can dream.

I know!

I will now carry my DVE DVD with me at all times so I can whip it out like a ninja star and adjust random displays like a crazy person. Wwwaaaa kaaaaa! Maybe then, me and Hans can be friends. Want to join my Pani Ninja gang? We'll kick some Kuro ass together!!
post #169 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by batpig View Post

Oh, man, I'm wiping the tears from my eyes. Nothing gets me laughing like a Hans Gruber -a-thon.

Guys, stop letting him bait you, he's just a button pusher. He repeats the same things over and over, even when presented with physical evidence that contradicts his claims, and when somebody presents him with facts he usually just insults their intelligence or makes elitist comments. I think he just enjoys pushing people for reactions.



Now, THAT is funny.

Informers really crack me up.
post #170 of 350
Thread Starter 
yes,.....we need two informers to skirmish and my life would be complete

I don't want this thread to die....It's to damned funny

well,..back to business..

any oher sets besides the pio have cablecards? the new LG 60 was rated almost as good as the pio 58 1080 from CR and has a DVR built it...priced from 2800-3400
post #171 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post

True, but also they must be truthful enough to maintain their reputation, which allows them to keep attracting readers in the long run.

Because the fewer readers, the fewer the greenbacks paid by those advertisers.

I do thing CS has its place, but I personally prefer the opinion of a knowledgeable reviewer I trust, to that of the cafeteria worker at CS (see my earlier comment on focus groups and why most discount stores set their TVs to "vivid".)

In contrast, my belief is that (however competent the testers) the fact that the only sets they ever test are cherry-picked and hand-calibrated early production units, compromises the test result. The performance and specifications measured from these early units simply will not be representative of the bulk of sets purchased from retail sources, which have only the roughest factory tweeking and may indeed have had major component substitutions such as a cheaper panel.

CR's methodology is simply better. If they do not explore every little feature of every set, it's because that would be meaningless in the context of how such sets are used by the majority of customers, nor would it be of help in ranking performance or measuring value, which are their objectives. What matters is 1) How well a set tunes and displays broadcast television and 2) How well it displays conventional DVD from a scaling DVD player and 3) How well the sets work with the popular gaming consoles. Because relatively few are interested in connecting a PC to their television for other than gaming, and conventional DVD disk releases still outpace both HD disk formats by 25:1.

Now if you simply must have a set that displays every nuance of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray, and which passes the HQV video tests, and which has the absolute lowest black level possible (because you have painted your walls flat black), then you are probably already a reader of the geeky A/V magazines - and more than one of them at that.

You are also probably hated by all the local brick and mortar managers because every time you take a television home, you've exchanged it three or more times for flaws they are not sure are even real, and which nobody else has complained of.

Well, now you know why - because you simply cannot buy a set from a retail source which equals the quality that the A/V reviewer you trust most saw with his test unit. But after multiple TV exchanges and a lot of tweeking, you can come close.

Just understand how the system works. It's part of being an educated consumer.
post #172 of 350
I can say with all do certainty that if I purchased one of the top rated displays by CR I would be happy...as would most of the human race. And if I had purchased the #1 rated display I would not then proclaim that company king of all manufacturers and describe everything else as "crap". CR is a great tool. I might not agree with them 100% but I would trust that I would not be disappointed if I followed there advice an any product.
post #173 of 350
If you look at last years CR issue, Vizio was ranked up near the top because of it's outstanding value when considering price. This year, Panasonic has been extremely aggressive on price. I've only been really watching the pricing for 50" and above, but even the panny haters should be pleased with Panasonics strategy.

This years CR issue had the Vizio display much further down the list over last years issue. Vizio is no longer the low price high value leader with Panasonic really pushing the envelope. The Thanksgiving sales have not hit and I'm starting to wonder if 50" plasmas may show up at $999. This price point would be on the Maxent, Olevia and Vizio platforms.

This discussion is really starting to turn into a battle similiar to speaker wire and audio interconnects. That battle raged on for over a decade. When monoprice came along, they really silenced those who spend too much for interconnects. The snake oil is under control in the interconnects market.

Snake oil is alive and well spreading like MRSA in the plasma market. Who's got some doxycycline to kill off this virus?
post #174 of 350
Thread Starter 
I lookeed into getting a vizio and olevia last year..but w/ their low price they never seemed to be discounted or price dropped..This and the other slightly better more expensive units dropped in price made it impossible for me to consider either of those..
post #175 of 350
When did Olevia start making PDP's? AFAIK they only produce LCD tv's.
post #176 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary McCoy View Post

...the fact that the only sets they ever test are cherry-picked and hand-calibrated early production units, compromises the test result....


Well, maybe, and maybe not. I've read enough reviews where the review sets had defects not present in later production units. Also, we are not talking about hand-produced items, where there is a significant fluctuation attributable to workmanship. These are basically stamped out and most have similar quality. If anything, as production is fine-tuned, the quality often improves with time. As to parts, maybe sometimes they go cheaper, but often they go for parts which improve on those used in early models.

So, guessing which way quality goes is not that easy. As to pre-calibration, fine, maybe many manufacturers do it, but many reviewers do their own calibration anyway, just like CR does.

The bottom line is, that I believe that while individual reviews certainly have potential flaws, the "focus-group" -like methodology employed by CR is also flawed. After all, it is similar survey methodology which pushes most manufacturers to ship their sets in "vivid."

Some here have a lot of faith in CR. I am not saying they are useless, but based on my experience as a participant in one their appliance quality surveys, their methodology left me rather disappointed.
post #177 of 350
Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I still think my Pioneer looks better than the Pannys. I was wanting the 700u first until they put up a Pioneer right next to it in the store. Thats when I decided 1080p was not as important as I thought it was.
post #178 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by umr View Post

I have already worked with the new Panasonic units and the consumer models are very poor compared to Pioneer. The light output at D65 was only 25 fL while the Pioneers can easily output 40 fL or more. My client was also complaining about light output. Any plasma that cannot output 35 fL at D65 is a no go product in my mind. The color decoder was also horribly wrong on the Panasonic. I will not work on the new consumer models because I do not believe they are worth my fee. The new commercial units are better, but the black levels are much worse than Pioneer. I have not worked with the latest Samsung plasmas at this time.

We've seen consumer reports rankings, I'm curious, in your opinion, what are the top 5 50 inch Plasma sets?

I'm struggling on deciding what would be the best choice. The Pioneer is said to be best, but how much better is the best? How much blacker? Hear it's black can go as low as .01 ftl but what's the level of the nearest competitor?

Also upset at the fact that Pio. looks to be the only option that can do proper 3:2 reverse telecine. I really want 1080p and 10-bit panel, but not sure I'm ready to part with the dollars demanded by Pio.
post #179 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaMike View Post

We've seen consumer reports rankings, I'm curious, in your opinion, what are the top 5 50 inch Plasma sets?

I'm struggling on deciding what would be the best choice. The Pioneer is said to be best, but how much better is the best? How much blacker? Hear it's black can go as low as .01 ftl but what's the level of the nearest competitor?

Also upset at the fact that Pio. looks to be the only option that can do proper 3:2 reverse telecine. I really want 1080p and 10-bit panel, but not sure I'm ready to part with the dollars demanded by Pio.

I cannot say what the 5 best units are. I have only worked on the latest Pioneer and Panasonic units. I have few requests to work on low cost brands. All I can say is that I will buy a Pioneer Elite next year. I would just save my change and get a Pioneer if you want a plasma.

However, I doubt the other plasmas for this year do not perform inverse telecine.
post #180 of 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by PanamaMike View Post

We've seen consumer reports rankings, I'm curious, in your opinion, what are the top 5 50 inch Plasma sets?

I'm struggling on deciding what would be the best choice. The Pioneer is said to be best, but how much better is the best? How much blacker? Hear it's black can go as low as .01 ftl but what's the level of the nearest competitor?

Also upset at the fact that Pio. looks to be the only option that can do proper 3:2 reverse telecine. I really want 1080p and 10-bit panel, but not sure I'm ready to part with the dollars demanded by Pio.

Buy a Panasonic. They are rated the best and they are the best. Nothing wrong with a Pioneer they make a good plasma too. Just stay away from Samsung. You can see on page one it is ranked too low by the best review magazine that is not bribed into giving glowing reviews. To get a good review in CR the plasma must earn it.
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