My Samsung 507 review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Well. I said that I would post something. So, here goes.

It is not my intent to give a professional review. I just don't have the time to really put this set through its paces. With that said, I have done my best to test a variety of the features of Samsung. I am also available for some follow up questions and tests.

I will start with what has quickly become my mantra; "This is a set based on a series of compromises." Is that a bad thing? No. In fact every set is. The difference is that people seem to have forgotten that with this TV. It is not the end all and be all. Nor is it a slouch. It is a pretty good deal in the old bang for the buck department. (or, for the marketers among us, it is approaching the top right).

The Samsung delivers a pretty good picture in a great form factor. This set gives us an option that we never had before. At a true 18" deep (you don't need to leave extra room for cords/connections/etc.), this TV gives us space constrained people an option to the ridiculously priced plasma. This set also should stand the test of time much better than the plasma. These do not come without a price. Anyone who has looked at the 50" Fujitsu can tell you what that price is. The picture quality is not as vivid as a plasma of the same size. Oh well; I don't have 14k to spend on a TV.

______________________________________

DVI

After cursing ATI's stupidity (and then rolling back drivers). I was able to get the Radeon talking to the Samsung at 1280x720. The good news is that perfect pixel matching seemed to be achieved. The bad news is that I couldn't see all of them. With the aspect ratio set to Wide (TV) I lost 20-40 pixels on all sides. This was frustrating. However, that is something with which I am willing to deal. If you think about it, this makes sense. Samsung will be using the DVI to connect its HD receivers. They are willing to accept a little overscan here.

I used Theater Tek to show movies. I figured that since I couldn't use the Catalyst drivers (insert virtual desktop rant here). I might as well use TT. The downside is that I was forced to use a driver with broken gamma curves. Broken gamma or not, it looked good.

______________________________________

PC input

I fed the output from an AccessDTV card into the set. While it did look good, I was upset to see some video noise. When viewing upconverted programs that were shown in 4x3, the sides of the picture were unstable. I did use cheap monitor cables. In theory this could account for the noise, but this has never been a problem before. I also noted a similar problem with the other analog inputs.

<Shakespearian aside>

This set doesn't have a ground on the power. I found that somewhat odd.

</Shakespearian aside>

I didn't bother to feed a PC signal. If you are going to be using the Samsung as a monitor, buy a DVI card.

______________________________________


Scaling and deinterlacing

Personally I have a hard time distinguishing between the two (when both are happening at the same time). With that said, I didn't notice any glaring deinterlacing problems. On the flip side, I don't tend to like the Samsung's scaling. The picture looks a little softer. If you add the video noise that seems to be on the analog connections, I was a little disappointed. Of course, I was comparing it to a Radeon-scaled all-digital path.

DirecTV* looked like you would expect it to. Ehhh. It was watchable, but I wouldn't brag about your new TV when you were watching DirecTV. On the plus side, It looks better/on par with a 36" XBR.

* I should note that I just moved and don't have my new sat up. These observations were made from LIL (network) channel shows that were stored on my DirecTivo.

_______________________________________


XBOX

Really Really Fun. I have mentioned this before, but in case people didn't catch it.

Input 1 - is bounded on the upper end by 480p
Inputs 2 & 3 - are bounded on the lower end by 480p

Why is this a problem? If you plan on using the X-Box for DVD viewing && 720p gaming, you are SOL.

________________________________________________

Tuner

The analog tuner is indeed awful. I would not plan on using OTA NTSC reception with this set. If you don't have a crystal clear signal (and Magnolia Hi-Fi didn't), the 507 isn't going to look good. I don't say "unwatchable" very often. I am very forgiving when it comes to these matters. With that said, it was unwatchable. If you get a clean signal, the set is OK. Not great but OK. I would highly recommend digital cable or sat.


________________________________________________


Glare screen

If you were wondering if I would be keeping the set, here is the only possible dealbreaker for me. I either a) have a bad glare screen or b) I REALLY don't like the one they used. I will post pictures. Keep in mind that the TV is off (completely) and white spot is *not* a direct reflextion.


________________________________________________


Little things

-My TiVo remote doesn't want to properly control the volume of the TV. I can't find a setting that will send the repeat Vol+ Vol-. This adds to the remote hastle.

-Speaking of remote hastles -- there doesn't seem to be a discrete ON/OFF.

-The set doesn't remember the 'stretch mode' on a per connection basis. I found this to be REALLY annoying. Let me explain. I am watching OTA TV and I switch that stretch to "Normal" (i.e. Black side bars .. yes that's right..BLACK ). I then switch to HDTV. When I switch back to antenna, I am in "Wide" mode. I then have to go through the whole cycle of stretches to get back to "Normal." I am hoping that someone fixes this and lets us upgrade the software via the RS-232.

- If there is a Samsung person lurking, please contact me re: control via the RS232 port. I am about to start the process testing the RS-232, and if there is nothing there to find I would like to know that. You could also just let me know the protocol. I promise that I won't tell people that you are here.

________________________________________________

Conclusion

I really do love this set. For me, it is great. I have a decent priced/sized monitor that will accept a DVI input. Furthermore, I don't have to worry about whether or not a will cause burn in. Plus, it is also a TV. This is what I have been looking for. Could I ask for more? yeah. Is there another set that I am even considering? nope.

I know that I haven't answered half of your questions. Ask away. I will do my best to answer.

-Steve

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post #2 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 03:50 PM
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COOL......................

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post #3 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I hope that you can see what I am talking about.
LL

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post #4 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 03:56 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the original pattern

 

1280_720 test pattern with pixel crop.zip 7.5556640625k . file
Attached Files
File Type: zip 1280_720 test pattern with pixel crop.zip (7.6 KB, 11 views)

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post #5 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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This is a picture of the overscan (top right)
LL

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post #6 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Bottom right
LL

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post #7 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:02 PM
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I will be placing this on a 28 inch stand, approximately 11 feet from the sweet spot, do you think this would be a problem?

Nice review.

Harley
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post #8 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:05 PM
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Steve,

Can you explain the "glare." I thought you meant glare from the projector bulb when you are watching TV. You posted a picture of the TV while it was off.

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post #9 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:07 PM - Thread Starter
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We started with a 30 inch stand (our eyes were 10'6" away). Both my wife and I thought that the screen was too high. We weren't able to sit on the floor in front of the couch and enjoy it.

-Steve

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post #10 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tivolicious
We started with a 30 inch stand (our eyes were 10'6" away). Both my wife and I thought that the screen was too high. We weren't able to sit on the floor in front of the couch and enjoy it.

-Steve
How about when sitting on the couch or chair?

Harley
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post #11 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by chris5977
Steve,

Can you explain the "glare." I thought you meant glare from the projector bulb when you are watching TV. You posted a picture of the TV while it was off.
Maybe I am too picky. I am bothered by that big white spot in the middle of the screen.

-Steve

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post #12 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by HuskerHarley


How about when sitting on the couch or chair?

Harley
On the couch there were no problems with viewing angles. It just seemed too high.

-Steve

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post #13 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:16 PM
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Steve, thanks for the review. Feel free to post more pictures of the TV. I never get sick of more pictures. :D

Quote:
Originally posted by Tivolicious
Maybe I am too picky. I am bothered by that big white spot in the middle of the screen.

-Steve
It's very hard to see on your picture but I think I can see a slight difference in color at the middle of the screen. It's certainly not "white" in the picture, though. Do you only notice this when the TV is off?
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post #14 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:18 PM
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I don't know anything about Radeon, Theater Tek, and very little about DVI. I'm not into HTPC or gaming. I'm just Joe Average consumer who wants a good main TV. Sources will be progressive scan DVD, Dish and Dish PVR. HD is on hold for me until an HD PVR comes out. (Don't want to buy a STB for the interim period.)

I'm considering:
Sammy 507
Panny PT-45LC12
Panny PT-53WX42

If I'm correct, the Sammy's native resolution is 720P. Since none of my sources are 720P, it will have to scale them all, right? Would I be better of with a CRT RPTV? Or will I be better off in the long run with the Sammy, since I'll have HD in the not-too-distant future? Just how bad does DBS look on it? Do you watch it in 4:3, or utilize a stretch mode?
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post #15 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tivolicious
We started with a 30 inch stand (our eyes were 10'6" away). Both my wife and I thought that the screen was too high. We weren't able to sit on the floor in front of the couch and enjoy it.

-Steve
So how high is the stand you settled on? Is this height good for watching while sitting and lying in a couch?
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post #16 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:27 PM
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Steve,

The lack of memory on the inputs is an annoying oversight on Samsung's part. Personally, I am probably going to use macros in a learning remote to solve the problem.

The glare is interesting. I have viewed a demo unit at a local UE and played quite a bit with the lighting. Under conditions that were turning a Pioneer Elite into a mirror, the Samsung wasnt having a problem. I wonder if the ANGLE of the light might be the issue. Others have reported that when viewed from extreme vertical angles, a strange weak ghosting can be seen. A possibility is that if light hits the set from extreme horizontal or vertical angles, it may get refracted internally and produce what your picture demonstrates. I noticed in the picture of the center glare that light was striking it from the far left. Just a thought...

Btw, what are your opinions of the black level and the sets ability to reproduce shadow detail in dark scenes?
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post #17 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by DLiquid
So how high is the stand you settled on? Is this height good for watching while sitting and lying in a couch?
We went for the 20" stand. It seems to be a good overall height.

-Steve

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post #18 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:31 PM
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Steve, great post!

Quote:
Originally posted by Tivolicious
When viewing upconverted programs that were shown in 4x3, the sides of the picture were unstable. I did use cheap monitor cables. In theory this could account for the noise, but this has never been a problem before. I also noted a similar problem with the other analog inputs.
You might want to try this:
http://www.monstercable.com/power/pr...n=587&mixtype=

Quote:

Glare screen

If you were wondering if I would be keeping the set, here is the only possible dealbreaker for me. I either a) have a bad glare screen or b) I REALLY don't like the one they used. I will post pictures. Keep in mind that the TV is off (completely) and white spot is *not* a direct reflextion.
I looked at the pic, was that glare from sun in the room?

- Sepia
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post #19 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:35 PM
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Steve, thanks for the hard work!

It looks like about 10 pix on top, 25+ on the right side and may 15 on the bottom?
I sure hope overscan is adjustable though the service menu! Or it may be optical overscan - my preference really.

The test image is a checkerboard of on off alternating pixels. In your .jpgs this pattern is not visible. What does it look like to your eye?

Would you mind taking some pics of things we're more familiar with? Maybe a picture of the AVS website on your review? (in low compression mode?) If you want to post them and they are too big you can email me and I'll put them up.

Do you have Avia? If so pics of the geometry and color gamut screens would be nice. :)

TIA!
Ken
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post #20 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by tyrtle
Steve,

The lack of memory on the inputs is an annoying oversight on Samsung's part. Personally, I am probably going to use macros in a learning remote to solve the problem.

The glare is interesting. I have viewed a demo unit at a local UE and played quite a bit from the lighting. Under conditions that were turning a Pioneer Elite into a mirror, the Samsung wasnt having a problem. I wonder if the ANGLE of the light might be the issue. Others have reported that when viewed from extreme vertical angles, a strange weak ghosting can be seen. A possibility if if that light hits the set from extreme horizontal or vertical angles, it may get refracted internally and produce what your picture demonstrates. I noticed in the picture of the center glare that light was striking it from the far left. Just a thought...

Btw, what are your opinions of the black level and the sets ability to reproduce shadow detail in dark scenes?
a) That is going to be one annoying macro. There is no "Wide" button. You are going to have to cycle through all the options. This also going to be a problem when switching to different inputs. There is no "Antenna" button either.

b) I know that the "glare" is caused by light flooding the sides. I just didn't expect it all to be refocused right in the middle of the screen.

c) Blacks are what you would expect. I have found that the whole "black level" is too subjective to really discuss.

-Steve

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post #21 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by KenLand
Steve, thanks for the hard work!

It looks like about 10 pix on top, 25+ on the right side and may 15 on the bottom?
I sure hope overscan is adjustable though the service menu! Or it may be optical overscan - my preference really.

The test image is a checkerboard of on off alternating pixels. In your .jpgs this pattern is not visible. What does it look like to your eye?

Would you mind taking some pics of things we're more familiar with? Maybe a picture of the AVS website on your review? (in low compression mode?) If you want to post them and they are too big you can email me and I'll put them up.

Do you have Avia? If so pics of the geometry and color gamut screens would be nice. :)

TIA!
Ken
1) The checkerboard is visible to the naked eye.

2) I can take some pictures, but I would imagine compression would render them useless.

3) I have no idea where Avia is

4) It seems to be an optical overscan

-Steve

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post #22 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by Sepia
Steve, great post!



You might want to try this:
http://www.monstercable.com/power/pr...n=587&mixtype=



I looked at the pic, was that glare from sun in the room?

- Sepia
Yes it is glare from sun in the room, but there is no sun actually hitting the screen. This happens with surprisingly little light.

-Stevfe

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post #23 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:49 PM
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Steve, thanks for the review. Have you had a chance to watch any DVD movie on it yet? I would be interested in your opinion on DVD movie watching on the set.
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post #24 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by pspun
Steve, thanks for the review. Have you had a chance to watch any DVD movie on it yet? I would be interested in your opinion on DVD movie watching on the set.
I have. In general they look good. Through an HTPC they look great. This is mostly because digital is kept digital. This set makes an incredible monitor.

-Steve

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post #25 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 05:08 PM
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"I have. In general they look good. Through an HTPC they look great. This is mostly because digital is kept digital. This set makes an incredible monitor. "

Ahhh... what else is needed then? HTPC for movies. 720p DVI DirectTV from the T160 for the rest.

:)
Ken
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post #26 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by KenLand
Ahhh... what else is needed then? HTPC for movies. 720p DVI DirectTV from the T160 for the rest.
Well, TiVo would have been cool through DVI at 720p, but that's not gonna happen anytime soon. I plan on getting a T160, HTPC, and keep an SA Series2 as well.

I could use the HTPC for PVR'ing, but it's a big hassle without TiVo's cool features.

- Sepia
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post #27 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by KenLand
"I have. In general they look good. Through an HTPC they look great. This is mostly because digital is kept digital. This set makes an incredible monitor. "

Ahhh... what else is needed then? HTPC for movies. 720p DVI DirectTV from the T160 for the rest.

:)
Ken
If only there were 2 (or three) DVI inputs ....

-Steve

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post #28 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tivolicious
If only there were 2 (or three) DVI inputs ....
Yeah, I bet if/when DVI does take off, the next generation of Receivers will have many-to-one DVI Input/Output.

- Sepia
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post #29 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 05:19 PM
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Thanks Steve,
This is exactly the review Ive been looking for! The most important question answered is the 1:1 pixel mapping via dvi

Did you notice any artifacts with this source?

Im asking cause the set I looked at was being fed 720p via sencore but scaling artifacts were still visible. Even though this thing is "native" 720p, I think any 720p coming in thru the components are still getting worked over by the internal video processor.

If the dvi input bypasses it completely than it would be great news. (Im pretty sure from reading your post that is the case but I wanna make sure)

BTW the volume problem is the same one I am having with my samsung 27 "hd" set and directivo, its freakin annoying.

K
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post #30 of 237 Old 08-05-2002, 06:05 PM
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Steve,

I have a question about your XBox hookup. The only component input that I could hook it up to and have it work was component1. Where do you hook up yours to? Does it work in component2 or 3?

Thanks,

Frank T. Lee
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