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Is the Samsung 42" lousy?

759 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  joys_R_us
Anyone own one?

I have a thread going (limping) re. cheap plasma's. To the point:

Does the samsung really stink?

or is it OK (watchable without annoyance) for off air, DSS, and DVD's?

Occasionally flunking a torture-test for motion artifacts is not a big deal. Not looking for high def, not looking for perfect, but don't want unwatchable herky/jerky always distracting artifacts.

I did a search and the only comments I found were "pio much better" or "fuji much better". But I don't care what's better. Just want to know that it isn't dreadful!


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I've seen the Samsung on several signals - DVD, Cable, Sat. However, given your comments about what you are looking for I can't see how my impression of the Samsung will help you. I can't tell what your threshold is; My "dreadful" may be your "acceptable." So you've got to see one for yourself.

I felt the Samsung looked pretty good on cable/sat signals. In fact I was quite amazed how acceptable the picture was (even more than some other more expensive plasmas).

However, for HDTV and DVDs the Samsung was, to me, unacceptable in the set-up I saw. I watched Batman (among others) and the dark setting of that film brought out lots of blotchiness in the dark areas (i.e. the dark areas where not black, but were a swirling moss of dingy colors). And the image displayed lots of artifacting in motion - a blockiness and breaking up of the image outlines. It also displayed some pretty awful false contouring.

For instance, on a scene in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind where the bright light of the spaceships were set against the black night sky, the glow of the spaceships wasn't smoothly graduated. Instead the glow ignited a monochrome rainbow effect around the ships - with the light trailing off in distinct bands. It totally ruined the look of that movie for me.

My thoughts were that the Samsung looked like a previous generation plasma, with all the faults, compared to the newer generation.

If I'm going to put out a bunch of cash for a plasma screen, I'd hope for a better viewing experience. With the price of the Panasonic/NEC jplasmas being so low, I can't see the logic in your considering this screen. But hey, it ain't my dough.

Best of luck,

Rich H.
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Anybody own one?

I had occasion to test a Samsung SPK4215 last July. I assume this is the model you are referring to.

The panel did have significant false contours in low levels of gray. This creates the "crawling moss" effect you have described. Contrast wasn't too bad at 151:1 ANSI and 180:1 peak, with a full white brightness reading of 90 nits in 16x9 mode. This dropped down to about 75 nits after a minute as the APL circuit kicked in.

There was no way to adjust color temperature, though. It measured 10520 degrees in all modes. There may be a service setting to lower the color temperature, but I couldn't find it.

The SPK4215 comes with an umbilical cord and separate set-top AV control center. This had a built-in analog TV tuner, two composite inputs, two S-video inputs, one low-band (480i) component input, and one hi-band (HDTV) component input, plus a 15-pin RGB input for a PC. All inputs had switched audio follow to external line level audio out jacks.

Pete Putman
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R Harkness,

What you described (the lighting causing a rainbow) is called banding, not false contouring. False contouring is basically a specific type of banding that is particularly bothersome on the lower end of the gray scale (around the 10IRE mark).


All plasmas show this to a degree, but when it's too much, it will drive you mad (particularly when in a dark room). I thought a mediocre plasma wouldn't bother me so much, but it drove me to the edge of insanity (luckily I upgraded before I got too brain damaged, although some on this forum might disagree).
Hi Ofer,

I read several articles (maybe I am not smart enough) about this "false contouring" thing. I still don't understand it. When I watch plasmas I see lots of problems but which is false contouring ? Would you be so kind to describe it (not why it happens but how it looks like) in simple words ? Pls give it a try.

Recently I read an article stating that Pio is fighting false contouring by "dithering" which would lead to "uneven" areas in the picture.

Does anyone know about different tactics by different manufacturers. It seems to be a compromise (as always): Either you get false contouring (whatever it is) or something else...

Thx and take care

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