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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just got the Samsung LN-R268W. I have Questions about ghosting and the display of 480p.

Equipment and connections

+Comcast standard digital cable box with only RF and composite outputs (s-video hole blocked by metal plate).

+Composite cord going from cable box to TV

+S-video and Component going from Samsung DVD-R120 to tv

+Monster cables, lower end of their line

Problem

Picture looks like ****e on both SD and DVD. Grainy, some clayface, stairstepping, text on solid background surrounded by gnat-cloud of pixellation, just generally bad. Interestingly, when I have my old CRT hooked up to digital SD cable via RF sitting next to the new LCD hooked up to digital SD cable via composite, the LCD does look a bit better. Which is why it's weird that I look at it and think it looks generally bad. You'd think I would perceive it as good given that it's better than what I had. Must be the difference between expectation and delivery. Or moving from a 14 inch CRT to a 26 inch LCD.

Ghosting

I've read about ghosting and I thought I understood what it was: the slow-to-change-back pixels still retaining the image a moment after the image has moved on. I've got something that seems related, but different. Tell me if the two are one. The edges of things seem to have consistent shadows, glows, unnatural outlines, or auras. Something that's sitting still seems to have an outline glow or offset doppelganger, sometimes very obvious and maybe even a couple layers of it, hovering just next to it. "Ghost" would be a very good description. Is this proper ghosting? Is it something else? Is this just the inevitable fate of the LCD owner watching SD? Could something be wrong with the tv? I'd hook up cable-to-tv via S-video if the cable box had it. I'm sure I'll see some improvement when I get a new box and do that, but I have a 5 day period to return this tv to that horrid Brandsmart place before it's mine forever so I can't wait for that. I've tried turning the dynamic contrast on and off, brightness sensor on and off, regular contrast up and down, sharpness up and down, and every other setting on this thing. No luck.

Progressive Scan

I figured the above could be an SD problem since I had heard such awful things. So I played a DVD (on a Samsung DVD-R120), first on regular scan. Looked than SD cable, but not as good as I thought it would, which was a surprise. So I tried turning on progressive scan. Didn't get any better. If anything, it might have gotten a bit worse, the only effect maybe being some pixels appearing to vibrate some. Do you all normally notice a substantial PQ difference between 480i and 480p? I was really expecting an improvement. The DVD player did tell me to "set my tv to progressive input", but I don't think this TV has/requires that functionality - - I think it just accommodates that signal when it comes in. I did have to switch from S-Video to component to be able to display the 480p, but it didn't look any better.


So do I have a bad unit? Are these the same woes all my LCD brethren (and sistren) experience? I've heard all the moaning about PQ but am not sure if mine is worse or different than what you all are talking about. I was looking at the Sharp 26GA5U as the other contender but this one seemed to have a less grainy picture with better blacks. Hope I don't have to abandon both and start over. Guess I'd look at Panasonic, Philips, LG, and maybe JVC if so.


I'd appreciate your insight.
 

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What you are describing is pretty much what I have seen on similar small LCD panels. SD and even DVD's just look terrible on these units. Analog Tubes produce a far superior picture with SD and even DVD material.


LCD's in my experience only work well with HD material and even there you have to be careful.
 

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TVwillKillUsAll,


I have the 32" version of the Samsung and love it. I have Time Warner cable and have a Sci. Atlanta 3250HD STB connected via component video and a Sony progressive scan DVD player connected via component video. Hopefully I can help answer some of your questions.


As far as SD goes, I think some of the issues you are seeing are related to your STB and using a composite connection, which will often produce a pretty crappy picture. I understand that composite is the best connection available on your STB so you really should try to get a better box. Since you have an HDTV, why not get an HD STB? At a minimum an HD STB will have a component video output and it may even have a DVI or HDMI digital output - both will most likely give you a much better PQ than composite for SD and you will get HD as well. Of course SD is never going to look amazing on an HDTV but I find that SD on my 32" looks very good and it doesn't bother me at all (other than the fact that it's not widescreen and you get spoiled from watching HD). I don't notice any of the issues you are describing. Keep in mind that even with a better STB, there is a chance that your cable feed isn't as good as it could be but if you have an HD STB installed you can ask the tech to check the signal strength of your line.


The "ghosting" problem you describe doesn't really sound like motion blur to me but I'm really no expert. Fortunately I have seen almost no motion blur whatsoever on the Samsung. I have watched Nascar, men's tennis, football, baseball, basketball, etc and have only seen one instance of motion blur and it was extremely minor and I was really looking for it.


For DVDs, I would recommend leaving progressive scan on your dvd player off. The TV has a built in deinterlacer which is probably as good or better than the one in your DVD player. You are probably better off passing the native 480i signal from the DVD player and letting the TV convert it to its native resolution. The TV is going to have to convert the 480p signal to its native resolution anyway so why not let the TV do all of the work. However, I would recommend trying both settings - progressive scan on and off on the DVD player and seeing which one you prefer. Every DVD player is different and it's possible that yours has a good deinterlacer which would yield better results than the TV. On my Sony, I prefer to leave progressive scan off and the quality of the DVD picture is excellent - I mean really good. So don't worry about 480p not yielding a better picture than 480i b/c it's quite possible for that to be the case.


In terms of picture settings on the TV, I would definitely leave the Brightness Sensor off - you can calibrate the brightness setting manually and the b. sensor just messes around w/ this setting. What you do with Dynamic Contrast is up to you - I personally prefer to leave it off but others have reported that they like it on. I found that DC made the picture a little too dark and even w/ DC off, the detail in dark scenes is very good on the Sammy. I was worried about black levels as this was my first LCD TV and I spend the majority of time viewing in a dark room (the set is in my bedroom). I have been very impressed w/ the black levels on this display - blacks look black and there is plenty of detail in dark scenes. The adjustment that I found was most needed on my Sammy was to tone the color down quite a bit. I find that reds in particular are way too punchy out of the box. I keep the color setting down around 40 and further reduced the reds by going into the My Color Control setting and turning Pink down to zero.


Can't really tell you if you have a busted set or not. All I can say is that you should be getting a much better picture than you are describing. Upgrading your STB (especially to get HD) could be the answer but who knows - unfortunately your five days to decide is kind of limitiing.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks EricScott. I appreciate it. I think I might as well make the HD STB plunge and see what happens. I think I may also return this baby and go get the Sharp at Best Buy and see if it's any better at home. If not, I return the Sharp to Best Buy and get the Samsung again. The place I bought the current Samsung is really an odd place and that 5 day limit stinks. BB has 30 days which will give me the breathing room to get HD service set up, so I'd rather switch over to there. They lowered their prices recently, I bet to match the place I bought the Samsung (local cheapo warehouse place).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TVwillKillUsAll
Thanks EricScott. I appreciate it. I think I might as well make the HD STB plunge and see what happens. I think I may also return this baby and go get the Sharp at Best Buy and see if it's any better at home. If not, I return the Sharp to Best Buy and get the Samsung again. The place I bought the current Samsung is really an odd place and that 5 day limit stinks. BB has 30 days which will give me the breathing room to get HD service set up, so I'd rather switch over to there. They lowered their prices recently, I bet to match the place I bought the Samsung (local cheapo warehouse place).
I bought my Samsung at CC b/c they had a 30 day policy. Wanted to take the Samsung home, test it out and make sure I was happy before deciding to keep it. I would give the Samsung a shot w/ the new cable box and see if you like it better. The Sharps are great displays as well and I'm sure you would be happy with one of those. For me, the Samsung looked much nicer and was cheaper than the Sharp. It was tough to do a really PQ comparison in the store but if I decided to return the Samsung I would have picked up a Sharp.
 
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