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Discussion Starter #1
I picked up a new Samsung HLN61W on Friday, and spent the better part of the weekend playing with it. My previous monitor was a 32†Panasonic Superflat tube TV. Although I enjoyed the size of the HLN61, I must admit I was a bit dissapointed with it’s PQ on DVDs. My use will be almost entirely DVDs, and almost zero TV (I have never had cable or satellite).


I first used Home Theater Tune-Up test patterns to attempt to tune the meager user controls available without hitting the service menus. This was difficult to do precisely, since I could tell almost no pattern difference as I adjusted the settings for sharpness all the way up and down. So my friend and I spent hours fiddling with brightness, contrast and sharpness (dissapointing there is no gamma adjustment on the main menus). We could the picture good, but not great.


My complaint is that no matter what we did, it looked moderately compressed dynamically (washed out, mediocre dynamic range), had mediocre blacks, and just wasn’t that vibrant or brilliant. Not as 3D looking as I would have liked either. I used progressive scan component and also S-video inputs from the Panosonic DVD player (can’t remember the model number – a DVD-A player that was around $600). S-video was much worse than component – real washed out no matter what we did.


My question is am I expecting too much? Is this really a world class unit, or is it realistically a cool technology that gives pretty good performance and enables a big screen in a light, thin tabletop package. I love the low weight, no burn-in, etc. of DLP, but maybe it just never get’s great. Are you folks that have large DLPs able to get really great PQ, or is it just a cool big screen with not bad PQ? Anyone had an ISF tune this set up – how much did that help? Hate to pay for that if I may return the set if it does not get a lot better.


I bought it at a local B&M dealer, and they said if I went into the service menus I would void the warrantee. That sure makes it tough to put it through it’s paces.


I will never buy a huge console type big screen – too heavy and ugly, which is why I have been looking at the DLP, and the Sony GWII, but for between $4000 and $5000, I demand a kick-butt picture. Maybe I can’t get it with DLP rear projection. If not – where from here? Plasma is still $$$$$$$, has burn-in, and sucks I lot of power I believe.


Any insight, comments, opinions etc are much appreciated. Cheers,


Chris
 

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One person's opinion, based on extensive viewing of HLM (not HLN) series:


If you can't adjust the service menu, it's unlikely you'll be happy. While the HLN series are supposed to have better out of the box experience, early reports are that the gamma needs to be adjusted at a minimum (see http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=244193 ). For the HLM series, extensive service menu tweaks have been required to get good PQ.


After tweaks, I think it's personal opinion as to whether it offers world class PQ or a cool big screen with not bad PQ. For me, even after tweaks the HLM picture was, as you put it, "moderately compressed dynamically." It was close, but just not there. By comparison, the Panny DLP did have enough punch for me.


BTW, you might challenge your dealer as to where the warranty states entering the service menu will void coverage, as well as point out that you will be certainly be returning the TV if you can't make adjustments. That might get their attention.


Good luck.
 

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I am glad you feel that way. I think people make too much of this unit when he/she does not know what is a good PQ. I had some of the proplems you been having. I returned my set and got my money.
 

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I am glad you feel that way. I think people make too much of this unit when he/she does not know what is a good PQ. I had some of the proplems you been having. I returned my set and got my money.
 

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I am glad you feel that way. I think people make too much of this unit when he/she does not know what is a good PQ. I had some of the proplems you been having. I returned my set and got my money.
 

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Interesting post Chris. I am also looking for a TV in the 36-50 inch size range but have limited depth in the cabinet I want to place the TV in. I would likely just go with a direct view TV as I feel they still have the best PQ but the depth and weight of a direct view is likely prohibitive in my case.


PQ is critical to me. I have a G70 CRT front projector in a dedicated HT as a point of reference. I realize I cannot match the PQ of the G70 with a DLP RPTV but I do know that the PQ of a direct view TV would be fine if it would fit in my space. I have looked at the Samsung DLP and I'm trying to decide whether to take a chance on it. I suppose as long as I can return the set it will be worth a try.


Rich
 

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Chris,


I agree completely. I posted another topic yesterday detailing how disappointed I was in progressive DVD performance on the HLN5065. I had even changed the Gamma value in the service menu to different settings but the dull, dark picture remained. I mentioned that maybe my expectations for this TV were too high. I'm not willing to spend 3-4K on a TV that only looks good with a HD feed.


-shan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cwzell
Is this really a world class unit, or is it realistically a cool technology that gives pretty good performance and enables a big screen in a light, thin tabletop package.
IMO, it's the second choice, although I'd say "good" instead of "pretty good." I'm sure you could get it looking better with some SM calibration. As long as you set everything back to the original values before returning it, I don't see how they could tell that you entered the SM.


I have the same tube TV that you had, and I ended up returning the HLM507W that was meant to replace it because I wasn't fully satisfied with the Samsung's performance. I still haven't checked out the newer HLN models, but I was hoping Samsung fixed some of the things I didn't like about the HLMs. In the meantime, I'm back to watching the 32" Panasonic. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the thoughtful replies folks. I'm going to find out for sure whether or not fiddling in ther SM will compromise my ability to return the set. If so, then I return it, since the PQ is not good enough for that kind of $$$ IMO. On the other hand, if I can get into the SM and make some headway, then maybe I will want to keep it. Although I want high PQ, I am not as much of a hard core video nut as I am about audio (I'm a truly flakey audiot). So, some improvement, even though it may still not be quite world class will be good enough and keep me happy for quite a while.


Cheers,

Chris
 

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This is just the thread I'm looking for.


First, haven't people been saying that feeding in a progressive DVD signal from the DVD player is inferior to the internal video processing in the Samsung DLP itself? Perhaps you should change the way you input the source.


I want to buy this very set, for basically the same reasons that are stated. I think the cabinet is great - perfect for my application. Perhaps it's not a big issue for a lot of people, but for me, dishing out $4k+ for a TV must give a great picture, not just good.


I compared the 50" set to the Panasonic DLP at Tweeter, and thought the Panasonic won the video performance comparison. I found the Sammy DLP lacking detail in dark scenes.


However, I was just in Best Buy today buying some software, and saw the 50" Sammy DLP again. This time, I was sure it had DNIe - it seemed like a new unit. Now, although the Panasonic DLP was not on display, the Samsung unit looked great - certainly the best compared to the LCDs and CRT RPTVs close to it..


My dream here is that someone with the new 61" HLN Tantus model will say that they "tweaked this or that" and got a picture that was as good as the Panasonic DLP. If I get a few people saying this, I'd buy the Sammy immediately. In the meantime, I'll keep reading, sampling, and staring at my shortlist, which includes the Sammy and Panny DLPs.
 

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Well I want to actually see a newer HLN set in action. The local Magnolia is still showing one of the first HLM sets and it's not impressive at all.
 

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Cwzell,


What is B&M in San Diego? What is the differences between the 617 HLN and HLM? I thought besides cosmetics, the HLN had descrete codes.
 

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i tweaked one thing in the SM of my HLN617w, (*set gamma to 0 instead of 4*) and i think it is close to the panny now. would be hard pressed to tell the difference (and i had a panny dlp for 3 months).

D
 

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iaken:


Just so you know, most BB now have the HLN5065W on display. I just recently bought a HLN4365W from TVAuthority (good price and good service) and the out of the box picture quality was quite good.


I lowered the contrast (which for some reason was set at 100) and some other minor adjustments and SDTV broadcasts through analog cable look good. DVDs look great (I'm actually just using S-Video for my input, so the FLI2300 chip is actually doing some work).
 

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Unfortunately, if you're used to watching a direct-view set, your first impression of the Samsung will be negative because it will reveal all the flaws in your source material that the direct view CRT was hiding.


I found that my Sammy DLP produces the absolute best picture on 'good' DVDs that I have ever seen from any display, and this was after only reducing the sharpness setting in the user menu. On the other hand, I had gotten over the inital disappontment when moving from a 27" Panasonic GAOO direct view set to a 'big screen' 40" LCD set over two years ago.


Trust me: It will take some getting used to a larger, higher-resolution display because things that weren't noticable or were barely noticable on your old set will be revealed in all of their, umm, 'glory' on the new set. This is not a fault of the DLP set.


Oh, I should say that black level detail is worse on the DLP (and much worse on LCD) than on any direct view or CRT-projection display. This is one thing that definately isn't an issue with the source material, but (IMO) it's a small price to pay for the higher resolution and lack of burn-in.
 

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Chris - Please!


You just spent thousands of $ on a great set. If you want the best PQ possible, make the call to a certified ISF tech! Tell him you just want to view DVD's and you want a gray scale calibration. If, after that, you don't think you have a world class set, there must be something wrong with it. The ISF person can probably give you some insight into that problem IF it exists. Then, if that PQ isn't good enough for you, I don't know what is! What you end up with should take your breath away - great bang for your buck, IMHO.
 

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I had a 617 for a couple weeks, returned it for the exact reasons you stated. Its a great TV , don't get me wrong, but for $5K I wanted a little more. I wanted thrilling lifelike 3D TV that makes me feel like I'm at the movies. I wanted to be able to watch TV without any problems during the day, so I assumed a front projector was out of the question. But then I heard about the sanyo PLV-70 front projector...and the rest was history. Goto projectorcentral.com and rea about it.


Check out the sanyo PLV-70/HD20 projector...its the same price as the 617 (about 5K). But you get a truly amazing picture and with a nice screen, I'm telling ya, it just blows away those samsung DLPs or Sony GWIIs. And, you can run it in the daytime with plenty of ambient light and its not a problem for this projector. And, nothing is as sleek and thin as a mounted firehawk screen.


Now, I know FPs aren't for everyone, but I had the same issues you were having with the samsung, so I thought I'd drop my 2 cents. And, FPs aren't as easy to set up for regular TV viewing, but you mentioned that you watch DVDs alot and its perfect for that. For what its worth, I do still plan on getting a RPTV with DLP/LCOS, but I'm waiting for the technology to pick up a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Interesting the differing opinions on the ultimate potential quality of PQ on this set. There are some posts from Samsung dlp owners that are thrilled with their sets, and another group who think it is a compromised set ultimately. I have a group of friends that would never mess with anything other than front projection. In general, the people I consider “in-the-know†(basically professionals associated with the HT/entertainment field) describe dlp as a cool technology that can be good when optimized, but certainly not reference quality. Temper that with the fact that I know I can be satisfied for a while with something less than absolute ref quality for video (not audio though!), and the fact that I will not mess with front projection or full monster consoles, and I was/am hoping dlp will be good enough.


Clearly, it is not good enough now, but I am listening to all of you who urge fiddling and calibration bevcaus they feel I can get a kick-a$$ picture. The problem with the recommendations for ISF cal is that what if it is still not good enough after cal? Then I wasted $300 (is that about how much it’ll cost?) on a set I won't even keep, which is not appealing to me! I’m calling the dealer today and expressing the absolute necessity of getting into the SM without compromising my option for returning the set if still unsatisfied. I liken a refusal to use the SM to getting a car that runs like crap, and having to buy it without tuning it to run properly.


Bishamon - thanks for the post urging me to let it sink in for a while, and I promise I will try. But part of my frustration resulted from going back to a smaller hd crt at my friends house and having the dynamic range, vibrancy, 3D look and brilliance of the same DVDs I just played in the HLN617W just jump out at me. The crt was much better, and a bit shocking and depressing. To some extent, I know that a smaller picture can look better with limited resolution formats (i.e. DVD), but the dlp was flatter, more compressed and sorta boring (I'm exagerating to get the point across) in comparison, which should not have to be the case.


All that said, I watched Band of Brothers last night, and the impact of the screen size was really fun. I started forgetting about the not perfect PQ and got quite involved with the DVD. It was really fun, and that is some inspiration to not give up on this set. The thought of going back to my 32" crt is depressing. I even watched part of it for grins from the couch 18 feet away - and it was still involving and fun.


B&M was short for brick and morter – sorry if that was confusing.


Man - too long of a post. I'll shut up now.


Cheers,

Chris
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tonic
Check out the sanyo PLV-70/HD20 projector...its the same price as the 617 (about 5K). But you get a truly amazing picture and with a nice screen, I'm telling ya, it just blows away those samsung DLPs or Sony GWIIs. And, you can run it in the daytime with plenty of ambient light and its not a problem for this projector. And, nothing is as sleek and thin as a mounted firehawk screen.


Now, I know FPs aren't for everyone, but I had the same issues you were having with the samsung, so I thought I'd drop my 2 cents. And, FPs aren't as easy to set up for regular TV viewing, but you mentioned that you watch DVDs alot and its perfect for that. For what its worth, I do still plan on getting a RPTV with DLP/LCOS, but I'm waiting for the technology to pick up a bit.
My biggest issue with front projectors is the severely limited lamp life. Most front projection lamps are rated at no more than 1500 hours; I would be replacing my lamp more than once per year!
 

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Quote:
Trust me: It will take some getting used to a larger, higher-resolution display because things that weren't noticable or were barely noticable on your old set will be revealed in all of their, umm, 'glory' on the new set. This is not a fault of the DLP set.


How right you are! I remember several years back when they first started showing DVD movies and TV on computers. I said to a sales guy that the picture quality didn't seem as good as my home TV, it showed a lot of static in the picture. He said it was because the monitor has a higer resolution and showed all the defects in the input. The sharper the monitor (TV), the more defects you can see in the source.
 
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