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Talked to Jim at Sampo today, to order one of the new "direct access" remotes for my 34WHD5 (which apparently has been available since the beginning of the year). Cost is $20 plus $10 shipping. Well worth it.


Then I inquired about the new 34WHD6 which he was supposed to get a set to preview back in April, with retail availability intended for June or so. Well they never did get their preview set, and the June availability is not happening.


They did get a set which was at CES, but it was "not working properly", and the picture was dark, and all in all seemed "not ready for prime time". Obviously this was really a development prototype.


Furthermore, there appears to be internal discussion going on regarding a DVI connector (which was not planned when the product announcement was made public back in January). Apparently there is much concern that they don't want to build a set that customers will buy and that will become obsolete the next week.


Since a DVI connector would be a non-trivial addition to the set, they're obviously "on hold" until they come up with a proper strategy.


Bottom line... looks like it will be a while before this set actually becomes available.
 

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Does the new remote offer anything else beyond the direct access? Can you post a picture once you get it?


I don't suppose they had any plans for upgrades to the HD5? Swap out the circuit board to get the new functionality?
 

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I have the brochure from the CES on the WHD6 but I can't figure out how to use the 'attach file' as an attachment to the post.


If someone could tell me how, I'll post it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by tji
Does the new remote offer anything else beyond the direct access? Can you post a picture once you get it?


I don't suppose they had any plans for upgrades to the HD5? Swap out the circuit board to get the new functionality?
The new remote arrived today. On the surface it looks identical to the previous model except for the absence of the "RC-223" designation on the title at the bottom of the slide-down cover.


There is still the "input select" button which still cycles through the inputs, and there is still the "power" button in the upper left corner of the remote.


However when you slide down the cover, below the bottom row of five buttons on the existing remote they have now added two more rows of buttons to access each of the inputs directly.


They've also placed two separate discrete "power off" and "power on" buttons (colored red) at the left end of those two new button rows. Don't know why that would be helpful, except that maybe your fingers are close by when you slide the cover down so if you slide the cover down first and haven't turned the set on yet having the "power on" close by would be convenient. Same for "power off" nearby, I guess.


Again, it looks identical to the existing remote with the addition of the two new rows of direct access and power on/off buttons at the bottom when you slide the cover door down.


As far as changing circuitry on the 5, well it would take a new chassis at the very least. The 6 has two S-VHS inputs (one on front and one on back), and two YPbPr inputs. I think somebody mentioned that they had bought a 5 earlier this year that had the two S-VHS inputs, so maybe they've made some of the 6 improvements to later models of the 5, but I can't confirm that.
 

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The 34whd5's that myself and several others purchased form Ubid have two s video inputs- one in front and one in back, as well as the upgraded remote. I believe I was by told Sampo US that sets made in the last year (mine was May 01) include the two s video inputs and upgraded remote.


By the way, Ubid is still selling 34whd5. See others threads for comments on the Ubid sales.


- Phil Klein
 

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The new buttons sound like they would be good for programming macros in universal remotes.

I'm sure that's why they have the seperate On & Off buttons. It's quite handy to have a macro on a universal remote to turn off all my equipment, or a "DVD" button that turns on my TV, Stereo, and DVD player & changes to the correct inputs.


If you just use the on/off toggle button and one of the components is already on, you would be turning it off.


I bought a Philips Pronto remote, to use all the Sampo direct input access hex codes. It is nice, and allows endless customization & configuration. But, the lack of tactile response with the flat display is not ideal. Most of the time I use the Radio Shack 5-in-one remote, with a few common macros.
 

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Just noticed that Sampo has yanked all info from the US website about the SME-34WHD5 AND the upcoming (??) SME-34WHD6.


Looks like they are yanking it from the US market.


However, I did find the SME-34WHD6 listed at www.pcconnection.com as a special order, so now I am totally confused. FYI the product number is 377383 and the info sheet is here:

http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/...duct_id=301643


Only $1,624.95 too (hmm-- typo? could they mean the SME-34WHD5?). Anyway, I ordered one, and they have no clue when it will ship.


I have called Sampo about it, they say will call me back. I will let you know if that occurs (I'm skeptical).


hbrown
 

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PC Connection called me back. They have "discontinued" carrying this product. Of course, they hadn't sold it yet, but you can't argue with corporate-speak.
 

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I for one would like Sampo to get on the ball with this product. I want a 34" PAL/NTSC/HD set that does 720p and 1080i. I want to be able to view native PAL. Damn, this would be a killer product.
 

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A Sampo representative who spent Friday and Monday checking on this for me confirmed that all Sampo SME products are discontinued.


I don't understand how a new product, which has never been imported, distributed, or sold can be said to be "discontinued."


Those of us who waited for the updated model are out of luck.


Edit: Upon reading my post, I just realized that the representative never explicitly answered my question, after all. Even though we were discussing the specific model SME-34WHD6, what the rep said (after 2 days of "research") was that all SME products are discontinued.


The implication was that there would never be any future SME products, but this was not explicitly stated. A close parsing of the statement would yield the fact that all EXISTING SME products are discontinued, which is evident to everyone from examining the Sampo USA web site.


What a slippery statement.
 

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Well, since there is (apparently) no 34WHD6 coming out (at least not soon), I bought a new 34WHD5.


Now I have several questions:


(1) There is no S-video input on the back, that I can see. The unit was manufactured in May 2001. Is this the old 34WHD5 model?


(2) What were the changes from the old 34WHD5 model to the new model, and did the newer revision have a different product number?


(3) Was there a different tube used in the newer revision, or is it the same tube?


(4) Where can I get a service remote?


(5) Any recommendations for someone performing the alignment of the TV geometry and the color temperature in the metro D.C. (USA) area?


Thanks,


Hbrown
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Originally posted by hbrown (1) There is no S-video input on the back, that I can see. The unit was manufactured in May 2001. Is this the old 34WHD5 model?


Probably true. Mine was purchased in April 2001 and also had only one S-input on the front.


The newer remotes not only have "direct access" buttons for all the inputs (so that you don't have to cycle sequentially) but also have an AV3 button. I take that to be for the second S-input which I've heard was added to the back on later models. It's certainly not mine.

(2) What were the changes from the old 34WHD5 model to the new model, and did the newer revision have a different product number?


Just a new remote and second S-input on the back, I believe.

(3) Was there a different tube used in the newer revision, or is it the same tube?


Same tube. The new tube was going to be in the WHD6, but that appears now to be fantasy according to your source.

(4) Where can I get a service remote?


I called Sampo directly and bought it from sales, or tech support, or something. It was about $30. It's really just an old remote with a cutout to allow you to push a circuit board button. Rumor has it you can get into the same service menu using some special combination of power-on and holding some other things down, without the service remote. You can probably find that info on a search through "HDTV hardware".

(5) Any recommendations for someone performing the alignment of the TV geometry and the color temperature in the metro D.C. (USA) area?


I'm out of town for the weekend but I'll send you my setup for A/V and YPbPr, both for user remote and service remote, when I get back home. Send me a private PM with your email address.


It was done using Video Essentials and greatly improved my 480p quality, especially from OTA (Dish 5000 + modulator into Panny combo). Actually, everything else was vastly improved as well.


This is NOT an ISF adjustment... just geometry for A/V and YPbPr, as well as the other brightness, contrast, color, etc. adjustments.
 
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