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While still waiting for price drops on the DLP models, I've been checking out the Samsung HLN DLP models. I was near purchasing a Sony 36" HDTV last year when I decided that I wanted a larger widescreen model. I really liked the picture on the 36HS510 and am using that as a reference. Today I was able to compare the Sony 32HS510 direct view to the Samsung HLN4365W at Sears side by side. I compared the standard antenna connection and the instore component feed. While viewing the standard antenna, the Sony was a little less grainy but the Samsung was still very acceptable. The Samsung also had the brightest picture of the two (the Sony was set on vivid/50% brightness/cool and the Samsung was set to 95% contrast/55%brightness/cool1). However, when I switched both TVs to component, the Sony was brighter and more colorful. For example, I saw a leopard on the screen and on the sony the leopard was yellowish/tan and on the samsung it was mostly tan.


Now to my question, why do different inputs view differently (by the way, I realize each input can be configured for different settings which I set identical including the DNIe)? Is this where the service menu settings really come in to play? If you do make the changes on your own, does this void your warranty ( like Best Buys. I do want the warranty because I refuse taking a chance of having to live with a stuck mirror).
 

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xb1032:

I have a few comments: One, you have to be VERY careful trying to judge a monitor on a showroom floor, particularly a mass-market store like BestBuy or Sears. They don't usually take much time or effort to properly set up their monitors and manufacturers do strange things to make their sets look good on a showroom floor, things that are not what you would want to do in your house. So, don't read too much into uncalibrated comparisons.


Two, comparing specific settings on one brand monitor with another brand monitor is not possible - they use different scales and the technology may be radically different which alters the implications of a particular setting. All monitors need to be carefully calibrated to perform well in an actual use environment.


Three, this calibration differs for each input because the inputs have different characteristics. The signal from a DVD player is qualitatively different from a satellite or cable feed, so the inputs need to be calibrated to maximize the viewability of each source.


Four, there are two "levels" of controls to calibrate the picture that you see (again, different for each input). One of these is on the user menu and typically has controls for contrast, brightness, color, etc. Adjusting these is expected by ALL manufacturers. The other is called the "service menu" and accessing this is potentially dangerous to the proper functioning of the monitor. Some manufacturers do not encourage users to make any adjustments to the service menu by refusing to honor their warranties if you are caught doing it. This is not true of all manufacturers but given the potential harm an uninformed user can generate in the service menu, the best advice is to let someone who really knows what is what make those adjustments.


There are many folks on AVS Forum who have the experience and knowledge to make service menu adjustments and they talk to each other about those adjustments. However, this does not mean that they have the responsibility for you if you go in and screw something up on your monitor. Many of them will even try to help you with suggested settings (especially on digital, fixed-pixel monitors like the DLPs where settings should perform similarly on monitors that have exactly the same chip set and exactly the same firmware). But the ultimate responsibility is yours.


So, the bottom line is that all monitors need some calibration for each input source that you have going in to the monitor but that calibration is not something undertaken lightly.
 
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