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Samsung DLP vs. Panny DLP - objective opinions?

1515 Views 22 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  dsmith6281
Hi People,

After getting great advice from forum contributors, I went to Tweeter to view the Sammy DLPs. I want the 61" set, but the largest they had was the 50" on display. I really wasn't looking for the Panasonic PT-52DL52, but it was right next to the 50" Sammy. The Sony Grand Wega II was also within plain site - all with the same source feed.

I'd like to get the opinion of others that have viewed both of these. Perhaps I can ask for objective opinions of both - although I expect that is very hard to do.

Anyway, here's my "objective" opinion. I'm hoping to get feedback from others.

1) I really like the Samsung case - it looks very well designed and compact - streamlined, actually. The Panny was just a bit less so. For example, having the front inputs behind a small door on the front of the unit was to me not as slick as the side mounted ports on the Samsung.

2) OK - now to the most important part - to my great surprise, I thought the Panny had a more natural looking picture, with the Panny winning in contrast during dark scenes. When the scene was bright, I thought the units were quite close, perhaps with the Panny having more natural and less saturated color. But on dark scenes, the Panny contrast was clearly a notch better.

QUESTION: I do not know if the Sammy unit had DNIe. Will DNIe improve the contrast during dark scenes in the Samsung unit?

3) Again to my suprize, the Sammy had PIP, but not split screen PIP. Is this becuase it was the 50" set? Does the 61" set have split screen PIP?

4) People on the forum have posted about the Panny having issues with strobe effects. I did not see this problem on the Panny in the showroom.

5) The Grand Wega II was a great deal better than the original one I've seen in the past. I would rate it just one notch down from the DLPs. It did surprize me. There seemed to be more artifacts visable in some scenes, and the screen did kick up a lot of glare - where the DLPs had almost no glare (which will be an issue in my viewing area).

6) With the many source inputs, discrete codes are really important for the Sammy, but as I've read, even the HLN models won't have the discrete codes yet. I don't expect that the Panny has discrete codes, right?

The salesperson did not try to push the Panny on me. He gave me the Sammy remote and let me play with the settings, but I could not get the Sammy to produce the contrast during dark scenes that the Panny was showing. When I got close with a high contrast setting on the Sammy, the blacks started to wash out.

So - can you tell me that the new Sammy models with DNIe will be as good as the Panny regarding dark scene contrast? If so, then the Sammy is the choice for me, and I'll get the 61" HLN model when it comes out. Otherwise, I have to give the Panny a much closer look. Even though I want 61" rather than 52", the Panny just looked better to me - this coming from a person that really wanted the Sammy to be the best DLP out there.

=RSVP with much needed help.
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I wanted the Samsung 50" based on specs and reviews. Took 4 friends with me to Magnolia HiFi to check it out. It looked great, until we saw the Panny. We all unanimously agreed that the Panny had a better, brighter picture with a much greater viewing angle, especially vertically (moving up and down on the Panny has no effect, with the Samsung you can definitely notice varying brightness).

I ultimately ended up buying a 50" GWII. Black levels suck, but the picture is so much smoother, less pixelated, and the colors are fantastic. LCD projection technology is a little more mature, and Sony put their XBR label on it so I feel like I'm getting top notch electonics. Great aluminum (heavy in the hand) remote, too. I'm satisfied. When DLP matures (or LCoS comes down in price, or this new Sony (SXTD or whatever it's called) technology emerges) I might swing back around for another look, but for now I'm very happy.

Lastly, I saw an Optoma ad in the May Sound and Vision - maybe that set is going to materialize afterall and you'll have three DLP sets to choose from.
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My HLM507W will not put any non-standard definition source in inside a PIP window. I don't know about the HLNs, but I'm willing to bet they have the same limitation. If one of the sources being viewed when you tried to run PIP was an HD source, that could be why it wouldn't do a side-by-side display.

(would have sent you a PM but that option didnt exist for some reason).

was that you at the tweeter in manchester NH Friday night?
Hi DSmith and Sting,

So, I guess that the Sammy DLP can display split screen PIP from your response. That's what I wanted to know.

Also - I had a chuckle regarding the New Hampshire sighting. I guess many people are looking at these sets. I wasn't in NH on Friday. :)

Does anyone have a comment on how well DNIe will work to improve dark scene contrast on the Samsung DLP units? If it can get to the Panasonic performance, I'd rather buy the Samsung 61" unit.

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i have the HLN617. no split screen PIP

regarding the PQ, i can say that the panny PQ is noticeably better - color and sharpness, although for SD stuff, i think the sammy may be better.

i would have kept the panny were it not for the flicker and panny lack of support (other issues such as DVI as well)
From what I saw with the DNIe off it only softens the picture. It looked more like a CRT based TV. With it on, it looked very crisp like a computer monitor.
Thanks to all for the responses!

DSmith - I've read about this flicker with the Panasonic DLP. Why did you go with the Samsung instead of trading in the Panasonic for a non-defective model? Do *all* Panasonic DLP units have this flicker? That would be a showstopper.

I didn't notice the flicker in the showroom. However, I'd hate to order the Panasonic, take it home, then notice flicker. At many thousands of dollars, that would be quite irritating.

=Thanks again
Originally posted by dsmith6281
i would have kept the panny were it not for the flicker and panny lack of support (other issues such as DVI as well)
I'm very interested to know what DVI issues you found. I expect to route as much as possible through DVI and have never been sure just what Panasonic put in the latest version.
I'd like to know about the DVI issues as well, as I expect to be using it for input.

Question - having only one DVI input, does this mean that one would need some external component switcher to run two DVI sources into this one input? What are people doing for this?

=Thanks in advance
Just saw the Samsung 5065 at BB. It looked pretty good, my only issue, it looked like the screen gain was on the high side. WRT smoothness, it was pretty smooth, it looked like it had about the best PQ at BB. I would have bought it before the GWII.
Originally posted by Hedgehog_SBM
Do *all* Panasonic DLP units have this flicker?
I don't think so. Mine doesn't (at least so far).
I just bought a HLN 5065W. It was about a thousand less than the Panny 52. It will be delivered on Tuesday, Tax day. Comcast, with their 5 HD stations (rats, no ESPN-HD, not even Discovery or HDNET), will be here on Thursday. There 's always give and take when choosing among DLP's or between DLPs, LCDs and Plasmas. The vertical field is impacted, it is true. However, this set, just out of the box (according to the sales person) was very close to plasma and just blew other rear projectors and even the panny 40 LCD away. I don't disagree with the view that the Panny 52 is slightly better (being bigger was not a benefit to me, if the B&M had a 43" I may have considered it.). I just thought that considering everything the Sammy was the best for me. I just can't stand near it and get the full brightness. I have a 4 year protection plan that includes the lamp, for about $4400 with tax and delivery. I also liked the fact that this was Sammy's 2nd generation and they made improvements based upon the comments on this board.

I'm surprised that after suffering from plasma lust for 5 months now, and driving my wife nuts, I was drawn to the DLP technology. It is so much cheaper than a plasma that I really had no choice if I wanted the multiple inputs (including DVI-HDCP), true HD for the future and a good picture.

This is not a stopgap purchase, I expect it to be my primary TV for the foreseeable future, so I wanted all the goodies, no upgrades needed, without the Home Theater additional products that many on this forum own (no speakers, no receiver). I do have a progressive scan DVD and can't wait to see it perform on this unit.

I hate to admit it, but this is the one purchase that I have been really anxious about and, though I am thrilled and excited about it, I will probably be asking all of you for help in the future in tweaking this (especially when my AVIA DVD shows up.)

Thanks to everyone on this and the plasma boards for providing the information that helped me make this decision.

Rich N.
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the DVI issue was the first i found. it is an incompatibility between the panny 52dl52 dvi and that on the samsung ts120. consistently shows a white strobing line about an inch below the top of the screen. panasonic was able to reproduce it, and acknowledges it but won't do anything about it as they blame samsung. i finally got it in writing even.

i didn't return my panny for a "non-defective" one since given that engineering flaw IMHO and this intermittent flicker problem reported by many with no definitive fix in the works, and panasonic's attiture, i decided to cut my losses and get something else.

Thanks again for the responses!

Can someone point me to Samsung HLN model tweaks? Does a clear list exist yet? If tweaks can get the Samsung to look at least closer to the Panasonic, it will likely tip the balance for me. Has anyone tweaked the latest Samsung units and compared to the Panny?
1st post from a novice A/V techie....I've been studying the Sammy units. The TANTUS series have the Split Screen capabilites, while the Non-Tantus (Best Buy, Circuit City models) do not.

Here's a link to the Full Line Brouchure from Samsung:


Hope this helps.
Originally posted by Hedgehog_SBM
Thanks again for the responses!

Can someone point me to Samsung HLN model tweaks? Does a clear list exist yet? If tweaks can get the Samsung to look at least closer to the Panasonic, it will likely tip the balance for me. Has anyone tweaked the latest Samsung units and compared to the Panny?
It will take some time. There is at least one thread devoted to HLN tweaks but I don't think there has been enough work on them yet.

Yes - this does help - thanks. It has been a while since I looked at that pamphlet. You cleared this up.
Originally posted by htwaits
It will take some time. There is at least one thread devoted to HLN tweaks but I don't think there has been enough work on them yet.
Here is one and I think there is at least one other.

i'm pretty sure my new hln617 does not have split screen PIP.

manual makes no mention of it. doesn't show up when toggling...
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