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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at the Samsung LCD RPTV's as a bridge between my old tube tv and a true digital HDTV. The PLK-405W is 40" 16x9 small form-factor and about $1800 delivered. But I'm not finding information on a dealer in the Minneapolis area, where I can see one. Samsung's website and 800 number are no help. He want to send me to Madison Wisconsin or Sioux Falls SD!


Does anyone know where I can see this set, or it's cousins the SLK or PLH?


Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Thanks Scott, it's the best response about Samsung quality that I've heard. Many of the reviews on the net have been very positive for the set.


Let's change the subject a little bit then. I'm looking for a bridge set between an old terrible 25" set, and the new sets. Here are my ideals right now:


1 - no FPTV - I'm just not ready for that as my regular 'watch the news' set.

2 - non-crt. I really feel this is older technology, and would like to think a 'digital' tv should really be somewhat digital :)

3 - <$2k if possible. Once you pass this point, I wouldn't consider it 'bridge'. Then we're talking bigger bucks for the likes of the D'ahlia (if it ever shows up) or the new flcd, or huge bucks for panasonic's DLP.


Note, for my use as a bridge set, 480p input isn't necessary. If it can take interlaced DVD and super video from my dish and make it shine I'll be happy for the next few years.


Any way I can fit the bill above?

 

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Hi Mike,


I have the Samsung too...and well its great for why I bought it it certainly does have the limiations that scott mentions...(Hi Scott.my private demo stable is almost done..you'll have to check it out during your lunch hour someday)


If you do not need 16:9 go with the 43" Hitachi FDX set...its very nice and only 22" deep...That is what I watch for standard TV viewing..one of the finest sets made..


Regards,

John Andrews

Vienna VA
 

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You may want to reconsider that bridge, Mike. I used to own a Samsung Tantus PLK405W and got rid of it for several reasons:
  • No digital or progressive-scan inputs of any kind. No RCA component inputs, no DB15 VGA input, nothing. The sole component input on this set is a triplet of interlaced 480i RCA jacks. If you want to feed the PLK405W the output of an HDTV set top box, you have to use downconverted s-video. And if you want to hook up a 480p source (from say, a progressive-scan DVD player), you have to pony up several hundred more dollars for the SLK407W model, which is identical to the PLK405W but replaces the RCA interlaced jacks with a set of progressive inputs.
  • Low horizontal resolution. Don't be fooled by the advertised 767,520 pixel count; that's for all three LCD panels combined (red, green, and blue). Each color panel has only 255,840 pixels, which translates to a true resolution of 480 vertical by 533 horizontal (which isn't even DVD quality).
  • Reliability concerns. If you visit The Home Theater Spot where there is a semi-active Samsung forum, you will find a lot of unhappy PLK405W owners with bad power boards. Thank the maker I didn't have this problem or I'd never have been able to sell this set.
  • Extremely high consumables cost. The PLK405W is essentially a cheap self-contained LCD projector, which means that you have to replace the lamp every now and then. The lamp in this sucker costs over $800, which is extremely high compared to the cost of lamps in most LCD projectors. There is also a question regarding Samsung's claimed MTBF of 6,000 hours; several Home Theater Spot customers have reported lamps dying much sooner than that.
  • Sparse dealer network. As you already discovered, there are not a lot of Samsung dealers in the U.S., and the distribution of those dealers is a bit haphazard. The only national chain that I know of which sells Samsung products is Best Buy, and (at least here in Washington) our Best Buy stores don't carry the Tantus line. You may also want to think twice about buying this set online... what happens if you ever need service?
  • It's discontinued. I suspect that's because of the so-so picture quality and all of the other problems enumerated above. Of course, the fact it's no longer in Samsung's model lineup means you might be able to negotiate a cheaper price from your dealer. Then again, the fact it's discontinued might make it harder in the not-so-distant future to get service and parts.


You have been warned.


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Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1
 

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By the way, if you visit that website I mentioned you will probably notice an early rave review that I gave to the PLK405W. In retrospect, I was fooling myself into believing that I hadn't purchased a lemon, which accounts for part of it. The other part would be the simple fact that my prior TV set was a nine-year-old 27" Sony direct-view set--even the Samsung looked good compared to that!


Now that I have my NEC VT540 LCD front projector, the substandard output of the PLK405W is glaringly obvious. (Of course, D-ILA and DLP UXGA projector owners would say that my VT540 is a piece of **** compared to their projectors, but that's an argument for another day...!)


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Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Couple followup questions. I'm still not excited about a CRT based RPTV. But if I do go that route, for the price of the 4:3 fdx, it looks like I could get into the Mitsu 46" 16x9 right now, or possibly better the panny 47" that's coming out soon (maybe?).


Main question: If I were to move from the PLK405W to the SLK407W, it would alleviate the negative about the non-progressive inputs, but what does it do about the power board or the lamp costs. I'm guessing that the power boards would be better on a later model, can anyone confirm. Second are they the same expensive lamp or is this a newer cheaper lamp? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Umm, never mind I guess. I went to the *************** per suggestion, and the talk of class action lawsuits kind of scared me off. Dang I really want one to go over my fireplace...
 

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The only possible positive thing going for the SLK407W is that it hasn't been discontinued like the PLK405W. But when you get into the price range of the SLK (~$2,700), there are so many more better alternatives.


May I ask why you think you are not ready for a front-projection TV? I didn't think I was ready either (which is why I got the PLK405W), but once I saw the gorgeous output of my $3,000 NEC VT540 I knew I had to have it.


I enjoy a brilliant picture on a 104" screen. I can't even imagine going back to a dinky little 27" CRT-style TV.


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Scott Gammans
The Scooterplex Cinema 1
 

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It was following info on the Samsung RPTVs that got me started on FP about 1200 posts ago.


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Ken Elliott
 

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Mike,


You might look out for a used Sony KL-W9000 (50"), or KL-W7000 (43"), both 16:9 LCD RPTVs.


I had looked at the Samsung LCD RPTVs and saw most of the problems mentioned. It was a good display, but the Sony was better in all respects (DTV compliance, higher resolution computer input, longer lasting-6K hrs, cheaper bulbs->$300, better color).


Some people have had problems with some fog issues, as with it's FPTV brother the W400Q, but mine has been great and you can find used models selling for under $2K.


Also, I agree that you should consider checking out some of the new entry-level digital FPTVs which can look remarkably good.


-Dean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
FPTV sounds interesting, but my wife isn't interested in it. She wants to be able to sit down and watch the news without a lot of song and dance.


I suppose for a couple hundred dollars a pronto remote can be programmed to turn everything on with a single button...


What do you guys watch the news on?
 
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