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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know the decision is ultimately mine, but I'd love to hear other opinions. Here's my dilemma.


I have a 7 day return policy (may try to negotiate that up today).


I have not calibrated it yet. I ordered Avia via internet over a week ago and haven't received it yet. :(


I plan to use this TV as my main watching TV (if it was an "event" TV, I would have gone with front projection). I also plan to use it some for games (PS2 and PC).


The cable company has *not* been able to get me a HDTV signal to my house (long story), but I still haven't seen it.


What I do have...


Digital TV looks pretty good. It's quite livable, but if everything is layered (cost structure-wise), I'm not sure it's worth the Basic + Standard + Digital Tier to get that picture just to watch on this new TV. What I guess I'm saying is, is it worth $20 extra a month to watch a subset of channels at 50 inches (subset not including SCI-FI, Comedy Central, and a few others I regularly watch).


Standard Analog pretty much bites. Part of that may be related to signal, but it is very grainy.


DVD pictures through my progressive scan have not been good. Clay faces and banding galore. I'll chalk this up to it being a non-calibrated set and/or very cheap scaler in player.


PC picture is absolutely phenomenal. I've watched partial DVD movies through this player and they have all looked great. It makes me wonder about how caliberation is going to effect other feeds when this looks so good without touching it.


Surfing the web on this TV is a mixed bag. This forum, for instance, is very difficult to read. The yellow on blue tends to bleed together.


My dilemma is I feel I'm buying a $4000 monitor. My regular TV watching experience just feels average right now, and I'm not sure I want to buy a gift that keeps on giving (taking). HDTV may change my mind, but how much content is out there? I don't see myself watching JAG just because it's in HD.


I'm considering taking this back and spending $1500 on a CRT (no warrantee), and then coming back to this technology in a couple years.


Am I crazy? Should I be patient and wait for content? Damn the torpedo's, or retreat to live and fight another day?


The last mitigating factor is the wife... I'll save writing about that part and let you guys wait for the movie...


Thanks,

Bill
 

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Make the wife happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wise response...


Given the fickle nature of my wife (and I'm sure I'm alone in this), what may make her un-happy today may be the very thing that makes her happy tomorrow (or visa-versa).


My assessment is I have an equal chance of damnation vs. blessed assurance, so I'd like to remove that variable from this equation (but the point is well taken and appreciated).


B
 

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I can understand your dilema. I have the 507W which replaces a 26" Sony analog set. I think some of these issues boil down to what you're (general you) used to. Even with STD cable, I'm happier with the larger 507 picture over the 26" analog. Also, this TV, LCD and Plasma were really the only choices due to the constraints of my living room cabinet (built-in, 24" depth and can't handle 300 lbs). I share your concern with the clay faces issue for DVD. I have the Toshiba 3800 and maybe it just isn't good enough for this TV. I'm still hoping that tweeking the set will eliminate or reduce this problem; I don't see it with every movie and not even in every scene. I'm going to run through Video Essentials soon, but from other responses on the board, I'm not expecting miracles. However, I still enjoy watching movies on this set. And, I know that DVI DVD players (affordable ones) are just around the corner. Or, using the laptop DVD player with the monitor input -- though we're back to the $4,000 monitor issue. Bottom line is, you gotta get something that you are happy with, not something that raises your blood pressure when you sit in front of it.
 

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I think buying something like this should be one of those can't-resist-must-have-can't-wait-yeah!-finally-got-it-can't-leave-the-house-for-days experiences. If you're having mixed feelings about it, I say save it for when you find a product and deal you're really completely (90%+) positive about. Otherwise, you're just buying a sense of doubt and uncertainty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That's a good way to look at it.


You know, I had that feeling when I first brought it home, but having gone out of town for the weekend, and now struggling with the %*$# cable company to get an HDTV signal has kinda taken the wind out of my sails.


I guess I have one night to see if I can re-capture that feeling.


Thanks for the thoughtful responses...


B
 

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At least buy, beg borrow or steal a Video Essentials or Avia DVD (I know it's on it's way) before you make up your mind - a lot of forum posters say that the PQ on these things out of the box is fairly bad, and that calibration improves things significantly.


Maybe you can get an extension on the return until your Avia disc arrives, or your place of purchase can loan you one.


You're right about the relative lack of programming thus far. If you're not into sports (we're not) then there's not much available compared to SD fare. This is changing, though.


And you can always purchase a HD off-the-air tuner ($200 ish?) and pick up HD signals for free. Assuming the signals are available in oyur area, that is.


Best of luck.


-Sean


(Eagerly awaiting my HLN507's arrival, hopefully Friday)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You're right about the Avia. I'm bummed that it's not here.


I called and my sales guy isn't here. The other person I talked to said they would work with me, so I have my fingers crossed about delaying a return. Seems to me it would only help us both.


I went home for lunch and they did hook up the HD. I'll have to say it looks pretty darned good, but the only thing available in HD right now is the normal HD Loop I see in the stores all the time. It was good to see it still looked pretty good on my set, but I can tell that tweaking is going to be a necessity. I have HBO-HD for a while, and the resolution on it looked good too, however the clay faces are back! :( Avia, where are u!!


Digital channels looked mostly good as well. They have an edge of blurriness to them that's certainly understandable. Now I need to sit with it long enough to see if it's forgive-able.


And now I have a palatable signal level, the SD looks much better on some channels. It seems to be a pretty mixed bag, and I haven't decided if it's per channel or simply per show (probably some of both)...


Arg!


B
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kasarah
I know the decision is ultimately mine, but I'd love to hear other opinions. Here's my dilemma.


I have a 7 day return policy (may try to negotiate that up today).


I have not calibrated it yet. I ordered Avia via internet over a week ago and haven't received it yet. :(
Have you considered the Sony LCD sets ??? Let me compare using my opinion...

Quote:
I plan to use this TV as my main watching TV (if it was an "event" TV, I would have gone with front projection). I also plan to use it some for games (PS2 and PC).


The cable company has *not* been able to get me a HDTV signal to my house (long story), but I still haven't seen it.


What I do have...


Digital TV looks pretty good. It's quite livable, but if everything is layered (cost structure-wise), I'm not sure it's worth the Basic + Standard + Digital Tier to get that picture just to watch on this new TV. What I guess I'm saying is, is it worth $20 extra a month to watch a subset of channels at 50 inches (subset not including SCI-FI, Comedy Central, and a few others I regularly watch).


Standard Analog pretty much bites. Part of that may be related to signal, but it is very grainy.
I have basic cable (no DirectTV) and IMO it looks fantastic on my Sony 50" GWII. I consider it to be an average signal. NO grain what-so-ever. I looked at the Sony LCD vs. the Samsung DLP in the stores right next to each other extensively and I CANNOT believe that so may people think the Samsung has a better all around picture. The Sammy was SO much grainier IMO on all inputs. Dithering, pixelation, noise, ect..Please do NOT think I am bashing DLP's or Samsung, this is just my opinion but you seem to be seeing the same type of graininess. These problems are non-existant on the Sony LCD. Of course Sony LCD's have their own set of issues, but to me the things that bother me about the Samsung DLP's picture quality (graininess, dithering, rainbows, ect..) WAY outweigh the negatives about the Sony LCD's (poorer black levels, possible bad or stuck pixels, ect...).


Again, my basic cable signal looks GREAT. My girlfriend and I sometimes think is looks close to DVD quality (depending on the channel and program).



Quote:
DVD pictures through my progressive scan have not been good. Clay faces and banding galore. I'll chalk this up to it being a non-calibrated set and/or very cheap scaler in player.
The Sony does NOT have these issues. DVD's look clearer and sharper and more colorful than on ANY other set I looked at in it's category. No grain, no banding, no rainbows, ect...

Quote:
PC picture is absolutely phenomenal. I've watched partial DVD movies through this player and they have all looked great. It makes me wonder about how caliberation is going to effect other feeds when this looks so good without touching it.


Surfing the web on this TV is a mixed bag. This forum, for instance, is very difficult to read. The yellow on blue tends to bleed together.
Here is where the Samsung supposedly beats out the Sony. Especially in ease of setup. I have not tried doing HTPC on my Sony yet so I cannot comment.

Quote:
My dilemma is I feel I'm buying a $4000 monitor. My regular TV watching experience just feels average right now, and I'm not sure I want to buy a gift that keeps on giving (taking). HDTV may change my mind, but how much content is out there? I don't see myself watching JAG just because it's in HD.


I'm considering taking this back and spending $1500 on a CRT (no warrantee), and then coming back to this technology in a couple years.


Am I crazy? Should I be patient and wait for content? Damn the torpedo's, or retreat to live and fight another day?


The last mitigating factor is the wife... I'll save writing about that part and let you guys wait for the movie...
My girlfriend (who thinks I am nuts of course and could care less about the PQ) is floored with how good this TV looks. She is not floating my boat either. I had a Toshiba 65HDX82 that I exchanged for the Sony and she immediately noticed a HUGE difference and now wants to constantly watch movies. We both thought the Toshiba looked great, but then when we got the Sony home, we both felt embarrassed for the Toshiba's PQ in comparison.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Spooky,


You know, I'll have to say I had a similar experience in the store. The GW II looked a lot better watching Star Wars II on the same DVD player on both sets.


What convinced me to go with the Sammy was actually seeing the HLN5065 in a Best Buy store. The HD feed was perfect. I guess I chalked up the Sammy issue with the DVD up to tweaking.


I also know the Sammy does do PC gaming with ease.


After playing with Sammy for a week though, I wonder *how much* I'll really do that... And I don't mind working a bit to make it work on the GWII...


Decisions Decisions...


Bill
 

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Kasarah,


Every HD signal I have compared between the Sammy and the Sony, the Sony has beat it HANDS DOWN (again, just my opinion).


I cannot get over the graininess and the dithering in HD signals. Plus for gaming, that dithering will drive you nuts, I promise. Sure the Samsung looks brighter on the showroom floor and at a quick first glance it might seem to display brighter colors, but the fact is that the LCD's will display more vibrant colors. And you can't beat the smooth, film like quality of the Sony. It has a better reflective surface too.


Sorry, I am turning this thread into a Sony Fanboy rant. I just really feel you are having the same viewing experience with the DLP's that I do.
 

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My opinion is just the opposite of Spookys. Some one put it like this:

OTB DLP
Tweaked DLP >> GW II


I had the same issues, but have a HLM where the tweaks were worked out for me my members of this thread. I think venm was correct above. With a $$ purchase like this you should be very happy. I think once you get the bugs out of what ever system you get your family will be very happy to watch movies on a large screen in the house.


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
No, I have *not* seen a tweaked Sammy (not sure why you'd say, "Of course you'll say you did..."). Are you attempting to bait me?


I did see a Sammy that looked great at Best Buy. The Sammy's I've seen at a slightly higher scale establishment did not look as good as the Best Buy's display. Also, in this establishment, the GW II's looked better. I'm sure it is attributed to very little tweaking going on.


I'll also say that DVD movies played through my PC are fantastic. If you own a Sammy and aren't using your PC yet, I'd say do yourself a favor and try it. Movies being played at 1280x768 non-interlaced is absolutely fantastic.


I guess my best chance for satisfaction is a stay of execution on the return date and the delivery of my Avia.


Thanks again for everyone's help/opinions.


Bill
 

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I would just like to point out that store setup is not the only issue here... After all, when I went in to Best Buy, I took a cheat sheet of User Menu settings that I got off of this forum. When I finished twiddling with those, and popping into the Service Menu to play with the Gammas, the set looked much better than the BB folks had it. On the other hamd, if they had properly set it up, some other schlepp might have come in and messed with it.


In point of fact, the picture when I first got there was very red soaked, and when I was done I thought the PQ was really great on the in-store 1080i feed.


I did not feel like being at the mercy of the store display. If they leave the remote out, then I say fiddle with it yourself and find out what the set can look like. I am sorry I don't have the values I used right now, so I can't post them, but I think one should be able to get them by searching this forum.


kazz
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You would think I would be able to find it wouldn't you?


Apparently I must be brain dead. My searches on 507, tweak, etc seem to lead me to a lot of posts related to the HLM series or the HLN 61.


I haven't found any good posts on the HLN507. If anyone has a thread highlighting this information, I'd be beholden if you'd post it.


I'll continue to search, but I've lurked here a long time and don't think I've seen one yet.


Thanks in advance,


Bill
 

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kasarah, I now own 2 Samsung DLP sets. The best part of the experience is - DVD playback and Hi Def channels.


For DVD playback - a component connection doesn't cut it. Your options are:

- an HTPC with an ATI card, DVI or VGA connection, and zoomplayer

- Bravo D1 player - available now for $199

Excellent reviews on this player in this forum. Search for Bravo.

- Samsung 931 player - avaiable in June for $399?


I was amazed at the difference in picture quality when I switched from my progressive Sony DVD player to an HTPC. It approaches hig def in clarity.
 

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You may want to consider stepping up to DISH or Directv to get yourself some HD content. With a HD sat box you should also be able to tune in local HD programming. There isnt a whole lot, but every now and then you watch something that lets you know your money was well spent, ie NBA playoff games, Bikini destinations (HD Net).


Next, throw out your regular DVD player, as you can see DVD on the PC blows it away. With some tweaking your DVDs should look nearly as good as HD. Try to take advantage of the DVI connection if you arent already doing so. Most ppl suggest that you wait 100 hrs to let your lamp burn in properly before you start tweaking. When all is said and done you should be a happy man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you guys watch SD on your sets?


This is going to be my "main" TV, and my wife watches CNN in the morning. She's already commented a couple of times that it doesn't look all that great.


Now, she hasn't sat down to watch a movie with me yet, and I'm hoping when that happens she'll become assimilated.


It's funny how suggestable I've become... Sony Sony.. yes, that looks good, I'll get that instead.... Sammy Sammy... No, wait, I think I can fix what I've got... Somebody just shoot me... :)


arungupta,


Thanks for the tip on zoomplayer. I've tried a few players, and none have yet made me really excited. I'll try it tonight.


B
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by kasarah
Apparently I must be brain dead. My searches on 507, tweak, etc seem to lead me to a lot of posts related to the HLM series or the HLN 61.
Well, I won't call you braindead. I just tried to search for the post I know I found on this forum...with no luck.


Okay, the original post was referring to settings from an Avia disc for one of the HLM models, but I used these settings on an HLN5065W at Best Buy and they really helped. It's at least worth a shot.


Contrast: 92 (Default = 90)


Brightness: 37 (Default = 50)


Sharpness: 0 (Default = 65)


Color: 43 (Default = 65)


Tint: 50/50 (Default = 50/50)


If you have red/green issues, you might bump the Tint one or two in either direction.


Also, when I fiddled with the Gamma settings in the Service Menu, I found the default 4 to be decent, but both 0 and 2 to be a little better. 3 was pretty unwatchable, all washed out and the colors just...off. 5 was a little to washed out, though the colors seemed reasonably normal.


Hope this helps,


kazz
 
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