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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yes... you read that correctly. According to the sticker on the back of the TV, I received an HLN617W that was manufactured in February 2003.


Ok, before you ask all the usual questions, let me just try to answer them up front.


1.) NO, I don't know if this has the discrete codes.


2.) NO, I have NOT entered the service menu yet.


3.) NO, I did NOT receive my TS-160 STB so I can't tell you how wonderful HD via DVI looks.


4.) NO, it does NOT have the thin bezel. It's about 1 3/4 inches around, give or take a couple 1/16ths... dark charcoal gray.


Currently I have only viewed two sources through this tv.


1.) Toshiba SD-3109 Interlaced DVD player connected via Acoustic Research Component Video cables into Component Video 1 input on the tv.


2.) RCA DTC100 STB connected via VGA cable and plugged into the PC VGA jack.


FWIW, I took a bunch of pictures of different DVDs being played, as well as some HDNET stuff (Swamp BUggy Races... yippy friggin yahoo :D ). I'll see what I can do about posting them on AVS after I view them and shrink them.


Out of the box, the picture via DVD looked to my eyes to be pretty grainy and not real amazing.


Took me a tiny bit of time to setup the DTC100 to output a nice centered picture on the tv using the DTC100's Raster Centering. The default rate that it was set for worked fine.

NOTES OF INTEREST:

1.) I THINK the DTC100 upconverts all of it's output to 540p. This apparently is less than wonderful for the HLN617 as I noticed some weird horizontal bands scrolling when the screen was dark/black. Like when it goes from one HDNET promo to another... i.e. commercial break type stuff.


2.) I could NOT select between different display modes with the DTC100 plugged into the PC input. My guess is that the TV is just upconverting the 540p signal to 1920x1080i, which, according to the manual allows ONLY "Wide(TV)" Aspect ratio.


3.) I did NOT have both Fine and Coarse video adjustments available with the PC input. My guess is this is related to the 1080i from 540p as well. I only had access to "Fine" adjustment. The Coarse and Auto setting were "greyed out".


4.) The User's Manual I have is evidently the same one that is used for the following TV's according to the front cover:

HLN4365W/HLN5065W/HLN437W/HLN507W/HLN617W


5.) Things written on the bezel of the TV:

Tantus

DLP

DNIe

DCDi by Faroudja

Virtual Dolby Surround

HDTV Progessive Monitor


Ok, here's some other impressions/notes:

Picture Settings Out Of The Box:

Contrast = 90 (80 after Video Essentials)

Brightness = 50 (43 after Video Essentials)

Sharpness = 50 (0 after Video Essentials)

Color = 50 (60 after Video Essentials)

Tint = 50 (Same after Video Essentials)


At no time did I see any white blooming and the line never bent when setting the Contrast.


One thing that sort've bugged me (this is minor and is NOT really Samsung's fault) is that when you are tweaking the settings and the name and the colored value bar comes on the screen it is enclosed in a semi-transparent box that extends 3/4 across the screen. This box makes the picture behind it appear darker. It just so happens that that location is the EXACT spot where you want to match the stuff using the blue filter. Like I said, it's minor... but it bugged me.


Ok, well that's it for first impressions I guess. One thing to point out... I already have an HDTV... the RCA MM36110 Direct View that I purchased with the DTC100. These puppies were MEANT to go together. They provide me with a GREAT picture in my family room theater. Right now that TV rivals the Samsung in picture quality. But I think it's like comparing apples and oranges. I am still glad I made the purchase and look forward to someone clueing me in on how the heck to tweak the bejeezus out of this puppy.


PhilB has graciously offered his old TS-150 STB to try out on the set this weekend or maybe next week. Hopefully I will get a chance to take him up on that. Hopefully I can get him or KenLand or someone to come over and evaluate the picture for themselves, as I haven't really seen a SUPER tweaked Sammy yet to compare mine against out of the box.


And now... back to hockey playoffs!


Later,

Jeff in Missouri City


PS - Standard DirecTV that is upconverted from 540p to 1080i looks like DONKEY A$$ when the signal is sooooo compressed to begin with. HDNET is a breath of fresh air as was catching a glimpse of The Masters and the PBS HD Loop. Good stuff.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Iceblade



At no time did I see any white blooming and the line never bent when setting the Contrast.

DLPs don't bloom but they reach saturation where the white doesn't get any whiter. The line only bends on CRT based systems when the power supply weakens under strain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by mikepalm
DLPs don't bloom but they reach saturation where the white doesn't get any whiter. The line only bends on CRT based systems when the power supply weakens under strain.
DOH! I actually remember that I read that before. Guess I had a total brainfart on that one.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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Iceblade,


Hey! congrats on the 617. I have had hlm617w on order since mid-March. Shipment date keeps getting delayed...I guess everyone is dealing with backorders due to production speed. I'm supposed to receive 617 first week of May now....just curious if you think I would received "n" model now....and if there are any differences in 617m and 671n. Look forward to any info you can provide re: 617 @ AVS!!!


Dave
 

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Jeff...


I also noticed graininess in some DVDs (using a Marantz progressive DVD with Component), but that was mostly with older DVDs of lesser quality.


Once I set Gamma to 0 or 1 it got better. And now that I've had the Component input color corrected by an ISF calibrator, good quality DVDs (like Memento Limited Edition) look almost as good as HD sources. I'm also using a very high quality Component cable (from Transparent Cable, $175). Non-anamorphic DVDs don't look as good (I have about 40 out of a collection of 215), but most of my DVDs now look awesome.


With my SIR-TS160 on the DVI input, PQ varies with source from not very good to great. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to get the DVI input calibrated. Neither of the two ISH techs I've used in the past have the equipment for DVI calibration.


My next addition is a subwoofer. My audio store is going to sell me their demo Dynaudio Audience Sub30A (MSRP 1400.00) for $800. This will match up very nicely with the Dynaudio Audience towers adn center I already have. In a few months I'm upgrading my Marantz DVD to an Arcam DIVA DV88 Plus. I can't wait.


Dean
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by dwette
Jeff...


I'm also using a very high quality Component cable (from Transparent Cable, $175).

Dean
Do you really beleieve a $175 component cable proivides a perceivably better picture than a $30 component cable? It really doesn't. Your eyes can't tell and neither can instrumentation. Cables is cables and these expensive cables are nonsense. No fancy marketing sales pitch will make the picture any better.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mikepalm
Do you really beleieve a $175 component cable proivides a perceivably better picture than a $30 component cable? It really doesn't. Your eyes can't tell and neither can instrumentation. Cables is cables and these expensive cables are nonsense. No fancy marketing sales pitch will make the picture any better.
I don't have to believe it. I've seen it.


I wasn't sure it made much difference myself, but I was able to borrow for the cable for evauluation before purchasing it. Going from a cheapy component cable to the Transparent, everything improved. Black levels, detail, color vibrancy, and video noise.


Cables are not created equal. They have particular required electronic characteristics, and tolerances vary widely. You want as little distortion of the signal as possible as it travels from source to destination, and you want to minimize external interferences. So maybe the Transparent is a bit of overkill, but it's definitely not the same as $30 cables.


Try putting cheap 18 guage lampcord on a set of $5K speakers and see how quickly the quality degrades, especially under load.


Dean
 

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You really saw improvements in black levels, detail, color vibrancy, and video noise with the $150 cable!


I’m sorry to be skeptical of your claims, but there is just no scientific evidence to prove that these super expensive cables do anything differently than more reasonably priced cables (except transfer more of your money to the manufacturer!)


It’s all a question of meeting the requirements to transfer the signal from the DVD player to the TV. The $30 cable meets those requirements 100%. What you are suggesting is the $30 cable is degrading the signal. If that were the case these expensive cables would come with charts showing how their cable does the transfer job so much better. They don’t come with anything except marketing mumbo-jumbo.


As far as speakers are concerned the wire gauge is all that’s important. No one can tell the difference between wire of the same gauge.


The other factor affecting the connection is the connectors. Gold plated connectors do help, but only if the mechanical connection is weak in the first place. However, given the relatively low additional cost to use gold connectors, I think they are a wise investment to assure a good connection for along time to come
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by holemania
Iceblade,


Hey! congrats on the 617. I have had hlm617w on order since mid-March. Shipment date keeps getting delayed...I guess everyone is dealing with backorders due to production speed. I'm supposed to receive 617 first week of May now....just curious if you think I would received "n" model now....and if there are any differences in 617m and 671n. Look forward to any info you can provide re: 617 @ AVS!!!


Dave
DAve,


Thanks. Here's what I CAN tell you about my purchase.


I got it through a special purchase deal since I work for TI. After I found out that the HLN models were coming out soon, I emailed the dealer and asked if I could have an HLN model instead of an HLM model. Here is their reply:



You will be shipped the current model avail

from Samsung at this time, which is the

HLM617W.



We understand that the HLN617 is not shipping

until May/June earliest.



Needless to say I was QUITE surprised to see HLN617W with a February 2003 manufacturer date on the sticker on the back of the TV.


I think it is definitely within the realm of possibility that you will receive and HLN model, assuming the dealer you bought it through didn't have an HLM in stock that they were trying to get rid of.


Keep your fingers crossed.


Regs,

Jeff
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by mikepalm
I’m sorry to be skeptical of your claims, but ...
Then let's just agree to disagree. I've seen and heard differences, you haven't. I'm OK spending an extra $150 on a component cable in a $15K system, and that should make no difference to you.


Dean
 

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Agreed dwette, you are free to buy whatever you want and I suppose it's easier to justify $150 cables on a $15K system.


I guess as an electronics engineer I have always wanted to warn people about wasting money on exotic cables.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, kids... here's some updated info on my HLN617.


It appears that a few values have changed from the spreadsheet that was posted here on the forum for the HLM version. I will update the numbers and post them here... unless I can somehow just upload the spreadsheet. FWIW, not ALOT changed.


It also appears that there are only the 6 different Gamma values to pick from, i.e. 0 through 5. Default was 4... I changed it to 5. I didn't change the "3 D values" dealing with black or whatever yet.... I'll try that tomorrow and redo my calibration with Video Essentials.


Mute-1-8-2-Power works to enter the service menu on this tv as well, btw.


Graininess... I am starting to wonder if perhaps it is the proximity to my screen that is causing me to notice the pattern in the screen itself. I am about 13 feet away from the screen. I also notice lots of MPEG artifacts now that I have a 61" picture to look at, as compared to the 36" direct view from 10 feet away that I am used to.


The ESPNs. CBC and most of the other standard definition DirecTV source still look pretty crappy. I am thinking this might be exacerbated by using the PC input. I may try to use the S-Video output on the DTC100 to see if there is a discernible difference in quality.


More updates to come...


Thanks and regards,

Jeff
 

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Jeff,


Hey! All good info. Since you've mentioned graininess, now I'm a bit concerned re: viewing distance. Depending on where one sits in my room, viewing will be from 8-12'. Also, did you find out if the physical "grainy" texture of the screen is normal and does that affect PQ?


Re: hlm sm values; Are you going to try the spreadsheet values posted for the 507w? at least the ones that are the same on your 617? I'll be very interested to see how that works out for you! sorry couldn't crack acronym: FWIW....


I too, am on DirecTV; standard now, but will be upgrading to Samsung TS160 as soon as I receive my 617, so I'm interested in your results there as well....hope you have great OTA HD in your area!


Again, thanks for all your info.....I will add to forum everything I learn too....once I finally get mine....the wait is unbearable!


Regards,


Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by holemania
Jeff,


Hey! All good info. Since you've mentioned graininess, now I'm a bit concerned re: viewing distance. Depending on where one sits in my room, viewing will be from 8-12'. Also, did you find out if the physical "grainy" texture of the screen is normal and does that affect PQ?
Nope, no one has confirmed or denied the texture of the screen for me yet. I am hoping that I can get a cross section of replies to compare against soon in the other thread on graininess I posted.

Quote:


Re: hlm sm values; Are you going to try the spreadsheet values posted for the 507w? at least the ones that are the same on your 617? I'll be very interested to see how that works out for you! sorry couldn't crack acronym: FWIW....
I haven't seen spreadsheet values for an HLN507 yet. I downloaded the spreadsheet for an HLM617 last night and compared the values for the two inputs I am using as well as the stuff that is set for ALL inputs. I will post these here later today.


FWIW = For What It's Worth. :)

Quote:


I too, am on DirecTV; standard now, but will be upgrading to Samsung TS160 as soon as I receive my 617, so I'm interested in your results there as well....hope you have great OTA HD in your area!


Again, thanks for all your info.....I will add to forum everything I learn too....once I finally get mine....the wait is unbearable!
They THINK I will be getting my TS160 in about 3 weeks from New York. We'll see if that happens. As I think I said, the DTC100 is a royal pain to use in the PC VGA input... the loss of sync drives me nuts, plus it doesn't fill the whole screen. I have about 8 or so OTA stations to pick from here in Houston... so that's cool. I tried to watch the PBS HD loop last night, but either their signal is super weak or they turned it off last night... not sure.


"Bikini Destinations" on HDNET looked pretty decent though. :D


I'll keep everyone informed and post later today.


Thanks,

Jeff
 

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dsmith6281, I have a Samsung SIR-T165 feeding an HLM437W. My PQ is both more vibrant (colors) and stable using DVI versus component.


cable skeptics,

My partner and I hear a (big) difference between audio cables and are willing to spend our money for those improvements. You don't and won't. That's fine and as it should be. I would never try to "prove" that you really do hear what you say you don't. That would be both foolish and insulting. Please don't tell us that some measurements you learned "prove" that we're not hearing what we hear. That's also foolish and insulting. All you've proved is that you're not measuring the right things. When reality no longer gibes with explanation, it's not reality that's at fault.


Twenty years ago a certain audio magazine actually believed that if a component measured a flat frequency response then it was perfect. Never mind that one component sounded great while another sounded like crap. If they both "measured perfectly" they must the sound the same, right? Their fallacy was or should have been obvious. Our ears respond to more than just frequency response. Measuring only that gives us insufficient information to estimate how a component will sound.


Every measurement has limits beyond which it cannot discern differences. One cannot measure a sub-atomic particle or the temperature with a wooden ruler. Having been unable to measure such things with such an instrument, would we conclude that they do not exist? From this absurdity, we learn the limits of our measurements, not the limits of reality.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Doug Deacon


cable skeptics,

My partner and I hear a (big) difference between audio cables and are willing to spend our money for those improvements. You don't and won't. That's fine and as it should be. I would never try to "prove" that you really do hear what you say you don't. That would be both foolish and insulting. Please don't tell us that some measurements you learned "prove" that we're not hearing what we hear. That's also foolish and insulting. All you've proved is that you're not measuring the right things. When reality no longer gibes with explanation, it's not reality that's at fault....
The snake-oil salesmen love this kind of thinking.


It reminds me of an argument I once had with a guy at a party who swore up and down that high-octane gasoline made his car's horsepower increase. Well, it costs more so it has to be better, right? In fact, the higher octane only decreases the tendency to pre-ignite or "ping", but you just can't convince some people of that.


Anyway, if you or anybody else really believes that the high-dollar cables are better, then I dare you to do a blind A-B test and prove it. Have someone swap between the two sets of cables without telling you which one, and see if you can correctly determine which set of cables it is. Do this several times in a row. The high-dollar cables look or sound better to you because you expect them to, just like the guy who expected his car to have more power when he put the expensive gas in it.


Electrically, a video cable with the wrong impedance might produce ghosting or "ringing" because the signal isn't terminated properly. A cable with too high a capacitance might reduce detail due to frequency rolloff. A cable with too high resistance might produce a muddy picture. A cable with poor shielding might pick up RF interference from a nearby source. But for someone to claim that a better cable results in better black levels, less video noise, or more vibrant colors (on a component connection) is wishful thinking.


Again, I dare you to do an A-B test and pick the right cable more than fifty percent of the time. That's called the scientific method.


And if you do end up saving money by using less expensive cables, you can afford a lot more shark cartilage pills, copper bracelets and stick-on magnets to make you feel better. :D
 

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Getting this thread back on track .... I just received my HLN617W Tantus today and will share some observations after spending about an hour with the set.


Facts:


Release Time = March 17, 2003 11:08:50


T-B3K6101-208


Opinions/Problems:


Takes a long time (30-45 seconds) for display to "display".


Watching DTV stations thru DTC-100's 15 pin RGB output when the station is not sending HD - I have a severe pincushion of the 4X3 picture.


No discrete inputs , well that just doesn't make any sense to me.


If I select the PC input without there being a signal available, - then make the signal available, I get a double image. (One image offset to the right of the other by several inches. Re-selecting the PC input corrects the problem.


Changed Gamma to 0 - seemed the best to me.


Component input:


Factory Setting / Avia


Contrast 90 / 92

Brightness 50 / 37

Sharpness 65 / 0

Color 65 / 43


Iceblade, using the Short Retrace (EIA770.3 Timing) on the DTC100 eliminated my having to adjust raster centering.
 

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Watched some SD satellite, OTA DTV and HD HBO last night all after Avia tweaks. SD was OK. I'd say just as good as my Pioneer 720 I traded in for the 617. OTA was good - definitely not as soft as the Pioneer. HDNet was very good - awesome in fact and better than my Pioneer.


The one problem that happened was when I lost OTA signal for a couple of seconds a solid green background with horizontal red and orange/yellow lines covered the bottom half of the screen. Tried changing channels and then changing inputs to no avail. Had to power off 3 times before it went away. The last time I waited about a minute before turning the power on again.


Overall the PQ is mostly better than on my Pioneer.
 
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