Dilema - Keep a repaired Samsung PS-50B530 or replace with Panasonic TX-P50U10B

davidmbell

Novice Member
Hi all, I've had a Samsung PS-50B530 plasma since mid Sept last year. Got it for about £550 inc Quidco discount and Bennetts new customer deal.

I've been mostly pleased with it apart from an initial struggle with a red/orange/pink push, which I'm now pretty ok with. But the main problem is a bad brightness/gamma flickering issue that I get on very dark (or mostly mid to dark scenes - scenes with little or no bright reference point).

EG http://www.davidmbell.com/samsung/samsung_tv_flicker.mov

Watch the white books in the background.

80% of the time the TV is fine, but then the odd dark scene will flicker on and off as if the TV can't work out what to do for the best. I have been on every forum going trying to work out if a change of settings will fix this (other than upping various settings, but this then messes the nice picture) so I called Samsung to have it looked at.

Anyway, I have had the engineers to look at the TV nearly 2 weeks ago, and they have arranged to have a replacement PDP panel installed THIS FRIDAY.

In a moment of annoyance a few weeks back I emailed Bennetts asking for a refund. Never really expecting them to say yes.

Anyway today I get an email saying Bennetts will take the TV back for a refund....

SO, decisions....

Do I have the TV repaired and see how the replacement panel is (remembering when this TV is on form I LOVE it)

OR

Do I get it repaired, have a refund and order the Panasonic TX-P50U10B from John Lewis'

The TX-P50U10B is in short supply and has gone from 10+ to zero stock and back to 2 in stock this evening alone.

I have had a Hitachi PD9700 prior to this Sammy and loved the HD quality of that set (don't dismiss that TV before you read up on it, even though it was a Hitachi it was a 1080i TV and had amazing picutre AND sound, electric swivel stand and a picture that didn't need fiddling with every 5 mins to maintain decent picture quality).

So that's what I'm after. Really WOW HD stuff (I have Blu Ray and Sky HD, but do also watch a lot of SD). but not needing to contstantly fiddle. My lounge is quite dark most of the time. I sit about 10 ft away from the screen. Sound isn't an issue as I have a Yamaha receiver and seperates to deal with that.

So what do I do... The Pannys I've seen in PC World (i know not the best place to view them) all look a bit 'brown' and a bit 'flat' compared to the other sets on show. With Sammy's looking quite nice and balanced (I know most shops will have them on Dynamic (or equiv)).

One other factor of course, budget, the Sammy was bought on the fact it was SO cheap. The Panny TX-P50U10B is the best bet alternative due to cost and the nice 5 yr warranty.

Any advice more than welcome.

David
 

gstevenson

Active Member
I've discovered a possible fix for the flickering.

Apologies for lack of detail now but I am at work and doing this from memory;

Somewhere in the service menu is a setting for Gamma with options of 0.88, 0.93, 0.95 or off. This struck me as a possibility for the ratio of light falling on the screen to the gamma being output, so, I switched it off and watched about 3 hours of output from my Sky HD box, a mixture of SD and HD material, with no flickering at all.

What effect on black levels etc is I'm not too sure yet, the material I watche dlast night was not good quality, especially How Earth Made Us on BBC HD which was pretty much SD quality in my opinion.

I'll post the exact location of this setting in the service menu when I get a chance to go back in.

Has anyone tried calibrating this display yet? - I'll be having a first attempt with a colorimeter this weekend.
 

arfster

Active Member
Has anyone tried calibrating this display yet? - I'll be having a first attempt with a colorimeter this weekend.
Yes, really extensively :) It's quite a challenge, many of the controls interact with each other. You can improve pic quality out of sight though, well worth doing.

I've no idea why that gamma control (it's default 0.93 on mine btw) should cause flicker, that makes little sense. Unless it's somehow resulting in the panel being sent certain voltages that particularly triggers a fault? Complete guess.

It won't affect minimum black levels btw, but it does interact with brightness though - ie in the user menu, lowering gamma means you need higher brightness by a notch or two to get blacks correct. (ie to have 1% blacks visible, but only just). I don't remember offhand whether lowering the gamma in control/suboption is equivalent to lowering the gamma user control, and suspect it might be the opposite - there's also a gamma and subgamma control in the advanced menu btw.


ps beware, calibration of this set is really addictive :) Other sets (like my G10) don't have many options so it's easy, whereas if you buy something like a 560 or the top end LGs you get a full set of pretty much independent controls, and it's again easy. The 530 is somewhere inbetween - it's an excellent set of calibration possibilities for a set this price though.
 
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R3deye

Novice Member
@davidmbell

Ok, this is a longshot. Maybe you could ask them for a trial period for the Panasonic, on account of how you spent your money for something that doesn't deliver and you'd rather not be doing the same thing again.:smashin:

I dont know, I also love the Sammy picture except for the flicker thing of course, but it would be better if you could try it a little. Maybe somebody would be so kind and let you check it out at their home.
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
@davidmbell

Ok, this is a longshot. Maybe you could ask them for a trial period for the Panasonic, on account of how you spent your money for something that doesn't deliver and you'd rather not be doing the same thing again.:smashin:

I dont know, I also love the Sammy picture except for the flicker thing of course, but it would be better if you could try it a little. Maybe somebody would be so kind and let you check it out at their home.
Saw the TX-P50U10 alongside it's big brother the G10 in Costco tonight and the screen of the U was WAY too reflective for my liking. In dark scenes all I could see was myself or the shop in the background. Whereas the G10 was much better. To be fair picture quality looked quite similar, but was showing an SD DVD.

Thing I did notice, and this was with ALL the Panasonic Plasmas in Costco was an odd flickering of very White things. Very very fast but there. Couldn't see it on Samsungs plasmas (they had no LGs) but all the Panasonics had this odd bright white v fast flicker. Almost like a pc monitor on the wring refrresh rate but only on bright stuff!

Since read about this on here and there's mixed views - some see it some don't I do : (

(fan boys don't!)

So thisay rule out the Pannys altogether.

LG 50PS3000?

David
 
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gstevenson

Active Member
Unfortunately, there is still some flicker, it's much reduced, but still there.

Where before it would flicker several times on dark scenes it now just does it once.

I'm now thinking about a change to the G10 but Dixons don't seem to have it so I'll need them to agree ot a refund.
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
Unfortunately, there is still some flicker, it's much reduced, but still there.

Where before it would flicker several times on dark scenes it now just does it once.

I'm now thinking about a change to the G10 but Dixons don't seem to have it so I'll need them to agree ot a refund.
Have you seen a G10 in the flesh. Just make sure you're not afflicted with the brightness flicker on Pannys.

I've had to rule out Panny alltogether as all of the 50" models I've looked at flicker on bright white scenes (G, S and U - all at Costco).

David
 

arfster

Active Member
Have you seen a G10 in the flesh. Just make sure you're not afflicted with the brightness flicker on Pannys.

I've had to rule out Panny alltogether as all of the 50" models I've looked at flicker on bright white scenes (G, S and U - all at Costco).

You know, these are some of the most popular sets going - flicker isn't something anyone else comments on with them :) Like the Samsung, they're displaying 50z frame-repeated up to 100hz, so it's beyond the human eye to notice that if they're working properly.
 
go with the panny its still the best plasma you can buy at the moment
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
You know, these are some of the most popular sets going -
I do, that's why I went to see them yesterday, spent a good hour in Coscto, Dixons and Comet looking at tv's, Dixons even allowed you to fiddle with the remote and change settings (and they weren't all on shop mode!)

flicker isn't something anyone else comments on with them :) Like the Samsung, they're displaying 50z frame-repeated up to 100hz, so it's beyond the human eye to notice that if they're working properly.
Really?? : http://www.avforums.com/forums/plasma-televisions/1021742-panasonic-g10-flickering.html

I saw the flicker before even reading about it, so its not like I was looking for it either.

It seems some people see it, some don't. I do : (

Believe me I wish I didn't as I was prepared to dig deep (or deeper than what this Sammy cost) and go for the TX-P50S10 (not fussed about the G - don't need freesat).

David
 

R3deye

Novice Member
How about taking 50X10 like zAndy1 did, if you aren't seated too close to see the dots, that is? The X10s are flickerfree reportedly.
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
Well the engineers have been and gone and replaced my PDP panel.



Sadly the new one does the very same thing. : ((( Flickering on the same scene as the other one did.

So now not only do I have to sit through 200 hrs of dimmed viewing again till the panel beds in, the replacement bl##dy buzzes on bright screens.....!

Aaagh...! : (

So now what?

Excluding getting another one of these Samsungs (why bother?), and excluding all Pansonics, what other option is there other than an LG 50PS3000?

Sigh :rolleyes:

David
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
OH MY GOD I AM GOING CRAZY HERE!

Had the TV playing my burn in DVD (scrolling colours/whites/shades etc) for an hour now and just nipped back in to have another watch of the dreaded scene from 'The Holiday'. Settings as they were on the old display (ie as if run it) - and as they were when both I and the two engineers witnessed the new display flicker when we first turned it on, and guess what - barely anything. One or two slight brightness flicks as the scene changed and that's it. Nothing like before. No constant flicker bright/dark/bright/dark - just maybe a change from a bit dark to a bit lighter, but just once as the scene changes. Certainly something I can live with I think.

So come on what is going on??

I also noticed when I first turned it on, that on some cream/white areas there were green 'sparklies'. These have now vanished too.

Could it be the new components bedding in??

If it stays like this then I'll be a happy bunny (bar the slight buzz, but I at the volume we usually have the surround system at I'll not notice it).

Is it fixed I wonder?

David
 

arfster

Active Member
Now you've got me intrigued! Some thoughts spring to mind:


1) Could some people just be particularly prone to perceiving flicker, just as with DLPs a small % saw rainbows. This is new to me though, and plasmas have been around a long time too (although could it be some new component/technology recently implemented?). If that is the case, plasmas may not be for you, or could there be.....

2) Room lighting factors. What lighting falls on the screen? I'm wondering if there could be some interaction between the refresh rate of a room light bouncing off the anti-glare coating, and the refresh cycle of the phosphors behind. This could also mean it's not visible sometimes.

3) Could it be power supply issues? Say a voltage drop due to some dodgy component in the power supply?
 
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davidmbell

Novice Member
Now you've got me intrigued! Some thoughts spring to mind:


1) Could some people just be particularly prone to perceiving flicker, just as with DLPs a small % saw rainbows. This is new to me though, and plasmas have been around a long time too (although could it be some new component/technology recently implemented?). If that is the case, plasmas may not be for you, or could there be.....

2) Room lighting factors. What lighting falls on the screen? I'm wondering if there could be some interaction between the refresh rate of a room light bouncing off the anti-glare coating, and the refresh cycle of the phosphors behind. This could also mean it's not visible sometimes.

3) Could it be power supply issues? Say a voltage drop due to some dodgy component in the power supply?
When the flicker occurs it happens whether there's lights on in the room or not. So that eliminates light source.

The flicker on my TV can be seen by everyone, its the Panasonic flicker that seems to depend person to person. Remember mine was witnessed by the Engineers on both PDPs I've had.

Power supply issues. I'd thought that actually. And annoyingly the Power Supply is the only part of the TV that doesn't get replaced (except the casing of course) when they change the PDP...

I had quite a bit of flickering again on the new PDP last night. Watched Silent Witness - which is generally quite dark. Although did have settings low. Set them higher and it happened less often.

Its more a one flick change of brightness though on this display, rather than a more constant 2-3 second flicker that the old one had.

Going to live with it for a few days till Bennetts get in touch to refund it, then decide then. Might see if Bennetts can get me a new one - try that out? Can't possibly get a duffer every time can I?

David
 

gstevenson

Active Member
I watched the Matrix on Blu Ray last night and it flickered once or twice per dark scene. This is dissapointing because it hadn't done it before with this source.

What no one has mentioned is that filter bright uses a sensor to measure ambient light and adjusts the gamma accordingly, so when I switched off the gamma setting I was hoping that this flicker would stop. I obviously didn't find the right setting so I'm going to set it back to 0.93 today. I am on about 400 hours now and it seems to be getting worse.

I am considering asking Dixons to send me a G10 instead but I am sensitive to flicker too (I could see it on my old Sony 100Hz CRT) so I need to go and see one in store.
 
Green sparklies on a plasma -especially LGs and Samsungs normally means theres something wrong with it - I have seen 2-3 year old LGs suffer from it...

I would say the screen is faulty - get rid now while you have the chance...
 

celticdaz

Active Member
I only get the flickering (in dark scenes, never light ones) with this TV, in Movie mode. Never get it with standard. I can live with it, because if it happens too much, I just turn off Movie mode.

Am hoping ( clutching at straws here) that Samsung can sort it it with a firmware update, but aint gonna hold my breath!

Flickering aside, great TV for the dosh paid.
 

kings monkey

Novice Member
Can you keep us updated david on how you get on with your new panel. Samsung engineers have been out to mine for a third time and are still clueless.They said they will report there findings to samsung technical department and i guess they will same with mine and change the panel.
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
Can you keep us updated david on how you get on with your new panel. Samsung engineers have been out to mine for a third time and are still clueless.They said they will report there findings to samsung technical department and i guess they will same with mine and change the panel.
I will do. I haven't been able to watch much of it this weekend I'm afraid due to prior comitments, but its looking ok, with just the odd single flick - rather than 2-3 second flicker. Will see how it goes over next few days.

David
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
hows your new panel david anymore dreaded flickers? Im still waiting to hear from samsung on my fate.
Sorry mate, still not had chance to watch it since last posting. Its on playing my burn in dvd but I'm too busy with other stuff at the mo.

Had Bennetts courier come round today trying to collect it!!! They'd not bothered confirming if they were or not.

Needless to say they got an email complaining and explaining what's gone on.

They've said I can keep the TV a few weeks pending the outcome of the new PDP but would keep the offer of the refund open (good of them). Just wondered if they'd wait till it was 11 months old ; )))

David
 

jpmatrix

Standard Member
So has anyone actually purchasd a Panny tx-p50u10?

How does it compare to the S10 as I hear its the same spec apart from an anti reflective screen and less connections.

I have 1 on delivery tommorow morning from JL at a mere 699 with the 5 years warranty. I cant wait.

I am mainly going to use it for Bluray films and SD.

I got a LCD samsung le40b530 in my bedroom at the moment so this will be my first plasma.

Will the 50u10 blow the le40b530 away in terms of picture quality / performance?

James
 

davidmbell

Novice Member
So has anyone actually purchasd a Panny tx-p50u10?

How does it compare to the S10 as I hear its the same spec apart from an anti reflective screen and less connections.

I have 1 on delivery tommorow morning from JL at a mere 699 with the 5 years warranty. I cant wait.

I am mainly going to use it for Bluray films and SD.

I got a LCD samsung le40b530 in my bedroom at the moment so this will be my first plasma.

Will the 50u10 blow the le40b530 away in terms of picture quality / performance?

James
I saw this tv in use at Costco and the reflection was really quite bad. I suggest if you can find one to look at, do so.

David
 

Chrippa

Standard Member
I have the PS-50B530 and I've noticed the flickering issue as well. It is mostly noticeable in darker scenes, although it can, sometimes, be seen in relatively bright scenes as well.

Here is quick way to see if a PS-50B530 suffers from the same problem as mine -- or to convince a service technician that something is indeed wrong, for that matter:

  1. Connect a PC to an empty HDMI port of the PS-50B530 and select that HDMI port as input source.
  2. Set "Picture->Mode" to "Movie".
  3. Set "Picture->Advanced Settings->Dynamic Contrast" to "Off".
  4. Set your PC to "extend these displays" and make its screen the main display. The start menu and various icons should reside on the PC screen.
  5. The Samsung should now show an all blue screen, with nothing on it.
  6. Now move the mouse cursor from the PC screen to the Samsung and back again. The blue background tone will stay exactly the same.
  7. Then, on your PC, set "Advanced settings->Monitor" to 50 or 24 Hz. (Default is 60 Hz.)
  8. Now move the mouse cursor from the PC screen to the Samsung and back again. The blue tone will now change to a lighter shade as the mouse cursor enters the Samsung screen, and it will revert back to the original, darker shade when it leaves.
So for some reason, in 24 or 50 Hz mode, the PS-50B530 gets confused when something bright enters an otherwise dark picture and decides that the light/contrast settings needs to be changed.

Yes, I've tried changing the computer, problem persists.
Yes, I've tried changing the graphics card, problem persists.
Yes, I've tried changing the HDMI cable for a much shorter one, problem persists.
Yes, I've tried watching only broadcast TV (50 Hz), problem persists.

No, I don't want to change "Picture->Mode" to "Normal" or "Dynamic". Or set "Dynamic Contrast" to "On". The flickering problem may go away, but so does the great picture which was the reason I bought this set in the first place.

So for the time being, I watch movies in 60 Hz mode, because the 3:2 judder bothers me less than the flickering problem.
 

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