Samsung LE23T51 - Review

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello Everyone,

On Friday I took delivery of a Samsung LE23T51 LCD and noting that there seems to have been some discussion of this model I decided to do a quick review. During this process I thought of the general interest in what the “best settings” are and so decided that I would do a thorough investigation of those as well.

The LE23T51
104764296_c4c23a3ba1.jpg



The display was ordered from PRC Direct for £420 on Thursday and was delivered on Friday at 11am. I have had some trouble with internet retailers lately so credit to PRC for actually fulfilling their delivery promises!

First impressions were that the package was lighter than expected but well designed and there were no rattles or shakes from inside the box. Always a good sign I think!

<Picture – The Box - Coming Soon!>

When I opened the package it was clear that the packaging was well thought out. Screen and stand were sandwiched between two layers of polystyrene and the remote etc were safely packed in their own box. There should be no worries about ordering this for courier delivery as it would take quite a bump to damage the screen and would be clearly visible as damage to the outer packaging.

<Picture – Inside the Box - Coming Soon!>

<Picture – Inside the inside Box - Coming Soon!>

The system is supplied with four cross head screws which can be used to attach the stand or fix a wall mount bracket. For testing I chose to just use the stand but I will come back to wall mounting later. The stand was easily attached. It just slips in to the space at the bottom of the screen as is fixed using the screws. The screws are only needed to prevent the stand falling off when the display is moved so I would recommend just using a few turns with the screwdriver. The stand is just relatively soft plastic and there is no need to risk chewing it up by over tightening these screws.

Ok everything was together – now it was time to fire it up!

When the set is powered on for the first time the plug and play menu appears. This is very intuitive and makes it very easy to get up and running if you are still making use of the included analogue tuner. I don’t have an aerial so I skipped this step and got down to testing the many other inputs that are included.

I have a Sencore VP401 video generator (http://www.sencore.com/vp400/index.htm) that can generate all of the various signals required to test this display. The first task was to run through the video inputs using multiburst and focus patterns to identify which offered the best performance. I was looking for the highest horizontal resolution and clearest focus. All tests in this review were performed with the dynamic contrast switched off. The inputs were tested using the displays default picture mode – Dynamic, Cool 1.

In order the best inputs for SD were found to be:

1. Component
2. S-Video
3. RGB
4. Composite

You will note the first surprise with this display. The RGB input performed very poorly – in fact it was only just better than the composite input. It is very possible that some people may prefer the image on the composite input so if using this display with a Sky system it would be worth switching between the PAL and RGB settings on the Sky box to see which is better to your eyes.

Performance on the S-Video input was a marked improvement. The image was much more stable with a significantly higher horizontal resolution. This would definitely be the choice for older DVD players that lack component outputs or for those lucky enough to have S-Video on their set-top boxes.

The PAL component input was head and shoulders above the rest though. The image was very stable and had the highest horizontal resolution by some margin. Those looking for the best image from existing set-top boxes would be advised to consider a JS-Tech RGB to Component transcoder to enjoy the best possible standard definition image on this display.

For international DVD fans it is worth noting that NTSC was supported on all inputs with no obvious impact on performance. It should be noted that I do not have any NTSC DVDs so was unable to test for judder on a moving picture.

With the best input identified it was time to investigate what the “best settings” would be. Settings are highly dependent on the environment that the display is being used in and the performance of each set will differ slightly. For best performance there is no substitute for an ISF calibration. For all that I can understand why people would be reluctant to spend £250 to calibrate a set costing £420!!! With all of this in mind I decided to only measure the performance of the various manufacturer picture modes. The display has three Picture Standards (Dynamic, Standard and Movie) and five Colour Tones (Cool 2, Cool 1, Normal, Warm 1 and Warm 2). The Picture Standards affect the contrast, brightness and colour controls with each control value reducing as you move through the standards. The Colour Tones move from very blue to almost acceptable! In total there are 15 combinations and each was profiled using my Sencore ColorPro IV colorimeter. See the attached spreadsheet for details of the grey scale tracking, luminance and gamma for each combination.

The default for the display is Dynamic – Cool 1. This setting has an average temp of around 16000K and a peak luminance of 112.6 foot lamberts! For reference my calibrated Samsung CRT has a peak luminance of closer to 26 foot lamberts!

My choice for the best setting is Standard – Warm 2. This offers decent grey scale, a more reasonable peak luminance of 71.83 foot lamberts and compromise gamma of 1.49. This setting is the best choice for the layman who just wants a decent picture without overdriving their display but much better performance can be achieved. I choose not to cover that but all of the data is there for others to discuss.

Next I decided to test the component input with some HDTV signals. This test revealed that the best choice for this display would be 720P. The 720P signal created a wonderfully stable clear image with very high horizontal resolution. The 1080i image seemed to lose a bit of detail and had a very noticeable and distracting shimmer. It is worth noting that 540P also supplied a wonderful picture with only the reduction in resolution counting against it. This is great news for those sticking with SD DVD players for the time being though.

It was now time to test the DVI input. The first thing to note with the DVI input is that it is not PC enabled. There is no EDID information which your PC would use to determine the supported resolutions. This means that the DVI is strictly for use as a digital video input.

Even in comparison with the analogue component at 720P the DVI input is clearly much superior. The picture is absolutely rock solid with very high resolution although again 720P performs better than 1080i.

Finally I tested the VGA input which must be used for PC input. This input supports a resolution up to 1360x768 at 60Hz. This is not one to one mapping unfortunately as the screen has a native resolution of 1366x768. The image ends up with two very thin black bars at each side but these are barely noticeable against the black surround of the display. The image from my laptop was very disappointing with obvious ghosting, however the image from the pattern was far better. I am convinced that this is much more to do wit poor performance from my lowly Intel 915 graphics card than anything else. The image from the pattern generator was absolutely superb – more than good enough for games or HD videos. I would hesitate before I used it as my main display though, as with all displays of this size the comparatively low DPI affects the clarity of text.


Neil
 

Attachments

  • AVDoctor.co.uk Report - Samsung LE23T51.xls
    38 KB · Views: 310

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just wanted to add that I have more detailed PDF reports on each picture standard - colour tone setting. PM me if you are interested.

I will also update with the results of a full ISF once the display has been run in for a hundred hours or so.

Neil
 
L

lance23

Guest
I have this set too. Great isn't it?

Glad you got good results from testing HD material on it.
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Very happy with it out of the box but wait til you see what it can do when properly calibrated ;)

As mentioned above I will update this thread with the full details once the set has a few more hours on it.

Neil
 

Genesis

Active Member
Great review ceenhad.

Thanks:thumbsup:

Has anyone else got information on this screen, if it gets the thumbs up I may purchase one this week.:rolleyes:
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Give me a shout if you need anything else.

I will try and update this review with the post calibration results sometime before the weekend. It is worth noting that I think the picture on this set can be improved dramatically with calibration. If you look at the graphs you will see that the colour temp at low light levels is miles out. Resulting in a slight warm orange tint in duller parts of the screen. Noticable in films like Lord of the Rings in the Shire scenes which are bit yellow instead of the vibrant green they should be.

Overall I have been very happy with this set though. A great buy for the money :)

Neil
 

The Codfather

Standard Member
Thanks for the great review, I've been looking at this set for a while now and it certainly seems great for the money.

PCR Direct's website doesn't seem to be appearing :/ but I noticed komplett.co.uk have it in stock for &#163;422.

Looking forward to the pics! and thanks again :D
 
S

soccerluv

Guest
Any chance of those final settings? Is this the tv used in the xbox360 kiosks, only the larger version?
 

evangelion

Active Member
Komplett are now showing it for £479.00, no stock, 5 expected 30 03 06.

I did a search for it, and Argos are expecting it within a week, however, I just had a flip through the latest makro mailshot, and low and behold , they're advertsing it being in stock from tomorrow (Weds. 29 03 06) and wait for it...

£369.99 :thumbsup: (or £434.74 incl. vat)

Which to say I've got a branch only a couple of miles away, is ideal for returning it in worst case scenario.

I feel an impulse buy coming on...
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I am still trying to define the best procedure for calibrating this display (been involved in bunch of other things lately though!) so the advice is still to use the Standard Warm 2 setting for the time being. All the DNR and dynamic contrast options should be switched off as they are just nasty!

Don't know if these are the same as used in the xBox but the 23 inch model is the smallest in this particular range.

It might be of interest to note that this display uses a Genesis Microprocessor which provides no less than Faroudja DCDi descaling! I am pretty surprised that they don't make more of this feature. The system architecture is based on a reference design used by many other makers which leads me to wonder how many current LCDs are actually running essentially the same internals! Wish I could afford a few more service manuals to find out...

At the price this display is starting to look like beter value by the day :)

Neil
 

joe90

Active Member
Ceenhad, I saw this unit at Richer Sounds today. Looked nice. Thought about an impulse buy, then decided to do a quick recon of the forums to see what I could discover.

Question: How does a layman - like me get the best calibration settings? I have a DigiFusion FVRT200 box feeding a tv with a QED Scart cable. This sounds like a lot of techno-type stuff (?) that totally rocks my head!

Great review by the way ... totally enjoyed your thoughts, though you didn't really say whether you liked it or not.

Joe
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hi Joe,

I am pretty happy with the set overall but the implementation of the hardware and software make it difficult to extract the very best performance out of it. This should be of no concern to anyone who is the market for a good value display with vibrant colours and reasonable black levels.

To get the best out of this display (or any other) the easiest thing you can do is get a copy of Digitial Video Essentials (often known as DVE) an follow through the steps it describes.

On the T51 you should go thhrough all of the picture modes and set the values as follows:

Contrast = 80
Brigtness = 50
Sharpness = 10
Colour = 50
Colour Tone = Warm2

This will give you four picture settings that will now give identical results. You can now use one of these settings for each of your inputs. As an example Use Dynamic for the DVD and just tweak the suggested settings to suit, Use standard for the PVR and tweak the settings for that device and so on.

You should end up with an even colour across all sources and the contrast and brightness set up spot on to compensate for differences between devices.

HTH,

Neil
 
B

bonc

Guest
Thanks for all this research Ceenhead! - well done...

but forgive my ignorance when I say....

23 inches, does any of it really matter anyway!!!! :eek:
 

fatgit

Standard Member
Just got mine today from TribalUK, 3 days later than it should be because Business Post said they had tried to deliver when they hadn't, but TribaUK support were excellent - phone answered fast, and by a human (very rare these days).

I hooked it up to the 360 via component, and I must say it looks very nice, but I did notice some ghosting on text, and nothing seemed to alter that.
I have the settings as recommended by Ceenhad.

One thing I am noticing on RF, is there's quite a bit of motionblur at times, which I didn't notice via component. I'll see what happens when I get a longer SCART lead.

I couldn't get a wall mount locally to fit a 100mm*200mm VESA E for under a ton, so I cheated, and bought a glass shelf kit from Focus for £19 :)
 

ionex

Standard Member
fatgit, I'm thinking of buying this one mainly for my 360 and PC.

The only thing worrying me is the ghosting on text. Did you manage to get rid of it?
 
L

lance23

Guest
ionex said:
fatgit, I'm thinking of buying this one mainly for my 360 and PC.

The only thing worrying me is the ghosting on text. Did you manage to get rid of it?
I don't get any ghosting with PC by VGA.
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
When I used my laptop VGA output the quality was mince - ghosting was very much evident!

When testing with the pattern generator though everything was razor sharp. The only conclusion was that my graphics card just wasn't quite up to the task of running the LCD as an extended desktop.

Out of all the analogue connections RF is by far the worst and Component by far the best so I would hope that you would notice some clear difference between them!
 

nero0410

Distinguished Member
I have the 32" model of this set and use it for a PC moniter and for my 360 as well as tv, and have not expierenced any ghosting at all through VGA connections:confused:

tris
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
This an issue with the PC graphics card and not the display :)

Most desktop cards seem to be ok but some laptop cards still struggle, for example the integrated Intel cards.
 

fatgit

Standard Member
I haven't tried VGA yet, only SCART, composite, component and RF.

I've noticed similar issues with text on my Epson TW10H projector via component, where it has a slight ghosting on both Xbox and Xbox 360.

I played The Matrix in 1080i earlier via component, and the picture was pretty good, but there was still a little motion blur evident.

My main source is a Humax PVR9200T freeview box, which looks pretty awful tbh, but I was expecting that after reading about freeview on HD sets due to upscaling.
NTL via SCART is a lot better than freeview, and RF is pretty sucky :p

TBH, I hardly watch anything on a TV as I prefer the projector, so it's the wife that will be watching it during the day, so we can probably live with it.

I'd love to connect my PC to it, but I'd need a 15m VGA lead :eek:
 

Neil Davidson

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
I wonder if the ghosting on text could be helped by dropping the sharpness? You should be backing this down to no more than 10 - perhaps as low as 0.
 

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