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Samsung LE32/26R41BD Ultimate Guide

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by AgentCool, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. AgentCool

    AgentCool
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    If you're in the market for a Samsung LE26R41BD/LE32R41BD and you're looking for the definitive guide to its strengths and weaknesses you may be thinking this post will clear all of that up. Unfortunately it won't as I'm in the same situation. However, I'm hoping that the people who own this set (either in 26 or 32 inch varieties) will supply a bit of feedback to make this thread the only place potential buyers need to look to get the closure they need before buying. I ask because this model is clearly very popular given its large forum presence but there's no one place to look for details regarding its performance in certain areas.

    I'll give a few ideas for things to talk about:

    1) Built-in analogue/Freeview performance
    2) RGB Scart performance for Sky/DVD/Games Consoles
    3) 480i/480p/576i/576p/720p/1080i performance through Component and HDMI with both HD material and upscaled DVDs.
    4) VGA input for computers (particularly performance at 1024x768 & 1360x768)
    5) Performance of image enhancers (DNIe) on all inputs and sources

    Any input owners of this model have would be much appreciated, not only by me but many others no doubt!
     
  2. gavan

    gavan
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    Alternatively you could just try reading and searching these forums. All your points (excepting possibly point 5) have been discussed, some at great depth, over the last month or two.

    gav
     
  3. featherbrain

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    Nevertheless, it would be nice to have all of the pertinent info (sans griping about suppliers and firmware fixes) in one convenient place, so thanks to the thread starter.

    My tuppenny's worth, touching on some of the listed questions:

    After owning the LE32R41BD for a few weeks now, one thing I've never found myself worrying about or noticing much is compression artefacts from Freeview or other sources, but that's because I sit at a comfortable viewing distance (3 x screen diagonal size) and keep the picture settings at sensible levels. Much more problematic is the generally incorrect colour balance on all inputs, which can be seen most clearly when using a calibration DVD such as DVE. This seems to be a problem common to all LCDs, though, compared with CRTs.

    I have spent literally HOURS fiddling with the settings in the main menu (and the service menu!) to correct colour problems, but to no real effect. The real problem is not being able to adjust each RGB channel directly (apart from gain and offset in white balance). Most annoying, and could have easily been provided as a feature, I feel. My eyes are getting used to the different colour experience gradually, but it still niggles that I'm seeing Samsung's idea of what the picture should look like rather than that of the film/programme makers.

    Surprisingly, I've been most disappointed by the PQ over HDMI from a Samsung HD850 upscaling DVD player. Cheapo, I know, but I was still expecting much more from HDMI beyond the convenience of freeing up my other connections. Contrast and black levels are poor, especially on 720p, which has a narrow dynamic range (no BtB), washes out colour brightness and softens the image far too much for my taste. The overall effect is of a dull and flat picture lacking depth compared with the more vibrant image through component. In fact, I've gone back to using my Sony PAL progressive DVD player via component, as this also has a decent video equalizer that tweaks colour, contrast, brightness and hue settings very effectively. But I'll need the component connection for the new Xbox - if the DVD upscaling is any good and it has a decent set of software controls, I may dump my other players just to keep life simple.

    So, while this set is a great buy overall, if you're a settings junkie like me, be prepared for many niggles and much fretting.
     
  4. Sami

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  5. featherbrain

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    Yes.

    They should know.
     
  6. bonc

    bonc
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    Featherbrain...

    Why are you adjusting the settings, what exactly are you noticing wrong with the sets picture??????????????????????????????????

    I am on my second set and have not touched service menu at all - I am just happy enough as it is (ok course bearing in mind the limitations of LCDS)

    one thing I have noticed, have you ever realised how some adverts look absolutely great, faces spot on and vibrant quality pics abound - looks like a whole different source!

    I can only think any picture quirks are the limitation of some of the freeview programmes we are watching rather than the LCD panel itself (compression levels etc)!
     
  7. Raze

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    I think this may be more a reflection on the DVD player and not the LCD ;)

    I did a quick test of this set via componants on a toshiba 150e and was very impressed by the quality :) and I was 'comparing it' (from memory) to a toshiba 36" picture frame CRT...
     
  8. ceescd1

    ceescd1
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    Hi,
    I've had my 26incher for a week now. Got it nextday delivered from Waratah for £611, can't recommend them enough. Heidi was very helpful.
    It was purchased for the spare room - mainly for use with my (chipped) xbox. It replaced a 12yr old Sony 25" CRT. My main tv is a Philips 32PW9617 and although not a great comparsion for a 26" LCD, it is all I can offer. I have an external aerial in addition to SKY+.
    Most of my sentiments have already been echoed by posters on other threads but in the interests of completeness here goes:


    digital tuner - I show a signal strength of 87 and digital performance is impressive on a decent, high bandwidth channel (eg c5). On the poorer, more heavily compressed channels, picture is very soft (eg itv2). There is no doubt that a display of this resolution really shows up the flaws inherent in low bitrate broadcasts, much more so than my philips crt - even though it is 6 inches smaller. If you are mainly buying this set for a livingroom tv watching sky/freeview then you maybe disappointed (and I'm talking 26" - I'd exect the flaws to be more apparent on the 32"). But if you only have 600/850 quid to spend and this is a major issue for you, then perhaps you shouldn't be looking at lcd technology at this time?

    analogue tuner - picture is slightly darker than on digital and slightly softer but perfectly acceptable, although sometimes a tad grainy.

    rgb scart - I've had sky and the xbox through this. What struck me first was the perfect geometry an eveness of colours (compared to my crt) No complaints so far.

    component - I have my xbox connected through a cheapo 3rd party lead from darkplanets (waiting on the M$ one coming - but dvdboxoffice ran out of stock) I have to say that I've not been blown away - perhaps I was expecting too much but its certainly not a vhs-dvd style clarity jump, not even a composite-rgb scart one. The only 720p game I’ve tested is soul caliber 2 and while not 16:9@720p – it is stunning. Ivy looks better than ever! See that raises anticipation for the x360 bigstyle! xbmc@720p is magnificent - I still need to do more testing but so far I've watched my usual test dvds (matrix, SW EP:II etc) and been very impressed.

    No hmdi kit as yet, and going to test laptop connectivity tomorrow.

    sharpness - on every input I've had to increase the sharpness to at least 75. Perhaps pixelplus on my crt has skewed my viewing tastes?

    pip - felt cheated that it only works on hdmi or pc input. Was looking forward to previewing different broadcast sources simultaneously (ie showing off!) Not a big deal though - just a warning.

    skin tones - the one thing I just can't get right. I tried the low pink/high green setting but that made it even worse! Need to play about a bit more I think.

    tearing - yip I get it! Not only through xbmc@720p, but after playing far cry instincts for a bit, I'm seeing a similar effect there@480p - not saying it is the same thing - needs further investigation. Anyone else seen this? I'm waiting on my update kit arriving.

    blacks - A predominantly dark source, doom3 on xbox for example, shows the blacks for what they really are - grey. This is something you can either live with or you can't. I actually find the darks better during the day, its in a totally dark room that they start to fade and you lose detail from shadows etc. Doom3 on my PC CRT was darker but the darks still had more detail.

    sound - I actually find the srs sound adequate. Does a half decent job of widening the soundstage without making it 'weird'. But bass is lacking and treble gets harsh at loud volumes - what did you expect??!!

    football - pixel plus on my 32" crt tends to get very confused by football, and I'm pleased to say the samsung has no such troubles. Not ghosting of the ball, no shuddering or jerky movement on big pans etc. (but obviously this depends on the source - SS1 looks much better than ITV2 etc) The trotters game on c5 yesterday looked very green (the whole screen, not just the pitch before some smartass points that out!!) and I panicked, but sure enough it was the same on the other tv.

    Overall I'm pleased with my purchase - for the money, I don't believe I could do better. It looks smart, is future proof for a while and gives a lovely bright, colourful image from a decent source. I would advocate a thorough viewing/demo of this screen if you can though - every person who has been round to see mine so far has had a different opinion. But the father-in-law is about to order a 32" one so it can't be that bad!

    If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask!
     
  9. WoodWorker

    WoodWorker
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    You have said your signal strength is 87, my sky signal only goes to half way on the scale, is this normal?
     
  10. alexanderbsmith

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    Personally I am a bit confused by all the models - I know BD means with digital tuner but what is different with the BDX? When I look at some outlets on the web they don't mention DNIE for the latter - does anyone know if they both have DNIE and am I worrying about nothing!! Thanks.
     
  11. ceescd1

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    Sorry - I was talking about the TV's built-in digital tuner. My sky+ signals are about 3/4 the way up though - and I haven't ever had a problem - sh*t channels still look sh*t!
     
  12. featherbrain

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    If you're happy with the PQ, then I'm loathe to point out it's design faults in case it spoils things for you! If you really can't resist knowing, then just check out the RGB calibration with DVE, or hook it up to a CRT as monitor and compare. You'll see what I mean ...

    And this has nothing to do with the players used, believe me. My problems with the HD850 are separate.

    You're right about adverts, though, they're very often better quality than the programmes in terms of compression and colour brightness, etc. What does that tell you about the priorities of commercial TV channels?
     
  13. chriszzzzzz

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    I think your only problem is that you have fiddled about that much and have set in your mind that this TV is from the devil and has so many design faults that you will never be happy with it. You want HD before HD has arrived.
    You are searching for perfection and you will never find it. CRT's to me have become unwatchable because I got fixated on the geometry and could not watch any set without looking for it.
    As a matter of interest does anyone just watch Telly these days? Or, do people just buy them to play games on??
     
  14. featherbrain

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    No, I'm very happy with the set overall for the price, sorry if that wasn't clear. And I *definitely* won't be going back to CRT again after enjoying the stable image and faultess geometry of LCD (no more headaches!).

    I find standard def TV very watchable on the set, and my Sony HDR/DVD does a lovely job over component, much better than my old Panny CRT. This is what I was worrying about the most before I bought it, and yet am now happiest with, to my surprise. What's disappointing so far is:

    1) RGB decoding, this is a very specific problem of colour fidelity on all sources which has nothing to do with whether the source is HD or not. I should imagine that most people either wouldn't notice or care about this in the slightest, apart from maybe feeling that something is a bit off with skin tones. But I'm a stickler for accurate colour, and this set doesn't deliver it. Don't take my word for it: the colour filters with DVE do not lie.

    2) DVD & HDMI: here I was perhaps expecting too much from pre-HD content and players. Still, it isn't hi-def resolution that's the issue but colour balance, black levels and general flatness of the image, i.e. picture processing. This is especially disappointing given that I'm using a Samsung upscaling player with a Samsung HD-ready set over one of its main selling points - the HDMI connection.

    I should also add that my laptop over D-Sub/VGA looks fab, even though colour and brightness levels can't be adjusted for this source (why on earth not, I wonder?). But this isn't a problem if you know how to adjust PQ via the video card.

    Anyway, back to enjoying good old standard-def TV, warts'n'all. You've heard enough from me on this thread! Let's get those questions in the first post answered for everyone else.
     
  15. bonc

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    Feather Brain,

    As you know, I have my reservations about this set (you get what you pay for)!

    However, I am interested in your findings with the DVE disc (I have this also)- what exactly (ie. title) did you go to to test the RGB settings? - you mention filters? - tell me its not as simple as looking thorough the colour filters at the screen??

    p.s all - my post on Drpetes setup - most of you have read it, but no comments - do you all have this kinda setup, how have you not damaged your ears by now!!!!?
     
  16. davidac

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    I have't got this set yet but have looked through the pdf manual at the colour settings (I am interested in buying one). Can the "Colour Weakness" menu be used to adjust the RGB levels so they are balanced? i.e. increase the red and blue, then reduce the overall colour level in the "Picture Mode" menu to reduce green push.
     
  17. chriszzzzzz

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    Green push???? What Green push. Theres no such thing on my Set no matter how much I look or ask others to look.
    If people need to run a Test DVD to find out if there are any problems with the set in anyway, then the problem can't be that bad to start with. The problem is people get these DVD's and tend to bang them straight in and find all sorts of problems they didn't know were there in the first place.
    Either that or they all have faulty sets...... :suicide: :D
     
  18. davidac

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    I am only going by what I have read on this forum. As I said I havn't got the LCD yet and was a bit put off by some of the green push comments (there is even a thread on it).
     
  19. bonc

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    Two types of people in this world...

    those who seek perfection, and those that settle with what they got.....
     
  20. tjradiohead

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    Thats why im looking for a good demo of this set :rolleyes:
     
  21. Dexstroyer

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    I have had my Samsung LE26R51BDX for about 2 weeks now. One thing I have noticed viewing through Sky is that I seem to have noticable vertical lines on the screen when connected with a scart cable. When I changed it to a coax they were no where near as bad? I have changed the sky box setup menus to PAL and widescreen and have noticed an improvement, will a gold scart cable make much difference? I want to make the most of this TV mainly for the Xbox 360 but also for normal TV and PC. Is it best to change my graphics card to enable the use of the HDMI/DVI for the Pc connection?

    Cheers.
     
  22. Sami

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    JUst ordered this TV, but have a quick question.. is the VGA input on this TV Component compatible?
     
  23. Solomon Grundy

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    I am impressed with my 26" set...the Sky picture is great on every channel via the SCART cable. I also use it as a PC monitor and the quality of the image is brilliant there too. I am very, very happy with this set and it looks ten times cooler than all the others on the market!

    I don't understand the technical stuff mentioned here, I don't want to know really as it is a tad boring, all I know is that I do not regret shelling out £598 for this TV/monitor...it is brilliant and it will be even better when my xbox 360 is hooked up to it in a month or so!
     
  24. tjradiohead

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    Well i finally managed to blag myself a Demo of this set, and i have decided not to buy it.
     
  25. DaveAnderson

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    TJ, can you shed any light on why you ruled it out. I'm down to this, the Panny 52/500 and the Tosh 58.
     
  26. Earthworm48

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    I got my 26 incher yesterday and I can only try my Sky and Xbox over RGB scart on it, and the picture on the sky looks pretty poor and has some set fixed lines on the screen at all time, and on the xbox there are similiar lines that move most of the time, I've seen similiar lines on xbox shots that other people have taken though, so id this a general thing with the set or is it just mine and its busted?
     
  27. tjradiohead

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    I managed to test my DVD player with component connections, and the night before i had tested the same dvd player with a panasonic PHD8 (yes, i am aware of the price difference...). The two were worlds apart. The way i see it, the samsung is fine with HD material, it looks great, but it just doesnt cut it with regards to SD material, including DVD via component. From my demos etc i dont think it is just this panel that suffers, but LCD's in general.

    Just my opinion of course, but i was bitterly dissapointed. If you watch DVD's on your 17/19" pc TFT, dont expect the samsung to come close.
     
  28. chriszzzzzz

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    Sorry to hear that TJ. I have just finished watching 'Saving Private Ryan' again!! and it was absolutely faultless on my set. Also Freeview is unexpectedly good. Even the analogue signal blows away most opponents.
    I am begining to believe I have been blessed with a very good panel. Still the nature of forums is that complaints will always out do complements as most people find the forums while looking for answers to problems...
    Good Luck. :)
     
  29. bonc

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    have to agree with Chriszzzz on that one!
     
  30. WhiteHartMart

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    Have to say I'm chuffed to bits with the 26" version I just purchased.

    Wasn't especting too much using a standard xbox through RGB scart but the pq is not as bad as feared. Son't have any of the lines that some others have experienced.

    Hooked it up to my PC this morning, got an ancient gfx card but luckily it supported a res pretty close to the Sammy panel - used teh auto adjustment as the left side of the pic was a couple of mm out and wow what a result - absolutley stunning - hope this is a taste of how good this tv will be with the xbox 360 :thumbsup:
     

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