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Samsung LE32R41BD - a big pile of pants!

Discussion in 'LCD & LED LCD TVs' started by Jim Barry, Oct 6, 2005.

  1. Jim Barry

    Jim Barry
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    I just got hold of the Samsung LE32R41BD after waiting a couple of weeks for it to come into stock at DigiUK. I am planning to get a media centre PC and I bought the set on the basis that it supports PC input at 1360x768 - acceptably close to the native resolution of 1366x768.

    The initial impressions were quite encouraging. The main menus were crisp and the picture from the analogue tuner looked reasonably good. However, after scanning for digital channels, I was shocked at the abysmally poor quality of the DTV picture. Edges within the image had the dreaded "halos" that result from sharpening filters. Even with the sharpness control turned down to zero, the picture still looked terrible. The result was the same on SCART input from my DVD player and external Freeview box. The DTV programme info text also looked really bad, almost as though it was being converted to an analogue signal and back again. Perhaps the TV is actually faulty. If not, I am at a loss to understand how anybody could consider this dire picture quality to be acceptable.

    I noticed in passing that there is no 14:9 picture mode, which is a bit of a shame for folks using the analogue tuner (given that widescreen material is commonly broadcast at 14:9 on analogue).

    The real killer for me, however, is that the only available refresh rate for PC input modes is 60 Hz - there is no support for the 50 Hz modes needed for fluid playback of PAL material. This is despite the fact that I rang Samsung before placing the order, specifically telling them that I wanted to use the TV with a PC running Windows MCE. They said yes, it supports 50 Hz, no problem. They lied.

    Fortunately, DigiUK were pretty good about it and have agreed to take the TV back and give me a full refund. I am now back to square one, looking for an LCD TV that supports PC input at the native resolution at both 50 and 60 Hz. Does such a thing exist? And what kind of stupid resolution is 1366x768 anyway? 1366 is not divisible by 8 so is not compatible with computer graphics cards. Of course I realize that 1366x768 is a 16:9 widening of the standard XGA resolution 1024x768. But why oh why can't the LCD TV industry get its act together and start manufacturing LCD panels at 1280x720, which corresponds to an actual HDTV format, and is readily supported by media centre PCs?
     
  2. RockySpieler

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    Are you sure it does not accept 720p50 (i.e. 720x1280 @ 50Hz)?

    You may need to change settings to DVI-Video or VGA-Video on the Samsung to achieve this (At least that's what I have to do "on my TEVION").

    I agree that it probably does not do 768p50, very few LCD's do.
     
  3. Jim Barry

    Jim Barry
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    I didn't see any 50 Hz modes when connected via the D-sub. It may well support 720p50 through the HDMI connector, I dont know. However, that would be of little use, as the picture would be stretched from 1280x720 to 1366x768 so I would not get the 1:1 pixel mapping required for decent results with a media PC.
     
  4. theking

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    You can set up a custom resolution with powerstrip in windows, would that not get your 1:1 pixel mapping over dvi?
     
  5. Moily

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    I think it must be your set at fault. The DTV on my L32R41BDX is spot on, and the info text is as crisp and sharp as any PC TFT. Given that the info text looks terrible on yours, it probably means it's not your signal at fault but probably the set itself?

    Either that, or the combination of picture settings you've got is making it look dodgy. Try doing a 'reset' in the picture menu and checking it again - the info text should look perfect. If not, I'd be looking at getting a replacement.
     
  6. andrewfee

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    Freeview just looks like that. It's the way the signal is encoded on most of the channels - loads of edge enhancement, compression etc. (especially BBC channels) It looks that bad on a CRT.

    As for 50Hz over VGA - I'm not aware of a single LCD display out there that will do this. (I've only seen ancient CRT Monitors support it; newer ones generally don't) It's my understanding that VGA should only be 60Hz or higher, which is why it's not supported.

    If it was for video use, and this sounds like the case; you should have sent 1280x720 @ 50Hz over HDMI, rather than native res over VGA.
     
  7. LV426

    LV426
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    Try seeing if this Edge Enhancement is present on

    a) menus etc from external source devices
    b) Text services on Freeview.

    If no - then you probably are seeing stuff that's there in the broadcast; if yes then it seems the TV is doing it.
     
  8. psikey

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    I have an Nvidia 6100XL with VGA & DVI out. When connected to the PC via SVGA it automatically set the resoultion to that of the TV i.e.1366x768 and was absolutely awesome! Just like an LCD monitor but bigger!

    The HDMI connection makes the 1366x768 screen be 720P format which takes it away from native resoultion & with all the options or native/underscan/overscan does to look as good as via the SVGA but still perfect for movie playback.

    Regarding the built in DTV & Sky, I notice the weakness in the low quality digital signals that I bararely noticed on my old 29" 4:3 CRT but now look obvious on the Samsung giving you a feeling its of poor quality. But, It seems daft to buy old technology on the advent of HD and for me with the arrival of XBox & PS3, I can live with the poorer quality TV signals for now.

    I watched some HD trailers via PC VGA connection and they are amazing.
     
  9. Jim Barry

    Jim Barry
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    Well, I think I figured out the deal with 60 Hz. The problem is how to display 25 deinterlaced frames in 60 monitor refreshes. That means showing 5 frames in 12 refreshes, which could be achieved by showing frame 1 twice, frame 2 three times, frame 3 twice, frame 4 three times, and finally frame 5 twice. Presumably this scheme avoids any obvious judder, though it hardly seems ideal.

    Of course I would still like the DTV and SCART sources to produce an acceptable picture. From comments here and elsewhere, the picture quality should be a lot better than what I am seeing. So I think I going to try taking my hard disk recorder down to Comet and seeing whether it looks any better on their display model.
     
  10. David Mackenzie

    David Mackenzie
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    This is another thing that helped me send it back. All of the inputs except for the excellent VGA in were edge enhanced even at the lowest setting :thumbsdow If you think it's bad, hook something up over Composite and gasp at the halo'd-up mess.
     
  11. Jim Barry

    Jim Barry
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    Thanks for that - so it's not just me then. I guess some people aren't sensitive to edge "enhancement", but to my eye it is highly irritating. I've sent back the Samsung and will probably stick with my Sony KV32FQ75 (which has a great picture) for the time being. I mainly wanted to change to a flat panel for reasons of space. Did you manage to find another LCD TV with decent low-def inputs?
     
  12. chriszzzzzz

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    Don't know about your techy stuff the converting etc...But, I think you have a faulty set. DTV, analogue and DVD are all excellent on mine. No 'edge enhancements', no blur, in fact it's a joy to own.
    Then again I bought it as a TV.. :D
     
  13. Jim Barry

    Jim Barry
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    Well, I sent the set back straight away for a refund. And to DigiUK's credit (pun intended) they refunded me within a few days. I was auditioning the Sharp P50 the other day at Currys, and I just had to have a go with the Samsung on display there. Same thing - even with the sharpness control turned down to zero, light coloured text had an unpleasant dark edge, and vice versa. So barring an extraordinary coincidence, it wasn't a fault - they're all that way. I really don't know how people can put up with a picture like that.

    BTW I have completely given up on the idea of HTPC for now. It's great for Americans, where 60 fps (OK, 59.94 fps) NTSC programming maps directly to a 60 Hz monitor refresh. But for the UK, I don't think HTPC is ready yet.
     

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