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Samsung SP46L6 - Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'General TV Discussions Forum' started by AndoverRed, Oct 30, 2005.

  1. AndoverRed

    AndoverRed
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    I have been the proud owner of a Samsung SP46L6 for almost a week now and on the whole I am pleased with the display.

    Here are my initial thoughts.

    Pros :smashin:

    Good aesthetics - This is a nice looking display and the supplied stand is a good size. It houses my large centre speaker, ntl box, and Xbox.
    Blacks & Whites - Both blacks and whites are strong on all input sources.
    Cable PQ - This is surprisingly good on the whole, although the quality does vary depending on the channel and programme viewed.
    Component - With a high quality, chunky Mark Grant cable in place, the component input is bloody marvellous.
    Sound - I think the sound is very good for a TV. The bass is particularly impressive.

    Cons :thumbsdow

    Cable PQ - PQ is variable depending on the quality of the broadcast.
    Oil Painting Effect - The biggest problem I have found is with faces being somewhat smeared. The impact of the smearing relates to the above. I have noticed this effect on DVDs also.
    Rainbows - I have not seen much in the way of rainbows to be honest, certainly not to an extent where my viewing pleasure is impacted.

    I have not tried the HDMI input yet, as I have no source! :(

    I may try the ntl box through the PC input, via a RGB-to-VGA converter. Not too sure if this will improve the PQ much though.

    I have not seen the green tint problem that has been highlighted in a recent review. I know some people have found the greens too strong and have literally turned them off.

    On the whole this is a good display for the money. There are problems, but what display for under £2,000 does not have issues? I would not say that this set is better than the similarly priced Sony 3LCD, just different. Audition both and take your pick.

    Regards

    Mark
     
  2. slackbladder

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    Well I guess I should give my opinion too since I've had mine since last Thursday!

    Yes, I like the way it looks. Not as enigmatic as the 50L7 but nice. I like the dark surround and the shiny Samsung badge.
    On component and HDMI. - Colours I think are good and contrast is good. The only let down for me are dark scenes which become grey and detail becomes lost. All too often everything blends into one grey lump accross the screen.

    Sound is good. The SRS works well and is nice and clear. Pretty good bass too.

    Not noticed a green tint. Played R1 "Spirited Away" on HDMI in (upscaled) 1080i and it looked great. Strong colours, no bleed, good darks. Better than component Prog Scan. Prog Scan is good too but not as good as 1080i.

    As for Sky via Scart (a fairly decent Profigold scart) - Generally pleased. As good as and sometimes better than my old Toshiba 42WH38 that this TV replaced. No serious problems with picture. Some channels obviously suffered.

    As for smearing the only time this is a problem (and only a slight one) is when it is a dark scene. If there are shadows falling on someones face and the scene is dark there will be smearing. Also pinks on faces can look smeary, but again only if the scene is predominantly dark. It varies and it happens on Sky and DVD.To be honest it's not horrendous but I've never seen it before so it'll take a little getting used to.

    Rainbows. I can see them but rarely. No one else can see them either (phew!). In fact when playing games I never see them. DVD is generally free of them too. It does appear more on Sky but never a problem.

    Oh I can also vouch there is no problem with delay in games or sound synching etc.

    Oddities. - When I first used it there seemed to be a delay in the images on Sky feed - as if a few frames were missing. However I have'nt seen it since.
    When I turn the tv off the screen goes blank (but is still on) for a few seconds and then switches off. Is this normal?
    When watching something in 1080i (upscaled via HDMI from the Sammy HD950 and from my US PS2 playing GT4 via component) I sometimes get what's best described as "screen bounce" - it's as if the pic jumps from top to bottom but very quickly and settles again. Usually this happens every 40 minutes or so fairly regularly. Is there a problem with my TV?

    Anyway, am I happy? Yes I am. Though I'm a little disappointed in the blacks in dark scenes (reading the end titles from a Star Wars film you can hardly see the stars) and a little perturbed about the 1080i screen jumping it's a great tv, certainly the best I've ever owned. Yet to take full advantage of it as I don't have any true HD material to view on it (not until I get a 360 or PS3 anyway) it makes a fine job of what is already available. :smashin:
     
  3. polygon_monkey

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    I've had mine for a week now as well. Hello fellow SPXXL6HX owners. I feel we are getting drowned by the mass of Sony posts lately ;)

    First thing I was suprised by was the quality of freeview. I thought it would look a lot worse. The freeview box menu's were a bit fuzzy and solid colors had a strange pattern to them but only if you looked close. I realised on Saturday that I hadn't set my box to output RGB and that sorted the menu fuzzyness and solid color problems straight away. One weird thing is that now and again (I think it's only happened twice) the sound will go out of sync with the picture. Happened on last wednesdays Grand Designs. After an ad break or two it sorted it's self. I have my sound going through an external amp (from the sources, not the tv) and that's the only sound lag I've noticed.


    I'm still awaiting on component cables for all my consoles. On black loading screens things look kind of grainy, but when you're in the game it's fine. On the Xbox at least. The PS2 looks pretty horrible but I guess that's how the PS2 is. Can't wait to try them with component. Haven't tried the Gamecube yet but my component cables should be here for that first so I'll leave it till then. Haven't noticed any lag as such. Finished God of War on it on saturday with no problems and have been playing Ratchet & Clank and Dead or Alive : Ultimate with no issues.

    DVDs look great upscaled to 720p. I think it handles blacks pretty well. It certainly had no issue with Batman Begins. Terminator 2 looked stunning. Was watching fellowship of the ring last night and that looked great too. I have noticed the odd bit of the oil paint effect but it's very infrequent and not something that bothers me as it's not major (mainly just at the high point of someones cheeks).

    Once I'd figured out how to resize the image on the TV, my PC through HDMI is stunning. Hi-Def material just shines on this set. So far I've tried underworld, band of brothers, lost and various hi-def trailers.

    I really can't wait to get my Xbox 360 for games to run at 720p cause that's the only slight downside to the TV at the moment.

    Oh yeah, haven't noticed any green tint either.
     
  4. slackbladder

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    I'm wondering if there's something in the service menu that can affect the black level on my SP46.
    Currently I have contrast up high and brightness at medium to get a good distinction between blacks.
    On Standard pic - contrast 85, brightness 48, sharpness 50 and colour 51.
    On Dynamic the contrast is a little lower. Seriously if contrast is lower than 70 it gets very wishy-washy. Contrast that high does'nt seem right but it's the best setting for me.
    My tv or me? I have only ever has CRT's before this including a 42" Toshiba rear projection CRT. Maybe I'm expecting too much?

    And no one else has had their 1080i pic "flicker" or bounce? It happens on HDMI and Component - sometimes only once in 2 hours or sometimes twice in one! It bothers me.
    Guess I'll call Samsung about it!
     
  5. mr_sockochris

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    I have the bounce thing in 1080i through HDMI on mine (Samsung HD950 dvd player), it's a bit annoying but I can live with it. I stuck it on 720p instead last night which looks identical to me anyway and I don't recall it happening once so I'll just keep it set to that I think. Let me know what Samsung say if you do ring them about it :)
     
  6. polygon_monkey

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    I watched revenge of the sith last night and had no problem seeing the stars :confused:
     
  7. Gary Skillman

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    I`ve also had my sp46l6 for a couple of weeks very happy with it, bought home cinema choice mag today they have a review of it for some reason they only gave it 3 and a half stars not a very good review anyone else seen it?
     
  8. slackbladder

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    Well to be honest I can see them but really it does'nt look like a night sky. But as I've only had CRT tv's before this maybe I'm expecting too much. Like I say I can live with it. But it's just a shame I can't get it darker because then it would be perfect!

    Will do. It is a little strange because it never happend once during Revenge of the Sith yet happend two or three times whilst watching the Bonus Disc. :confused:
    I'm going to watch a few more DVD's tonight and if it happens too frequently I'll call Samsung.
     
  9. slackbladder

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    No, not read it. Heard people talk about it, particulalrly a supposed green tint to the PQ. Personally I can't see it. Colours like Green, Blue and Pink can be adjusted in My Colour Control. If anything the Pinks are too high on my set.
    Also said that the picture was lacking brightness I think. But I'm happy with the brightness of my set unless you bring contrast down below 65 though. Still I'm more than happy with it.
    Really my only gripe is the blacks and greys. What little smearing there is is generally the result of the lack of definition between blacks and greys, particularly on peoples face in a dark scene.
    What did it say about black levels I wonder?
     
  10. Gary Skillman

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    The review said good black levels he also says the shots of earth from space that open armageddon are of the richest, deepest portrayals of space he has seen on a dlp tv this year.
     
  11. slackbladder

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    Thanks for that!
    Now that's odd. Either I need to get a grip or my TV needs adjusting. Maybe I need to see someone elses SP46 in action?
     
  12. witters

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    Has anyone tried setting this TV up with Digital Video Essentials or similar?
     
  13. Gary Skillman

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    Thanks Slackbladder
     
  14. Starfleet

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    Slackbladder

    Do you think if i turned the pinks down it should tone down the oil painting effect most peoples faces have??? :cool:
     
  15. slackbladder

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    Well I have and it helps a little though to be honest it may be just as good to knock the colour down to 49 or 48.
    But really it's only when there are shadows on faces or a face is in half light I notice it. Don't think it can be done away with altogether.

    Not me. I've only used the basic THX set up from Star Wars DVD's etc. I'd like to get this DVE or the other one, AVIA is it(?) a go. Not too sure what they do exactly.
     
  16. Tarbat

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    I've used Avia and THX. Both gave similar results, and I use the following settings:
    Contrast 75
    Brightness 53
    Sharpness Anything, seems to make no difference. I use the default values.
    Colour 35

    In my experience, the Brightness setting has the biggest impact on the picture from a Sky+ box, just moving it by a couple of clicks can dramatically change the picture quality.
     
  17. logistics

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    Have any of you recent owners of the SP46 experienced any problems with eyestrain/headaches while viewing. I have one of these sets on order and was aware of 'rainbows' which I am not susceptible to but have now found that some owners of DLP sets find eyestrain a problem so now I have concerns.
     
  18. slackbladder

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    I do see rainbows ever so slightly but ultimately very rarely. Only on B+W films etc do they stand out. As for eye strain I have no problem, either with Sky or DVD or games. I sit a good 9' away directly in-line with the set.

    That's quite a low colour setting. Does it help with any smearing on faces etc? I have my colour setting around 40 to 44.
     
  19. Tarbat

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    It helps with the "oil-painting" effect, and helps reduce the slight green tint on very dark scenes. Once you get used to a more natural colour setting, it looks great. I've was using 45, but gradually reduced it to 35.
     
  20. slackbladder

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    Yes, the only time I see a green tint is on very, very dark scenes or when there is no picture (end of adverts, waiting for DVD menus to load etc). When there is a normal scene in full colour I see no green tint at all.
    Certainly I'm going to adjust the colour over time.
     
  21. russraff

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    you should also be aware of the overscan issue if using an HDMI inputfrom PC sources. Basically, the full resolution of this Sammy is slightly larger than the viewable screen. This is fine for HD tv viewing, but not for PC's where you need to see the while picture. Therefore the Sammy resamples the entire screen making a PC input rather blurred which is a shameif, like me, you use an HTPC.
    To solve change the HDMI input name to PC, when watching the PC's input press PIP swap to an empty AV socket and swap back, now press PIP and you will have an utterly cryistal clear picture, albeit with the sides slightly off screen. Like I said, this is only for those using the Sammy as a PC monitor or HTPC monitor.

    THE only other problem with this set is as mentioned above, smearing on black or dark colours - I can see ghosts left behind in the black areas until something brighter comes along to "wipe it clean". OTherwise this is a superb set that for 1500 is a true bargain! :thumbsup:

    Russell
     
  22. Tarbat

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    But note that this only works in 60hz mode, not for 50hz - see http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221319

    Hopefully Samsung are going to come up with a fix for this obvious fault with both the SP46 and SP50 models.
     
  23. Starfleet

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    Has anybody found a way to improve PQ with regards to the Oil painting look on some american shows. Also I'm getting banding ?? imagine a a round target with different bands for scoring imagine a light source at the middle and from the centre out different shades of the same colour radiating out rather than a uniform shade from light to dark Does anyone else get this ???
     
  24. AndoverRed

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    I've noticed both of these artefacts, especially on 'low-bandwidth' american shows. This display certainly shows deficiencies in the broadcast.

    What are your views on the PQ from different input sources (HDMI/DVI, component, VGA, SCART etc)? I find the SCART (ntl box) very good on the whole. Component (progressive) is strong. I have no VGA or HDMI source.

    I'm considering utilising a converter, RGB-to-VGA or RGB-to-component, for the ntl box just to see if there is an improvement.
     
  25. slackbladder

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    I only see banding on Sky, and again mainly US import shows. But on HDMI and Component (DVD and games) not so evident though it is there slightly. As far as I can tell anything that is not true HD will probably have some kind of picture deficiancy.
     
  26. Starfleet

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    I'm using good quality IXOS scarts, but my main priority would be to improve the picture best as i can without having to spend anything major like getting a lumagen. I set my colour weakness to on somewhere in the menu's this helped to reduce the oil painting look on faces but know getting annoyed with the banding or blockiness of colours not being a uniform colour.


    Are there any other settings within the menu's on the TV i could use to improve the PQ??
     
  27. Tarbat

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    Agreed. I've done some testing with single colour gradient fill pictures, and over HDMI or Component the colour banding is hardly noticable. However, I see colour banding a lot on Sky, mainly when the picture is dark, and mainly US import shows. Although also see it on ITV dramas (e.g. Vincent).

    I've tried tweaking various settings, but to no avail. I think it's just that a TV as good as the SP46L6HX is always going to show up the deficiencies in the source material.
     
  28. phoxxy

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    After 2 months of waiting for my SP46L6 through Advantage Gold account at Natwest (£1260 delivered & no money till they stock it) I received it on Tuesday. First imps are WOW to say the least. Picture through sky+ is pretty good (even with the £2.99 supplied Scart). Not sure which way to go to improve on this though. Ideas??. Sound is awesome. Xbox games look great though there is lag, or a slight delay between pressing the buttons and getting the reaction on screen. Although some people say it doesnt exist, I can safely say it does. Only noticeable on split second presses (ie timing a meter to fill up on Burnout revenge, Car blew up on the first 3 attempts meaning I was seeing picture slightly after xbox had transmitted it). On normal driving its fine. Slight disappointment after reading posts saying its non-existant on Sammy. Have toyed with picture settings a bit but am very new to the whole AV scene so my idea of good will be someones idea of sh1te. On the whole, a fantastic TV all round. Cant wait till next month to witness HD gaming on the Xbox 360. Mmmmmm 360.
     
  29. Jonesey

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    phoxxy,

    I changed my scart lead to a belkin cost of £20 and it improved the picture so much. the colours are so much crisper and the picture looks alot more live than with the cheapo scarts.

    also, i have an xbox through the component leads and haven't witnessed any lagging. do you use component?

    I have my settings for watching sky as:

    70
    55
    40
    40

    dnie on, nr off.

    HDMI input on samsung hd850 is superb!
     
  30. slackbladder

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    I dunno about lag. I've played dozens of games on my SP46 and they've all seemed fine to me, though it could explain why I'm so crap at Need For Speed: Most Wanted! Seriously it may be a subjective thing. However there is a slight delay with the sound from my PS2 coming out through the TV than through my amp (which is plugged in via optical). It's plugged into the tv with component as well. So perhaps there is, but honestly I could'nt tell.
     

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