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You Must Read This Review Of Dlp

Discussion in 'Televisions' started by soni, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. soni

    soni
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    The following review is a little long, however it has certainly made me stop and reconsider the purchase of a Sagem/Optoma/Tosh/Samsung DLP.

    Most importantly, i found it on an American site, and afterall, the technology has been widely available in America for some time now, so i would class their experiences as critical in making my final decision.

    I had practically made my decision until reading this, it was either going to be the Sagem/Optoma or the new Tosh (depending on review) when released, however it WAS going to be a DLP RP of some description.

    The only benefit i can now see are the reduced depth compared with standard RP's/CRT's.

    Anyway, here it is:-

    Samsung HLM507W 50 in. Rear Projection HDTV Television

    Pros
    Accurate colors, reduced glare

    Cons
    Bulb life problems, quality of internal parts, imitative design, cheap remote

    The Bottom Line
    Bulbs need to be replaced almost every year, so the maintenance cost of this television is high.


    Full Review
    Update

    Several salespeople have told me that the light source of DLP televisions burns out in about a year, so it wouldn't be smart to buy this.

    The problem with DLP

    DLP (Digital light processing) is a technology developed by Texas Instruments that employs a semiconductor and 1.3 million microscopic mirrors to create an image. I know this sounds more sophisticated than traditional CRT and projection monitors, but don’t be too astounded; DLP’s benefits are minimal.

    Digital light processing does not improve picture clarity in any way; that depends almost exclusively on the video source. So if DLP doesn’t improve picture clarity, why does it cost so much more than a CRT screen of the same size? A: The technology is proprietary; it is sold by Texas Instruments to television manufacturers, and since it costs the manufacturers more money, they ask for more money. B: Only two companies took the bait of integrating DLP in their TVs. C: The semiconductor and microscopic mirrors cost a hell of a lot of money. D: Even in DLP’s nascent stages, the TV making industry was skeptical.

    But remember I said there was a benefit of DLP? That lies in coloration. Texas Instruments developed the technology in order to produce a broader selection of color. Even so, the change is subtle. Bored at Circuit City, I decided to look at some new TVs. This DLP Samsung was sitting next to a 51” Hitachi projection. Both were nearly equal in size- 50-51 inches widescreen, so I thought this would be fair to test them- even though the Hitachi was $1300 less. While the color on the Samsung was more accurate than the Hitachi, I was nonplussed to see that Hitachi had better clarity. Then I adjusted the Hitachi’s color temperature to warm, and the color of both displays was almost identical. I have no special love for Hitachi, but if I were to choose from the Hitachi or the Samsung, I would pick the former. That way I would have an extra $1300 to buy an HD receiver and a horde of other things.

    DLP is simply not worth it. Any expert will tell you that inventing a whole new technology for the sole sake of superior coloration is stupid and costly. It would be much smarter to add an extra color cannon (emerald) to the conventional trio of red, green, and blue. Hell, that would probably look better than DLP and cost a lot less.

    With DLP costing so much more, you might as well get plasma, so you can hang it on a wall. Gateway makes a plasma screen for $2800; that’s $700 less than this TV. I know the brand isn’t too renowned, but I would feel more comfortable trusting Gateway than Samsung. Keep in mind that this TV costs more than most 65-inch screens, but is only 50 inches.

    First impressions HLM507W

    After reading about Texas Instruments’ DLP technology a couple years ago, I was eager to see if the advertisements proved true. I remember seeing a not-too-astounding Mitsubishi DLP TV for $15,000. 15 grand! The picture quality was horrible- I could actually see the blocks comprising the image. What a disconcerting experience. Recently I saw this Samsung, and although I still wasn’t impressed, it definitely wasn’t as bad as the first encounter.

    Read my experience above.

    Positives

    Anti-glare screens are welcome in any home, especially when your family room has plenty of windows. Of course not all glare can be terminated, but you’ll still appreciate this feature. This television has better anti-glare than projections.

    Thanks to the more than one million microscopic mirrors of the DLP system, this TV has some of the most accurate blacks, whites, and everything in between. Grayscale images buttress the accuracy of color images, and this TV is great at both. Switching the color temperature of a projection television to warm will create a picture very similar to DLP imaging.

    The viewing angle of this television surpasses that of projection TVs. However, they cannot match flat panel displays, LCD and plasma.

    Negatives

    Read the above section labeled The problem with DLP for this television’s major flaw.

    Samsung is undoubtedly profit-conscious- I just don’t see value in their products. Everything looks dandy on the outside, but who knows how good the quality of the internal components is? Samsung was daring enough to make a flagrantly cheap remote for all to see. Imagine what the quality is of things you can’t see.

    Don’t get me wrong; Samsung knows how to make wireless phones- quality is up there with Motorola. But if you buy anything else from Samsung, watch out! Samsung A/V equipment is notorious for average and below average ratings. It is a young brand, and consumers have not had the chance to see the long-term quality of Samsung products; made in the U.S.A., Japan, or Germany sounds more reassuring than made in Korea.

    There is a durability problem that stands out with this television: some of the mirrors fail to function over time. This is unavoidable because DLP uses mirrors that move thousands of times per second. I noted that the display model had more than 15 defective pixels- pixels incapable of changing color. This observation makes me question the display’s long-term quality.

    Totally imitative style. This looks strikingly similar to Sony’s floating screen design with the black screen housing. Hmm. Samsung’s design came afterward, too. That’s peculiar. I will never support imitative companies; copycats will never have my money.

    It seems no one can equip a good TV with good speakers. The 30-watt pair on this Samsung provides decent sound, but I would definitely get a home theater system in excess of 600 watts.

    The remote on this TV is more unsightly than a 90 year-old man in a Speedo and is as cheap as a Hyundai. Unfortunately, the user has to point directly at the television in order for the remote to be effective. I would recommend getting a universal remote commander.

    Conclusion

    Previous reviewers praised this television’s picture quality, but failed to mention that HDTV looks good on any TV. If you’re impressed, make sure you compare it to others. Remember that DLP offers nothing in the picture clarity sector, only color. And that advantage isn’t worth the price of this TV.

    Another reviewer recommended this television for games and use as a computer monitor. While I agree with the latter, gamers will tell you that widescreen is a no-no; games are best suited for regular televisions with 4:3 aspect ratio. Also remember that burn-in is not a negative thing; it’s a white area on your television only noticeable when you turn it off, and it does not affect picture quality. There is a reason DLP hasn’t sold well: the subtle color advantage doesn’t justify the price.

    Recommended
    No
     
  2. Random Hajile

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    But you should know by now that no TV is perfect and most of the people who state there opinions are usually the ones having a problem, not the ones that have no problems at all. I`m sure there`s plenty of people out there who have had no problems with these sets and really can`t see samsung putting on bulbs that only last 1 year. Thats rediculous.

    Having experienced the samsung dlp and sagem dlp in currys and comet i can safely say i can`t wait to get one of these when HD is available. High definition feed looked breathtaking on the sagem at comet and can never see a plasma giving you an image that looks as good as that (well maybe a 50inch HD panel but how much are we talking there).

    You can pick these up for £2000-£2500 now (even cheaper when sky HD launches) and when you compare them to a £2500 plasma i`d say they are definately worth the money. A native resolution of 1280x720, 50inch screen, All the inputs you could ever dream of and a decent built in scaler. And lets not forget plasmas aren`t without theres problems especially in the early days so i`d take these sort of comments with a pinch of salt.
     
  3. Muf

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    I wouldn't take that review too seriously Soni. It seems to have many flaws. Like Random Hajile said the one year bulb is a bit far fetched (Sagem quote 8,000hrs), also the dead pixel bit must be wrong. One of the advantages of DLP is "no dead pixels" and in the region of 100,000 hours estimated lifetime for the DMD so it is difficult to believe that this Samsung had 15 dead pixels before it left the show room.
    I don't have one of these sets but there are a few members here who do and they seem to be very pleased. I have a 1280 x 720 DLP front projector (basically the same DLP device) and I find my biggest problem is when I switch from a HD source to SD (like Sky) I get a guilt feeling that I am wasting my good projector on rubbish material.

    Jim
     
  4. SeaneyC

    SeaneyC
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    Find me a 50" plasma with 1280x720 res for less than a 50" DLP RPTV and i'll be first in line!

    Oh and
    is just plain potty talk!
     
  5. mart.stokes

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    Apart from the comment about the bulb, a lot of what is said in the review is very subjective (mostly around cost). Okay, that is one of the main things about reviews of HC equipment, they are often subjective because of the very nature of the beast. But this review quoted seems biased. I mean, the review almost accepts how good DLP is. :clap:

    Soni has done the right thing bringing it to our attention, any "negative" review allows you to evaluate those specifics it mentions. The advantage is that you may find something you have missed by your own evaluation or reading other reviews.

    So, what would this reviewer have said if he had no access to pricing information?

    Agreeing with Muf, the 15 dead pixels is an amazing claim given the common DLP array used in most models and the fact that a lot of manufacturers (SIM2 with their projectors and Optoma with their TVs) using this array guarantee no dead pixels.

    This review has certainly NOT altered my view of the quality of DLP RP TVs. Lack of screen burn alone is a major advantage.
     
  6. soni

    soni
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    I am still interested in DLP sets. I want to replace my existing 28” 100hz Toshiba with a BIG SCREEN, and was originally looking at a plasma, however the negatives far outweighed the positives. I don’t want to spend above £2,500.00, but that would just about get me an entry-level brand name plasma. Furthermore, I don’t like the idea of loosing 10-15% picture quality per year with a plasma, as that could mean that the screen is only working at 25% of its original quality in as little as 5 years time. If you’ve got money to blow away every 3 years when the pictures only half as good as it was when new then fine, but for me it’s a bit of a costly exercise just so that you can hang it on a wall.

    I don’t like LCD big screens either. I had a look at a £4,500.00 (think it was 42” Panasonic – but don’t quote me on that brand – it may have been Phillips) and although the demo film looked quite nice during most of the viewing, there was a part in the film when the camera span around and all of the background started juddering – and there’s no way that I could feel comfortable watching a film on a set like that and know that I’ve just paid the best part of 5K for it.

    I went to Comet the other day, and the Sagem was running HD with a roller coaster film. The camera was positioned right on the front of the roller coaster, and as the roller coaster went up to the top of the rail, it slowly climbed over the top and as it went down it gained terrific speed, I’m not exaggerating by any means when I say my stomach actually went up and around as though I was actually sitting in it.

    The clarity of the picture was just amazing, and for under 2K for a 50” screen, there’s no way Plasma or LCD would win over that.

    I will be waiting for the release of the Toshiba DLP prior to making my final decision out of the Sagem, Optoma, or Toshiba. I just hope that the issues raised in the above review regarding the defective mirrors is nonsense, otherwise it could be a costly gamble into new technology!
     
  7. phillfyspoon

    phillfyspoon
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    does anyone know what a replacment lamp cost for the sagem? and are they easy to get hold of?
     
  8. soni

    soni
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    Phillfyspoon: I've heard from several sources that the bulbs are currently between £250.00 and £350.00, however as with all new technology, this price will drop. I've spoken to a technical source who believes that within 2 years a new bulb will be about £35.00. The bulb is a piece of cake to replace, you remove the plastic front cover - the cover feels a bit on the cheap side i must admit - and then you unscrew 4 screws and withdraw the bulb - its a comsumer replaceable part! It sounds easier than replacing a bulb on a car!
     
  9. quig

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    That's Speed, an IMAX film trailer in Windows Media High Definition. You can download it from http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/content_provider/film/contentshowcase.aspx.
     
  10. dvdmike007

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    its a samsung if its anything like their phones it will go wrong their build quality is awful
     
  11. mart.stokes

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    Yeah, I think we have to differentiate between DLP and the manufacturers of TVs using DLP. Although the DLP array is the "heart" of the system, there is still a lot of hardware/software supporting that array that has to be considered as part of the purchasing decision.

    Taking away the marketing side of things (except price); it is hard to see how LG and Samsung are going to compete with the 50" Optoma. Direct comparisons will be interesting.
     

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