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First timer having some problems!

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Old 10-04-2007, 01:09 PM   #1  
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Default First timer having some problems!

First, let me bring you up to speed. I have owned a 27" oldschool run of the mill tv for the longest time, and it has always served me well. The other day, I purchased an xbox 360 with halo3, and decided that, since I was getting an HD ready gaming console, I might as well give my study a long overdue upgrade and grab an HDTV with it. I decided that 32" was a nice size upgrade, but was quickly convinced that a 37" would be more in order when I visited brandsmart. I purchased a 37" 1080p Sharp Aquos LC37DW99U. When I got home, I did some research into the TV, and found that there was actually 0 information about it anywhere, other then on brandsmart's homepage. I hooked up my xbox 360 and poped in halo, used hdmi made sure all the settings were right and started it up. My first impression was dissapointment. It looked good, there is no denying it, but just not as good as I expected. Some of the edges looked too sharp, unrealistic, and although things like the water, waterfalls, and general geography looked good, things like buildings in dark locales, or edges of things close to dark colors, looked un-natural. It may not make much sense, but although everything had very good detail, with some things (such as trees with brightness behind them) the edges looked like razors. I was told I had 5 days to return it, so I did so. My main use for this HDTV will be gaming, with a dvd once in a while, as I will use my family room (normal tv) for most of everything. When I got back to brandsmart, I started browsing the tv's again. I had seen one tv that stuck out as being better picture quality to me over the sharp, but it was a bit more expensive, and a bit bigger (40" Samsung LN-T4065F.) At this point, I was a little desperate, I did not want the 500$ I spent on my xbox to be a waste, nor did I want to have to revert back to my standard 27" tv, so I purchased the samsung and set it up.

My first impression with the samsung was, Wow! Thats a much better picture! The opening cinematic was without a doubt much more detailed, the enviroment looked rich and welcoming, but about 30 seconds in, I realized somthing. Objects at a distance in the game were.. blurred. The best way to describe it is, objects off in the distance, instead of retaining there detail (or atleast looking like they did on the sharp) seemd to blur a bit. Not a blur like with motion but more of a loss of details, you would looks cracks in a rock, for example. At first I figured this was either a feature of the game that I had not noticed, or somthing to do with the tv settings, but the more I played the more it became apparent. Somthing was defitnely diffrent. I tried putting the tv in "Game Mode" which depleted the picture quality a bit but made the game run more smooth. But it did not fix the problem. I talked to a couple friends who have HDTV's and they said they did not notice anything like what I was describing. I have played around with the settings ALOT, and have managed to decrease the problem a bit and enhance the picture, but it is defitnely still there. I am now wondering if the reason I notice it is because the samsung has a much better picture, and flaws in the game are more obvious, or if the samsung is not capable of rendering the picture quality at a distance that the sharp was. The later seems odd to me, since everything else seems to look better on the samsung. I have two days with which to decide wether its return the samsung, and try again, or stick with it. My current overall feeling is, if im going to spend around 1900$ on a tv with warranty and cables, I should be 100% happy with it, and if I am not totaly satisified, I should return it. Am I being too picky? Has anyone else experienced anything like this? If I was to return it, I suppose my options would include the comprable Sony Brovia, or one of the other competing brands. Two problems that I must mention before posting are this. A) My eyesight is not what it used to be, however, obviously if I am picking out this small diffrences in the samsung and the sharp, I assume my eyesight is adequate to make a competent decision between tv's, as my problem is usualy with things at a distance. B) I sit close to the tv (about 70-75 inches around 6 feet) away. And sometimes a little less.

Thanks for anyone who has gotten this far in this essay! And thanks in advance for anyone who coments or gives me any advice, including "Your being to picky, stfu and keep it!"
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:50 PM   #2  
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It is hard to say without seeing for myself. All I can say is that going from my Sony 36'' SD CRT to my 50'' plasma via my 360 was in every way. Of course some games are better than others and some flaws can be noticed from time to time, but nothing to write home about. But, I also do not sit 5 to 6 feet away when I play usually. I would have your HD/360 friends come over and take a look 1st hand and get thier opinions. See if they get a simular feel of what you are talking about. Don't tell them what you see first as that may force feed the issue with them. or go and hook up your 360 over at your friends place. Sharp and Samsung are 2 of the best LCD's in the biz IMO, so unless you have some serious setting/calibration issues, it may be you expectations as you stated.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:10 PM   #3  
What's all this, then?...
 
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How do you have the XBOX 360 hooked up to the TV? If you hooked it up the same way you hooked it to your old TV, that won't work.

You should only be using either the HD Component Video cable or the VGA cable. You cannot use Composite Video or S-Video as neither are capable of carrying HD signals.

You should set the XBOX 360 for 1080i output in most cases. Your display is a 1920 x 1080 display, so it will de-interlace the 1080i and give you the full 1080p resolution. If you use 720p, the display will scale it up to 1080p and it will look softer as a result.

If your display has a VGA input and accepts 1080p over VGA, then you could try 1080p as well.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:17 PM   #4  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobY View Post
How do you have the XBOX 360 hooked up to the TV?

You should only be using either the HD Component Video cable or the VGA cable. You cannot use Composite Video or S-Video as neither are capable of carrying HD signals.

You should set the XBOX 360 for 1080i output in most cases. Your display is a 1920 x 1080 display, so it will de-interlace the 1080i and give you the full 1080p resolution. If you use 720p, the display will scale it up to 1080p and it will look softer as a result.

If your display has a VGA input and accepts 1080p over VGA, then you could try 1080p as well.

From what I read, it sounds like he has it connected via HDMI, so settings from the 360 side should be pretty much auto for the most part. And he did say he verified his settings..

"I hooked up my xbox 360 and poped in halo, used hdmi made sure all the settings were right and started it up."

1 question I forgot to ask is if the effect on other games were the same as Halo... I assume yes, but.......
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:28 PM   #5  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigloww View Post
From what I read, it sounds like he has it connected via HDMI, so settings from the 360 side should be pretty much auto for the most part. And he did say he verified his settings..

"I hooked up my xbox 360 and poped in halo, used hdmi made sure all the settings were right and started it up."

1 question I forgot to ask is if the effect on other games were the same as Halo... I assume yes, but.......
I am guilty of owning only one game. Looking back, it was incredibly stupid to make the purchase without a couple things to compare. My xbox360 is set to 1080p with "Expanded" (not sure what expanded is though..) I did indeed use a HDMI cable (pre-owned, I heard that the quality of the cable wasant extremely important, was that a dumb decision?)

I am starting to think based on the research I am doing, that it is possible that the samsung is almost "too good" and that the only reason I am seeing this bluring at a distance is because 360 is rendering halo that way. It is possible I did not notice it on the aquos because the exagerated and sharp edges lesened the effect.

*EDIT* In my earnest I forgot to say, THANKS! I appericate your help and coments.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:43 PM   #6  
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I would definately try a few more games to see if it is the game that is the major issue. You can go down to Blockbuster and rent a game for like $7 for 10 days. Also a great way to test drive game. Or download a couple free trials on XBL.. I would not put too much into the HDMI cable. You are most likely fine there.

LCD's are prone to blur/lag with fast action motion/games, but it is for the most part minimal now a days. Response times are much better over the last few years and help to minimaize the effects, but not totally eliminate it. And Sharp (6ms) and Samsung (8ms) have 2 of the best RT's in the game. But it is pretty much a standard for all name brands LCD's including Vizio and Olevia to have RT's less than 10 ms... Trying a couple more games would be a big plus. I know there are quite a few 360/PS3 owners out there that game on LCD's (including the 2 you mentioned). They can give more 1st hand than me and my plasma...

Last edited by Bigloww; 10-04-2007 at 03:46 PM..
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:47 PM   #7  
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Sorry, missed the comment about HDMI--I thought he might have had one of the 360's that didn't have HDMI.

I will tell you from my experience that I get better results with Component Video than HDMI in many cases, particularly when it comes to color and black levels. I have a hunch that some HDMI interfaces scale or compress the color information and have an incorrect black-level reference.

If you have the Component Video cable, try it.

I would also try it with Expanded Mode off, as many people have reported it crushed black levels and reduced shadow details. This can be corrected if you want to have your display professionally calibrated.

Last edited by BobY; 10-04-2007 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:12 PM   #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobY View Post
Sorry, missed the comment about HDMI--I thought he might have had one of the 360's that didn't have HDMI.

I will tell you from my experience that I get better results with Component Video than HDMI in many cases, particularly when it comes to color and black levels. I have a hunch that some HDMI interfaces scale or compress the color information and have an incorrect black-level reference.

If you have the Component Video cable, try it.

I would also try it with Expanded Mode off, as many people have reported it crushed black levels and reduced shadow details. This can be corrected if you want to have your display professionally calibrated.
Intrestingly the first xbox I purchased did NOT have an HDMI slot, so I swapped it for the halo box that did. I do have a component cable, and I will try that, thanks for the suggestion. One of the settings that I wasant sure about in the menu was HDMI Black Levels. When I turn "Low" on as opposed to defualt (Makes the picture darker) it seems to help the problem a little. Should that lead me to belive that it could be the black levels that I have heard some much debate about that may be causing this problem?
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:03 PM   #9  
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Originally Posted by Bigloww View Post
I would definately try a few more games to see if it is the game that is the major issue. You can go down to Blockbuster and rent a game for like $7 for 10 days. Also a great way to test drive game. Or download a couple free trials on XBL.. I would not put too much into the HDMI cable. You are most likely fine there.

LCD's are prone to blur/lag with fast action motion/games, but it is for the most part minimal now a days. Response times are much better over the last few years and help to minimaize the effects, but not totally eliminate it. And Sharp (6ms) and Samsung (8ms) have 2 of the best RT's in the game. But it is pretty much a standard for all name brands LCD's including Vizio and Olevia to have RT's less than 10 ms... Trying a couple more games would be a big plus. I know there are quite a few 360/PS3 owners out there that game on LCD's (including the 2 you mentioned). They can give more 1st hand than me and my plasma...

I also just recently bought the Sharp LCD 37" and when you hook up an XBOX360 or PS3, the TV goes into what's called "Viper" mode and lowers the 6ms RT down to 2ms... this may be why you are seeing what you are seeing...
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