Andrew, I've had a Samsung DLP for 3 years, and having just found it necessary to obtain a new one, the HL-S5687W (it's a long story
), I've done a lot of research on the doggone things. Here are a few things I've learned.
1. Your local BB or CC is not
the best place to judge the PQ of an HDTV. There are too many variable over which you have no control, and nearly all HDTVs come out of the factory set to be as bright as possible to attract attention in a crowded showroom. The layman tends to perceive "brightest" as "best" just as, when comparing speakers, he tends to perceive "loudest" as "best."
2. No HDTV, be it CRT, LCD, LCoS, or DLP, will achieve it's potential unless it is ISF calibrated
by a professional calibrator.However!
Most of us have become accustomed to watching an overly bright picture. When I first had my set ISF calibrated, I thought "OH C'MON! I can't live with a picture that dark." And, it did bother me for awhile. But, as time went by, I began to notice a detail and naturalness I had never seen in a TV picture before. It finally reached the point where I was thrilled with the HD PQ I was getting. Interestingly, the brightness of my bedroom TV (older 24" flat screen CRT) bothered me a little.
Now, I have the new Samsung. And, though I've done a preliminary calibration with my DVE (Digital Video Essentials) disc, beginning with some user menu settings recommended by a professional calibrator over at the AVS forum, and am quite pleased with the results, I'm eagerly awaiting a visit from my calibrator to tone this sucker down to the 6500k standard.
By the way, you can disregard the calibration pricing in the article linked to above. The article is 4 years old, and while the facts concerning ISF calibration remain accurate, the prices have changed.
3. The buzz by calibrators and knowledgeable laymen on the forums is that, out of the box, the Sony, and others, will provide better PQ. But, with a properly done ISF calibration, the Samsung 1080p sets have the greatest potential of achieving SMPTE standards. I, personally, cannot attest to the accuracy of the buzz.....................yet.
Another issue you should consider is the actual width of the TV screen. Although all claim to make widescreen 16:9 screens - they are not. Just take a look at Sony and compare to Samsung. The Samsung is not quite as wide or rectangular. Plasmas are correct but many DLPs are not. The Samsung pedistal model is.
I believe this is a misconception. I just walked over and measured my Samsung DLP, and the screen is exactly 16x9. If the Sonys are "wider" or more "rectangular," then they are the ones that are not 16x9. Can you please provide some links to proof of this claim?