I forgot to mention, things look normal (spectacular, in fact!) when watching HDMI sources like Blu-ray, DVD or PS3. My Wii component connection looks fine too. This issue seems to be confined to digital and analog TV viewing. Perhaps it is a tuner configuration issue?
I posted in an earlier thread about the trials and tribulations I had with severe flashlights and clouding on an LN46A850. I mentioned how rolling back to FW1003 eliminated much of the clouds, but not the flashlights. As a result, and per HDtech's recommendation, I scheduled a service call. The service was done yesterday by a very courteous and thorough service technician. He replaced the panel with a new (Made in Korea) version. The good news is that my screen uniformity issue is completely gone! There are NO flashlights anywhere on the screen and even in the darkest room setting I can muster, only the very slightest hint of a cloud or two is barely perceptible. In other words, it's ALL GOOD! Or so, I thought...
I spent most of last night watching the 1080i CBS network feed of NCAA Basketball, and for the most part, it looked great. Even my wife, who is usually oblivious to such things, grudgingly offered, "...I hate to say it, but the TV looks better." And, I agree with her. There is a very noticeable difference in overall contrast ratio and black level. And, the viewing angle is also greatly increased. With my old panel, if I wasn't sitting directly in front of the TV, straight-on center, the image would begin to wash out. With the new panel, I can literally stand alongside the screen and still a reasonably strong image.
Like I say, all of this is GREAT and I am pleased with the difference that the new panel makes.
There does appear to be a downside, though, and hopefully, someone here can tell me if there is an easy fix.
The more I watched last night (long after my wife got bored with the hoops action) I became aware of occasional slightly blurred images and a general lack of detail in others. It was most apparent when animated supers containing scores or bracket information would fly up onto and fill the screen. The image was always soft and blurry at first, but after 4-5 seconds, would gradually become clearer. It was very noticeable during commercial breaks when certain ads reverted to a 4:3 aspect ratio. The images would be soft and blurry throughout the entire ad. The more I watched, the more bleary-eyed I became. Switching to 720p and analog sources made it worse! I never had this problem with the old panel.
I should also state that all of my settings for the old panel were still intact when the tech powered up the TV with the new panel for the first time, so I basically left everything alone. The panels appear to be identical with one exception. The new panel had a vented black box covering the inverter board. I asked the tech if it was packaging and he replied that it was a heat shield that was supposed to be on there and was somewhat surprised that there was not one on the factory installed panel. No other boards were replaced and no other settings were adjusted. I never turn on AMP, edge enhancement or DNR.
So, here is my question... Could this blurriness be a calibration issue? Is it possible that some internal factory settings are slightly off due to manufacturing variances between the two panels? Or, do I have a more serious issue? Could the different inverter board be the culprit? If it is simply a re-calibration, can I contact my local repair center directly or should I go through Samsung again?
As always, any help you can provide is greatly appreciated.