Sampo SME-34WHD5 Standard Televisions

3.7/5 (10 Reviews)

Product Description

36" Diagonal Pure Flat, High-Definition Widescreen Picture Tube (34" Viewable) Compatible with all ATSC Video Formats (1080i, 720p, 480p)

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Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by feiling a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: June 10, 2003

Bottom Line:   
This is the best direct view HDTV out there! The monitor is professional grade from Toshiba, this is the only t.v. that uses this tube in the U.S. The progressive picture is amazing, the style is wonderful. I'll admit that regular NTSC broadcasts suck, but I definitely didn't spend $1300 for an HDTV to watch over the air, cable, or satellite NTSC broadcasts. I bought this t.v. because it's the only 16:9 direct view that displays 720p in it's native form, and the only one that can display XGA. Connect this monitor through the progressive component inputs and the RGB input and you will be in heaven!

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $1275.00

Purchased At:   Ebay

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by Chris a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: July 22, 2001

Bottom Line:   
First units problems and corespondance with Sampo...
I had talked on the phone trying to describe these problems and trouble shoot. Finally Sampo asked me to right down all the issues and email it to them.

Sampo SME-34WHD5
chassis no. C-36-D5
M SME-34WHD5 manufacture date 2000 May
Serial number 022600019

This is attempt number three now. (I Generally get paid or get gifted things that I have to beta test.)

Associated equipment
DiSH Network DiSH 6000: High Definition Integrated Receiver Decoder (Outputs RGB or Component as 720P or 1080I)
Silicon Image DVDO iScan Pro: External Line doubler outputs 480P as Component or VGA EAD TheaterVision P: Progressive Scan DVD player (Based on same line doubler as iScan but directly attached to the MPEG decoder board)
Standard VHS VCR 240
Sony S-360: Interlaced component DVD player

Local rep has looked at this set and seen most of the problems listed below. Contact them for confirmation.

Tube is misconverged in over 90% of the screen. White lines next to any other color ar out lined by either red green or blue. This is always apparent on Geometry test patterns. Misconvergance begins in the dead center of the set and gets worse as you move out to the edges of the tube.

When displaying a plain single color field there is a noticeable color shift 1 inch in from both sides of the set that runs the height of the set. It is visible with any solid color field. (Later IDed as tube shadding wich is a part of manufacturing of the Toshiba tube.)

Bad DC restoration. White lines not only leave a tracer but the image is displayed for a fairly long time. Watching movies with lots of blacks gets difficult, when the lit scenes are still displayed on the screen as the person is supposed to be walking into the dark.

Tube displays a bowing from the top of the set towards the center. Test patterns that display a straight line across the screen are correct at the bottom of the tube and in the middle then get bent down as you approach the top of the tube. Things change shape as they pass across the screen, caving in as they approach the middle then expanding as they cross.

Component Inputs:
Unit has fine diagonal lines that pulse in the image when using component inputs to YPBPR. Lines move over the picture then vanishs for a moment, then appears again. This is in all scan modes: 480P, 720P, and 1080I

Unit displays horizontal banding from light objects on the screen across the screen onto darker objects. This produces what looks like smearing on anything white that is near a color. Coupled with the Misconvergance, text in 720P is unreadable near the bottom of the screen. This almost
looks like a double image in component mode. (Not present in RGB mode.)

Unit has a line that runs vertically from top to bottom right at the edge of the screen that is not of uniform brightness. This line is about 15-20 IRE brighter than the rest of the picture. Shifting the image using the controls shows that this problem is not in the signal but at the edge of the tube, (you can't move it off the screen.)

Using the DVDO iScan Pro, the set loses sync whenever:
1. Most of the screen is displaying an image that has 50 percent or more of the screen as bright white or a white field is displayed for a brief amount of time.

Shanghai Noon: Chapter 6 Multiple drop outs during fight scene as white water splashes up onto the screen.
Armageddon: Chapter 2 Drop out right after, 'We're moving the Hubbell!" Shot goes from a close up of the telescope to a white field (demonstrating a picture flash) then to the Hubbell. The Abyss Various underwater scenes the set flashes that it is losing and resyncing.

2. When a commercially produced VHS tape is played the set loses sync as soon as you hit play. (Standard Def. Sat programming is routed through the VCR for recording.) When the VCR is passing the sat signal to the iScan the image is displayed with no drop outs. As soon as the VCR tape
starts the Sampo flashes No Signal and then goes black in RGB mode. In component mode instead of going black the set tries to hold the image. You get a image that fills the 16:9 screen at the bottom of the tube but forms a trapezoid that flashes back and forth to the edges of the tube. It alternates between this and just blacking out.

The iScan Pro has a switch on the front of the unit to select between 3 picture modes. Full, Gray Bars, and Black Bars. The iScan has this switch for compatibility with sets that lock into 16:9 mode with 480P signals.
Full: passes the signal as 480P direct from source. This can cause images to be stretched across the full screen that were meant to be displayed on a 4:3 ratio screen.
Gray Bars: Produces a 480P signal with the image flanked left and right by Gray Bars. This is useful for watching NTSC converted to progressive in proper aspect Ratio.
Black Bars: As above but with black bars. Not suitable for displays that are subject to burn in.

When switching between modes on the iScan the set loses sync, displays black, then the picture reappears.

(Note: I have hooked the iScan up to a 32" Computer Monitor made by Toshiba for Gateway and none of the above problems occur.)

Set takes a long time to accept a second command. The inclusion of discrete codes on the second remote you sent improves things greatly. Switching between sources no longer requires... INPUT wait wait wait INPUT... around to the input you wanted. Power Up the set and the screen must be displayed before any other command will be accepted.

Selecting the input you are already on causes the set to lose sync and go to black. the time it takes to resync is noticeable to end users. If the input displayed is selected via remote, the set should just display the name of the input and not have to resync.

The Unit has refused to turn on 3 times in the past 3 weeks that it has been here. Pressing power on the set or on the remote has zero effect. Using the discrete on code does not work either. Unit must be unplugged and have the blades of the receptical crossed with a metal object to reset the set. Plug the set back in and the unit operates as normal.

With the introduction of the Toshiba and Sony HD set atop boxes you may want to take this into consideration.
Both of these IRDs have 1 set of component outputs. These outputs are user configurable to output 480I or 1080I. To connect to the Sampo sets they would need a spliter to connect to YPRPB and YCRCB. There is also a VGA output but if the IRDs function like my DiSH unit it is a either or
on the RGB vs COMPONENT.

Sampo sent me anotherset and took away the old one. Here is the email that was written about the second set.

Round 2

A new unit was delivered from Delta last week.

When the unit was first unpacked Mr. Long noticed a gap in the TV. The screw at the top left of the front panel had not been tightened down. I grabbed a screwdriver and tightened up the offending gap. The Gap closed.

Necessary info
Manufacture Date of September 2000
Serial number 040600620
Chasis no. C-36D5

This unit has much better convergence. The line that outlined every object in either red, green, or blue is considerably lessened.

Unit still has drop outs with iScan Pro and commercially recorded VHS. Picture will sync sometimes if you let the tape run for more than 10 seconds. When you hit play the picture disappears. If the picture comes back, (It doesn't always) it will flash and pulse in and out.

Unit has the same problem with Horizontal banding on YPBPR input. Diagonal lines appear and disappear as they pulse through the screen image.

The Tube has the same sort of color shift 1 inch from the sides of the screen. Now as an added bonus there is a color shift as you cross the screen. The screen is tinted blue on the left side of the screen and green near the right side. This is apparent when displaying a uniform white field.

I have yet to do a grey scale calibration.

$3250 for all this...

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   2000

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Michael Brudoley a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 12, 2001

Bottom Line:   
this tv/monitor has a displays a better image then any other similiar set on the market. This includes the sony wega series, panasonic tau, rca, or phillips sets. Even out of the box this tv has a better image then every set i looked at except the panasonic tau. Sony's have poor geometry and contrast so it amazes me when people stick by them. However that said, you should configure this baby using video essestionals to get the most out of it. Let me also clarify that the sampo was never designed to do a good god with 480i. Its 480i ntsc performance does suck, but if you buy a 16:9 tv why would you feed it a 480i signal? At the very least you have to buy a dvdo like the iscan pro to upconvert the image to 480p. A 480p source bypasses the cheap notch filter in the sampo and provides you with a perfect near hdtv quality image. The iscan also gives you a line doubler that is twice as good as any built in line doubler thay I've seen. The sampos price also makes the expense of the iscan inconsequential. I got mt tv for $2249!!! The speakers in this baby don't hum! My only complaint about them is the cheap fabric cover that sampo installed over them. This tv isnt perfect but for the money and quality it simply cant be beat. Hell, its even a computer monitor.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2249.00

Purchased At:

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Travis Brodeen a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: July 9, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Well I have to say it. This TV is a GREAT picture, and the price is unbeatable. The functionality on this set is non-existent however. It is best suited for leaving in one mode, with the volume off and using it solely as a video monitor for your home theatre. The reason I say this is because it has NO FUNCTIONALITY. For instance, it has about 8 video input settings you can choose from, but you can't go directly to any of them, and you can't disable any of them either. You have to flip through all 8 modes everytime you want to change the input. Also the set waits for the video to sync before it will let you change to the next mode. It easily takes 15-20 seconds to get to the desired video mode. The speakers also create a very annoying high pitched hum at low and high volume, the woofer is nice and bassy however. I leave the speakers on mute and only use my reciever in order to stay sane.

Also there is no SVIDEO connectors on the back? WTF?? The only svideo connector is under a panel on the front of the set, and only one at that. The set puts most of it's effort into providing many many composite connectors.

It suits my need for an affordable picture, but it's also very frustrating when you need to use it for more than just displaying one source. I would only recommend it to someone planning on setting it up and leaving it alone. It is the opposite of function rich.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $3000.00

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Ian Stewart a Casual Listener

Date Reviewed: May 31, 2001

Bottom Line:   
For a year round thrill, at a third the cost of a motorcycle, the combination of DTC100 and Sampo HDTV monitor is hard to beat. Add satellite and low-end progressive scan DVD and you get great viewing. Add Dolbby 5.1 (which I already have) and you may not wish to go to theaters, or rent anything (use pay-per-view instead). Gave it 5 stars for value and potential, 4 overall because it is only for those who want 16:9, direct view at a good price.

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Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Casual Listener

Product model year:   2000

Price Paid:    $2700.00

Purchased At:   Percy's, Worcester, MA

Reviews 1 - 5 (10 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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