AVS Special Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: San Francisco - East Bay area
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Auto-dimming (full screen) is JUST as useful and desirable as an auto-iris function in a projector... IF the feature is implemented properly. The point isn't to somehow magically increase contrast ratio. The point is to make the panel overall darker in dark scenes so the residual light level for black is not so obvious/distracting.
Of course you can do an auto-iris feature very poorly and you can certainly do full-screen dimming poorly. If either one is done CORRECTLY they are HIGHLY useful and DESIRABLE. Local dimming is potentially better but it does have blooming issues that can be distracting in their own right.... and obviously, you can't locally-dim an edge-lit LCD panel... the TV would have to have an LED matrix behind the screen (not just at an edge). Somehow, Sony seems to have the auto-iris feature totally under control. All any projector or LCD manufacturer would have to do is duplicate Sony's speed and amount of dimming for various picture levels and they'd have a full-panel dimming feature that would be just about impossible to criticize.
"Movies is magic..." Van Dyke Parks
THX Certified Professional Video Calibration
Widescreen Review -- Home Theater & Sound