Why the obsession with "inky black levels" ? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-24-2012, 08:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I honestly think we [defined: public at large & manufacturers, not the calibration crew here] have gone nuts with this rampant promotion and obsession with darker than dark black levels.

Why?

Uber dark black levels are not "good" black levels, they're just Uber dark black levels. What I want are black levels that aren't part of a luminance curve that takes everything from dark brown and dark or very dark gray or black and squashes it down to a visual rip in space time. And even if you're lucky enough to get something that moves ONLY recognizably black objects to this super black, it still is overboard IMO.

Hyperbole aside, I look at some of these panels and realize that the black levels they're displaying only appear in nature on the panels themselves.

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post #2 of 14 Old 10-24-2012, 09:33 AM
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No uber dark black levels are very important.

They effect contrast ratio, but also significantly affect color reproduction.

Up to even 30% stimulus the amount of light "black" produces significantly pollutes colors desaturating them.

This isn't to say some of the tricks they play to try and get better black levels are good. Much of the dynamic contrast, dynamic backlight features make the TV measure like it has a better black level, but don't actually address the issues created with poor black levels.

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post #3 of 14 Old 10-24-2012, 12:37 PM
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MLL is the main determiner of contrast ratio and contrast ratio is the single most import aspect of picture quality as we see it.

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post #4 of 14 Old 10-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sotti View Post

They effect contrast ratio, but also significantly affect color reproduction.
Up to even 30% stimulus the amount of light "black" produces significantly pollutes colors desaturating them.

hello Sotti,I have problems understanding how black level affects color reproduction. I always thought that color depends on RGB of the greyscale, and the gamut. So how does black level come into play?
Can you pls explain? Thanks.
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turboman123 View Post

hello Sotti,I have problems understanding how black level affects color reproduction. I always thought that color depends on RGB of the greyscale, and the gamut. So how does black level come into play?
Can you pls explain? Thanks.

So normalize linear levels are 0-1

if red at 10% would be .006, 0 ,0 for a gamma of 2.2

With lets say a modest contrast ratio of 1000:1 instead you have 0.006, 0.0001, 0.0001 for red.

So instead of 0.64, 0.33 you get 0.639, 0.6158, 0.329.

And that's assuming the black level is actually D65, and it never is. The point is that you're mixing some amount of light into your colors that has a measurable effect on the results. Above about 50% it's no longer measurable.

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post #6 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 08:38 AM
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I don't know about the measurements and scientific stuff only a real world visual experience. I own the Epson 8350 and the 8500Ub. I thought, after doing quick back and forth comparisons, that the difference between the two were only slight, not that big of a noticeable difference. It wasn't till after watching the 8350 for 6+ straight weeks and then going back to the 8500Ub did I really truly appreciate what deep blacks did for my viewing experience. I couldn't believe how much nicer the picture looked with better blacks. It's kind of like going out in a hazy night and then going out on a clear crisp night with a good bright moon. It's hard to explain but those blacks (for me) made a huge difference.
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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A step to the side here.

Something I have some fun with is the notion of color constancy. It's a good thing to keep in mind (pun), whenever I read (anywhere, I don't mean specifically *here*) the words "noticeable" or "effective" or "realistic".

What your mind sees as shades are more dependent upon the surroundings than most understand. Ironically, I started banging into this when developing the high speed RGB to YIQ conversion algorithm for a PostScript interpreter in the 80's. The reasons behind color constancy are very interesting and are not eye but brain driven. But if you haven't seen it at work yet, ask yourself: which square is darker, A or B?

ColorConstancy.png

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post #8 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 10:03 AM
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From the "sticky" threads above:

"How Viewing Environment Conditions Can Corrupt Or Enhance Your Calibration"
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=849430
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgm1024 View Post

A step to the side here.

Something I have some fun with is the notion of color constancy. It's a good thing to keep in mind (pun), whenever I read (anywhere, I don't mean specifically *here*) the words "noticeable" or "effective" or "realistic".

What your mind sees as shades are more dependent upon the surroundings than most understand. Ironically, I started banging into this when developing the high speed RGB to YIQ conversion algorithm for a PostScript interpreter in the 80's. The reasons behind color constancy are very interesting and are not eye but brain driven. But if you haven't seen it at work yet, ask yourself: which square is darker, A or B?

ColorConstancy.png

They are both at the same grey stimulus wink.gif

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post #10 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 10:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Yep. I posted this not to lecture anyone here, but as OP to show where I was coming from before posting my initial comment.

For fun, and just in case someone perusing this is confused by it, here's the proof I concocted:

b1a7b941.png

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post #11 of 14 Old 10-25-2012, 10:57 AM
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I love being mind F#@%ED. Still After viewing the 8350 for 6+ weeks and then switching back to the 8500Ub, the effective results on quality as perceived through my mind F#@%ED eyes appeared to be noticeably more realistic on the 8500Ub tongue.gif
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post #12 of 14 Old 10-26-2012, 01:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crabalocker View Post

I love being mind F#@%ED. Still After viewing the 8350 for 6+ weeks and then switching back to the 8500Ub, the effective results on quality as perceived through my mind F#@%ED eyes appeared to be noticeably more realistic on the 8500Ub tongue.gif

I just spend last several days at the SMPTE conference, and I can assure you that you are not crazy.

Every industry professional want great blacks (the real kind, not the fake backlight, dynamic contrast kind) because of exactly what you are describing.

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post #13 of 14 Old 10-26-2012, 09:44 AM
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I can also add to this thread. I switched my main display from a S-IPS panel LG LCD (42LK450) to a S-PVA panel Samsung LED-LCD (UN46EH6030). The native contrast ratio on the LG was a bit under 1000:1 and the native contrast ratio on the Samsung is just a bit over 3,200:1. As a result, the blacks are much, much darker on the Samsung and it really makes the picture 'pop' in a good way and brings real depth to colors and everything else. Granted a Panasonic ST/GT/VT50 would take things to a whole new level, but I wanted a 46" under $1K and for that, the new Samsung couldn't be any better. I was never happy with the blacks on the LG and calibration didn't really address that issue.
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post #14 of 14 Old 10-26-2012, 10:14 AM
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An excellent resource available on this issue can be ordered as a digital download from the SMPTE archives:
SMPTE Journal, 11/02. 'The Importance of Contrast and its Effect on Image Quality' by Segler, Pettitt and Kessel
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