Originally Posted by switch42
I noticed crushed blacks when switching between standard and expanded. If I leave it on expanded and then turn off the xbox and then back on my blacks are no longer crushed. There that and see if it helps.
The problem is that with the previous dashboard, Standard was the correct setting for 16-235 video levels and Expanded was the correct level for 0-255 levels (i.e. RGB FULL RANGE). Intermediate was somewhere in between and didn't really comply to any standard. Now, unless you're using a PC monitor, you're supposed to be calibrating your display to Standard, since broadcast sources are done with 16-235 range in mind. When we calibrate displays, however, we typically calibrate so white doesn't clip until above 235 (all the way up to 255 is advised) because there are some highlights above 235 on Blu-ray discs... but 16 should still be black and nothing below that should be showing.
With the new dashboard, Standard is no longer 16-235... and is actually not even RGB FULL RANGE as you would think if they got it reversed with Expanded. Standard now shows black down to 0... but white no longer clips at all on a calibrated display (even when set for white clipping at the full 255), as if they are randomly reducing white levels. Intermediate and Expanded now completely crush blacks ABOVE 16, so none of the three settings comply with either the LIMITED or FULL RANGE standard.
Worse, the behavior you're seeing where you set your 360 to Expanded and then turn it off and back on... That's because the 360's reference levels are resetting to Standard every time you first power up, even when the setting in the system is at Expanded. Play a video, stop it, restart it and you'll see the 360's video player change BACK to Expanded on the second playback (which is something Microsoft is aware of but has done nothing about thus far). Worse than that, even if your system is set to Standard, you can start a black level test playing, note blacks down to 2 that you shouldn't be seeing, then stop and restart the test... and note that black is now showing somewhere near 6-8 instead. So black levels are not only incorrect, they're changing levels after the first playback.
Bottom line: Video playback is HOSED on the new dashboard. Whether it affects in-game video is difficult to say, because the problem seems to be Microsoft's new video renderer in the dashboard. If the game's video cutscenes use the dashboard-level renderer, then the same bug will rear its ugly head. If they use an external renderer like Bink Video, it's hard to say if there will be any difference. (Unless Bink Video is part of Microsoft's SDK, which I'm not sure of. I'm guessing that the new video rendering on the 360 is a modified version of their Silverlight smooth-streaming video algorithm.)