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Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Mountain View, CA USA
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I saw Man in the Moon in the theater last week. They started the trailers before dimming the lights, which were ceiling spots shining directly onto the seating area. I was surprised at how good the black levels were (not great, but pretty good). I was surprised again when the lights dimmed out and the black level seemed unchanged, but the contrast seemed worse because now the whole theater was dark.
So it seems that perceived black levels could be improved by a light source behind the plane of the screen, which would cause some contraction of the eyes' pupils, providing the rest of the room surfaces are dark so that none of that light is reflected back to the screen. Kind of the optical inverse of a LEDE (live end - dead end) listening room.