Sorry for the delayed answer . Note that i have HX750(European set ) and your HX950 is generally better tv so there should be differences regarding the levels of the backlight/gamma but use this settings and i will add explanation to where you can ajust to tweak them .
First i will tell you the global settings .
As you already said you switched to Retail Mode(they call it shop mode in the EU versions ) as i said it will remove any limitations and capping caused by 642/2009 Europe Union Energy savings directive that is engaged if you choose Home mode .
Next step should be setting the Scene to Graphics - as Graphics gives you perfect pixel timing . I have attatched images to the thread in this forum for the difference between Graphics ( scene selection ) and General ( scene selection ) .
Why Graphics gives that much better image : because it disables(grays them out ) most of the video processing settings like MotionFlow, Mpeg Noise reduction and stuff you should have always OFF unless you are pretty sure you want to watch movie with the so called Soap Opera Effect .
Also make sure to turn off everything in the Eco settings ( Home - > Settings -> System Settings -> Eco ) - having it on will only annoy you so make sure all there is OFF(especially the Ambient light sensor and the power savings )
Setting 1:1 full pixel mapping . That is so you will have accurate 1:1 pixel mapping - Home-> Settings - > Display - Screen -> and set Auto Display area OFF and set Display Area to FULL PIXEL .
Home-> Settings -> Display ->
Now more for setting up the input settings . Note these are depending on what is the source you connect it to .
Home-> Settings -> Display -> Video Input settings - > HDMI Dynamic Range . By default it is set to Auto , most of the sources these days output FULL 0-255 dynamic range (PC , Xbox360,Playstation 3 , most bluray players ) . Thought VCR players might output Limited dynamic range 16-235 Colors thought i havent seen one with HDMI output. Auto should choose the right mode but for HDMI i would advice you to choose FULL ( for example IF you have it to AUTO when i use the TV as a PC monitor to watch movies , everytime i play a movie , minimise it i can see flashing ( display goes black for like 0.5 seconds ) , even thought it is always choosing FULL its very annoying to see your display flashing everytime u play a movie and close it . Also check out your Input Sources - Blu-ray Players/ Digital Television etc. and see how they are outputting . If their HDMI color range is FULL or LIMITED .
You can easy know the difference if you chosen the wrong settings for example your Source is outputting Limited and your tv is set to FULL - the full blacks ( for example movie black bars on top and bottom ) will look like gray and everything will look like through a fog , very pale and lacking contrast .
If you have the Source to FULL and set the tv to Limited it will "eat " the last values of the black the ones after the 235-255 , that means it will eat 20 of the whiter black shades before the deepest black , and it will cause loss in all details of the shadows ( sometimes people think they like that but it will not make the deepest black blacker , it will only cause in loss of details in the dark areas - very bad for watching a night movie as u will just see a black screen while the scene will have details normally ) . Anyway if you dont want to bother that much Leave it to AUTO , anyway you can set the HDMI range to every HDMI port but i would advice to check it out and also your sources .
Home-> Settings -> Display -> Video Input settings - > Color Matrix . Here you can choose settings for Each input HDMI , Dsub , Component Etc . For HDMI Auto should work fine but you may want to set the HDMI to custom and choose ITU709 for 1080i , 720p and 1080p . For 480i/576i and 480p/576 you should have ITU601 .
That should be set if you want to be absolutely sure your color profile is perfect . Thought AUTO should recognise the source too in most cases .
These were the "global settings" and they are not user preferance . What i mean is that everyone should make sure they are perfectly set . Because if chosen wrong they will reduce the image qualty greatly .
Now the user preferences : these settings are depending on how you want to customise the image you will see .
Press Options - > Picture ( you can go there from the Home menu too but you have to go Home-> Settings -> Display - Picture ) . I will describe everysubsetting and why i advice this choise .
Some of them will be Grayed out because choosing Graphics scene selection will turn off some of the artificial video processing settings like i already explained . This is good thing as it will result in perfect pixel timing and better image and detail ( especially for HD sources ) .
Target input - Current ( you can set it to Common if you want so u can use it for All HDMI sources for example , thought i have PC on HDMI3 and Xbox360 on HDMI2 so i am using Current so i wont have to ajust it everytime i switch between pc to xbox and want the backlight at max ) .
Picture mode - Graphics ( grayd out )
Backlight - 8 . You should probably have that between 4-8 . Having it on max is not reccomended for movies unless you are in a very bright room . You can have it set to max for Games /Xbox/PS
Contrast - Max ( Always have it on max ) . I am not sure yet if this TV uses Pulse-width Modulation but in displays with PWM reducing the brightness to lower than 80% will result in bad invisible flicker but causing terrible migrenas and it will cause most people eyes to be tired because it will cause your pupils to enlarge or the oposite in a very rapid state ( especially in a low brightness room ) . Thats why i do not recommend setting the brightness below 6 ( 60% ) , thought that is yet to be determined thought it is clear that the Motion Flow uses Pulse width modulation ( you can easy see the bad result of it in Impulse mode for Motionflow )
Some manifactures use Analog control of the Backlight or set the PWM to very high frequences ( 3-4kHz but thats only for the Profesional Monitors with RGB LED backlight ) . ( I have ordered photodiodes and they will be arriving tommorow . What they will do is give me a photo oscioscope and i will be able to measure the frequency if there is PWM used in this display which i hope i will post the beggining of the next week ) . So you should check again the thread in couple of days .
Brightness - 50 ( always have it on 50 unless you know what you are doing . Setting it to 49,48... or lower will result in clipping the not so black before deepest black values . Meaning that it will make colors that are not the deepest blacks , the same as deepest black which will cause in lack of details . If you have it set to 51,52 , 53 it will add +1,2,3 to the deepest black and will result in your deepest black getting grayer which is even worse .
Color - 50 would give you most acurate colors for viewing the source as it is ment , thought you can tweak that to yourlikeness
Hue - 0 ( unless you had your tv calibrated by a professional you should leave that to 0 )
Color temperature : Neutral will always give the display a Neutral color temperature . Meaning that if you watch a movie that is shot in warm color temperature , it will be presented in the same warm color temperature . If you set it to warm 1 it will cause the already warm movie to look even warmer which for me is not that bright of idea . Thought if you are watching TV broadcasts , news , etc ( not movies or tv shows shot in their color temperature filter ) it will make that broadcasting , news , etc warmer . I would strongly advice Warm 2 especially if you plan on watching movies as if you play a movie with warm colors , and set Warm2 the result will be horrible and reddish and much much reddish/warmer image than how it is presented in the movie theathres .
Sharpness : you should always have that set to 50 ( especially if you are using it as a pc monitor ) . If you have slight troubles with your eyes you can pinch a little more sharpness by setting it to 60-65 but beyond that i will advice you not to do that cos it will just add artifacts and lack of quolity of the image . It will not correct eyes problems that require a person to have glasses .
Noise Reduction , Mpeg Noise Reduction , Dot noise reduction - OFF - Grayed out ( and should all be off ) . I will not explain why cos it will flood the subject but ill say that they will not matter/enhance for watching HD sources .
Motionflow - OFF , OFF , OFF ,grayd out you should always have this OFF . It will not make a 24p movie to 60p movie it will only interpolate frames . Which means it will not be able to create frames that were not originally shot . Interpolation will make artifacts , blur , and soap opera effect which are all bad thing . Also some of the settings will use Pulse-width Modulation for the backlight set to very low frequiencies and result in terrible flicker ( impulse ) which is VERY BAD for your EYES and health .
Film Mode - Off or Auto2(if you want to have 2:3 pull down for telecine movies . It is said that it will not enhance 24p and it is only for fixing the interlaced content ( movies shot in 24p frames and converted to 30i and then broadcasted with NTSC signal for example ) . I have not seen any change in movement judder for Bluray movies ( thought i am using a PC ) . But to be sure you can always leave it to Auto2 ( and only turn it off when you are playing games ) .
Black Corrector - Low ( you should have that set to Off - Low - Medium ) it is option for the dynamic contrast and will enhance blacks ( without reducing shadow details ) .
Adv. Contrast Enhancer - Low ( again you should choose Off , Low or Medium ) it will enhance the contrast without causing artifacts or loosing shadow details .
The only bad side to setting the the two above to different than off ( Black Corrector and Adv contrast ) is that during a playback scene change like from exaple dark night picture changing to a little less darker or subtitles on screen displaying and then not displaying and again displaying will result in visible change in contrast . In the Low settings it is hardly to see it but if you set Medium or High you will easly spot it especially if you set High . Thats why i dont recomment setting High for these two . ( The low settings give perfectly enough enhancement of the contrast ) .
Gamma - i can only speak settings for gamma for the PC ( windows 7 ) . I tried both my notebook and pc and this is what i have observed . Gamma basicly tells your monitor where the information for 50% white and 50% black will be . It will not ajust the deepest black or the brightest white , it will move the middle 50%w and 50%black either to darker ( - settings on the tv = dark ) or brighter ( + setting on the tv ) . It will not reduce in lack of details in shadows or white scenes but if you set gamma too high it will cause the image to be too bright and pale .
Windows have dislay calibration options and by default the gamma there is 2.19 ( you can install quick gamma it is software that will give you full and more advanced control for setting the gamma right , and also give you details of the LUT control . What i observed is that by default the windows outputs 2.19 Gamma ( that is the outputed gamma , displayed gamma depends on the monitor/tv ) and when i connect a samsung tv as a monitor it displays Gamma in about 2.1-2.2 ( the visible gamma ) . On the Sony it displays it 1.8 ( like the gamma in Apple Macs ) .
Thats why i used quick gamma to set windows gamma to 1.89 and then the displayed gamma is 2.1-2.2 if gamma on my Sony is set to 0 . If i set on my Sony -1 for movies it will give me gamma 2.2-2.3 which i find best for movies . Thought gamma is Source dependand . Above i mentioned not to tough the Brightness option , if your image is too bright and pale for you it means your gamma is set to high and you should set gamma on your TV to -1 or -2 .
Auto light limiter - Definately OFF
Clear white - OFF it doesnt seems to change anything for me but leave it OFF .
White Balance - I have left it as default ( RGB Bias and Gains all on 0 ) . You shouldnt play too much with that because only calibrating hardware can tell you the right settings . What i observed in mine is that in some tv shows there is a little bluish tint to the dark scenes , cause it is caused from their color filters , thought what helped was setting the B Bias to -1 . Thought i wouldnt recoment it as general but Sony TVs do tend to have the Blue set higher than normal . ( I have red somewhere that they do that because in time the blue will fade and thats why they set the blue a little higher in the factory settings , thought i can not confirm that and that can only be confirmed by a calibrator and ofcourse aging of the tv to see if the blue will fade eventually ( and eventually means couple of years ) )
Defail Enhancer , Edge enhancer - both OFF they will result in causing visual artifacts which will not correct the image . Thought they might improve impression on SD . Definately DO NOT use them for HD .
Skin naturaliser - grayd out and off .
i/p conversion Preference - quality and grayd out . ( if you are playing an FPS game and u need an input lag less than 30ms then you can choose Scene Selection to Game and then you can choose the i/p conversion preference to speed ) thought i havent observed any input lag with the i/p conversion preferences . It should matter thought for some of the most " experienced " hardcore FPS multiplayer gamers .
I might be wrong somewhere and lack details but most of the above should be correct . Some of the explanations might not be too technical but they should be easy understandable .
I will post those settings in the forum so other users might also benefit . Also i will posting results for does HX750 uses PULSE WIDTH Modulation for Backlight control ( Motion flow does uses PWM and can easy be observed by turning the impulse mode ) . I will be posting results made by tests with a photo oscioscope . Technical and detailed ones . I will also provide test examples and compares to the display in my notebook , and the other LED TV ( samsung ) .