Originally Posted by AustinJerry
Geoff, I finally got around to popping in the S&M disk to look at the 0% Pluge test. On the positive side, my display shows no clouding or uniformity issues, and I agree with you, this is a good screen with which to assess the display's performance.
While looking at the test, I noticed several things related to the Brightness setting on the display. First of all, I noticed that the test is influenced by whether you have the Brightness slider control open on the screen. To be completely accurate, you should open the control, make your adjustment, and then close the control to see the effect on the test pattern. Is that your experience as well?
Second, I notice that as the brightness control is increased, two rectangles with a checkerboard pattern appear on the left and right sides. On my display, this checkerboard pattern is visible with a brightness setting of 50, but disappears when I reduce the setting to 49. I read the test instructions provided on the disk, but it is still unclear as to whether the correct brightness setting is when the checkerboard disappears, or when it just becomes visible. Do you have a recommendation?
I seem to recall that someone else mentioned that a Brightness setting of 49 produced slightly better black levels than a setting of 50.
First point: yes, if you have a menu slider on-screen when using the darker test patterns they will appear brighter, because the dynamic backlighting is doing its job by illuminating the slider. So make your adjustment, turn your menu off, and you'll see it dim right down as it should.
Second: the black squares in the background are set at 16 and 17 respectively, i.e. the darkest square is at the very bottom of the 16-235 video range. If you're seeing the lighter square, that means that the display isn't clipping the next level up from video black, so you're seeing every bit of shadow detail possible.
But the 2% and 4% bars will remain on screen at either 49 or 50 brightness, so you're only losing 1% of black performance @ 49. When I set my 55" to 49 brightness on the 0% pluge, if I look closely I can still *just* make out the two sets of squares, so I've been been watching movies @ 49 and they look great.
One other thing to consider is the Smooth Gradation, because this will clip the 16/17 range too. Set brightness to 50 then turn the SG from off to low, and the processing smooshes together the squares. I always used it to combat banding, but the encoding's getting so bad on Blu-rays (UK ones anyway) that it doesn't make a difference, and the good encodes don't need it anyway.