Following is an explanation of some of the settings I've been using. All adjustments were done by eye without a colorimeter, using a standard 16-235 Y'CbCr 4:4:4 1080p video input on HDMI input #2 . So some adjustment may be necessary esp. to the black and white levels (Brightness and Contrast) for other types of content/inputs.
OPTIONS MENU (on remote)
SCENE SELECT: GENERAL
There are a variety of different display or "Scene" modes that can be adjusted on the TV via the Picture menu under Settings/Preferences. Most or all of the other display/scene modes appear to use different configurations of the Picture settings available in GENERAL display mode though, which is the default. So I prefer to use this mode for making all my adjustments.
***All of the other menus/settings that follow can be accessed by pressing HOME on the remote, and selecting the Settings/Preferences option.***
WIDE MODE: FULL
Displays HD images full-screen.
AUTO DISPLAY AREA: OFF
DISPLAY AREA: FULL PIXEL
These turn off the overscan on 1080i/p inputs, so they map to the screen without scaling, which yields the best detail/clarity. The Screen menu options are slightly different for other signals btw. There is no FULL PIXEL option for 720p, for example. So to turn off the overscan on 720p signals, you would set the Display Area to +1.
POWER SAVING: LOW or HIGH
These two settings reduce the overall brightness of the TV's backlight, so the blacks/MLL (minimum light level) are closer to "CRT levels". HIGH is darkest, but it disables the Backlight control. LOW allows more fine-tuning of the display's overall brightness via the Backlight control, at the expense of slightly brighter blacks/MLL. Generally speaking, the LOW setting is probably more useful, because it allows more adjustment. The HIGH setting can work effectively in certain conditions both at night and during the day though, depending on how the room lighting and some other controls on the display are configured (esp. the LED Motion Mode, and Gamma controls). A little experimentation is required to determine when it's best to use the HIGH option though. The OFF Power Saving setting is only useful for viewing in a very bright room, during the day.
PICTURE MODE: STANDARD
The GENERAL display/scene mode has three different Picture Modes to choose from: VIVID, STANDARD and CUSTOM. VIVID is useless. And STANDARD has a higher contrast ratio (and possibly also better color decoding) than CUSTOM. So I use the STANDARD mode.
BACKLIGHT: MIN - MAX
Adjusted to whatever brightness level is comfortable for my eyes. Although I do most of my brightness adjustment by eye, sometimes I'll also use a 15% flat field gray as an ambient reference to help get a control like this more in the ballpark. If you're coming from a CRT or plasma display, remember that LCD/LEDs like this have no ABL (auto brightness limiter), and white/high APL (high average picture level) video images can get pretty bright. So you may want to err on the dimmer side to avoid eye-strain.
15% is the approximate APL of video content over time, according to some sources. So adjusting a 15% gray on the screen to match the general brightness of the display's surroundings (ie, the walls and room around the TV) helps to reduce eye-strain, and also keeps the blacks on the TV looking "black", imho. YMMV though. (Computer content is closer to 35% APL btw, according to some sources, which is why you generally want the screen somewhat darker, or room lighting somewhat brighter for web-browsing and such.) I don't recommend using an LCD/LED (or plasma or CRT) in a competely dark room btw.
Adjusted as high as possible without clipping, crushing or discoloring the shades at or near video reference white (Y'=235). For standard video content, the best setting seems to be between 90-95. Some discoloration/crushing of whites starts to occur at higher settings.
Set as low as possible without clipping shadow detail above reference black (Y'=16). In my current configuration, 52 clips the darkest details, and the display's MLL begins to increase at 54.
The default Color value for Standard mode is 55. But the decoding looks a little better to me (but still slightly incorrect) with Color at 50. There doesn't appear to be a red, green or blue only mode in the user menus to assist with these adjustments btw.
Adjusted so details look crisp, clear and well-defined, but not "edgy".
COLOR TEMPERATURE: WARM
The COOL and NEUTRAL settings are both noticeably too cool/blue in color. WARM is closest to D65 (the reference white point for both Rec. 709 video content and sRGB) imo, and produces the most neutral grays and natural colors, esp. when used with the HIGH Clear White setting. (See Clear White notes below.)
NOISE REDUCTION: OFF
MPEG NOISE REDUCTION: OFF
Not a big fan of "smoothing routines", so I have both these OFF for now.
Left at default.
ADV. CONTRAST ENHANCER: OFF
This does nasty things to the color and shading of images, so I leave it OFF.
BLACK CORRECTOR: MED
GAMMA: -1 (+/-1)
BLACK CORRECTOR: LOW
GAMMA: -2 (+/-1)
These are the two best configurations of the Black Corrector and Gamma controls that I could come up with. The HIGH Black Corrector setting distorts the shading too much imo, and OFF lacks the sense of depth that I'm used to on CRTs. The LOW Black Corrector setting also distorts the shading a little in the midrange, but it shouldn't be too noticeable on most content. The first configuration (MED Black Corrector, -1 Gamma) is a bit more contrasty than the second. But they both look pretty good to me.
This is primarily for video content btw. sRGB computer content may look better with the Black Corrector turned OFF (and the Backlight adjusted dimmer than for video).
The Gamma setting is also somewhat content- and room light-dependent. Higher Gamma settings will brighten the midtones, and improve the visibility of shadow details, while also reducing the apparent saturation of colors and contrast in the image. And lower Gamma settings will darken the shadow detail, and increase the contrast. For the best image quality on video content though, I suggest keeping Gamma pretty close to the ranges specified above.
CLEAR WHITE: HIGH
The Clear White and Color Temperature settings form a crude 2-point white/gray balance system. Color Temperature controls the gray balance at lower luminance levels, and Clear White adjusts the white balance at higher luminance levels. The HIGH Clear White setting "neutralizes" the somewhat orange-colored tint on highlights in the WARM Color Temperature mode, producing more neutral/uniform grays across the luminance range. Turning Clear White OFF results in a more obvious difference in color between the lower and higher luminance levels, which is not desireable.
LIVE COLOR: OFF
Recommend leaving this OFF, unless you like really green grass on golf courses and football fields (LOW setting), or are calibrating with an external color system. Shrek is one of the discs I use for display adjustment btw, and he looks plenty green in my current picture configuration, without raising Live Color above the OFF setting.
LED MOTION MODE: OFF or ON (??)
This controls the flicker frequency of the LED backlight. The OFF setting flickers at a higher frequency than the ON setting. (OFF looks like 240Hz, and ON looks like 120Hz.) The OFF setting is also brighter than the ON setting. The difference in motion quality between the two is subtle, but I think I prefer the sense of motion in the OFF/240Hz setting. I like the deeper blacks with the ON/120Hz setting though, esp. at night. So I've been using both. If there was some way to get the OFF setting darker without sacrificing contrast ratio, then I might use it for both day and night viewing. What I may do instead is try to brighten my room light at night enough so that the greater brightness of the OFF setting looks more acceptable. There is no SOE (soap opera effect) with either mode btw.
FWIW, the darkest blacks and lowest MLL are achieved by setting the Eco/Power Saving control to HIGH and LED Motion Mode to ON. The only other controls that appear to influence the MLL are the Backlight control (when Eco/Power Saving is set to LOW or OFF), and the basic Brightness/black level control, if it's raised above the MLL threshold.
The Backlight control is a tad buggy with the LED Motion Mode set to ON btw (but not so much that I wouldn't suggest trying it). When raising or lowering the Backlight control with LED Motion Mode ON, the changes in display brightness often seem to lag one "step" behind.
Last edited by ADU; 10-18-2014 at 11:46 PM.