Limited (standard) vs Full (nonstandard) range
I'm pretty confused about ranges and I'm not even sure the answer lies within my TC-P60ST60. However I'd say this thread is probably a good place to start.
My setup is relatively standard: I've got an AVR (Denon X4000) on which all sources are connected and the AVR is connected to the TV. Among the various sources, there is a blu-ray player (Sony BDP-S5100) that doubles up as my main Netflix player and an HTPC.
In the past I had some trouble adjusting the colors so that the range output is correct for both movies (blu-ray playback or Netflix) and PC games or other content. I realized along the way the issue about limited/standard/16-235 vs full/nonstandard/0-255 range. The TV can be set on either standard, nonstandard, or auto range.
Using auto range, I was under the impression that the algorithm for switching modes was a bit too simplistic, i.e. set the input on limited/standard range and if values outside 16-235 are received, switch to nonstandard range. I'm not sure if this is the case at this point. The problem is, as I've got sources with likely different output ranges (blu-ray player vs PC) hooked to the same TV input via the AVR, I have no idea how to actually fix the problem if auto mode acts like a ratchet (i.e. goes up to full range but never goes back to limited range). In the past, I got blu-ray playback that was all washed out (limited range output fed to full-range input) while the TV was set on "auto".
Recently I managed to find an option in my nVidia video card driver to output limited/standard range to the TV (while simultaneously outputting full range to an attached LCD monitor). I thought that once and for all my problems would be solved, and forced the TV to standard range, with the idea that now all sources hooked the TV would use standard range.
It turns out that using these settings, watching Netflix on my blu-ray player at least, it appears that the picture is too dark (huge zones of pure black) with some washed out whites (zones of maxed out white). Clearly I'm squeezing full/nonstandard range output into the TV's limited range input.
The thing is, my blu-ray player seems to have no specific setting about color range, other than 10/12/14-bit deep color. Neither does my AVR (I was wondering if an AVR typically rescales the color range). My plan is to set the TV input setting back on "auto", but I'd really like a hint as to what's going on here, and what "auto" actually does (is there some metadata in the HDMI protocol that formally specifies the range so that the TV can switch mode without having to guess?). Do blu-ray players typically output full/nonstandard range? Are they agnostic to range to the point where blu-ray disc playback could be standard range and Netflix playback be nonstandard range? Would anybody do things differently than I do in my setup? Both the player and the TV can output or accept various types of HDMI signals and are both set to "auto": what happens in that case, do they settle on "RGB" vs "Y:Cr:Cb 4:4:4"? Can this affect the range used?
Any hint welcome...