Originally Posted by AMartin56
Just be careful with logos for the first couple of weeks.
I don't think blacks will improve with age. Did you own a Panasonic before? My old ST60 held blacks better. The F8500 blacks float a bit but are still quite good. There is no perfect display.
If you are watching in a dark room try gamma at -1 and see if your perception of the blacks improves. (It won't change how they measure).
Also note... If you are coming from an LED it might have used dimming gimmicks to offer deeper blacks (that it also crushed the hell out of...).
This is my first plasma and it's nice to have the rumor of better blacks as the phosphors age answered. One less thing to OCD about.
I honestly don't see any evidence of floating blacks during content on the F8500 except for an all black screen where the MLL seems to abruptly cut to a third it normally is. Perhaps the floating is so gradual or minimal during content my eyes can't catch when it raises and lowers. The "fixed" MLL has kept me at cell light 20 to get the highest contrast possible even if it's a bit bright at night. I wish there was some way to calibrate Dynamic because it would look truly LED like during the day in that mode; Dynamic gets the panel absurdly bright on this thing.
I adjusted gamma ever so slightly with the 2 point white balance offset. Gamma -1 crushed shadow detail and changed color saturation too much for my liking. My WB adjustment is in between Gamma 0 and -1 it seems. I'm going by eye, which is very difficult although I feel I'm quite good at spotting discoloration at low and high areas of the greyscale.
I've also attempted to employ the WB contrast ratio boosting "trick" that works well on Samsung's LEDs. Basically you raise the prominent RGB gain to at least 40 (or as high as possible) and then adjust everything else to match up the greyscale as much as the human eye can discern without discoloration and keeping a close to a proper d6500k temperature (very difficult for those without meters). I think I've gotten quite close albeit probably with spotty gamma but all my eyes mainly notice is a higher peak white. I think the gamma at the lower end is more important and is very adjustable by eye. On an LED this WB boost raises the peak white while keeping the same MLL and can increase the contrast ratio by up to 10%. I tried to do a similar thing on Movie on the F8500 and it seems to have gotten the brightness up to Standard's with contrast still at 95. Perhaps this is placebo but I noticed a slight boost in brightness (and thus contrast).
Also, I came from (still have) a Sammy F8000 LED that has edge lit local dimming. The dimming does a surprisingly well job of improving blacks and maintaining highlights without crushing shadow detail or lowering highlight luminance. Samsung's engineers were able to keep for a most part a stable gamma with the dimming, something other manufacturers neglect or don't manage quite right thus avoiding the crushed blacks some poor dimming systems cause. But mild blooming is still visible of course. There has to be a decent sized horizontal left or right edge to center portion of the screen being pure black in order to cause the LEDs to shut almost totally out. Any tiny bit of any shadow detail keeps the LEDs lit slightly more (albeit dimmed to improve black). I can't put a number to it but my 55" F8000 has at least 24 discrete dimming zones, 12 on each L/R side. The algorithms smoothly and dynamically dim nearby zones so it's not a binary on/off transition like some poor dimming systems.
Scenes with darker or black areas get a decent improvement in inner scene contrast from the dimming but the most significant benefit is inky black letterbox bars which make the overall picture pop more. This added dimming feature is called Cinema Black on Samsung's sets and it will auto detect black bars and dim them considerably, darker than the F8500's native black to my eyes.
Some scenes absolutely rock on the F8000 such as the final raid sequence in Zero Dark Thirty. The MLL gets practically 0 at times with shadow detail and highlights being properly lit. I'll have to remember to compare that scene when I have the two sets side by side again in a few weeks, I haven't watched that scene in quite some time. These local dimming showcasing scenes are very few and far between though, so I wouldn't consider it a reason to prefer LED over plasma. As you can tell I still like my F8000 very much despite its glaring LED LCD pitfalls
I wish I had a meter to put some numbers to all this (and more accurately calibrate) but these are just my observations having had the sets side by side the past week.
I haven't watched much dark content on the F8500 yet. I have Gravity lined up to watch with my roommates. Any other black level showcasing movies you recommend to watch?