Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Belmont CA U.S.A.
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Evidently, not all 141FDs have the same black level capability. Pre-calibration, my panel's black level was 0.0016 FL, which is substantially higher than what was expected, and I admit that I was somewhat disappointed in the picture compared to what I had expected, given that I had replaced an 8th-gen Kuro with the 141FD.
I had Dnice calibrate the panel in February 2012, and he used some of his "service menu magic" to get the black level down to 0.0006 FL, which was unexpected in a panel that has been widely reported to be capable of only 0.001 FL. This, along with the rest of the calibration, made a *huge* difference in PQ. As of now, I still consider this panel one that I can live with indefinitely. It seems that black levels somewhere around 0.0005 FL are really the "point of diminishing returns" for PQ, even in darkened rooms.
When I originally posted these results, some skeptics said that the service menu readjustments were likely to destabilize the panel, resulting in uneven firing of pixels during dark scenes. However, almost a year and a half later, there is nothing amiss at all. So not all calibrations are created equal, and it would interesting to know how the Panasonic panels in this shootout would fare against a 141FD whose calibration came out as well as the one did on my panel. (I don't know if all 141FDs can do this well, or if it's the "luck of the draw" as to how low they can go as a result of a calibration that includes service menu readjustments.)