Am I missing something? (plasma black levels) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 54 Old 11-04-2013, 04:24 PM - Thread Starter
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The black levels of the ST60 doesn't seem to be what I was expecting. People always talk about how the blacks look as if the TV was turned off. While it is a great improvement over LED, black levels aren't like that for me. This is both with D'nice and CNet settings.

When an all black screen comes up such as credits, its still a greyish black, does not look like the set is turned off as many here have claimed.

Same with black areas in films, its still more of a very very dark gray instead of pitch black.

Maybe I was expecting too much? I thought it was going to be pitch black, as if the tv wasn't even on in those sections of the screen.

the only time it is pitch black is when there are lights in the room
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post #2 of 54 Old 11-04-2013, 10:56 PM
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are you watching with lights on or off?

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post #3 of 54 Old 11-04-2013, 11:08 PM
 
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^Try re-reading his post....he is clearly referring to lights off viewing.

Rich, you either need to specifically calibrate your display or, more likely, your expectations need to be tempered. Cnet measured blacks at a relatively high 0.0037, which still entails a fair amount of glow. The VT or ZT might have been more impressive to you, but again not completely devoid of glow. OLED should bring you maximum satisfaction (and me, God willing). Conversely, you might need to match your video input settings between the video playback device (blu-ray) and the TV.
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post #4 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 04:41 AM
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Those CNET readings are high as they always are Vinnie, Dnice measured the ST60 at .0016 not the match of the VT or ZT but still very very good in fact better than last year's VT50 by a hair. But to the OP your expectations are not realistic you are going to see some glow from the screen in a completely dark room.
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post #5 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 06:33 AM
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There lies the problem with Plasma - wonderful display in a dim room but who watches TV in a dim room daily? Plasma - even the top of the line Panny gets washed out in mid day - very annoying.

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post #6 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicFlair View Post

There lies the problem with Plasma - wonderful display in a dim room but who watches TV in a dim room daily? Plasma - even the top of the line Panny gets washed out in mid day - very annoying.

Mine don't get washed out when watching in my bright man-room on the weekends (auto racing, news, sports) - they are totally watchable and thoroughly enjoyable.

Of course bright room viewing isn't a good viewing environment and has never been the strong point of any TV in history, especially back in the Rear Projection TV and Tube TV days. My GT50 and ST60 are leagues better than the older TVs were on bright days so i don't see why people keep complaining about bright room performance.

But don't most people watch more TV at night than they do in the day?
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post #7 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich2k4 View Post

The black levels of the ST60 doesn't seem to be what I was expecting. People always talk about how the blacks look as if the TV was turned off. While it is a great improvement over LED, black levels aren't like that for me. This is both with D'nice and CNet settings.

When an all black screen comes up such as credits, its still a greyish black, does not look like the set is turned off as many here have claimed.

Same with black areas in films, its still more of a very very dark gray instead of pitch black.

Maybe I was expecting too much? I thought it was going to be pitch black, as if the tv wasn't even on in those sections of the screen.

the only time it is pitch black is when there are lights in the room
Recommend you properly calibrate your set and then decide if black levels are suitable.

I've had a 50GT50 since January; I purchased the new Spears and Munsil calibration disk shortly after it's release this year. I carefully calibrated the GT50 with it and TBH, I'm continually stunned by by the image quality and especially black levels of this set. They have exceeded my expectations and are significantly better than the black levels of the Toshiba CRT HDTV (c. 2005) the GT50 replaced. Plasma black-levels are the predominate reason for purchase of GT50.

BTW, who watches TV in the middle of the day anyway. rolleyes.gif
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post #8 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 07:58 AM
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Like others have said, Plasmas don't get to zero black, because it's still generating some form of light. OLED's will be where it's at. Each pixel illuminates itself, so when one is set to black, it's actually just set to 'off'. I also find in a dark room when you have a black screen or a dark screen, it's still a little grey. However when you have a scene with good contrast, it looks like midnight pitch black. Meh, nothing's perfect.

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post #9 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 09:19 AM
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'black' as we perceive it is the absence of light. basically whatever is the darkest object in your room is what we perceive as 'black'.

what this means, is that with some lights on, nothing else around your room gets any darker than the 'black' on screen and it looks 'off black'. but when you turn all the lights off, the dark bezel of the tv, or your dark carpet, dark walls, etc all become 'more black' than what's on screen. now you can clearly see that 'black' on screen is not 'black'.

I don't believe there is any plasma(kuro included) that looks 'off black' when no other lights are in the room. the key is to achieve that 'off black' look with as little lighting as possible. for example, with my mid range lcd in my bedroom, I need my lighting at about 50% before I get that deep dark black look. the f8500 plasma looks that way with only about 10%.

I have installed some pot lights directly above my TV's to help with this. bias lighting is also an option.
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post #10 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicFlair View Post

There lies the problem with Plasma - wonderful display in a dim room but who watches TV in a dim room daily? Plasma - even the top of the line Panny gets washed out in mid day - very annoying.

I guess this is a matter of to each his own, because I think it's totally ridiculous to watch tv with the lights on full. completely uncomfortable, and even the brightest LED's look terrible with all the reflections and such. I would say 90% of my viewing is done in a dark room, and the other 10% is me not paying attention and the lights are on dimmed because i'm eating, or doing some paper work or something.

I still can't turn up the cell light on my plasma to the fullest without it causing me eyestrain and being annoyingly bright. the only LED I had need the backlight set to 4 out of 20 to look watchable to me.

on the flip side, at least plasmas CAN be viewed in the dark. maybe 3% of LED's ever produced have good enough backlighting to watch in a dark room without the picture being totally ruined by clouding and flashlighting.
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post #11 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 09:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Those CNET readings are high as they always are Vinnie, Dnice measured the ST60 at .016 not the match of the VT or ZT but still very very good in fact better than last year's VT50 by a hair. But to the OP your expectations are not realistic you are going to see some glow from the screen in a completely dark room.
I didn't realize that, sorry. I have seen different readings, however. Chad B reportedly achieved 0.018 back when he first measured the ST60, so 0.016 seems entirely possible as well.
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post #12 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 09:57 AM
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No worries Vinnie, I do trust DNice's readings because of the Klein 10 he uses. It is hard to make an apples to apples comparison with so much variance in equipment. At any rate I find the blakcs on the ST60 more than sufficient. Of course I never owned a Kuro smile.gif

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post #13 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 10:04 AM
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CNET trump all internet settings - case closed.

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post #14 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 10:07 AM
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Based on what ? I have seen plenty of instances where their settings are not close. Their calibration settings have a no better or no worse statistical chance of being more accurate than someone elses due to panel variance. If you spend enough time here that will become readily apparent.
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post #15 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 10:31 AM
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A couple of you have your decimal points off a bit. ST is measured at .0016ftl smile.gif which is just a couple ticks higher than the VT.

If you want better you can upgrade(or calibrate?) but by the numbers there shouldn't be much of a difference.

We were watching a few recorded shows on my uncalibrated VT60 last night and the blacks were near black. I've settled on using the Pro setting. With the screen black and hooked up to the U-verse box I could see s slight glow with all the lights out (that was cool) but as soon as ANY credits were displayed all I saw was black like the bezel. I was impressed while knowing that's about all it will do with maybe a possible lowering with better calibration. I still need to try some good BD's. I remember D-Nice saying that a Kuro with the MLL mod hitting .0001ftl will glow in the dark. So there should be Some glow and I think the ST should be pretty close to the VT. Now when I look at my two older plasmas they look like something is wrong with them, due to the black levels, lol! Anyway, I don't claim to be an expert but these are my observations.
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post #16 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 10:46 AM
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Show me - never is cnet off.

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post #17 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chunon View Post

Based on what ? I have seen plenty of instances where their settings are not close. Their calibration settings have a no better or no worse statistical chance of being more accurate than someone elses due to panel variance. If you spend enough time here that will become readily apparent.

You're feeding a troll.
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post #18 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:05 AM
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You're feeding a troll.

I know
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post #19 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicFlair View Post

Show me - never is cnet off.

Every panel comes out of the factory with a different greyscale, so no calibrator no matter how skilled can deliver a set of settings that is will be accurate on all sets within a model line. There are way too many variables in a calibration for that to be evenly remotely possible. At best you have a less than 10% chance of hitting on a set of settings that is close calibration wise.

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post #20 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:37 AM
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I wouldn't let some of these so called experts (without naming names ) calibrate my LED alarm clock - let alone my ST60 that I'm picking up today .

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post #21 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:41 AM
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That's your loss really, it you wish to toil on without knowledge that is your choice.

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post #22 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:45 AM
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That's your loss really, it you wish to toil on without knowledge that is your choice.
Knowledge? I hold an MBA and a Master's Degree in Military History,

From what I read , I see a lot of people kind of iffy after they had their TV calibrated. Even Katzmeir says, he's heard horror stories from etc about poorly calibrated TVs.

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post #23 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 11:51 AM
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I wasn't referring to your education or life experience. Specifically your lack of knowledge about calibration, sure if you get your TV calibrated by Best Buy you might have a sub-par experience but if you stick to the professionals here I guarantee you would be pleased. Professional calibration isnt for everyone I realize that. I am just correcting the myth that you can take settings from someone else's calibration plug them in and get an accurate calibrated picture. Sure it may improve things, and you may be completely satisfied with the picture but you will never know if the picture is accurate unless you do it yourself or higher a pro. I hope you follow thru on the ST60 I think it is a great choice

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post #24 of 54 Old 11-05-2013, 03:47 PM
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I own a ST60, blacks are pretty deep. It's a lot darker then my previous D6500 Samsung. It still has a glow in a completely dark room with a pure black screen. Even the legendary Kuro from Pioneer had a glow. OLED is completely black, no glow with a full black screen. Too damn expensive but it's true black. No other plasma can claim so and probably never will.
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post #25 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

^Try re-reading his post....he is clearly referring to lights off viewing.

Oh, I missed that the first time. Yeah last line in his post implied lights-off viewing.
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Rich, you either need to specifically calibrate your display or, more likely, your expectations need to be tempered. Cnet measured blacks at a relatively high 0.0037, which still entails a fair amount of glow. The VT or ZT might have been more impressive to you, but again not completely devoid of glow. OLED should bring you maximum satisfaction (and me, God willing). Conversely, you might need to match your video input settings between the video playback device (blu-ray) and the TV.

I think Calibration + biased lighting or light control over his viewing room lights are the answer. In my living room, the lights are designed to dim gradually with a remote. It can go as low as 10% lighting before turning off completely. I bet under such circumstances, his TV's blacks will look a lot better.

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post #26 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 10:08 AM
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Originally Posted by rich2k4 View Post

The black levels of the ST60 doesn't seem to be what I was expecting. People always talk about how the blacks look as if the TV was turned off. While it is a great improvement over LED, black levels aren't like that for me. This is both with D'nice and CNet settings.

When an all black screen comes up such as credits, its still a greyish black, does not look like the set is turned off as many here have claimed.

Same with black areas in films, its still more of a very very dark gray instead of pitch black.

Maybe I was expecting too much? I thought it was going to be pitch black, as if the tv wasn't even on in those sections of the screen.

the only time it is pitch black is when there are lights in the room

I own a 65VT60 and, like you, sometimes feel a little disappointed when it comes to black levels. I watch mine in a 100% dark, dedicated room, and never, ever have I experienced the "wow, look's like the TV is not even on" moment that most reviewers rave about. Never. I, too, was expecting the black bars in a letterboxed movie to completely disappear and for the image to "float" in the air, but I can always see them, no matter what. Sometimes, the illusion of "bars meshing with the black bezel" is there, but only when there's bright content being displayed in the rest of the image (such as a bright outdoors scene, which tends fool the eye). Same with end credit rolls. There's always a hint of "grey" around the white lettering. Same with my Oppo's home menu screen. Still impressive quality, specially coming from a 65V10. But, like you, I was expecting a little bit more. I do not think any calibration will fix that. Some folks are just more sensitive to this than others.

Am I really happy with my VT60? You bet! Was I expecting a tiny bit darker image after all the bla-bla-bla and hype? Yes, I'm not going to lie, absolutely. Is there any other set that will beat the VT60 other than the brand new OLED sets that are crazy expensive, not to mention a lot smaller? No.
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post #27 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 10:37 AM
 
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^Well, if you ever saw a Kuro, you'd have a general idea of what to expect from Panasonic's final flagship concerning black level. wink.gif
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post #28 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 10:44 AM
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I don't understand the obsession with the set disappearing in a dark room, where best in class blacks have the most impact is contrast ratio and ALL of the 2013 Panasonics deliver in that aspect of picture quality. Whether there is a glow is irrelevant to what is being displayed on the screen imo

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post #29 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 11:07 AM
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with OLED, this will be possible... but imo ANSI contrast matters a lot more (and the Panasonics don't disappoint here with no floating blacks and reasonably bright whites)
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post #30 of 54 Old 11-06-2013, 11:15 AM
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Exactly a set disappearing in the dark is a parlor trick but it really has no value when it comes to picture quality, I am by no means discounting the best blacks like the ZT can deliver just saying minimal screen luminance doesn't detract from the picture quality in anyway imo

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