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post #1 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all,

 

Now I know I'm going to get torn to peices for this, but I am wondering if there is a way to get a nice deep black (which settings to change) without getting a professional calibration?

 

I have been using Dnices settings and Sound and Vision settings, but the blacks don't look deep as maybe I thought they should.. I could possibly just expected too much - I don't know.

 

Any suggestions?

 

BTW, I have a 55st60

 

thanks

dave


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post #2 of 27 Old 01-08-2014, 06:27 PM
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Adjust the basics so that they're right for your specific set and viewing environment using a disc such as the free AVS HD 709. Also, bias lighting works wonders.

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #3 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 07:11 AM
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They are never going to be completely black. With the lights out on a completely black screen there is a glow on the screen. With even a slight bit of lighting in the room the blacks match the bezel. Chasing true blacks is a bit of a white whale. CRTs didn't provide blacks any better than what I see on my ST60, at least no set I owned did. Go to the theatre and check the blacks out there, they're terrible.

What's really important is shadow detail. That's what makes plasma displays really stand out. The blacks on my previous LCD were pretty good with ambient lighting in the room but the shadow detail was completely flat because the entire image was lit by the same source. When you hear plasma owners taking about the "3D effect" they're referring to the shadow detail, which is amazing.

If you want true off blacks keep waiting for OLED or whatever self-illuminating pixel technology is on the horizon. IMO it's not the most important aspect of a display.
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post #4 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemsc View Post

Hey all,

Now I know I'm going to get torn to peices for this, but I am wondering if there is a way to get a nice deep black (which settings to change) without getting a professional calibration?

I have been using Dnices settings and Sound and Vision settings, but the blacks don't look deep as maybe I thought they should.. I could possibly just expected too much - I don't know.

Any suggestions?

BTW, I have a 55st60

thanks
dave

The brightness setting sets the black level on the set as previously mentioned the AVS709 disc can be used to set that properly I find the blacks on my ST60 to be very very good. Also the gamma setting can impact how the overall contrast appears.

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post #5 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chris NYC View Post

They are never going to be completely black. With the lights out on a completely black screen there is a glow on the screen. With even a slight bit of lighting in the room the blacks match the bezel. Chasing true blacks is a bit of a white whale. CRTs didn't provide blacks any better than what I see on my ST60, at least no set I owned did. Go to the theatre and check the blacks out there, they're terrible.

What's really important is shadow detail. That's what makes plasma displays really stand out. The blacks on my previous LCD were pretty good with ambient lighting in the room but the shadow detail was completely flat because the entire image was lit by the same source. When you hear plasma owners taking about the "3D effect" they're referring to the shadow detail, which is amazing.

If you want true off blacks keep waiting for OLED or whatever self-illuminating pixel technology is on the horizon. IMO it's not the most important aspect of a display.


Hmmm....what I see is the black physical border of the tv, the top and bottom black bars (being a little lighter) than the black in the movie (say space), which is many shades above the top and bottom black bars....

 

Maybe I'll take a pic tonight...

 

Thanks for the responses


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post #6 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 11:40 AM
 
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The ST60 is no slouch for the money, but it still only dips to 0.0023 fTL on a full black screen. In comparison, the stock Kuros and VT/ZT dip to around 0.001/0.0011. All of these levels will show a little bit of glow on low APL scenes (i.e. space).
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post #7 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 11:43 AM
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It may be the source. Blu-ray and games should match the black level you see on the letterbox bars. Bad encodes can make blacks look washed out. It might me the HDMI black level or RGB range settings but I'd imagine if either of those were off the letterbox bars would be bright as well.

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post #8 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davemsc View Post


Hmmm....what I see is the black physical border of the tv, the top and bottom black bars (being a little lighter) than the black in the movie (say space), which is many shades above the top and bottom black bars....

Maybe I'll take a pic tonight...

Thanks for the responses

A picture is pretty useless. There really is no point in any other first step than making sure that your basic settings are right.

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #9 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

The ST60 is no slouch for the money, but it still only dips to 0.0023 fTL on a full black screen. In comparison, the stock Kuros and VT/ZT dip to around 0.001/0.0011. All of these levels will show a little bit of glow on low APL scenes (i.e. space).

.0016 as measured by Dnice, not saying it is ZT/VT level but it beats last years VT50

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post #10 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 12:40 PM
 
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Shockingly close to the Kuros and V/ZTs. The OP at the following thread needs to include his reading: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471147/comparison-of-black-levels wink.gif
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post #11 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris NYC View Post

They are never going to be completely black. With the lights out on a completely black screen there is a glow on the screen. With even a slight bit of lighting in the room the blacks match the bezel. Chasing true blacks is a bit of a white whale. CRTs didn't provide blacks any better than what I see on my ST60, at least no set I owned did. Go to the theatre and check the blacks out there, they're terrible.

What's really important is shadow detail. That's what makes plasma displays really stand out. The blacks on my previous LCD were pretty good with ambient lighting in the room but the shadow detail was completely flat because the entire image was lit by the same source. When you hear plasma owners taking about the "3D effect" they're referring to the shadow detail, which is amazing.

If you want true off blacks keep waiting for OLED or whatever self-illuminating pixel technology is on the horizon. IMO it's not the most important aspect of a display.

Chris, I absolutely agree and endorse everything you wrote here.cool.gif
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post #12 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Shockingly close to the Kuros and V/ZTs. The OP at the following thread needs to include his reading: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1471147/comparison-of-black-levels wink.gif

And as far as I'm concerned, the 8500, Panny, and Kuro are essentially equal at black levels. I say that because you have different people measuring small samples which gives more room for slight discrepancies and a margins of error.

The OLED obviously beats them all entirely but black level is not the most important aspect for a display for me. I believe it's weighted far too much here.
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post #13 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 01:47 PM
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Can someone confirm the rumor that somewhere on the AVS plasma forum there's a thread that didn't eventually turn into a black level comparison discussion? I've heard about one but never been able to locate it.

Seriously, there is no other logical next step than for the OP to verify that his settings are correct. Kuro black levels etc. are about as relevant as fat free yogurt.
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Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #14 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 01:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by discopaul View Post

And as far as I'm concerned, the 8500, Panny, and Kuro are essentially equal at black levels. I say that because you have different people measuring small samples which gives more room for slight discrepancies and a margins of error.

The OLED obviously beats them all entirely but black level is not the most important aspect for a display for me. I believe it's weighted far too much here.
You might want to take it up with the ISF. After having a display with an uneven backlight, I still can't find myself in agreement. Put all of the aforementioned panels side-by-side in a darkened environment, and the deepest blacks will always make for an image with the most depth thanks to the enhanced contrast ratio, particularly with low APL content. This is especially true when all of said panels can easily reach bright enough levels to cause the pupil constriction.
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post #15 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

You might want to take it up with the ISF. After having a display with an uneven backlight, I still can't find myself in agreement. Put all of the aforementioned panels side-by-side in a darkened environment, and the deepest blacks will always make for an image with the most depth thanks to the enhanced contrast ratio, particularly with low APL content. This is especially true when all of said panels can easily reach bright enough levels to cause the pupil constriction.

Well, I know this all goes back to an old argument we've probably discussed. The bottom line is most people, if nothing but sales of LCD for example show, don't watch TV like this. In fact even in the shootout, the general audience preferred the Samsung over the Panny even though the Panny's black levels were marginally better. Movie theater black levels are even worse. Nothing will ever have black hole like levels and there are other factors in TV watching. There is color, detail, whites, peak bright levels, etc.

So you can make your argument all day long. Obviously the general public and even some enthusiast see the entire experience as more than just black level being the ultimate determinant of TV performance and viewing.
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It's not the ultimate, but it's at the top of the list. I hadn't been to the theater in a while and was disgusted by the poor blacks I saw with a free movie pass last month (Gravity). What people and even enthusiasts prefer has nothing to do with the science of the matter.
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Originally Posted by willieconway View Post

Can someone confirm the rumor that somewhere on the AVS plasma forum there's a thread that didn't eventually turn into a black level comparison discussion? I've heard about one but never been able to locate it.

Seriously, there is no other logical next step than for the OP to verify that his settings are correct. Kuro black levels etc. are about as relevant as fat free yogurt.

And believe it or not it was worse during the heights of Kuro fanaticism a few years back.

For the op, other than following the recommendations in the various panny threads, you are limited by the TV's performance. You could also do things like bias lighting near or around the tv which will give an apperent increase in contrast.
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post #18 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

It's not the ultimate, but it's at the top of the list. I hadn't been to the theater in a while and was disgusted by the poor blacks I saw with a free movie pass last month (Gravity). What people and even enthusiasts prefer has nothing to do with the science of the matter.

The science has to be relevant though Vinnie.

Lemme give an example.
I'm a little bit of an audiophile. So tube power amps have generally measured far worse than solid state amps for total harmonic distortion. As many of us who listen to both though know, many tube amps can sound much much more pleasing. Well, here is the relevance part. Research showed that our ears are particularly sensitive to odd order harmonics. When solid state amps begin to clip, they tend to generate a lot of this. Tube amps however tend generate even order distortion which is less bothersome when listening.

My parallel point is just because the science supplies x values, it's pertinence may not be as significant as it might suggest. Clearly no one is walking out of theaters due to mll, and the large numbers of lcd owners aren't tossing their sets out the window due to their mll performance.
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post #19 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 03:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

It's not the ultimate, but it's at the top of the list. I hadn't been to the theater in a while and was disgusted by the poor blacks I saw with a free movie pass last month (Gravity). What people and even enthusiasts prefer has nothing to do with the science of the matter.


Black levels have a significant impact on contrast, and contrast, (which as you eluded to), is the most important aspect when it comes to picture quality. Second is color accuracy, third is saturation and fourth is resolution. It is the contrast that gives TV's that pop, which impresses even the most novice viewer, when looking at a display.


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post #20 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 04:10 PM
 
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I know, that's the ISF list to which I was referring (since black levels provide the most striking effect for contrast ratio improvements). smile.gif Bright showrooms where LCDs sell is just not the kind of environment where contrast ratios shine, Paul, which is why plasma is on its deathbed. We can certainly see the practical effect of contrast ratios in, for instance, the most recent Value Electronics shootout last May.
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post #21 of 27 Old 01-09-2014, 04:55 PM
 
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Wow...I'm not attacking your claims. By shocking, I mean impressively close. I'm being honest when I say the OP should add D-Nice's reading because he did the same for Chad B's findings. You completely and wholly misread my intent (though I haven't seen any readings for the VT/ZT greater than 0.0011, but I would love to see them).
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Vinnie, Yeah I missed the boat on that one, apologies smile.gif

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post #23 of 27 Old 01-10-2014, 06:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnie97 View Post

Wow...I'm not attacking your claims. By shocking, I mean impressively close. I'm being honest when I say the OP should add D-Nice's reading because he did the same for Chad B's findings. You completely and wholly misread my intent (though I haven't seen any readings for the VT/ZT greater than 0.0011, but I would love to see them).


I did add DNICE's settings if that is what you mean (I agree with others that there is too much red in everything).

I tried S&V settings as well but found them darker (meaning shadow detail gets lost).

 

I may try CNETs next.

 

Maybe it looks like I can;t avoid a good calibration (I just can't justify it right now)

 

Dave


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post #24 of 27 Old 01-10-2014, 07:35 AM
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So you have no interest in finding the right basic settings? Even when you can do it for free?

Adjusting settings according to personal preference is not calibration.
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post #25 of 27 Old 01-10-2014, 07:50 AM
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I tried every setting I could find on the web and they all either came in too dark or too red. I finally settled on cinema and am waiting for wow disc to arrive to dial it in. Thinking Michael Chen was right that copying settings is almost always a bad idea, might work for a few people if you get lucky but I think a lot are settling for preference over reference. YMMV
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post #26 of 27 Old 01-10-2014, 08:19 AM - Thread Starter
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I have used the THX optimizer on some of the star wars discs...that is set up properly.  I also have the WOW disc coming to me, but I would think that is at the same "level" of calibration as the THX optimizer.  Thoughts on that?


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post #27 of 27 Old 01-10-2014, 08:57 AM
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I have used the THX optimizer on some of the star wars discs...that is set up properly.  I also have the WOW disc coming to me, but I would think that is at the same "level" of calibration as the THX optimizer.  Thoughts on that?

I know in the past some THX optimizers were only for that disc or movie. Hopefully that has changed because every studio should be mastering to rec 709 and if that is now the case, WOW vs THX optimizer shouldn't matter, but getting the WOW disc is still a good idea - I would place more trust in it.

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