Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Rohnert Park, CA
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As a 10 year CRT FP owner (until I sold my home in 2008... new HT in my new home still in progress)... I'm used to a not-so-bright image.
That said, I've viewed several other HT's over the years... some with light cannons and some with CRT's. I've also viewed countless Home Theater showroom setups with LCD's and DLP's of varying brightness.
I must say that while really bright images do "pop" and look stunning at first, my observation is that beyond a certain point the excessive brightness causes problems.
You see, at some point the brightness begins to illuminate the room, the floor, the seats, my drink, and the tip of my nose. These things can be distracting, even when the walls (and seats, etc.) are black. I also observe that the apparent "depth" of the image (some say that 2D content appears 3D like with a good CRT setup) is reduced when parts of the room are visible.
With a less-bright image the room (and screen wall) can be invisible.
Just my observation. I agree with the opinion that 10 different people will have 10 different brightness preferences, but I do think that there is a point where too bright can cause other issues.