Originally Posted by Dr. Spankenstein
...Sure. Would you suggest the AVS HD 709 disc?
Actually I'm very surprised you haven't bothered to get this "free" download yet...
Question: What are you comparing the black level of your VW-60 to? What is your expectation from this pj?
My own personal experience is that "black" being projected from any light source will never be even close to pure black, which by one definition is actually the absence of any light. When I (from memory only) compare my VW-60's black level to other pj's I've owned or seen in the past, I believe it to be the deepest black (dark grey) of the bunch but also providing the best in shadow details, however only a true side-by-side comparison would reveal just how much better. Now if I try to compare it to our Samsung 650 LCD TV, its not even close... the blacks and shadow details are sooo exceptional on that TV, I doubt any projector (regardless of the contrast ratio numbers they are 'selling') will ever be able to attain anything near the Samsung's capability.
I don't play around with service menu settings for the most part, my reasoning kinda goes like this... if it were possible to easily and greatly improve black levels withOUT compromising other things such as shadow details, don't you think Sony would have already did it for you? Isn't it in their best interest to get you the best black level in combo with excellent shadow details? I would suspect that if any further adjustments can effect an improvement, it will be very minor adjustments.
From the pix you've posted, it's true your pj looks very bright indeed but I'm not knowledgeable enough about camera exposure settings, etc to fairly judge just what your picture represents in actual light levels because I believe the 'brightness' of your picture depends mostly upon the exposure setting, but also any ambient lighting, reflections of any light spill, etc. So I suggest all you can do is purchase a real screen then calibrate brightness, contrast next RGB level balance the greyscale and finally set a reasonable gamma (somewhere around 2.1 might be most pleasing) and see if you like what the Sony is showing you. If not, return it and try something else... and you now have the screen and calibration tools and software to set it too up properly. Really don't know what else to tell ya, I don't know any special 'trick' set-ups to get you deeper blacks than what a good calibration will turn up... and without personally being in your theater and experiencing what you are seeing I can't really comment on how your VW-60 compares to mine from just some posted pix. Sorry I can't be of more help.
BTW, my home theater is the proverbial "Batcave"... the screen is flanked on either side by 5 feet of dark burgundy velvet curtains, the ceiling is painted flat-black and covered with a sheen-less black jersey cloth with the area next to the screen being a black velvet-lined ledge and a black velvet curtain below the screen (from screen-to-floor) concealing the subwoofer and some bass traps... the rest of the room is covered in either black cloth, or very dark grey acoustical foam or dark burgundy burlap DIY acoustical treatments. The screen itself has a 4" black velvet border all around and my big Infinity Reference Six speakers on either side of it is also covered in black velvet along with the Infinity 360 center speaker. Its all in our basement so it is completely light-proof. When its movie-time and the lights go out, everything but the screen effectively 'disappears'... and so there's really nothing to reflect light back onto the screen except for the beaming faces in the audience.