Originally Posted by Joey K
I agree that it can be made to be acceptable in low light, and that is probably the "proper way" to watch, but in the daytime with curtains open I want to watch TV also, and to do this we need it in another Mode besides the Movie Mode and when evryone in my house (those much less discerning htan me) see the color banding, what is the point.
I am glad you are happy, but I just cannot get it to work
The following is taken from an article that I wrote for American Wired several months ago regarding the proper viewing environment.LIGHT CONTROL
The most obvious and least difficult thing that anyone can do to instantly improve their display's image is to simply turn off all the lights and/or to view it during the evening when the daylight is not a factor anymore. The one and only exception to this rule being a bias light (more on this later). Consider this, a typical theater will have a contrast ratio (CR) of about 100:1. Whereas a typical living room during the day or at night with all the lights on may only achieve a CR of about 10:1. Put another way, in a darkened theater the blacks may be approximately 100 times darker than white. Whereas in a bright living room, the blacks may only be about 10 times darker than white. This greatly limited dynamic range will negatively impact image quality in a number of ways. For one, fine shadow detail (faint information in dark regions of the picture, i.e., pinstripes on a dark suit, etc.) will likely go unnoticed. The same holds true for the opposite end of the spectrum where fine white detail (information in the bright regions of the picture, i.e. clouds, etc.) will be difficult to perceive as well. Colors too will suffer in that they will get washed out by the light hitting the screen. Think of a flashlight pointed at a wall and how the spotlight seems to lighten the color. Even in a very bright room, the light aimed at the wall would still "dilute" the color somewhat. This is an extreme example but nonetheless illustrates to some degree how intense light (i.e., a bright room) can make colors seem faded.
Another reason to do your critical viewing in a controlled ambient lighting environment is because an excessively bright room will significantly alter a picture's "sound-stage" to use an audio analogy or what I refer to as "atmosphere." By that I mean a display's ability to more accurately reproduce the natural conditions associated with a certain time of day, year, and/or climate most noticeable in outdoor scenes. With that audio analogy in mind, if you were to place two speakers side by side and gradually space them apart to their optimum positions while listening to music, you would witness the soundfield grow from a flat boom-box-like quality to a spatial soundstage where the placement of instruments/musicians will be realized and where a sense of the room that the recording was done in will be possible (particularly with acoustic music). Just as the music would "come alive" as the speakers are moved into to their correct location so will a display's picture as the ambient light in the viewing environment is lowered to its correct level (off!).
Now, some of you might be thinking that you cannot watch TV in a completely darkened room either because it is mostly done during the day in a room were the ambient light cannot be controlled, you or your significant other prefers to have a light on when viewing during the evening, and/or because it causes your eye fatigue. My short response to these objections would be this.There does not exist, nor will there ever likely exist, a video system that can perform to optimum levels if the image is being bombarded by stray light (even if Joe Kane himself were to calibrate it!)
Why buy a Ferrari F430 if you are only going to drive it to the supermarket? To me, it is perfectly analogous to seeing people spend thousands, often tens of thousands of dollars assembling a video system only to view it with the lights on. Amazingly, I have actually had some clients in the past who insisted on having me perform a calibration with the lights on because that was how they viewed TV, never mind the fact they were paying me almost $500.00 to improve the picture! Occasionally, I would get an individual that wanted me to create a correct setting for nighttime viewing and a correct setting for daytime viewing. Let me make this as perfectly clear as possible.There is no such thing as a "Correct Daytime Mode" on a display device. I would suggest renaming it "Incorrect Daytime Mode" instead as the brightness and contrast will have to be raised to undesirable (and perhaps unsafe) levels to compensate for room lighting. Thus the term "Correct Daytime Mode" is actually a misnomer as it will surely have to deviate from the truly correct standards set forth by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) for proper video presentation.
If most of your viewing is done during the day, it is imperative that you do everything possible to eliminate as much of the stray light entering the room. This would entail shutting all blinds in the direction that allows the least amount of light in, closing all curtains, shutting all doors, and of course turning off all the lights. In many rooms, however, this is simply not going to be enough to approximate the desired blackout viewing conditions. One option would be to make cardboard cutouts that can be fitted over the windows. This is an inexpensive and simple solution that will turn any bright room into a video friendly environment. Another option would be to get light-blocking curtains. There are literally thousands that will work with just about any decor. I especially like the thick dark velvet ones which always remind me of being in a theater! Another similar approach would be to get light-blocking shades. Here again you will have a huge selection to choose from. And for those interested in pursuing the best option of all, there are a number of companies that offer motorized remote controllable shades that run up and down on a track that form an impenetrable seal for a total cave-like effect. As you can image, they are not cheap but man are they ever cool! Stewart Film Screen makes such a product which they call Ambience Cinema Shade
. These shades can be custom made to fit any size window and are available in a number of different colors. They can even be custom printed with any image such as movie posters of your favorite films or the pattern of the wall paper in the room!
Not all light in the room is bad however. In fact, the right type of light, with the right intensity, in the right location, can actually be quite beneficial. The issue arises with the types of light that are commonly used in our homes. For one, they are usually too bright and are often placed on an end table in front of the screen. As a result, colors will get washed out, shadow detail will diminish, screen reflections abound, and dynamic range goes out the window (no pun intended!). But another thing occurs which you may not be aware of. Your perception of the colors will also become skewed by the unique spectral characteristics of the light under which you are viewing your display. So depending on the type of bulb that you are using and its age, everything may have a reddish, bluish, or greenish tint. It therefore goes without saying that typical room lighting should be turned off for any type of serious viewing.IDEAL-LUME BIAS LIGHTING
As mentioned earlier, there is only one light which is acceptable for use in a home theater environment and that would be the Ideal-Lume Bias Light
by Cinema Quest inc. The unit comprises of a slender T5 fluorescent fixture, an electronic ballast, a low wattage T5 bulb, a rotating mechanical baffle tube to regulate light output, and velcro/screws for mounting purposes. What differentiates this light over what you would normally have in your living room is that the bulb itself is the same color temperature as your display should be set to (D6500) and has a very high Color Rendering Index (CRI) of about 90 (out of 100) as well as an excellent Spectral Power Distribution (SPD). In other words, this is an exceedingly neutral light that will not adversely impact your set's picture. But what is also of paramount importance is the location of the light. It needs to be placed behind the TV, horizontally, and usually on the back of the display facing the back wall. The rule of thumb is to have the backlighting be around 10% of the peak light output of your display. Digital Video Essentials (DVE) has a test pattern which they call "Ambient Light Reference" (Title 12, Chapter 16) that can assist you with this.
Once mounted correctly, the additional light produced by the Ideal-Lume will occupy that part of your field of vision which would normally be occupied by a large movie screen. This in turn relaxes or biases your iris by not having it open fully during a dark scene or close during a very bright scene. This constant opening and closing causes eye fatigue for some people which explains why so many like to have lights on in the first place! By the way, an added plus with a bias light is that it will also improve perceived contrast ratio which is particularly beneficial on digital displays whose black levels are not as "black" as the best CRT monitors. Models start at around $45.00 making the Ideal-Lume one of the best home theater deals ever!MUNSELL NEUTRAL VALUE SCALE
Another often overlooked component that will have a tremendous impact on how you will perceive images on a display is the choice of wall coloring directly behind it. The last thing that you want to see is a bias-light illuminated orange wall while watching a movie. Talk about distracting! Plus, any color surrounding another will influence the way that color is perceived unless the surrounding color is of a neutral shade. According to the "SMPTE RECOMMENDED PRACTICE: Critical Viewing Conditions For Evaluation of Color Television Pictures" surface (wall) reflectance of less than 10% of the peak luminance value of the monitor should be used for room coloring. In the video world, these would consist of tones taken from the Munsell Neutral Value Scale
. Ideally, we would view our displays in a black windowless room. But since most of us do not have dedicated media rooms and tend to value our marriages, this is not usually an option. So if at all possible, paint the wall directly behind your TV a dark neutral gray. But it certainly will not hurt to the ask the boss if you can get away with black! But seriously, the fact remains that even if you were to use a light neutral gray, this would still be a much better choice over white or yellow. If, however, painting is simply not possible, then consider having a dark gray or black curtain which can be pulled closed behind your TV or perhaps one than can be rolled down behind the display as an alternative.