Originally Posted by HomeGuy
I also tried your settings and it seems like the blacks are a truer shade of black but then the picture is much dimmer. I think it's a tradeoff between deep blacks and a less bright picture and gray blacks and a brighter picture.
To a very small extent yes that's true, but that's not what I was addressing. When it comes to setting how much light you want coming from the TV, there are basically three sets of controls. One is for setting white level, one is for setting black-level, and then there's gamma controls. What I was saying is that unless you've set your source so it's not using typical levels for blacks, then I think you're using black-level controls to set white-level. I also question how closely you've looked at what the gamma controls actually do.
White-level is what will generally determine if you have a dim or a bright picture. Color temperature isn't necessarily a white-level control, but it influences how much light comes from the TV so I consider it part of setting white-level. Neutral will produce a brighter picture than Warm2. The other white-level controls are picture and the iris. Because you're using neutral, you can probably set picture to max because I don't think there will be any color shifts. Max or auto 1 iris will give you the most light without getting into the service menu.
Black level will determine if your blacks are similar to how they were intended to be seen. Black-level is probably the least subjective setting because if it's set incorrectly it either decreases detail or lowers contrast. Bias is a black-level control, but unless you're altering white balance really the only black-level control is brightness. You do not want to use brightness to influence how bright the picture is. If you do that then you unnecessarily make black into a gray and decrease contrast. Brightness is used to make sure that video black is the darkest shade of gray that your TV will display. Even though it's called brightness, black-level controls are not really intended to influence how much light your TV outputs.
Gamma controls can be used to alter how light changes through the grayscale (from black to white). There are basically two controls - gamma or black corrector. The gamma setting will add more light to the middle of the grayscale (50% gray will be brighter). The black corrector will cause the low-end of the grayscale to be darker, and that's inconsistent with having a brighter picture. If you turn on black corrector, then as you move away from black toward white the picture will be darker than if black corrector was off.
To get my bright picture I need to also use the black corrector to compensate. Does this make sense?
On my other TV I looked at how the setting affects grayscale and gamma, and so no it doesn't make sense. You cannot use black corrector to make up for things if you set brightness too high. All it does is squish the low-end of the grayscale so that there's less change in light output between say 0% and 30% gray.
I did lower my brightness 10 ticks and it does look a bit better.
I would suggest turning off black corrector would help make a more accurate picture. At first I also thought black corrector made for a better looking picture, but the more I looked into it I found it was simply decreasing detail. If you want to set brightness correctly you can use a typical DVD. Grayscale is the same as HD. I would suggest Digital Video Essentials. It has both a low and a high APL image that might be useful because you're using an auto iris. Places like Netflix have calibration disks, or if you live in a big enough city the library might also. If there's one thing calibration disks are good for, it's setting black-level. The grayscale bars might also give you a better idea what changes the gamma controls cause.