Well I snuck away again do go upstairs and "do work". I may have implied this was "work work" but it was really "avsforum work". I think I've got the black clip/crush solved.What you have to do is put a 480p source on and then go to Setup/NTSC Mode and select "Japan". When you switch to 720p NTSC Mode is unselectable, but if you set it to "Japan" in 480p then it stays that way in 720p.
My guess is that NTSC Mode: USA maps to 7.5 IRE setup while NTSC Mode: Japan maps to 0 IRE setup. Apparently ATSC 480p and 720p should have 0 IRE Setup. From a quick google search I got this quote from a WideScreen Review article on a Lumagen scaler:
>PDSTL (pedestal or setup) should be set
>to match the nominal black level (0 or 7.5
>IRE) of each input signal. The standard for
>composite and S-video signals is 7.5 IRE in
>North America. The black level for YPbPr
>signals is usually 0 IRE, which follows the
>EIA/CEA 770.2 standard, but it may be 7.5
>IRE on older DVD players. Some DVD players
>include an option for no setup, dark,
>or enhanced-black, which all refer to
>black at 0 IRE.
So far I have three test scenes for this (extremely hit-you-in-the-face obvious) problem:
1) 480p Xbox component Burnout 3 dark grey car had no detail and was too dark: getting the grey right with brightness blew out the rest of the image. Also a general feeling of missing detail.
2) 480p/720p HDTivo component HDNet test pattern: blacks obviously clipped - the "10" in the last box is never visible
3) 720p HDTivo component (didn't try 480p) HBO HD Deadwood: daylight scene, preacher with a dark suit: suit is a black mass - detail (buttons, folds, etc. all gone) is clipped, even when pumping brightness up to make blacks look gray
All of these were solved with the NTSC Mode set to Japan.
MikeSRC - could you try your Bravo HD over component to see if this solves what you're seeing as well?
BTW, there's no white crush on the HDNet test pattern. I'll verify the DVE reverse gray ramp when I hook up my RP-56 via component. At least BenQ only crushed/clipped blacks this time
. Though to be fair Toshiba could have screwed this up.
TzungILin - good suggestion on the 8700 service menu: perhaps someone will be brave enough to go in and mess with the colorwheel sync to see if it helps horizontal pans. I'm personally not going to void my warranty.
EDIT: Forgot to mention all sources had a general feeling of missing detail/something wrong, which the NTSC mode: Japan fixed. Things now look like they in HDTivo component the same way they do in HDTivo HDMI. I'm now going to watch an HBO HD movie over component to get a longer look.