I had a tech support call today with Pioneer about the excessive contrast and dark picture with video conversion and the scaler. They said they knew about the issue and would likely address it in a firmware upgrade at some point. From my perspective it just about makes the scaler useless. Maybe just with my TV and my source devices net, net though I can't find any reasonable combination of settings on any of my dvd players I have that are not crunched by the Scaler in the Elite. I take that back my Pioneer LD over composite stays nice and bright with good blacks with lots of shadow detail.
My cheap Pioneer DVD player also seems to do better than my other players through the 82, my NC85h, Samsung 850 or Tosh A1.
I figured based on the Pioneer pieces playing better with the 82 maybe I needed a decent late Pioneer DVD player to match with the Elite. Unfortunately the only one I can really afford is the new Elite 46AV but the ones they shipped have noisy HDMI interfaces.. that is not speculation either. My tech support person confirmed for me that just about any in the field so far have this problem. I have an OPPO 970 coming hopefully it has enough adjustment to leverage the scaler in the Elite.
What's up with Pioneer anyway?
Samsung 78" JS8600, Mits WD-92840 43" Samsung 43ku7000 - Lumagen Radiance XS, Martin Logan Motion 40s, Ascend Sierra 2s
58" Panny Plasma -DVDO DUO, Usher S520, JBL HLS-610, Definitive SM45, MusicHall Marimba