Originally Posted by Spanbauer
Ok, now I'm really
confused. Based on those figures there are only two plasma series that have better blacks than the best LCDs, and the rest are actually worse. But the sweeping generalization has always been "plasmas have better blacks, period"
. So here I am in plasmaville considering replacing my LCD only to find out my two year old LCD has better blacks than a lot of todays plasmas. Color me thoroughly confused.
Nothing is ever like it was in the old days... Plasma's no longer have the edge in absolute black level. However, in my opinion absolute black levels is way, way over-hyped, confirmed by some of the comments in this thread. Way too much emphasis is being put on a panel's absolute black level, so much so that manufacturers are compromising image quality in a lot of other areas, just to reach the best possible absolute black level. This includes plasma manufacturers by the way. The reason Pioneer's were the top of the pops in this regard, is that they are the only manufacturer to reach a very, very good black level without causing visible negative side effects in the process. They did/does not only have very deep black level, but also very good shadow detail and color accuracy in dark areas. All displays I've seen so far with similar black level, has had very visible compromises in gamma or color performance, or both.
This is also why you should be very cautious when drawing any direct conclusions off such measurements, they only tell the truth of one very specific area of performance, but nothing about any of the other performance differences that exists, that are at least equally as important, but just not as easy to measure and compare.
Personally I feel that one of the biggest issues right now with the latest displays, post calibration, is gamma performance, and specifically how gamma performance changes related to the image input. On a lot of displays, the gamma performance varies wildly related to what is being shown, and a simple 11-step measurement of the display's gamma won't accurately reveal this. Again, the Kuro's have a gamma that is a bit high, but setup correctly it's rather steady, which is just as important. With other tv's, both plasma and LCD but mostly LCD's, I often get the feeling that in some scenes black level and shadow detail looks beautiful, on other scenes it looks horrid. That just doesn't happen with a good, linear, steady gamma - which these measurements tells you nothing about.