Originally Posted by bodosom
Do you have source for this? Conventional wisdom is that they're 8-10 bits.
No, they are not native 8 or 10-bit panels. Remember that there is a difference between a panel's native bit depth output and the bit depth of the video processor. Plasmas and many LCDs (especially TN) are 6-bit dithered.
I'm sure you are familiar with this bodosom, but for those who aren't:Temporal dithering
is a technique used in fixed pixel displays to simulate a higher color depth than either the panel or source support. It is an effect where nearby pixels use slightly varying shades of color that trick the human eye into perceiving the desired color even though it isn't truly that color. Dithering takes advantage of the human eye's tendency to "mix" two colors in close proximity to one another by approximating colors via diffusion of subpixels.
For panels with native 8-bit output, dithering is not needed, because (Blu-ray video, for example) uses the same bit depth as the panel's output depth. But, if temporal dithering is done correctly, there should be no visible difference between 6-bit dithered and 8-bit native at common viewing distances. What's more important is the bit depth processing used by the video engine (as I mentioned in above post).
So the Kuros, along with many other high-end displays accept the 8-bit or higher source, process it in 10-16-bit, and then convert it to 6-bit dithered or 8-bit RGB before sending it on to the screen.This thread has some great illustrations (particularly the ones by xrox)
. As discussed within, dithering is not an exact science. Different mfrs. will use different methods. Pioneer uses what they call "Clear" driving, which is a contiguous driving method used in conjunction with PWM. Pioneer claims this eliminates color banding/false contouring, a common artifact brought about by dithering. This is, of course, debatable, as viewing distance can mask or emphasize this phenomenon.
Other points of confusion:
From the 500M operating manual: ""Besides the conventional RGB/YCbCr 16bit/20bit/24bit signals, this flat panel display also supports RGB/YCbCr 30bit/36bit signals."
This indicates the panel can accept up to 36 bpp (Deep Color) input. It does not
mean that it can output Deep Color bit depths.
Some marketing materials for Sony's flagship XBR9 claim "10-bit", but this is the panel's processing capability within Sony's BRAVIA Engine 2.0. The panel is actually native 6-bit dithered or 8-bit.
Most mfrs. do not explicitly state output color depth. But if dithering is used, you can assume 6-bit.