Originally Posted by Mr. Neverbicker
So lately I've been a bit concerned about the black levels on the picture. Wondered if it was just me, as if I were just becoming too critical over time. The darks just seemed too washed out for me anymore, but only on the movie content within PowerDVD, not anything on the desktop or other HTPC applications. The picture settings were neutral on the projector, the HTPC video card, and PowerDVD, and everything checked out. It kept bothering me, so the other night I tinkered with the settings on the HTPC and found that adjusting the brightness down from the middle at 50% down to 42% made all of the difference and brought the picture back to life again. I'm very happy but confused why the settings only affect video and nothing else coming from the HTPC. It's obviously something with the video card and PowerDVD that makes 50% not neutral. In any event, I'm getting spoiled with the picture every time I see it again. Very happy again.
I never could get PowereDVD to look right for me. It crushed blacks severely!
I found the contrast/black levels to be more than sufficient with some tinkering as well. I got varied results depending on my video card's color space output.
Once tuned in though, I never felt as I was missing something in those dark scenes of movies like "Harry Potter and the deathly hallows".
Scenes still had great pop and depth, this movie never looked grayed or washed out in the darkest of scenes.
The black levels/contrast in dark scenes are comparable to the Sony HW30 I auditioned recently. The SP8602 has far more POP/contrast/black levels in the mixed and brighter scenes IMO.