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Samsung Black Levels & Dynamic Contrast Issues!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
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Plasma Model : PS42B450
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Hi! I have some doubts regarding my new plasma (month old) and was hoping you guys could clear them for me.

[1] When I increase the Brightness, my blacks turn almost white at 100%. But it seems to reach a minimum at 50% and doesn't get blacker below that. It's black at 50% but not as deep as I would have imagined. Is this a defect?

[2] Why is the HDMI Black Level sometimes grayed out? It seems to be there when I watch videos from my USB drive (hooked up to my PS3) and also when I play PS3 games. But for some reason it's blocked when watching Blu-Ray / DVD. It's always at Normal when grayed out. Does this have anything to do with movies not being in RGB because the PS3 shows them in CMYK?

[3] When people say "rich blacks" or "deep blacks", doesn't it mean the blacks should match the color of the TV frame...or am I just seeing a lighter black on screen because I constantly compare it that way? I haven't seen a solid deep black on my TV to date, although movies look stunning on it!

[4] Dynamic Contrast : Why does turning Dynamic Contrast ON cause an awkward "dip" during "fade to black" moments in movies. Example: Transformers 2 opening scene with the savages; every time the image fades to black, the TV sort of dips it further, causing a weird flicker. It's like the TV switches on and off again. I like the Dynamic Contrast and Black Tone but have to turn it off because of this. What's the workaround?

[5] I'm not sure if I'm using HDMI 1.2 or 1.3 cables. Any major differences (especially in black levels)? I'm using the cable that came with Samsung's HD-1080 DVD Upconverting player.

[6] What's the difference between Black Tone and HDMI Black Level and Brightness?

Really sorry for the many questions! Thanks a mil in advance, all!
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvindh View Post

-----------------------------
Plasma Model : PS42B450
-----------------------------

Hi! I have some doubts regarding my new plasma (month old) and was hoping you guys could clear them for me.

[1] When I increase the Brightness, my blacks turn almost white at 100%. But it seems to reach a minimum at 50% and doesn't get blacker below that. It's black at 50% but not as deep as I would have imagined. Is this a defect?

[2] Why is the HDMI Black Level sometimes grayed out? It seems to be there when I watch videos from my USB drive (hooked up to my PS3) and also when I play PS3 games. But for some reason it's blocked when watching Blu-Ray / DVD. It's always at Normal when grayed out. Does this have anything to do with movies not being in RGB because the PS3 shows them in CMYK?

[3] When people say "rich blacks" or "deep blacks", doesn't it mean the blacks should match the color of the TV frame...or am I just seeing a lighter black on screen because I constantly compare it that way? I haven't seen a solid deep black on my TV to date, although movies look stunning on it!

[4] Dynamic Contrast : Why does turning Dynamic Contrast ON cause an awkward "dip" during "fade to black" moments in movies. Example: Transformers 2 opening scene with the savages; every time the image fades to black, the TV sort of dips it further, causing a weird flicker. It's like the TV switches on and off again. I like the Dynamic Contrast and Black Tone but have to turn it off because of this. What's the workaround?

[5] I'm not sure if I'm using HDMI 1.2 or 1.3 cables. Any major differences (especially in black levels)? I'm using the cable that came with Samsung's HD-1080 DVD Upconverting player.

[6] What's the difference between Black Tone and HDMI Black Level and Brightness?

Really sorry for the many questions! Thanks a mil in advance, all!

1. The proper way to set brightness is with a black clipping pattern or black pluge. The blacks are whatever they are after you do that correctly; on your B450 Plasma, you shouldn't expect too much in terms of deep blacks.

2. HDMI Black Level is only available when two conditions are met:

1. HDMI input in used
2. RGB signal input, not YCC

When both conditions are met, the low option is for 16-235 video levels (limited range RGB) and the normal option is for 0-255 pc levels (full range RGB). If the setting is grayed out, YCC is being output and the setting is irrelevant since YCC is always 16-235 video levels.

3. No, not even on a Pioneer Kuro will the blacks match the bezel. If the blacks are too bright for your, consider a bias light behind the TV. Even then, don't expect pure black from your display.

4. Don't use dynamic contrast or black tone. Dynamic contrast screws up brightness, contrast, and gamma while black tone crushes blacks. There is nothing to be gained from these picture 'enhancements.'

5. No, either your cable works fine or it won't work at all. Black levels are dependent on the display, assuming brightness is set correctly with a black clipping pattern.

6. I have already explained what black tone and HDMI black level are. Brightness set too high will wash out blacks while brightness set too low will crush blacks. Crushed blacks/ black clipping means you lose detail in dark scenes and dark areas look more like black blobs than a detailed image.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Very elaborate, thanks! So...I should not expect pure blacks from my plasma model? Any reasons why? Also, where can I find a black clipping pattern? Not really sure what it is.
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvindh View Post

Very elaborate, thanks! So...I should not expect pure blacks from my plasma model? Any reasons why? Also, where can I find a black clipping pattern? Not really sure what it is.

The 2009 Samsung Plasmas don't have excellent black levels on average and your model is entry level, which usually means the black levels are even less impressive.

Test patterns can be found on calibration disks like DVE or Avia II. Also, you can burn yourself a copy of the AVSHD Disc.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=948496
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvindh View Post

Very elaborate, thanks! So...I should not expect pure blacks from my plasma model? Any reasons why? Also, where can I find a black clipping pattern? Not really sure what it is.

With the exception of the last Kuros, no flat panel has good black levels. (and even the Kuros are still worse than CRT) The 3D sets Panasonic are releasing this year supposedly use similar technology, but I have not seen one myself yet, or a proper comparison. They aren't out here for a couple of months, but when they are I should be able to see how they compare to the 9th Generation Pioneers.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Weird. I always thought plasmas were capable of such pure blacks since that's one of the first plus-points everyone talks about when comparing it to an LCD / LED.

Quick question about Dynamic Contrast : Like you, many have said that it's better to turn off these enhancements. But why would Samsung put it in there if it only damages image quality? I have to admit, I actually like the way Black Tone helps enhance the image. Dynamic Contrast, too, in certain situations. So having Dynamic Contrast on, any ideas how I can get rid of the weird 'dip' / 'flicker'? Or is there any other reason why these "enhancements" should be left off?
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by arvindh View Post

Weird. I always thought plasmas were capable of such pure blacks since that's one of the first plus-points everyone talks about when comparing it to an LCD / LED.

Quick question about Dynamic Contrast : Like you, many have said that it's better to turn off these enhancements. But why would Samsung put it in there if it only damages image quality? I have to admit, I actually like the way Black Tone helps enhance the image. Dynamic Contrast, too, in certain situations. So having Dynamic Contrast on, any ideas how I can get rid of the weird 'dip' / 'flicker'? Or is there any other reason why these "enhancements" should be left off?

Most picture 'enhancements' are marketing gimmicks, designed to add to a list of features and to differentiate one set from another in the store. Black tone simply produces a effect similar to setting brightness too low. The more aggressive the black tone setting you use, the more black clipping/crush you will see.

If you want to add more punch to the image without sacrificing detail, move the gamma setting one or two clicks in the negative direction. This will make near blacks darker without any black clipping.

Dynamic contrast is just plain bad, as it screws with PQ in many ways. FYI, most picture 'enhancements' do damage PQ and that's why calibrators always recommend disabling these features to get the most natural picture. Samsung and other TV manufacturers could care less about calibration and their real focus is on selling the maximum number of TVs possible.
post #8 of 8
arvindh says his plasma dips further to black in dark scenes with dynamic contrast on. I have the same problem BUT I have an LCD and the opposite happens. When I shut OFF the Dynamic contrast it does that dip, when I turn it on high, that issue gets better- NOW I"M CONFUSED
Edited by loucaruso - 9/3/13 at 6:59am
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