Originally Posted by spincut
I have been enjoying my Panasonic 800u for quite a bit now, and then I come back here and it seems like all pandamonium has broken loose over floating blacks or degrading or improving blacks over time on Panasonics.
I didn't really follow what came out last year, but has it only been since then? I do feel like my 800u has remained pretty consistent, and I dont recall seeing any floating blacks (I have left it on THX mode all the time though).
Plus I may be moving soon and leaving my 800u behind, and up until today when I checked, I didn't think they were going to do another run of THX mode tv's, so it excited me to see it's a yearly thing now, but now people are making major complaints about the G series TV's and these floating blacks? I got over the flicker issue and that it would likely never be solved, but I could see this changing black issue bothering me (as it sounds like the kind of feature I would normally turn off, and that would more likely be present on an LCD TV).
42800U just over 2 years old should be over 4,000 hours now. Generally, this TV is on about 7 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week. The rest of the time we are gone or asleep.
I have been watching this whole discussion of both rising blacks and floating blacks for about three months now, as well as the details from CNET.
For the most part the TV is close enough to perfect out of the box. The only adjustments over time have been with either picture or brightness control. picture control is a little different than contrast control, but for this discussion we will consider them the same.
With zero hours and new, the TV seemed a dash dull, so within the first few days I went with +2 on picture control and that made it perfect.
Around 400 hours I noticed it was too bright (broken-in good now), and changing picture control to just +1 factory original setting made it perfect again.
Around 1,000 hours or so I felt it was getting too bright again so went back to factory setting for picture control +0. I can easily see the different of just 1 click on any of the controls, be it picture brightness color or tint and of course color management (on/off). If there was such a thing, I would be able to see half clicks as well. However the +0 setting of picture control just did not have the zing or pop I was looking for, so I went back to +1 for picture control. It has stayed that way (+1 on picture) until the last couple of months and I have been watching it like a hawk for all these floating and/or rising black issues.
So during the last couple of months I have tried all sorts of adjustments. For picture +0 +1 +2 +3; for brightness +0 +1 +2. Played with color and tint but within a couple of hours and test always came back to factory settings.
Today the settings are: Factory Out of the Box with only +1 for picture with 4,000 plus hours.
And for my 800U the verdict is:
Floating Blacks None, zero, nada, zilch, not even close. No reason to discuss it is just not there.
Rising Blacks Perhaps, maybe, ultra super minor, if it is there and I think it is - it would be worth about ¼ to ½ a click worth of the darkest black. Keep in mind the 800U while very black is not the blackest TV in the world. So over time from zero hours to over 4,000 hours, the blacks started at one level out of the box, may have risen to ¼ to as much as ½ click around the 1,500 to 2.500 hour mark; but for sure at the 4,000 plus hour mark it is almost, within a ¼ click or less to where it was out of the box. At 4,000 plus hours that certainly works for me.
Side note on blacks: There are so many sources of blacks and all with different levels of quality a lot of people cannot tell where the black is or is not coming from (the TV or the source).
Just one tiny example:
BD version; Lost Season 1 (all 7 the disc, but easiest to find bad blacks on disc 2); has tremendously crushed blacks, and the blackest total dark scenes will appear gray. Many sections of BD conversions are so bad that custom in lieu of THX must be used in a feeble attempt to lift the blacks out - but it really cannot be done because the ultra black detail is not there. You will not notice that in the daylight scenes. Of course a super high quality BD like The Dark Knight does not have that problem. BD qualities are at the opposite ends of the spectrum; in this case black levels.
In comparison the standard DVD version of Taking Chance produces exceptionally deep rich blacks, it actually appears to the near real traditional BD quality. Of course in order to render that much detail the player must be able to up convert in fine fashion.
So on a scale of 0 to 100 for those three sources for the richest and deepest blacks:
BD The Dark Knight - 100
DVD Taking Chance - 88
BD Lost Season 1 - 20 Yes it is that bad, and many will think their TV has a serious rising black issue when it does not. Real Deep Black is not on the BD version of Lost Season 1 - you only get gray, where the black should be. Super crushed from the bottom up. The only way to make this a non-issue for Lost Season 1 is to place the BD on a LCD set, on Super Ultra Vivid mode, in direct sunlight.