After getting around to watching more dark content, I have found a problem with my particular projector involving banding / macro-blocking / pixelation issues in dark scenes.
See thread below.http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1134941
Apparently, this is why I previously thought the projector had more image noise than it really did, as I was seeing worse image noise and pixelation in dark scenes, it's just at brighter levels it is not visible anymore after enabling the Noise Reduction. Anyhow, in dark scenes my projector is struggling.
I didn't say anything before because I assumed it was my calibration (this could be partly it, but I don't want to go into the service menu just yet). The picture above is not my OWN picture, but my problem looks identical to this one.
I've already tried the obvious like turning off ALL processing and calibrating around it, but I don't feel that trying to obtain a non-standard gamma curve or blow shadow detail out is a good solution to the problem.
Most likely I will first attempt to get an exchanged unit just to see if another one has the same issue.
I wonder if any of you have this problem and haven't noticed, or if I just got that unlucky?
I'll try to take it in stride, at least bright scenes look fine, but cannot watch much dark content, it ruins the experience pretty quickly. It is making about 25% of scenes in dark content absolutely unwatchable, only certain lighting conditions exhibit the problem.