Originally Posted by walshfever
Just bought a 55" GT50 because best buy finally displayed a high end TV. There are no TV stores around me that shows off the high end stuff. I am initially pleased with the TV however I have one concern. I have not had a chance to watch the TV at night yet so this may be premature, but it seems that the bottom letter box bar is rather gray. It seems lighter than the top bar. Could this be the daytime ambient light? Should I be patient and watch a movie at night and then see what’s what? This is my first plasma so I am a little anxious. I am not sure what defects to look for. I have had one too many LED's that I had to return so I crossed over. The colors look incredible. Also, I have not run any break in slides yet. I am still debating on that. Thanks.
More than likely its the viewing conditions and probably an inaccurate torch mode set-up at the store. The black voids are closer to black on the GT50 than any other TV I have ever seen. If you watch it in a totally dark room you will see that "black" is not quite zero-black. The pre-discharge heating on all plasma TV's produces a very small amount of illumination so "absolute black" will never be achieved. That being said, the GT50 is about as good as the industry has ever produced. With even just minimal room lighting or back lighting black does truly appear black and is indistinguishable from the bezel.
Some letterbox content is not true letterbox format. True letterbox has zero signall in the borders. Some content looks like letterbox but is actually a full 16x9 image with dark borders on the top and bottom. In some cases the borders can be closer to grey than black. You will see that crap on some local OTA broadcast content when they take old 4:3 content and rescale / resize / letterbox / muss it up.
The take away point is that the letterbox borders on normal wide screen content is as black as black gets in the industry (except the VT50 which has a darker filter that dims the entire image all the time)
Also, slides are a waste of time unless you plan on having the set pro-calibrated a few weeks after you get it.