So I'm almost hesitant to post this, but after returning from the movies I decided to throw on TDK, my benchmark for blacks, to see if the updates have done anything to the overall PQ. Maybe it's my imagination, but I swear the blacks looked as good as my Elite and I don't ever recall seeing that before. I would describe the blacks as being 'inky', a term I've not used before with the 8500. The black bars were really disappearing, for the most part, into the room. I was really impressed. The opening scene of the city at night in the 2nd chapter (I think), looked utterly stunning and absolutely as impressive as my Sharp Elite.
So, has anyone noticed this or am I just crazy...don't answer that question.