a note of clarification regarding grey scale and calibration.
i have had it done once to an RPTV and twice to my pioneer (I changed scalers and wanted to re-calibrate inputs)
1. ISF calibration is critical in terms of pq and accuracy;
2. it involves settings only found in the service menu, which once set, become your default baseline;
3. it needs to be set for each input and for SD or HD;
4. the very first thing adjusted is brightness, using the avia black bars and this gets examined over and over to make sure it is not changed due to interactivity. Then contrast, not maxing it out, but looking for a clear distinction between IRE 90 and 100 at the max contrst that will hold the distinction;
5. the actual greyscale adjustment consists of displaying 20IRE and 80IRE patches while monitoring the color temp with a probe. Cliff uses a computer program to analyse the measurements and tweaks the rgb hi and lo bias controls in the service menu. He goes through this many, many times.
the result is that each IRE step from 10 to 100 should measure the same color temp: 6480, which is neither too blue (>6500), or too red (<6500), or too green. Cliff pointed out to me that a slight mis-adjustment of the brightness will throw off the grey scale adjustment; you can bring it back by putting in Avia and re-setting it using the black bars.
When Mark and I examined his setup, both the P and F had the brightness set too high, based on Avia bars, implying that for the "ca;ibrated" P viewed in that condition the grey scale was not necessarily correct.
Mark is trying to get in touch with Cliff to do a side by side calibration; this will have my confidence.
Another of Cliff's tweaks is to turn down the sharpness control, with which I agree. It can give a false sense of "contrast," but when you look closely, it is very similar to edge enhancement, another bugaboo designed to "improve" the image with an artifact.
Play around with the sharpness control on your own set to get familiar with it...get up close to the screen and look at the boundary between bright and dark areas to see the white edgeing. The more film-like experience is with the least amount of digitization, screen door and edge enhancement, not necessarily the "sharpest", most contrasty image.
I think Mark and i both agreed that yesterday, the F did not display the most natural color range (it was too cool) and needed a grey scale calibration. you could see it in side by sides of Leeloo's pre-jump face and the emperor in Gladiator. On the other hand, even after we had re-set the P for correct brightness, it still seemed to retain that sepia tint.
last night I watched "Night of the Hunter" a B/W dvd on my P. I didn't see the sepia, but could notice a slight rosy tint in certain areas of certain scenes, implying there might be parts of the screen that have a permanent "tint" for certain IRE values. It wan't perfect B/W. The F was much closer with Roy Orbison if the purple could be controlled.
Then I watched 3 hours of the Rolling Stones rocking hard and those guys are 60! start me up, gimme shelter, when the whip comes down, tumbling dice, honky tonk woman, satisfaction, jumpiing jack flash, sympathy for the devil...aside from Mick's prancing, a great show Ron Wood, Keith and Charlie were fantastic. I soon forgot about Robert Mitchum' knuckles!