chrisb0 -- 1. Thanks. When I scanned the manual, I apparently missed that information.
2. It doesn't work that way. The digital channels are demodulated and the raw digital video (regardless of the received resolution) are delivered to the next (non-tuner) processing circuits. If it is a 1080i input, it is down-scaled to 480i for recording. If it is a 720p signal, it is intelaced and then down-converted to 480i for recording. If it is a 480i digital signal, nothing is done. This all happens after the tuner demodulates and converts the input signal to a digital video stream. If it is a NTSC (analog) signal, the NTSC tuner also converts the analog video to digital for recording, after demodulating it.
3. Ok, the 2 blackest bars can't be resolved. This is normal. For the Belle-Nuit pattern, I re-examined the pattern. You are right. In the center of the second row there are 4 blocks of interlaced groups of lines. These blocks are labled "4", "3", "2" and "1" - horizontal and vertical lines of 4 pixels, 3 pixels, 2 pixels, and 1 pixel in width. To the left of these blocks, there is a block of White with the top half being digital 235 and the bottom half being bars at digital 255, 251, 239, and 231. On the right of these blocks, is a block of Black, with the top half being digital 16 and the bottom half being bars at digital 20, 12, 4, and 0 (actually not digital 0, but digital 1 - digital 0 cannot be encoded by the YPbPr encoder used to produce the GetGray Caldisc). How much of these bars you see should match what you see in the Gray Scale Ramp patterns (at the black and white ends). This is shown in the ReadMe file, in the Belle-Nuit section (on the included picture).
4. Again, thanks. That's not quite true, AFIK. If the input is 1080i, it is de-interlaced and then down-scaled to 768p (at least it should be, some displays throw in an extra scaling step here). If the input is 720p (from a Fox, ABC or ESPN video camera, which are 720p cameras), then the signal is just up-scaled to 768p (there is no logical reason for it to be up-scaled to 1080p and back down to 768p). If the input is 480i (from a SD digital station), then it is de-interlaced and then up-scaled to 768p (again, it does not get double scaled).
5. What that says is that the 480i de-interlacing in the Phillips is better than in the Panasonic. This is the reason that the Belle-Nuit pattern was created (Scott used it under a license agreement from the author).