Originally Posted by AVBill
There appears to be a great deal of misinformation in this thread. Jay_Davis pretty much has this spot on. If you lack a test patten that has BTB (Blacker-Than-Black) and WTW (Whiter-Than-White) information in it, I'm not sure how you would understand some of these settings. I would suggest listening to those who understand the underlying standards involved, not those who try a setting and say "it looks better to me." Everyone is trying to help here with good intentions. Some just understand more of the details than others.Points
1) First off, many people improperly think that RGB Full intensifies their colors. I can understand why this is. It is because the black level is moved down (i.e. black of 16 is now black of 0 I believe). If you lower your brightness setting by 10 or 20, it will give you the same illusion that your colors are deeper (because many of them are darker). This is inaccurate. Part of your shadow detail has been crushed when this happens. In other words, you traded being able to see details in the darkness (a real loss) with an illusion of more intense colors. This is similar to the torch burn modes of TVs in the stores (they look vibrant and contrasty, but you can't see much of anything in the shadows). If switching RGB limited to RGB full makes ANY dark part of your screen even darker, you likely just did something wrong. This is, I believe, the MAIN REASON many people incorrectly believe that RGB full gives them a better picture.
2) I used a GetGray calibration disc to determine which modes passed BTB and WTW. The ONLY mode on the PS3 that passed the BTB and WTW test was the YCbCr SuperWhite=on mode. RGB Full still clips the black values below 16 (it just remaps a 16 to 0). You test the BTB portion by getting a signal up that has BTB/WTW (as the GetGray disc does) and increasing the brightness to such a high (washed out) level to see if any details are present in the dark parts of the screen. All the color bars below 16 were the same in all RGB modes no matter how high I turned up brightness. This confirms that RGB full is not passing BTB.
3) RGB full on the PS3 appears to be a stretch (just like Jay_Davis told us). For those of you with TVs that you can set the RGB input to full, I suppose the stretch is just being canceled out by a shrink. This should effectively be the same as if you sent RGB limited and let the TV assume a normal RGB input. If there is no canceling factor, then the darker parts of the screen would be crushed (which I before stated was wrong). As I understand it there is no scenario where RGB full results in a more accurate picture for HDMI connections. RGB full is intended for a computer connection (DVI etc.), not on an HDMI high def TV. The best RGB Full can do is equal RGB limited for HDMI connections. For that reason, leave RGB set to limited for HDMI connections. Setting RGB to full only increases the likely-hood that you will crush details in the scene for HDMI connections. In addition, the less unnecessary processing the better.
4) Please remember that RGB Limited is the DEFAULT option in the PS3's menu. The RGB Full option didn't even appear in the early versions of the firmware. Do you really think Sony got this one wrong (and there was no way to output really dark details in games initially)? RGB full does not add any additional information in the dark and bright areas of the screen. It just stretches the existing information. Even after the firmware updates, RGB Limited is still the default RGB option.
5) Take a look at what turning SuperWhite does to a YPbPr output with a BTB test pattern. It doesn't significantly change the value of black at 16 when it is turned on, it just shows more bars below 16 (as long as your brightness is high enough). Nothing one can do with RGB shows the bars below 16. RGB full is clearly not doing the same thing for RGB as SuperWhite is doing for YPbPr .
6) You want to keep you alignment of black/white in games the same as your alignment in movies (i.e. 16 being true black). Blu-rays and DVDs are stored in the YPbPr color space. For that reason, you should pass movies as yPbPr if your TV supports it (again the less unnecessary processing the better). I believe that the games are in RGB. We've already established that SuperWhite shows BTB/WTW, and RGB Full just stretches the range. With RGB full on, true black would be a value of 0 in RGB, while true black would be a value of 16 with YPbPr. This means that you could not calibrate your TV to be accurate with both games and movie discs at the same time with your PS3. It would be a one or the other proposition. Forcing the movies to also remap to RGB would disallow the use of SuperWhite.
7) Extra processing (stretching/shrinking,remapping) can add color banding to the output. For this reason, keep RGB set to limited, and your DVDs outputting in YPbPr.
Here are the recommended options for HDMI (you will hear over and over again from the seasoned calibration veterans):
Output - YCbCr
RGB - Limited
Super White - On
The only option I really see here is that you don't really NEED to turn SuperWhite on (it is more of a preference thing since a proper calibration tends to crush BTB/WTW anyway). Some people like to see a bit of the WTW area of clouds. See the GetGray manual for a discussion of this. ADDITION: If your set support Deep Color, you might also want to turn SuperWhite on for the enhanced colorspace availible through AVCHD discs (assuming you ever make any).
If you do not understand calibration, I suggest picking up Avia or DVE as a start. If your brightness and contrast/picture settings are off in the first place, little of these other changes mean much. If your image is too washed out, there are better ways of fixing it than using RGB Full. Start with the above settings and then calibrate it.
If you are still not sure who to believe, just stick with the PS3 default options (which are the same as what I have above just with SuperWhite=off).
I hope this post helps. Thank you to Jay_Davis for his valued input. He (and hwjohn) helped me to close some of the gaps of my understanding on the PS3 options. Now it all makes sense (to me at least).