Finally had some time yesterday to really work through the Spears and Munsil disc and play with settings. I poked around in the calibration menu, but without the right gear, doing anything to the white balance controls just made a mess. I stuck to just the normal picture adjustment controls, which when set in the calibration menu apply to all inputs.
With careful adjustment, I was able to get a solid display of blacks and whites within the normal HDMI range (16-235). I did verify that Deep Color could be enabled and passed through my AVR, but it had no visible effect on the contrast test pattern. I left it enabled anyway. One thing to note was that the backlight is set extremely bright out of the box. I had to turn it down to 20 for night mode from the default of 100. This does not seem to cause any real loss of vividness to colors, but does allow blacks to get close to black. In a dark room with an all black screen, there is a small amount of flashlights in the corners (you'd need to be looking for them) but no noticeable clouds. The screen doesn't quite get to the point where it blends in with the frame of the set, but it is fairly close. Not enough to really worry about it being distracting.
Color adjustments were extremely minimal. Same for the sharpness controls.
I spent the bulk of my time experimenting with the various upscaling, deinterlacing, and motion compensation capabilities in my Oppo BDP-83, Denon AVR-4310CI, and the TV. The set apparently uses a custom-made video processor exclusive to NuVision. While the Oppo and Denon both use the ABT processor and do a good job at converting 1080i to 1080p or 1080p/24 to 1080p/60, I found the NuVision was considerably better. The Jaggies edge-adaptive deinterlacing test shows a number of artifacts when either the Oppo or Denon is used to deinterlace, but the NuVision shows only 1 small area of Moire and a very small region of blurriness around the moving needle when using the FX5 mode (repeats the same image 2 times for 60Hz and 5 times for 24Hz instead of doing a 3:2 pull-down). FFM mode (motion compensation) caused a number of artifacts and caused a smearing effect trailing the needle.
What was really interesting was the difference on 480i material. The Oppo and Denon do a good job upscaling DVDs, but the NuVision has a sharpness and clarity that brings them nearly to Blu-ray quality. With FX5 mode turned on, fast-motion is dead on and gives a faithful playback from the source material. FFM can easily make the same fast-motion scenes extremely smooth, but some loss of sharpness happens. I decided that I preferred the sharpness and feel of FX5 for not only 480i, but also 1080i, 1080p, and 1080p/24. If sports or fast action are your thing, this set should be one to consider.
Another interesting aspect of the video processor used is its ability to playback basically every HD resolution and frame rate. I don't have any 50Hz material, but the manual clearly indicates that it will handle it. Given my experiences with 60Hz and 24Hz material, I'd expect the results to be phenomenal.
The bottom-line for this set: it won't get the extremely deep black levels that sets like the Samsung 8500 can do, but the sharpness, clarity, and purity of the image is worth it. Regardless of the source material (480i, 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 1080p/24), the image is always extremely real and FX5 handles fast motion better than every set I've seen. The big downside is the price and difficulty in finding a retailer.
The ISF calibration guy is scheduled to come out in 2 weeks. I'll post a follow up after that.