Originally Posted by -Lau-
So it seems we are looking at double the contrast ratio of the ZD9. This is the most surprising aspect of this set and i think the one that deserves the most investigation.
Don't pay attention to numbers. They don't mean squat. The Z9D has better blacks than the last generation plasmas, yet according to the numbers, just cited, it supposedly has only half the CR measurement, or even much less. What a meter measures (and how it is measured) sometimes has no relation to what contrast your eyes perceive. Do you stare at black and white checkerboards or do you actually watch content on your display? It's all about how many zones, plus the algorithms, and how good of a job they do.
The Samsung may be darker than the Z9D, but could also be dimmer (as some people have reported). Vizios were noted for doing this. Being real dark, dimming down the pic somewhat to control the blooming and keep the blacks darker.
Numbers don't mean squat. You have to set the Q9 side by side with the Z9D, and let your eyes decide which has better blacks, on real content, not a checkerboard. Checkerboard ANSI measurements were more useful for comparing plasmas, but are not as effective or useful for judging LED-LCD's with complex/sophisticated local dimming algorithms.
There is no substitute for a side by side comparison made with the eyes. Meters do not work the same way the human visual system works.
Why do you think that you can toss out 7/8ths of the data from a CD waveform and still have near lossless audio quality with an audio coding format? Likewise for compressing a photo with jpeg.
Local dimming algorithms exploit the known limitations of the human visual system, and are designed to assess the threshold for how much blooming or light bleed is acceptable without producing visibly annoying artifacts.
Just as with mp3 the codec throws out soft sounds that are near in frequency to much louder sounds, because the softer sound is masked and cannot be distinguished, so it is with local dimming algorithms for displays. If there is something somewhat large and bright on the screen right next to something black, the human visual system cannot perceive that much contrast.
However on a very dim low-APL scene, the human visual system is much more sensitive to a wider range of contrast.
I used to have a 500M Kuro (the blackest of them all) and in the below deck scenes a couple of minutes into the beginning of the film Master and Commander, the black bars on the Kuro would go totally gray and meld/disappear into the screen. There was a uniform gray haze or fog over the screen.
I used to have Samsung's flagship B8500 in 2009, which came with 240 zones on the 55 incher (less on the 46), and on certain (admittedly a small minority) scenes that were better suited to the strengths of local dimming, the B8500 looked several shades darker than the Kuro.
A Kuro 500M did not look black on a 0% signal. It glowed a dark gray. So as long as there was nothing bright on the screen, the Kuro did not look all that black. However most scenes have sufficient mixed content of brights and blacks so that the Kuro looked very black.
Even middle of the road LCD's can look just as black as top LCD's on certain scenes that have a sufficient amount of dark and bright content mixed on screen, and with SDR, the Z9D more often than not looks just as black as OLED on most scenes, made up of this mixed dark/bright content.
The bottom line is, even if the Z9D is said to measure 8:000 to 1 and a Kuro is said to measure twice this or even more, that does not mean the Kuro has twice as good blacks as the Z9D.
I can assure you, the Z9D (on-axis of course) presents overall a 'better' rendition of blacks than stock 9G Kuros (I never voltage lowered mine), no matter what the measurements say. Of course I am talking SDR to SDR comparison, since plasmas could not do HDR. The Z9D always looks nearly OLED-ish black in SDR, and that could not be said for Kuros.
On low-APL scenes, like those very dim scenes in Harry Potter films and such, the Kuros glow gray, and the Z9D does not. Go into the Sony 940 and Z9D threads and you will see that most everyone who has owned a (stock) Kuro and then gets a 940E or a Z9D, they all say they like the blacks on the LED-LCD better. That includes me.
So I really don't care what some checkerboard measures on an LED-LCD compared to a plasma or even an other LCD. It's an obsolete methodology that was good for comparing plasmas to other plasmas, but does not work as well when it comes to measuring FALD's.