Full disclosure: I am a technical illiterate--so please show patience with me.
I have a 51-inch 8500--bought it about three weeks ago. During that time I have been using variants of the most common recommended calibration modes--here, CNET, Consumer Reports, etc.--most of which start from movie mode and turn off all the video processing. In that realm I have found the picture wan and lifeless--disappointing--even with the cell light turned up to 20 at night in a darkened room. So tonight I took the leap into the standard mode. Voila! The picture seemed to spring to life--in fact, I had to turn the cell light down to 12 to tame the brightness a bit; I also turned the sharpness down to 35--zero seemed too fuzzy. Then I turned off the motion adjustment to avoid the soap-opera effect on films. That's it. To me the picture is far more impressive and dimensional now than it was before. I know the measurements will tell me I'm wrong, but my eyes beg to differ--clearly every kind of show or movie I watch locks in in a way that seems right, whereas before it seemed as though I was looking at an eighteenth-century oil painting that needed cleaning. This leads to a few questions for any of you technical whizzes who might be kind enough to oblige me:
1. I thought that the cell light setting was the chief determinant of the overall luminance of the image--yet on Standard, the picture is brighter on 12 than it was on 20 in Movie mode. What explains this apparent discrepancy?
2. Does anyone know what settings were used on the 8500 sets the won the HDTV face-offs in 2013 and 2014?
3. What's the deal on the Standard Mode? To me it looks better. What enhancements, if any, are at work in that mode as opposed to the Movie Mode?
Thanks in advance to anyone who can enlighten me--maybe even wise me up--on any of the foregoing.