Originally Posted by jh87
I have done multiple calibration myself to find the best settings. I will say it is tricky to get the best of shadow details. Few clicks up or down in brightness change the shadow details quite differently. It is like the brightness level not linear at all. In the end, I have to crush blacks slightly. Some movies look fantastic with great shadow, but then with the same setting, other material do not look as good. I would not say the EC9700 has poor shadow details. it is just hard to describe it. Maybe that is why some people either return the LG 4K set or already had multiple replacement, while others do not feel the same at all.
You're absolutely right about that. Out of the box, gamma is an absolute mess. You may think you're getting 2.4 when you select the 2.4 option in ISF Expert, but it's anything but. Even after a 2-point white balance the gamma flat point can be off by as much as +/- 0.3. So that's either 2.1 gamma (massively washed out near black image) or 2.7 gamma (massively crushed near black). It largely depends on what black level setting you have, black level High likes to blow out black and black level Low likes to crush it even after a 2-point white balance sorts out the top 70% of the gamma curve.
The rest of the gamma curve is pretty consistent, but it's imperative to get proper black performance on these TVs that you fix up IRE 5-20 to match the rest of the gamma curve. It's quite bizarre really, I have a cheap Panasonic GT30 next to my EG9600 and I can spend about 45 minutes on its 2-point white balance and get relatively flat gamma (good thing too, because it doesn't have anything more advanced), but this TV requires a 2-point and then to fix up what the 2-point broke some fiddling with the 20-point.
That particular aspect of black performance would be worth a professional calibration. Some of these other issues being discussed, I'm not so sure.
I'll add some CalMAN charts that show the out-of-the-box gamma curve when I get home tonight, it's quite telling.
This is how my TV looked (after 600 hours) with the factory preset values (only change was gamma 2.2 -> 2.4).
In the Gamma Log/Log graph, if the TV were doing 2.4 gamma properly all the way through the signal range, it would be a flat graph. But instead at around 10% stimulus gamma goes way up almost to 3.0. Counter-intuitively, if gamma is high, it means the image is going to be dimmer than it ought to be. Effectively, the TV takes much longer to "come out of black" than it's supposed to in the default white balance and if you use the nightmare of a pattern on the AVS 709 disc that blinks to set your brightness you can easily overshoot things because there's not a rapid enough change in brightness to figure out where the bottom is. I strongly suggest for one thing you don't use that stupid blinking pattern to set brightness on this TV, use a proper static PLUGE pattern.
Also, at the high-end gamma dips and the default white balance exagerates white detail. This problem is minor compared to the black crushing going on at the other end, but it's still something that you want to have worked out with a proper calibration to get optimal image performance.
Last, I've attached an image that shows what happens if you do a simple 2-point white balance and try to leave it at that. The TV again pushes gamma way up at the bottom 5-20% of the signal, and you have to go in with the 20-point white balance and fight with the TV to keep it from doing what it was engineered to do (crush black) with black level set to Low. A professional calibrator would never leave it at just a 2-point white balance, but the point I'm trying to get at here is that even when you fix up the top 70-80% of the signal, the TV is designed to work differently for the bottom 20%. It absolutely wants to do the opposite of whatever you want it to