OK folks, well with respect to the whole comparative contrast and black level mystery, I can confirm that...
...there is no mystery. Everything is precisely as it should be
I hate to say it, but I have been saying all along that we need to wait for proper measurements, wherein as the previous post ^^^ wherein I said appearances can be deceiving it would appear that the same applies in this instance... because these are the measurements folks of the SONY 885/760ES with 1830 Lumens light output as per the unit currently is, unaltered:
Laser Level = Maximum (100)
Black Level = 0.013 nits
White Level = 219.26 nits / 64 fL
Native Contrast Ratio = 16,842:1
In comparison here are the measurements for the JVC Z1/RS4500, which as previously mentioned was/is running uncalibrated out-of-the-box:
Laser Level = Maximum (high); with Iris closed down to -5
Black Level = 0.013 nits
White Level = 232.66 nits / 65.6 fL (N.B. This is as close to being brightness matched as is achieveable via adjusting the settings)
Native Contrast Ratio = 17,905:1
The black levels are quite literally identical and in this particular instance the JVC was/is outputing slightly more light and hence has a very slightly higher native contrast as compared with the SONY
is going to have difficulty believing this, so when he revisits either tomorrow (Tuesday) or Wednesday I will show him. You can't argue with the measurements.
My two cents as to what has transpired here is this... Because the JVC is uncalibrated, and the SONY is calibrated there is different grayscale, gamma, and chroma. This combined with the fact the images are both over 200 nits / 65 fL gives the illusion of elevated black level and the difference in grayscale, gamma, and chroma means that despite phyically measuring the same light level one looks darker than the other, when in fact it isn't. It's an optical illusion like how metamerism can alter our perception creating illusions with respect to comparative chroma.
Furthermore, it transpires that the appearance of there being 'less stars' visible with the SONY 760/885ES as compared with the JVC Z1/RS4500 isn't to do with black level per se but due to near-black stars being crushed to black by the SONY's contrast enhancer, which does have the potential to do that. There are ways around that and I had implemented one of these but
had me turn that off because it entails giving up some light, the result of which was/is that some of the stars were being crushed to black.
So there you have it there's absolutely nothing wrong with the SONY 760/885ES unit being used here at all whatsoever. And the good news is that you CAN make use of the full 1830 lumens light output with the SONY 760/885ES without compromising native contrast performance.
you were absolutely correct in saying that there should not be any significant difference in contrast performance when being run at 100 laser setting because there isn't.