I'd say something in between. On my C9 default Cinema/Technicolor settings black is raised and 64 bar has some 'noise' - I believe that it's dithering LG started using few years ago. 66-68-72 are dark but visible.Some follow-up questions:
1. What results do you get from the "01. Black level / 01. black-level-v1.mp4" test on your C9, with using "Cinema" or "Technicolor Expert" picture mode with default settings? Something like what my pictures show, or closer to what the manual shows?
2. Do you have any "before vs after" photos to share?
After dirty manual fix with WB controls 64 is black, 66-68 are much darker and almost invisible from viewing distance. But by any means it's not a reference or correct result, ideally a calibration is required.
I've taken some photos but my phone camera struggles in low brightness.
I can't say for sure for C9 but I've taken measurements from my previous LG OLED EF950 and raising Brightness setting raised whole PQ curve which is AFAIU wrong and undesired if you want to adjust only near black handling. WB controls are much more delicate.3. Did you try just lowering Brightness, and if so what result did that have?
4. Is the WB setting better to correct these near black issues, compared to the Brightness setting? Because I notice section 3 in the manual you linked to says, "don't use the Brighntess slider, very likely it's broken in HDR mode.". But there is not explanation of how that conclusion was reached.
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