Sunday, February 25, 2007


Black Levels: As noted above, the display types' contrast ratio affects the levels in LCD and Plasma screens. This is really felt in dark or night scenes in a movie. Poor black levels will show a dark grey instead of a true black. This may not seem a big deal, but imagine an outdoor evening scene in a movie where the subject is wearing a black suit, black shirt, and black tie. You want to be able to tell the difference between the different shades of black, and you want each item to be represented accurately. Poor black levels and limited color pallete can detract from the overall experience.

The image below shows the difference in black levels between a traditional CRT monitor and an LCD. Notice how the black on the LCD is actually grey, and in turn all the other colors are affected. The red on the CRT shows as a light red on the LCD.

But there is such a thing as TOO much black. When the black is too black, then image quality may degrade in the darker areas. Reduced detail due to overly deep blacks is called "Crushed Black" as shown below. If you look at the guy on the right, you can barely see the outline of his arm against the rest of his blazer. With the lady in the black dress in the middle, you can't see any creases, or patterns on her dress, it just looks like a black patch.