9700: Dark shade is a bit muddy
Over the weekend, I watched a few Blu-rays on 9700. The feeling is just not right when compared to 9600. 9600 gave me crisp, pleasant and natural looking pictures and a well balance between dark and bright areas. 9700 on the other hand gives reddish picture and dark shades look muddy and losing details.
In order to figure out what's the issue on 9700, I tried changing a couple of settings both on 9700 and my TV. Couldn't find a decisive factor until I changed the brightness on 9700's Video > Personal setting. I changed the brightness from default 0 to 8. Now the dark shades look much more pleasant. I can also see more detail in dark areas.
Then I played around by pausing the video (on a scene mixed with dark and bright areas) and switched between all the default settings i.e. "No Optimization", "Internet video", "Documentary", "Animation", "Optimal" and compared against my "personal settings" with brightness=8. Seems to me the default brightness level in 9700 is way too dark.
Does anyone observe the same?
With a bit more test, 8 gives a little white cast over dark areas. I reduce to 5 to maintain a balance between good black level and detail in dark area.
My firmware is 3.80.
Revert brightness on 9700 back to 0 to maintain overall dynamic range (I presume Philips engineers think the default looks best on 9700). Instead I push my LCD TV's brightness level up 4 notches. This compensates 9700's dark setup.