Black Quality

Black output is very important to the richness of an image: without strong black performance, a deep red for example can appear washed out. Black is also important to provide a sense of depth – to create the right sense of perspective when an individual is standing in a dark alley – with poor black levels the shadows will look pale and un-realistic which will make the picture seem flat. In essence, black is essential to creating a realistic image and a richer overall picture. It’s therefore pivotal to an enjoyable viewing experience.

Before seeing the screens in action, the respondents with knowledge of flat panel TVs were ambivalent as to which offers the best ‘quality black performance’. Plasma was deemed to have a slight lead (37 percent to 30 percent for LCD). A third felt that both formats provide similar black performance.

European mean scores:
Which display format is the best for black quality?

Before comparison:------------------------After comparison:

Plasma flat screen is best for this.

LCD flat screen is best for this.

LCD and plasma are equal for this.

Across the regions, plasma is deemed to have the best black performance by 72 percent. Support for LCD dropped by a similar level across the region: from 30 to 16 per cent in the UK, from 25 to 16 per cent in France and from 34 to 15 per cent in Germany.

Note: Respondents were given the following explanation for black quality: This is the extent to which black truly appears as black on the screen. When the black quality is suboptimal, black appears more like grey on the screen.