What is Black Level?

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New Member
Dec 10, 2009
Hi people, Iam planning to buy a flat panel TV and what I have seen in showroom is no single TV is looking same in all the showrooms. One shop samsung is good, one shop LG is good etc. Also high and low end TV have only sightly difference. Iam thinking that all the demo are waste of time.

In some shop one TV looking good and another shop another TV looking better. So tryed to find some information in the internet and reached this site one month back.

So far Iam reading that LCD is having low black level and low shadow detail and plasma having high and black level is very important.

I have some basic questions. Please answer so that some new guy like me can understand. Pictures if possible. Also I have no idea of the below questions. Those are words I found in this forum (or somewhere in the internet).

1) What is black level?

2) What is shadow detail?

3) What is blur?

4) What is colour saturation?

5) What is gamma?

Is the black level means producing black colour? All the TV I saw produced black colour I think? what is the difference?

After reading here, I saw some plasma in shops and they are looking bad. I also read people telling it is good in house and not shop. how? why? Also why plasma is cheap?

One shop owner also warning me plasma produce heat and sweat if I watch long time. but demo plasma is running from morning and not very hot. why?

I can spend 50000 and want 42" TV. My hall has normal light only so what is good?

Thank you all experts. My english is bad as Iam not english medium. sorry.


Well-Known Member
May 1, 2008
Your English is fine.

Black level is the depth of black the TV is able to reproduce. LCD TVs have a backlight behind the screen as LCD by itself cannot emit light (hint: look at LCD watches). When the light shines through, the black areas appear grey. This is not apparent in brightly lit showrooms, but becomes very apparent at home in a slightly darker environment. There is a secondary effect called backlight bleed where you can actually see patchy blacks across the screen when there is a dark scene or a fade-to-black effect.

Generally, plasmas have better black depth than LCDs, but the best technlogy for consistent blacks is CRT.

adding to that,nobody can see those deep black levels in daytime or if the light source is in front of the tv or to the sides, due to glare u may not notice those deep blacks,crt and plasmas still reflect more then glossy lcds.

OLED can achieve can give the deepest blacks and bright white