0Fix grey letterbox bars on LG Plasma TV

I have an LG Plasma TV as part of my main HTPC setup.  Although I calibrated it (and turned off things like dynamic contrast) when I first got it, I have always had an issue with the letterbox bars (e.g. on 2.4:1 ratio films) looking grey – i.e. being lighter than the darkest parts of the film.  I googled to try to find a solution but was eventually convinced by repeated forums that it was just my perception and eventually gave up.

I recently rewatched Terminator 3 and during the intro sequence there is just white text displayed on a mainly black picture.  There was no doubting this time that the letterbox bars quite clearly were lighter than the main picture – it was no trick of the eye.  I again came back to google but still couldn’t find any solution.  So I started playing around with settings.  It turned out to be the simplest solution – I had the black level set to “high” rather than “low” on the TV settings.  By default I tend to think of “high” as “good” but of course in the case of blacks “low” is actually what is desirable – this is a case of a confusing labelling of the setting!

So – to cure grey letterbox bars on your LG Plasma go to settings: picture: expert settings: black level and set it to “low”

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