Pioneer PDP-506XDE How black should black be?



Hi, I finally received my PDP-506-XDE plasma and am carefully running it in - as recommended here... low brightness, contrast etc.
I was initially very impressed with the set, but have now noticed that black areas of the picture are not fully black. They are a faint grey.
Even if I switch to an input which is not connected - so I [should] get a completely black screen - there is still some luminance from the panel- even if brightness and contrast are turned right down. This goes away immediately if the panel is powered off.
I'm not sure if it has been like it from new - but now I've noticed it, it is really spoiling the panel for me:(
I normally watch the TV in a dim / dark room - although I have the blue "bias" lighting leds[from Ikea] as mentioned on this forum ... looks great:thumbsup:
Is this how a plasma screen should be? Do the pixels never completely shut down? Seems odd if that is the case - do I have a problem? Would having the set ISF'd cure this??
Any help much appreciated - as I am currently regretting the purchase:-(
If it has any relevance, the manufacture date is February 2006, I first noticed the "problem" at around 80 hours, i'm now upto around 180 hours.
Many thanks in advance


Still looking for a reply on this one:lease:
Can anyone who has a plasma screen set my expectations on black level... or does no one actually have a plasma on here ... as I didn't until two weeks ago?
Many thanks in anticipation:)


Well-known Member

I have owned a Panasonic PWD6 for about 2 years now. Black on this screen is always a dark shade of grey, so what you are describing sounds very normal to me.

The reason for this has been explained many times before, and from what I remember it is something to do with the pixels requiring a certain amount of voltage to stay active, even if they are trying to dislay black. This voltage is what gives off a small amount of light making it appear grey.



Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
As Rob says, it's normal. Just beb thankful you have a 506xde and not a 505 xde as they made significant in roads on black level with the current Pioneers in comparison with the earlier models. With your bias backlighting you should find it acceptable.

Correct calibration of the panel will probably also make it less noticeable. Not that it'll actually get any darker though.



Gordon and Rob - many thanks for your comments.
If this is what it should be like, fair enough.
Now it's run in - just reached 200 hours, i'm sure I can play with the settings to get it more acceptable to me in the short term.
Rob - I had spent quite a lot of time trawling through past threads and the FAQ - but hadn't come across this query / answer - I will look harder next time - thanks for taking the time to reply:)
Gordon, I will more than likely be calling on your services, once I have some associated new equipment - mainly Sky HD - so you can set the panel up properly - if you're still doing that and will travel to the Midlands.... read many good reports on here about your work....
Thanks again both, for taking the time to reply.

Mike Groves

Active Member
Mine (PDP-506-XDE) arrives tomorrow, together with the Pioneer floating stand. It will be professionally installed and calibrated - so at least I'll start knowing everything is set up correctly.

I'll report back on the black appearance after I've watched it for a while.


The latest video from AVForums

Are the TCL MiniLED TVs better than OLED? TCL Interview with Marek Maciejewski | AVForums Podcast
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom