How to properly adjust your TV’s settings for optimal viewing

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Many of us have purchased premium flat-screen televisions in the recent years and have been disappointed with the pictures when we get them home. Why is this?

Unfortunately, televisions are set up at the factory to compete in retail stores.The brightest picture sells the most!The settings are usually in a “dynamic” or “vivid” mode, which is maxing out the monitor’s contrast and stretching its black levels to a point where black is impressive as heck, but there is no detail in the shadows or dark area of the picture.

Improve your TV’s picture
Here are some things you can easily do yourself to greatly improve your television’s picture.First step is to know what the controls do.If you go into your TV’s menu and find the picture controls, you can adjust things like sharpness, black detail, brightness, contrast, colour, tint and often in the advanced settings you will find things with names like reality creation, 4K enhancement, digital noise reduction and colour temperature, etc.I will walk you through what the most popular controls do and give you some insights into how to tweak your picture to look way better than it did when you put it up on the wall.

Reduce Sharpness
Sharpness can usually be put close to zero. Sharpness artificially enhances edge details and, while this used to be important back in the VCR days, it isn’t any more.Reduce sharpness as much as possible without it making the image look to soft.

Fix Contrast
Contrast is the difference between the brightest white and the darkest black.You want to find a place where the image looks dynamic, but not unnaturally bold.

Turn brightness down
Brightness affects the black level.Turn the brightness down to the point where black looks black, but there is still plenty of detail in the dark areas of the image.Don’t turn it down to the point where details are crushed.

Control Colours
Colour controls how much red is in the picture.If people’s skin looks the right colour, but pale, up the colour a bit.Tint controls the balance between red and green.If the picture looks too red, adjust toward green, if it looks too green adjust toward red.When you have it right, skin will look like skin.

Experiment with Noise
You will need to experiment with digital noise reduction, video-processing modes like reality creation or 4K enhancement—these are the little buggers that can sometimes make the picture look like a camcorder filmed it.At the end of your selections the picture should look smooth and detailed with rich colour, good dynamic range and nice blacks.

TV adjustment is an art, you are either good at it or you are not…but like anything practice makes perfect.At least if you know what the controls are for, you have a fighting chance!If you want to go further, hire a reputable company to calibrate your TV using ISF tools and techniques.Check out www.imagingscience.com. This will be the next level.Be careful though: I have often seen calibrated TVs that were done by amateurs and they are no better than I could do by eye…often worse.But a really talented calibrator can make a significant difference.

Have fun adjusting your set!!!

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