Getting a new TV is pretty exciting — especially with all the choices there are today for 4K TVs and Curved TVs and HDTVs and the various operating systems they now are using, for example . But at the heart of things, no matter whether you get a or a , it’s all about the picture and how good it looks to you when you sit down to watch it.
There are two ways in which the TV’s picture can be improved: the physical way which takes into account where and how it’s placed relative to the people watching, and the controls that the TV set itself has and which can be adjusted/fine tuned to suit the viewer’s preferences.
The physical way in which the TV is set up for watching is a topic for another time, but for those looking for the simplest and most productive means for this (including wall mounting of the TV, proper lighting, etc.), turning to a , will not only be the easiest means to accomplish this but also the most efficient.
Now why should you bother in changing what the ? Why not leave the picture as is? One reason is that there is always the chance that the TV has been set to its “store” display setting — which can be an actual mode or just a setting that applies to this. This setting assumes the TV is on display in a “store” or a location where the lighting is fluorescent or overhead or with lots of glare and so drives up the contrast to compensate. Since excessive contrast can destroy detail, we don’t want it—or any of the factory settings that the TV has when it’s taken out of the box. The settings need to reflect the wishes of the owner.
So here we will concentrate on improving the TVs picture ourselves through judicious use of the controls that the TV itself provides (avoiding calibration devices which, again, are more useful when used by a professional, not to mention being costly). And there’s no need to be alarmed that what you do might cause damage to the TV: check out the manual or on-display manual and you will find that there’s a simple press or two to restore the TV to its factory default settings.
So set yourself up with the remote, sit down in front of the TV with the lighting of the room the way that it will normally be (i.e., some lighting or none, an open window reflecting light into the room or covered) and here we go.
There are basic controls that, while simple and far from complex to execute, can make a huge difference in what the overall picture will look like. These consist of brightness and contrast, to give two examples that will definitely affect the picture. Setting a brightness level that doesn’t cause eyestrain is a good first step, one where the image isn’t being dwarfed by a nearby window, for example. Of course if you watch in low light or even a darkened room, then the level of brightness needed to be effective and efficient will be different. Contrast also needs to be taken into account with care — as noted above too much of it is deadly to the image. But the opposite is true also. All of this is true of the “Sharpness” and “Motion” features too —they’re ones to use gingerly. Remember, you’re the boss here