TVs are cheaper this time of year, but people are often disappointed after buying a new set. Image quality does not meet expectations. Fortunately, a better image is just a few adjustments away.
Let’s say you’re looking for a new luxury TV. All you have to do is install it and start watching your favorite shows and movies. But as soon as you start, you notice that the colors are off or too bright.
It’s not television’s fault. Any new television can be intimidating when you first get it at home. This is because they are not always correctly adjusted to the lighting in your home.
It would be even worse if you bought a store floor model. Standard models are very saturated with colors designed to catch your eye in fluorescent lighting. As soon as you put it in a standard lamp at home, it looks bad.
You can pay a professional to set up your new TV, or you can save money and get great results by doing it yourself. Let’s start with the basic setup.
1. Use a preset display
Your television probably has several built-in tuners for different uses, such as watching movies or sports channels. You can find these in your TV’s picture menu. Refer to your TV manual to find them. If you don’t have the manual, click or click here to find it online.
Sometimes your new TV may have default presets like this clear because that gives the colors the most pop – very often. Many shop models use this preset.
Watching television in general, i quality A preset—or whatever TV you call it—is your best bet. Just making that change alone can fix many image quality problems.
Try cycling in other ways and see which one you like best. You can test different settings. Some TVs even have presets for certain types of games, so load up a game or two and see what they do for you.
2. Use your eyes
If none of the presets are to your liking, take more control of your image settings. You will be the one watching, after all. Settings you can adjust include contrast, color, brightness, sharpness, and color temperature.
To start, put on a few of your favorite movies with different scenes and lighting. Keep these tips in mind:
- Be sure to set your room light to normal when watching TV.
- Make sure the films include scenes that are very dark, very bright, full of people, and have extra colors.
- For dark scenes, adjust the lighting settings so that the shadows are as dark as they can get while still showing detail.
- Then go to a brighter area and adjust the contrast higher, so that the white spaces are as white as possible without blowing out all the details.
- Then, adjust the color temperature until skin tones and colors look natural. If your TV has saturation controls, you can fine-tune how vivid the colors look. You want a sweet spot between “washed out” and “hurting your eyes to look at.”
Once everything looks good, test your setup with a few more movies at different light levels in the room. You should also turn off the TV a few times and come back after a few minutes to see your changes with fresh eyes.
If you don’t fully trust your eyes, or need more help, there is another step you can take.
3. Use a repair kit
To get the correct alignment, you can use a measuring disc. This walks you through each setting and gives you carefully crafted visuals to help guide your practice. It works well in most cases, but don’t be afraid to change some settings based on your preferences. It’s your TV, so the best picture is the one you like the most.
There are a few options for purchasing a simulation disc. You can get this Blu-ray from Spears & Munsil for around $40.
Another measurement option
There are other options if you don’t want to buy a disc. First, check your TV manual because it may have a built-in rating system.
Also, there are simulation videos on YouTube that you can download if you have a Smart TV. Search for “AVS HD 709” by their string. Of course, they take a little more work on your part.
If you want to get professional, Netflix has a streaming option. Sign in to your Netflix account and visit netflix.com. Click My List to add this video to your list, then fire up Netflix on your TV and view your list Short Example 23.976.
Start the video and fast forward 9:40 minutes mark. You’ll see color bars to indicate color saturation, a pattern of circles and boxes to ensure your scale and sharpness are correct (circles should be perfectly round and boxes perfectly square) and a gray pattern. (Adjust the brightness and contrast, so you can see the whole box clearly, but the black and white is as dark and bright as possible.)
A grayscale test can tell you if your color temperature is off because the middle gray boxes will have a tint.
Doing any of the tips discussed in this article should give you better picture quality than you’ve ever had on your TV. Now you can watch the big game in style.