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How to Adjust TV Picture Settings


Viewing a HDTV without adjusting its picture settings could lead to eyestrain, wasted energy and a shortened product lifespan, according to An Ipsos MORI study of TV owners in Great Britain uncovered:

  • Half (51%) don’t make any adjustments to their television picture after purchasing their set.
  • Of those who adjusted their television pictures, only one in five (21%) followed manufacturer guidelines and only 5% used either professional services (3%), or test card patterns (2%).

TV factory default settings (e.g. Vivid or Dynamic) are designed to catch consumers’ eyes in store and to counteract the unnaturally bright conditions in most retail outlets. These out-of-the-box picture settings have the color and brightness set too high, leading to unnatural colors and loss of detail in the bright areas of the picture.

“A simple adjustment to the correct preset will allow owners to experience improved pictures and help to avoid other potential problems,” says AVForums Editor Phil Hinton.

Derek Smith, Founder and CTO of SpectraCal Inc., adds: “It’s amazing that so many people watch their new flat panel TVs straight out of the box in these store modes. And it’s perhaps no surprise that after watching a display once it has been properly adjusted, people say they could never go back to ‘torch mode’ because it ‘hurts their eyes’ or ‘it’s too blue and processed looking’.”

AVForums has put together a bunch of videos to show you how to properly adjust your TV for the best possible picture. Most interesting is that you’ll turn more settings “off”, which makes one wonder why they are there in the first place. Learn more at

Choose the correct Picture Mode

Why to turn ‘Eco Mode’ Off?

Why to turn off ‘Motion Enhancement’ Mode?

Why to turn OFF Dynamic Contrast, Black Enhancer, or Dynamic Backlight?

Why to turn OFF ‘Sharpening and Noise Reduction’ Modes?

Why to turn OFF the ‘LED Local Dimming’ Setting?

How to set the Sharpness control on your TV

How to set the Color Temperature, Color Gamut & Gamma

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How to set Backlight Control

How to set Contrast Control

How to set Brightness

How to use Test Patterns to Optimize Your TV Picture

AVForums says their PicturePerfect campaign is supported and endorsed by leading TV manufacturers including Panasonic, Sony, LG, Sharp, Loewe and Toshiba, plus image fidelity experts SpectraCal, display calibration organization the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Hollywood sound and image optimization experts THX. Other supporters include JVC, Argos, Genesis Technologies, Channel 5’s The Gadget Show and movie director Michael J Bassett.

Editors Note:
With such wide industry support, why do the same manufacturers that make these TVs make them so complicated to adjust? Why don’t these manufacturers either calibrate them before shipping or at a minimum provide one button on the remote to turn off/on what is optimal. Even better, would be built-in auto-calibration software that could be activated at a touch of a button. Why must something that should be simple or automatic be so complex? Where is the innovation?

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