Do you have a brand new and spectacular Smart TV in your living room and want to make the most of it ? We will see the essential adjustments to ensure that the television shows the best possible image quality so that we can enjoy without losing detail.
Why do we have to adjust the image quality?
The TVs are not prepared to show the optimum image quality by default.
Until a couple of years ago, televisions came with a 'preset' of bright colors , very spectacular, but unrealistic.
In addition, those excessively bright targets have unreal bluish tints that also make us strain our eyes .
Lately this has been improved with a 'demo' mode , but even so, this mode is not the most appropriate.
To obtain the best possible image quality we must adjust the brightness, contrast and color taking into account the lighting of our living room or room where we install the TV and our personal tastes. We just have to get used to more real images (in more detail) and less 'explosive'.
Step 1: Change your TV's preset
As we said, most TVs come with several preconfigured settings : standard, cinema, etc.
The first thing we have to do is adjust the controls . We must bear in mind that we will be used to the way we currently have and that the changes we make may disappoint us at first.
For example, the Cinema mode may seem, at first, too dark , but this is because the default modes (Live, Dynamic, etc.) are too bright and with oversaturated colors. However, if, in spite of everything, it is too dark, we can always raise the brightness a bit, as we will see later.
So, we will go to our TV menu and choose the Cinema mode (or Movie or something similar), which is more real than the pre-established one, and which, in addition, will force our sight less, especially if we watch television in the dark.
The reason for choosing this mode is because in many brands it is the only one of the presets that gives us access to advanced configurations .
The brightness is related to the blacks and, therefore, to the level of detail in the dark areas.
Therefore, you have to adjust it and look for balance.
This setting is the opposite of brightness, since it conditions the white level and the general illumination of the image.
If we have the contrast too high , the image will be more spectacular, but we will lose details in the targets by saturation of the light areas.
If, on the contrary, we have the contrast too low , we will lose impact on the image and dim colors. Again, balance is what we should look for.
Maybe it is one of the most difficult settings, since 'for tastes, colors'. In addition to adjusting the colors after brightness and contrast, we should look for naturalness and not spectacularity.
At first they may seem more muted tones , but it is preferable because they are more real .
Step 2: Disable unnecessary functions
Most TVs come with a series of supposedly advanced settings, which aim to make the image look better. Actually, they are usually marketing tricks to differentiate themselves from the competition.
Some of these unnecessary features that we must disable are:
- Dynamic contrast: this setting makes the dark scenes darker and the lights lighter . With this function activated, a lot of image detail is lost.
- Highlight blacks: with different names, this option makes blacks darker. Again, this will reduce the detail of the image.
- Color temperature: what this does is 'falsify' the whites, giving them bluish tones .
- Skin tone: when calibrating correctly our television, this function will be unnecessary . If we can not deactivate it, we will lower this level to 0.
- Noise reduction (DNR): this could only be useful in case we visualize low quality videos. However, in high definition content, this setting will cause slightly blurry images.
- Game mode: we should only use it when we go to play with the console , since it serves to reduce the visual mismatch between it and the television.
- Motion interpolation: called differently by some brands (Auto Motion Plus or MotionFlow), it aims to soften the movement of images shot at 24 frames per second (fps) as the movies versus others with less fps.
Step 3: Adjust the image with a calibration disc
The final and final step to adjust the image is to use a calibration disc created by ourselves .
For this, we will use programs like AVS 709 , THX Tune Up or WOW , which we will record in any support: Blu-ray, USB, etc.
With this program we will adjust all the necessary image parameters: brightness (not to be confused with backlight) and that affects blacks and dark parts, overexploration (filling the screen by 'stretching' the image), color saturation , etc.
The final result must be a quite different image to the 'bright colors' mode : less brightness, slightly darker colors, etc. Remember that the difference can be abrupt to our eyes, accustomed to the previous adjustment.
If we leave a few hours to get used to it, we will see that we have gained in details , that we can watch television as close as we want and that, in this way, it is less damaging to our sight.
Obviously we must not forget the quality of the original material : it is not the same to watch a movie on DVD as on Blu-ray or streaming services such as Netflix, and this of course influences the quality of viewing.
That said, with a little work and adjustments we will optimize the image of our TV and we will enjoy it much more , seeing the contents as they were originally recorded and not with oversaturated colors or emphasizing in brightness or blacks.