Calibrate Your LCD TV

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How can I get the best possible picture from my TV?

Calibrate Your LCD TV

Sad to say, your new Sony LCD television (or whatever brand you bought) did not come to your home perfectly adjusted for your living room. Indeed, manufacturers generally use settings that are wrong for home use. Why? Because they know that their TVs are most likely going to be displayed on a showroom floor with bright, fluorescent lighting. They want the image to "pop" and attract the customer's eye.

The image that "pops" on the sales floor is not the best possible picture for home viewing. Some common adjustments can deliver a better viewing experience -- the one you paid for when you bought the TV.

Use the same light you would normally use to watch TV. Experts recommend a dim light to the rear or side of the television (watching in darkness can cause eyestrain). "Warm up" your set by running it for at least 30 minutes before you start calibrating it. While the TV is warming up, get out the manual and locate the picture controls to adjust:

  • Contrast (or Black)
  • Brightness (or White)
  • Color (sometimes called Chroma or Saturation)
  • Hue (sometimes called Tint)
  • Sharpness (or Detail)
Most LCD TVs are sold with the sharpness turned up. You can adjust it to what looks best for you, and at the same time turn off any "edge enhancement" features, which tend to distort the picture. Adjust the four color settings according to your taste, as well. (If you are even slightly color-blind, you may wish to ask a sharp-eyed friend to help you with this part.)

If your TV has "modes" for various kinds of content, choose "movie" or "cinema" for the most accurate picture. Also check the backlight settings for your LCD TV. Most are set too bright for home use. Adjust it to suit your room so that you can save power and enjoy your picture more.

   

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