If you have spent hundreds of dollars on a flat-screen 4K television set, you deserve to see your TV shows in a picture quality that is nothing short of breathtaking. Ideally, the characters should come to life on the display, and the colors should hang at a perfect balance between sharp and deep.
The contrast should be set just right, and the saturation tuned to the most eye-friendly setting. In case your TV picture quality seems off and you feel despair coming on, then don’t worry. Use the following tips to readjust the calibration of your TV screen, instead of paying another $100 to a technician. Sit tight, and read on.
Before You Begin…
It is always a good idea to start from the peripheries. Ask yourself these three questions before touching the TV settings:
Is The Placement Of The Television Perfect?
You should place the TV set in such a way that the center of the picture is at your eye level or maybe even lower. If it is too high, you’ll feel more than just a sprain in the neck. Also, try sitting closer to the screen (not too close, though) if your TV is smaller. Turn off the lamps and close the blinds while watching TV; otherwise, you’ll see the light sources reflected off the screen, and your picture quality will be in total disarray.
Is The HDMI Cable Working Correctly?
Next, you need to make sure that the HDMI cable is in good shape and not suffering from wear & tear. Plug it tightly into the ports if you want a continuous flow of content. Another trick is to see if the HDMI is ‘high-speed’. If it is, then it will display high-quality images on the TV screen as far as 4K, regardless of the length of the wire.
Is The Cable Receiver Transmitting In High-Res?
The set-top box you attach to the TV may be set at a low resolution, which may, in turn, affect the overall output quality. So, open the settings of your cable or satellite box and turn the resolution all the way up to 1080i (if it’s a cable box) or 1080p (if it’s a gaming console or streaming service).
The cable receiver you get with Cox cable packages is already calibrated to the most optimized setting. Still, if you need to crank it up, then use the voice remote to select 1080i on the TV. 1080i and 1080p are more or less the same resolutions.
Auto-Adjustment Of TV Picture Quality
Once you clear the peripheral issues of placement, wiring, and boxes out of the way, and still the picture falters, after that, shift your attention to the primary TV setting. All the latest TV models consist of preset picture ‘modes’. These are ‘cinema’, ‘movie’, ‘outdoor’, ‘indoor’, ‘sports’, ‘vivid’, ‘natural’, ‘game’, ‘standard’ or more, depending on the make of your particular television.
Once you select the most suitable mode, one that appeals to your circumstances, the TV will automatically alter the picture quality to characterize that mode. If you set the ‘vivid’ mode, you will notice a sharp pop in colors and contrast.
Similarly, if you choose ‘movie’, you will observe an increase in color depth, a smoothening of motion, and a balanced brightness, etc. So, try auto-adjusting the picture quality of your TV. If it doesn’t work out, then move to manual settings.
Manual Adjustment Of TV Picture Quality
TV sets give you the option of further tweaking the picture quality, even if you succeed in selecting a mode. This enhanced personalization and customization is an attribute of modern television technology. The old CRT TVs did not provide enough freedom or user control. Check out the following tips to manually fine-tune your picture quality:
Pause a movie showing a dark sky. Turn the brightness up to the extent that the hidden details in the black areas become visible, but the depth of the color remains intact. 50% is usually a good mark.
Pause your TV picture. Does the outline of a character’s face have a halo of color around it? Does the background detail look jagged or grainy? If yes, then turn the sharpness setting down to zero, and you’ll see a much more natural picture quality. If it gets blurry or muddy, then turn the control up a little, as per your liking.
Pause a movie showing a daytime sky. Turn the contrast level down, so that the shapes of the clouds and the shadowy folds in the sky become visible, but make sure that the brightness of the color stays the same. Too high a contrast can wash out surrounding detail, so fix it somewhere below the 100% level.
Pause your picture on a snowy landscape. If the snow looks greenish or blueish, instead of white, then head to the ‘tint’ setting and readjust the hues to ‘warm’ or ‘low’. Keep the dial at the mid-range or 50%.
Pause an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ and observe the color intensity. If the skin color of Homer Simpson is too sharp and glowing so much that it hides the outline of his face, then you need to bring down the color setting to 50%, or whichever setting goes well with the details.
Pause a picture on your TV. Does it look crumpled or sucked in at the edges? Is it too thick or too thin? If, yes, then restore the screen image size to 16:9 which is the most ideal ratio for flat-screen TVs.
If your TV has HDR or High Dynamic Range, then it will automatically adjust to the new comprehensive controls. Whether it is ‘tone mapping’ or ‘specular highlights’, the HDR mode will set the picture to the best possible quality setting.
By keeping the aforementioned tips in mind, you can easily calibrate the picture quality of your TV set without investing extra money on a professional visit. Happy watching!
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