Digital Crave

How to get the best picture from your HDTV

View photo

.
tweakguides.com

tweakguides.com

So you just bought that HDTV you’ve always wanted. It looked great in the store and your anticipation is high. You quickly hook it up and wait anxiously for the screen to come alive in amazing glory.

And then it happens: That “wow” moment you anticipated is shot down by a TV picture that looks good, but not great. Don’t fret. Your TV can look amazing, and you don’t have to pay an expert to come to your house to calibrate it. Well, you can if you want. But wouldn’t you rather save that cash for a Blu-ray player? Of course you would. Here’s how to do it.

1. Slow down
Most people set up new home electronics as soon as possible, availing themselves of the “quick set up” section in the owner’s manual. That will get your device to work, but not to work well. Spend a few minutes with the full owner’s manual and get to know your TV. If you bought a decent model, it likely came loaded with factory settings that will improve your picture immediately. Typically these are named “Dynamic,” “Cinema,” or “Standard.” Spend some time with each setting and see how it suits you. You may want the “Dynamic” or “Vivid” settings for video games while “Standard” is likely appropriate for everyday TV viewing. You can also tweak these factory settings at will.

2. Consider the source.
Despite the graphical prowess of your new TV, a picture is only as good as its source. Standard definition signals may not be improved when running on your HDTV. Often, they look a little worse.

This goes for inputs and cables as well. Your high definition game console, disc player or satellite/cable TV box should be plugged in with HDMI cables. Do not be tricked by fancy, expensive HDMI cables. They all work the same. If your HDTV doesn’t have enough HDMI inputs, you can buy a switcher without losing picture quality.

Finally, the best way to show off your new HDTV is with a Blu-ray player. However, the quality of Blu-ray discs varies greatly. Check reviews online before you buy one.

3. Brightness and Contrast
We’ve come a long way since the days of adjusting the vertical control on a tube TV to get a clear picture. New HDTVs have more settings than most people can understand. Still, you can significantly improve your picture by adjusting two easy settings.

“Brightness” does exactly what it sounds like it does. However, you’re better off thinking of it as a darkness control. In general, people equate a bright picture with a better picture. This is subjective, but not always the case. Try adjusting it so that the blacks are deep while details remain crisp.

“Contrast” is about light adjustment and, like brightness, is typically set too high. Bring it down until you can clearly make out the edges of white objects on the screen.

4. Get serious
If you’ve followed the above steps you should be looking at a fine picture. If you want a great picture, it’s time to get to work. This takes a little more effort and research, but it’s worth it. Cnet.com is an excellent resource for this. On their site, type in the manufacturer and model number of your TV for suggested settings. Not all TVs are included, but this is a good start. You can also purchase specially designed Blu-ray discs that walk you through calibrating your TV’s settings to get the best picture.

5. Did you know?
Correctly calibrating your Plasma TV can reduce the likelihood of screen burn in problems for which those televisions are known. This is less of a problem than it used to be, but it’s still a concern. Another benefit of proper calibration is that it typically results in lowering some settings, such as brightness and contrast, which will reduce the amount of electricity your TV uses.

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • Trump Speaks With Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-Wen, Breaking Policy

      President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen by phone, according to the Trump transition team, breaking with decades of delicate U.S. policy on China. Friday night, Trump issued two tweets defending the move, which may cause tensions with China. Meanwhile, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi downplayed the call Saturday, describing it as "just a small trick by Taiwan" that he believed would not change U.S. policy toward China, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.

      Good Morning America
    • J.J. Watt accidentally outs relationship in Christmas photo

      A picture is worth a thousand words, or in J.J. Watt’s case, a stocking. After putting the finishing touches on his holiday decor Thursday, the NFL star gave fans a glimpse of his Christmas cheer via Snapchat. But Watt may have slipped up by displaying — tucked away in the background, as Terez Owens was first to point out — a second stocking marked with a “K” for stunning soccer-playing girlfriend Kealia Ohai. Watt has yet to address the relationship publicly, though Ohai — the sister-in-law of Texans teammate Brian Cushing — talked about the pair in October. “The rumors are true. We are dating,” Ohai confirmed on the 2 Up Front podcast. “I’ve known J.J. for a really long time, and we’ve always

      New York Post q
    • Investigator Believes Sex Trafficking Could Be Motive Behind Sherri Papini Kidnapping Case

      A private investigator and veteran human trafficking expert believes California mom Sherri Papini‘s case has the hallmarks of sex trafficking.

      People
    • Kanye West Living Apart from ‘Concerned’ Kim Kardashian for Medical Reasons: Source

      Kanye West is out of the hospital, but the rapper is not back home with his wife Kim Kardashian West and their two children. A source close to the family tells PEOPLE the entertainer, 39, is living apart from his family for the time being and continuing treatment for undisclosed mental health issues after leaving UCLA’s Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital earlier this week. “He is receiving outpatient care else with a medical team,” says the source.

      People
    • Trump's Carrier speech 'absolutely chilling,' economic analyst says

      Economic policy analyst Jimmy Pethokoukis called Donald Trump's Carrier speech the worst economic speech buy a politician in decades.

      CNBC
    • Mummified Body In Woman's Attic Believed To Be Missing Grandson

      A Pennsylvania woman made a disturbing discovery on Wednesday when she found a badly decomposed body in the attic of her home. Authorities suspect it’s her grandson, who disappeared two years ago. Zanobia Richmond, 65, heard something fall in the upstairs of her Erie home Wednesday afternoon, according to Erie’s WICU 12 News. When she went to investigate, she was shocked to discover a badly decomposed body had fallen against her attic door. Erie County Coroner Lyell Cook is now working to confirm the identity of the body, but told The Erie Times-News officials are confident the body is Richmond’s missing grandson, Dyquain Rogers. “That is where he lived,” Cook said. Authorities will use dental

      The Huffington Post q
    • Inside Edition
    • This baby with amazing hair is going to make your day.

      LONDON — Remember Baby Bear, the Irish tot with a glorious mane of luscious locks?   Well, there's a new hairy child in town.  Her name is Alexandra and, at just 2-months-old, she has a head of hair that is sure to win the internet's heart like the bouffanted babes that have come before her.  SEE ALSO: A very big-haired baby interrupts live Kim Kardashian TV report Reddit user brngrhm84 uploaded this image of his baby girl, and it has since gone viral because HOLY COW that's a lot of hair: As a bald man, I'm very proud of my 2 month old's hair from aww Let the photoshop battles begin. BONUS: Baby falling off table caught by lightning quick 9-year-old brother

      Mashable q
    • Sasha Obama’s $695 Christmas-Tree-Lighting Coat Just Made It to the Top of Our Wish Lists

      The Obamas had their final Christmas-tree lighting on the Ellipse in President’s Park last night, and of course, the first family showed up in style. While they all looked great, with Barack keeping it simple with a long, black coat, a suit, and a burgundy scarf, and Michelle wearing a black coat with a metallic pattern on the front, we were particularly digging Sasha’s outerwear — a faux-fur deep navy blue Opening Ceremony coat.

      Yahoo Style
    • Jadeveon Clowney looks like a child wearing Vince Wilfork's jersey

      Players and coaches have to find ways to keep things fun, and the Houston Texans seem to have a good grip on that idea. Texans players decided to switch jerseys at practice Friday, and no swap was better than the one between Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney. A few Texans players switched jerseys at practice today, but the Vince Wilfork and Jadeveon Clowney swap is probably the best.

      SB Nation q
    • Five Things To Know About Sherri Papini and Her Family

      In early November, California mother Sherri Papini mysteriously vanished after she left her Redding, California, home for a routine jog. “It all started with a first kiss in middle school,” Sherri wrote on the blog for her 2009 wedding. Sherri moved away and lost touch with Keith for several years, she writes on the blog.

      People
    • 4 Potential Replacements for Brian Kelly at Notre Dame

      If Notre Dame decides to move on from Brian Kelly as the Fighting Irish's head football coach, these 4 individuals would make excellent replacements.

      The Cheat Sheet q
    • Mexico on Carrier deal: 'Trump is telling the truth' about saving US jobs

      A Mexican official tells CNBC that "nobody" there believed Trump's campaign rhetoric, but they believe him now.

      CNBC
    • Dear Abby: Husband's venture drains family savings

      DEAR ABBY: My husband of 23 years, “Gerald,” quit his job to start his own law firm. He told me about it only after he had quit. I have tried to be supportive, but seven months down the line, he has spent all our “rainy day” cash and earned only one paycheck. We have two teenagers, one who will be going to college in a year. I took a high-paying job a year ago to help pay down our mortgage and fund our son’s college expenses. Gerald claimed the bonus money he received when he quit his old job belonged to him to fund the new venture. He’s now saying that seven months is too little time to make any huge decisions, but we are now going to start liquidating our 401(k)s. This is where I draw the line.

      Chicago Sun-Times q
    • Trump voter has buyer’s remorse after Steve Mnuchin picked for treasury secretary

      Teena Colebrook purchased a triplex in Hawthorne, Calif., in 1998. Now her home is one of 36,000 foreclosures by OneWest, a bank that became known as “a foreclosure machine.” Donald Trump’s pick for treasury secretary, Steve Mnuchin, headed an investment group that formerly owned that bank, and Colebrook holds Mnuchin responsible for her foreclosure.

      Yahoo News Video
    • Jennifer Lawrence's Latest Red Carpet Looks Are Out of This World (6 photos)

      Based on the trailer for Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt’s new movie Passengers , the space movie is going to be very sad and very sexy. At each promotional stop though, the actress is making people happy by letting down her new hair extensions and wearing some hot ensembles. And while the promotional tour only recently kicked off, Lawrence has already pulled off a number of diverse and stunning looks. From tight-fitting midi skirts to cool skirt suits, the actress hits the mark every time. Check out some of her best looks so far. Follow us on Facebook , Instagram , and Pinterest for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.

      Yahoo Style
    • Chains and branded skin: California kidnap case baffles cops

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Three weeks after Sherri Papini disappeared, the question of whether she was dead or alive was answered when the young mother and wife was spotted waving frantically for help along a California freeway early on Thanksgiving morning. But the mystery over what happened to her during those 22 days just seemed to grow stranger.

      Associated Press
    • Here's how much interns will make at companies like Facebook and Google in 2017

      Some big companies are paying their interns more than $8,000 a month.

      CNBC.com q
    • Kickstarter 'universe in a sphere' is a desk ornament designed to awe you

      New Kickstarter campaign “Universe in a Sphere” is a stunning glass sphere, containing a hyper-detailed 3D representation of not just our own galaxy, but a hefty chunk of the observable universe as we know it.

      Digital Trends