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TV Picture Setup Guide

Television manufacturers carefully calibrate the picture quality of its products before they leave the factory. These calibrations include optimizations for a variety of common viewing scenarios:

  • to make a TV's picture quality stand out in a crowded store shelf
  • an energy efficient setup as the default 'home' mode
  • a color and detail configuration that closely adheres to the HD video spec

I'm less interested in the extensive research and time manufacturers have invested in perfecting a TV's ability to grab a potential owner's eyeballs by sacrificing detail to increase brightness, exaggerating color saturation, and tweaking white balance to be as blue as possible.

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However, I am interested in evaluating a carefully tuned (hopefully) preset picture configuration that will enable the most accurate and faithful video reproduction. Many TVs feature these quality visual presets, and the video below shows the steps that I perform with a new or recently reset TV before evaluating its factory calibrated picture quality.

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Reader Comments (3)

Excellent overview Robert. You not only explained what to do, but also why you made those choices. People will also appreciate that you gave the alternate manufacturers names for their features. Thanks!

Hi Michael! Thank you for the kind words! I'm brand agnostic and strive to educate anyone interested in home theater.

November 7, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMichael Thomas

I honestly like my whites neutral with just the barest hint of warm.

I find it easier on my eyes.

Just a personal preference.

My 3D 55" Bravia died and the replacement parts broke it more.

Oh well, time to go bargain hunting :D

March 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVeer

I acquired a Samsung Led 4 series 720p tv. Yes, I know it is not the top of the line, but it beats the 32 year old Magnavox. How do I configure the picture to fit the screen? Every option shows black bars either all around or just top and bottom. Time Warner rented me a DTA adapter. Nobody at TW seems to know how to resolve this problem. I watched your video and found it informative. Please help.

December 8, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMaine Native

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