Discuss Your Gaming Environments and AV Setups
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RCBH928
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Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by RCBH928 Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:07 pm

What are your tv settings? I want to make my tv to look as close to the originally intended image but the settings are confusing. I don’t I have time and energy to professionally calibrate it. I once tried doing it using a video guide that helps you calibrate the display but the image looked off and bad.

Everyone seems to agree that sharpness should be 0. Some people say contrast should be 100 while others says that will give you the “showroom” effect. brightness and backlight are another confusing ones. Color temperature is another thing, my tv has a “movie” setting but it so obviously has a yellow/brown tint called “warm”. Is this how it should look like?
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by bmoc Sun Mar 08, 2020 10:54 pm

1. Make sure motion smoothing is off. Different brands have different names for it so you may have to Google it.

2. Lucasfilm DVDs often have a THX Optimizer somewhere in the menu. It is a fairly user friendly way to calibrate your tv. You'll need a blue filter get the most out of this. THX used to sell blue filter glasses but I don't think they do any more. I think Disney WOW blue filters aren't hard to come by.
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by Ziggy587 Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:55 am

Turn all enhancements OFF (but turn game mode ON, if the TV has it) and then calibrate using something like Disney WOW or Digital Video Essentials.
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by Anapan Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:02 am

I use the old "Avia Guide to Home Theater". It's geared toward 16x9 hdcrt with 5.1 audio, but it works for most displays - it's especially good for setting the brightness and contrast just right on CRTs. a cheap amazon pair of THX blue tint glasses for setting color correctly seemed to work well for me. I also check colors against a tiny 8" sony PVM being fed the same signal and a picture I made up of a variety of pictures I know well - Comptest which I find easily shows when my saturation or sharpness is set too high.
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isiolia
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by isiolia Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:27 am

Ultimately, it's your TV, so don't feel like you need to set it in a way that doesn't look good to you.

There's also a limit to what you can simply copy settings for. Panels tend not to be exactly the same, so while values from other forums may be a place to start, you'll want to tune some parts of it yourself. As mentioned/implied, you may have some discs that include some basic reference material on them. You could also buy a dedicated disc that has them (though many aren't cheap) or simply grab patterns from online.

That said, there's only so much you can realistically accomplish by sight. Professional calibration utilizes a color meter and service tools to objectively adjust the hardware...but costs enough that it's not likely worth it unless you have a pretty pricey TV to start with.

RCBH928 wrote:Everyone seems to agree that sharpness should be 0. Some people say contrast should be 100 while others says that will give you the “showroom” effect. brightness and backlight are another confusing ones. Color temperature is another thing, my tv has a “movie” setting but it so obviously has a yellow/brown tint called “warm”. Is this how it should look like?


Sharpness is largely a holdover from analog TV. So, it may have some use on scaled content or something...but for digital content at native resolution it'll probably be more of a negative than an improvement.

Brightness/Contrast/Backlight really can come down to the performance of your panel combined with the viewing environment. TVs often have settings for Dynamic Contrast/Black Level, which you probably want to lower if tweaking these.

Backlight is the simplest setting here. This is your literal "brightness" control, and the biggest consideration is essentially what your TV is competing with. A TV in a bright room, particularly one with a lot of natural light, needs to be putting out a lot of light itself or it'll look dim and lacking in detail. On the flip side, you don't want to be squinting just to look at a TV that's the only source of light in the room, so it can (and should be) set lower. This is also where to consider bias lighting, if you have a dark room.

Brightness and Contrast themselves are, in turn, a little different on modern panels. They're effectively black level and white level. There's a nice visual guide to them here, but this comes down a fair bit to what your panel is actually capable of. Older or lower end TVs may have issues displaying a lot of detail in dark areas of a picture.

The above settings, in particular, tend to be the ones that are set differently in stores as opposed to in home. Retail stores tend to be big, bright places and a TV needs to be set bright and bold to stand out. A home environment tends to be darker, so you can run less extreme settings that allow for more subtle detail to be shown.

Color temperature shouldn't come across as an extreme in either direction. "Warm" settings skew more toward red, "Cool" towards blue (which also looks bright, and is in turn what most devices err on the side of). It should look neutral, and that's something you may be able to tweak manually.
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by Nemoide Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:40 pm

The truth about image reproduction is that there's almost no way to have an "objectively accurate" setting. Even though digital technology has gone a long way towards normalizing things, even the ambient lighting can make a pretty big difference.

The THX Optimizer bmoc mentioned now exists as an app, so if you can get your TV to display your phone/tablet, you can use that to tweak the picture quality.
That said, the preset settings in TVs are pretty good nowadays. If you choose "Cinema" for watching movies and "Game" for playing games, you should be all right. I will definitely echo bmoc that if your TV has motion smoothing, it should absolutely be kept off at all times.

For Cinema, my TV has a mode in which it will enable a 24fps mode. The default color temperature was a little warmer than I normally like it, so I changed it from "warm 2" to "warm 1" and I think that was the only change I made on that setting. I also like to keep noise reduction and MPEG noise reduction completely off unless I'm watching a VERY poor quality DVD. It was slightly jarring at first because the image is much lower-contrast than the default mode, but I think movies look pretty great. (It can take a little getting used to if you're used to something like the sports preset, which is usually extra-high-contrast and very bright).

Game mode defaults to a brighter/higher contrast setting with a cooler color temperature, but to my eye, it looks good for games, and has any and all image processing turned off to reduce potential lag issues. I recently got a RetroTINK 2X Pro and with its scanline-mode, I like to kick the brightness up even higher.
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RCBH928
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by RCBH928 Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:19 pm

Ziggy587 wrote:Turn all enhancements OFF (but turn game mode ON, if the TV has it) and then calibrate using something like Disney WOW or Digital Video Essentials.


I turned game mode ON and never noticed anything different, how does it affect my viewing of regular tv shows?

isiolia wrote:Sharpness is largely a holdover from analog TV. So, it may have some use on scaled content or something...but for digital content at native resolution it'll probably be more of a negative than an improvement. .


I tend to play older games and watch old tv shows even on VHS, should I increase the sharpness? I would like to get as close to the "original content" as possible without magic enhancements. Am I getting a blurry image if I set it to 0?
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Anapan
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by Anapan Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:04 am

Game mode usually turns off most post-processing to give the smallest delay / input lag.
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by benderx Tue Mar 10, 2020 4:57 am

I was playing with ps3 slim just fine. I forgot this model plays ps1 games. Well after playing 2d and 3d type games, 2d games seem to play fairly nice. But after playing games like metal gear solid it looks horrible, darker colors on a hdtv
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isiolia
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Re: Is there a generally agreed upon TV setting?

by isiolia Tue Mar 10, 2020 8:54 am

RCBH928 wrote:I turned game mode ON and never noticed anything different, how does it affect my viewing of regular tv shows?


As mentioned, the main purpose of "game mode" in a TV is to minimize input lag, which is accomplished by disabling a lot of image processing. Leaving it on all the time likely means not getting the full potential out of your TV in other content.

I tend to play older games and watch old tv shows even on VHS, should I increase the sharpness? I would like to get as close to the "original content" as possible without magic enhancements. Am I getting a blurry image if I set it to 0?


I'd say this is just going to be subjective. Try it and see. It'll probably look better to you at a low/moderate level.

The potential issue with Sharpness tends to be that you end up with a halo effect on edges. Tends to be very noticeable (and a real negative) if you have a lot of text on screen.

Since most TVs do offer multiple picture modes and/or save settings by input, you can always configure them by purpose.
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