How to Dramatically Improve Your TV's Performance in 10 Seconds

Did I get your attention with that title? I promise, it’s not hyperbole. One very simple change in the setup menu will improve your TV’s image quality. We’ve said it many times before, but we’re saying it again just in case you missed it: change the TV’s picture mode.

Did you know that pretty much every TV on the market is not set up to look its best out of the box? This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who regularly reads TV reviews on this (or any other good) AV enthusiast website, but it might surprise the casual shopper, who would assume–and rightly so–that manufacturers would want their products to perform their best right out of the box. Unfortunately, that simply isn’t the case, and it hasn’t been the case through my entire tenure as a video reviewer.



I have always calibrated the b/w tracking and picture of every set I’ve ever owned, but I did repair TV’s for fun and profit for years too.
If everything’s set properly you’ll be seeing the best that set can deliver. And yes most TVs have the tracking set more to blue as it it makes the whites really pop.
I always set mine to look as close to a b/w photo as possible but there are several actual standards used. The THX video calibration setup on most better DVD and blue ray disks will get you close enough if you take the time to do it.
I figure I want my TV to look like a 35mm color photo no matter what others claim and it makes me happy to watch if my set does it well enough to watch, if it doesn’t its not the set for me.

I thought it was going to say “Click the power button to Off” . :bigsmile:

[QUOTE=cholla;2759944]I thought it was going to say “Click the power button to Off” . :bigsmile:[/QUOTE]

That’s only if you’re still watching VHS. :slight_smile:

On a more serious note though it’s surprising how many people don’t adjust their settings at all when they buy a new TV.

My Dad was complaining about the picture quality on his and couldn’t believe the difference after I’d adjusted it for him.


I thought it was going to be a tip on how to adjust brightness & contrast to the room & lighting, huh…
NTL, still on the fence about upgrading from a 22" set to ~50" set… certainly the right price/deal will make the difference, but thus far I haven’t seen much… no doubt retailers will order far too many hdtv’s compared with demand and have to liquidate some at the end or after the holiday season too, so let’s see how low they go…

50" is a really nice size for most rooms and there are great deals on that size all over. I was given the 50" Sony we use now as lil sisters hubby upgraded to a 4k set and doesn’t like to deal with selling or storing his old stuff, and he knows the family can use any leftovers he has that we appreciate dearly and save us money.
MOST of the newer sets use LED back-lighting and produce pretty good black level and contrast now so if your not super picky any name brand or even some of the oddball makes might be good enough for you. I was very happy with the picture the 42" Sony we used to use had, and like the bigger set just as well.
Once you pick one the service menu can be your friend to make it look as good as it possibly can.
My Sony has quite a few advanced settings in the advanced menus so I haven’t even bothered with the service menu at all as I was able to dial in the grey scale quite nicely with what it offered in the advanced setup menu.

Less a hyperbole but a switch bait!
From performance to picture quality? meh!

My Samsung F7100 is best on standard picture (default). I never needed to adjust any screen settings out of the box. The eco-sensor (auto dimmer) saves a lot of power especially in the evening and the picture is still brilliant.

Jesus!! All that reading just to tell everyone what to do in “One Sentence”.