How can I improve my picture

Television: how to improve the picture

Sometimes the colors are too poor in contrast, other times the picture is too dark: users can improve the picture with various settings on a television. We show you what to look out for.

The picture still looked great in the shop, but at home the colors on the new television suddenly appear dull and pale. If you want an optimal result here, you have to optimize the settings of the device. We show what to look out for.

Expert advises cinema mode

In shops, televisions have to assert themselves against competing devices in bright light, which is why they are usually gaudy, says Ulrike Kuhlmann from the specialist magazine "c't". "When installing the system, users should therefore choose the basic setting for 'Home'", explains Kuhlmann.

If you want a good picture, you should activate the cinema mode. Depending on the TV manufacturer, it is also called cinema mode or movie mode. Some TVs also offer settings for a bright or dark environment in this mode. "Cinema mode and bright surroundings almost always fit," says Kuhlmann. Kuhlmann advises against the standard mode that televisions usually use when they are switched on for the first time: "It's okay, but not good". With very cheap televisions, you shouldn't expect good picture quality even in cinema mode.

Skin colors are critical

To see whether the television is actually set correctly, users should pay attention to the skin colors of their faces, says Kuhlmann. Because: "People know what faces from their cultural area look like," says Kuhlmann. "If faces are tinged, they will notice it immediately."

Many devices also offer a dynamic mode. This leads to gaudy and over-sharpened images. Kuhlmann therefore only recommends dynamic mode in very bright surroundings. "In the light-flooded living room, the picture can be a bit gaudy," says Kuhlmann. Tinkering with the brightness is cumbersome and, according to Kuhlmann, does not help much. The image then still looks low in contrast.

There are a few things to consider with test images

If you want a perfect result, you have to optimize the image with calibration devices. However, some sites also recommend loading a test image onto the television. So users should be able to manually set the correct contrast or brightness.

Kuhlmann advises caution here: If you want to display the test image via a device that is connected to the HDMI-1 slot, for example, you must ensure that the television also adopts the image settings for other connections.

What else is important

If you want, you can optimize the playback of fast moving images. The associated setting in the menu usually contains the keyword "Motion", says Kuhlmann. The television uses this to calculate intermediate images, and judder during tracking shots is smoothed out.

During soccer games, however, users should avoid motion optimization or at least reduce it significantly. "Otherwise you can no longer correctly estimate where the ball will land on crosses," says Kuhlmann. "That is totally irritating".

For gaming, Kuhlmann recommends standard or gaming mode, if the device has one. Anyone who has a PC connected to the television should set the image format to "1: 1" or "Just Scan". Then the image will not be cut off at the edges.

What is the correct seat pitch?

In addition to the screen size, the resolution is also important for the correct sitting distance from the television. This is reported by the trade journal "Video" (3/2019). To calculate the minimum distance between the eyes and the television, the following equation applies as a rule of thumb: For UHD devices, the height of the screen is multiplied by 1.5, and on Full HD devices by 3. The product of this gives the minimum distance in centimeters.

An example: With a full HD TV with a screen diagonal of 65 inches, users should sit at least 2.40 meters away, with a UHD device of the same size 1.20 meters away. With four times the resolution, the minimum distance is halved for TV sets with the same display size.