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TV Settings (1 Viewer)

MatthiasSmitty

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Jun 25, 2003
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Hey guys, I did a little searching and I can't seem to find a thread for this (gotta say that "1 search/15 seconds" limit can get really annoying if your search returns no results), so I'll just make one.

I have a Sony Trinitron 27" TV, and I want to make the most of it. I always hear people talking about reducing the sharpness or whatever, but I never can get any concrete advice on this. So, your HT gurus should be able to give me an answer: what do I do to get the best picture out of my set? What levels should brightness be, tint, sharpness, etc.? Should I set my TV to "neutral" "cool" or "hot"? Thanks for any help you guys can offer.
 

ChuckSolo

Screenwriter
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Jun 26, 2003
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1,160
Well Smitty, all I have to tell you is, trust your eyes. Apart from a professional calibration on an RPTV a 27" direct view TV is pretty much set at the factory so the user is limited to the stuff you mentioned above. I can guarantee you that if you set your TV to a setting that you like, that has the best picture to your eyes, someone else is gonna think the picture is too dark, light, tint is wrong, etc. Other than turning down the contrast to guard against burn in, set it up the way that looks best to you. I don't think there is a "best" universal TV setting. I have a buddy with a 4:3 46" Mitusbishi RPTV and to my eyes, his picture stinks, but to him it is perfect. Everyone's taste is different. My buddy buys only widescreen movies, but as soon as he puts the disk in the player he zooms it to fill the screen so that the "black bars" disappear, he drives me absolutely crazy when he does this. My point is, it's all personal preference. Set it the way it looks good to you and enjoy!!
 

Jack Briggs

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Jun 3, 1999
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16,805
Picture settings even among the same model of set are not universal. But you must turn the contrast to at or below 50 percent -- not just to avoid burn-in, but to keep from overdriving the set. Also, "sharpness" is misunderstood by most people to be some sort of focus control. It is not. It is an edge-enhancement control that artificially boosts contours. You can see more detail with the sharpness control set very low or off altogether.

Your best bet is to get one of the popular calibration discs and to adjust the user controls accordingly.
 

Jeff Gatie

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Aug 19, 2002
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Maybe not "best", but there is a reference standard. You can approach it by buying Avia and/or VE and calibrating, you can achieve it completely by having your set ISF'd. Some people (such as the friend you mentioned) do not know what a calibrated set looks like, so they set it on torch mode and forget it. This may look "best" but it is certainly not correct and may harm the TV.

Get a calibration disk and use it, your set and your eyes will thank you.
 

Russell B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 6, 1999
Messages
115
I have a 32" Trinitron. Is it bad to have the "picture" setting maxed out because thats what the factory setting is when in "vivid" mode? Standard mode knocks off about 1/3 of the "picture". Is "contrast" the same as "Hue"?
 

ChrisWiggles

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Aug 19, 2002
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Matt: as mentioned, you need to purchase a proper calibration disc such as Avia or DVE to calibrate your set properly. Uncalibrated sets are usually WAY WAY off standard to please the untrained eye. Avia will walk you through setting black level, white level, sharpness, color balance, and color saturation.

Proper calibration is the cheapest thing you can do for a TV, and is absolutely necessary for the best picture. Uncalibrated TVs are hideous in comparison.

Russell:

no, hue is usually color balance.

Contrast sets white level.

Buy a calibration disc!
 

Russell B

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 6, 1999
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115
I edited my post, its actually the Picture adjustment thats maxed out when in Vivid mode, not the brightness.

My Trinitron has

Picture
Brightness
Color
Hue
Sharpness
Color Temp (cool, neutral, warm)
Clearedge (low, high, off)

Can i get the Avia disc at places like Best Buy?
 

ChrisWiggles

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Aug 19, 2002
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picture=contrast=white level
brightness=black level
color=color saturation
hue=tint=color balance
sharpness=sharpness.
colortemp=color temp for grayscale. probably warm or neutral to get closer to D65
clearedge= probably SVM, off preferred.

You should significantly lower your white levels always with CRT displays.

And purchase a calibration disc.
 

Jack Briggs

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Jun 3, 1999
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Russell, you're overdriving that Sony with the contrast set at maximum. The manufacturers do that because the unknowledgeable public likes bright blue-tinted pictures. The "Vivid" setting on Sony menus is a joke resulting in a picture that reminds one of an acid trip.

Use the "Normal" or "Film" mode, select the "Warm" color temp (which is closest to the D6,500 standard), and reduce that contrast (i.e., "Picture") immediately. The power supply in nearly all consumer displays cannot handle that kind of output, and thus reduces significantly the useful life of the set.

You need to wean yourself off "TV" the way you've been used to it.

With one of the calibration discs, you can tame that picture well. At first you might not think you like the darker, lower-contrast image. But you get used to it, and then start seeing the detail you've been missing. Reduce the so-called sharpness control also.

Think about it this way: You are looking directly at a light source, often for hours at a time. That light output needs to be reduced in order for you to see real detail (not to mention protecting your eyesight).
 

John S

Senior HTF Member
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Nov 4, 2003
Messages
5,460
Try finding a modern DVD disc that has the THX Optimizer on it. This will go a long way to making it better.
 

MikeEckman

Screenwriter
Joined
Jan 11, 2001
Messages
1,085
I've calibrated several different Sony WEGA sets in my time with Avia and when I go to Best Buy or Circuit City I usually take the remotes and do a quick "baseline" calibration using just the basic settings. Although everyone here is correct in that all sets, even different sets within the same model line, are different, there is a general baseline that seems to be a good starting point for most TVs.

In my experience, you can get a pretty good baseline calibration on Sony sets by setting the Contrast (Picture) setting to about 75% of Max, the Brightness setting to about 40% of max, Sharpness to about 25%, Color one or two bars below 50%, Hue right in the center, Color Temp to Neutral, and VM Off.

You mentioned that you have a Sony Trinitron TV. All Sony's nowadays are Trinitrons, so I dont know if you have an older set, but most of Sony's commercial grade sets are WEGAs, and these baseline settings seem to work pretty good for WEGAs. If you have an older set though, it might be different. Do as everyone says, and trust your eyes. If you can try to get a video calibration disc. Even the original release of Video Essentials is good enough for most people.

Good luck.
 

Jerome Grate

Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 23, 1999
Messages
2,989
MatthiasSmitty, all the above posts give you an idea, you of course know what your viewing enviroment is. So many things are taken in consideration from the the outside light allowed into the room to the rooms paint color all will effect on how you set up your t.v. to your liking. Get a setup disc, Avia or VE (Video Essentials), follow the instructions and tweak that baby to your liking.
 

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