Tech Tuesday – TV Calibration 101
Today is Tech Tuesday and I want to talk to you a little bit about TV Calibration. In fact not only TV but projector or any type of display
Now I know you’re excited. You have just got home from your local [insert generic retailer] with you [insert generic brand] TV/Display. But just wait a minute. Are you sure its set up right? It looked lovely in the shop, yes? Well in fact NO. It looked awful. The TVs in the shop are all set up for the most visually high impact they can get. Imagine the manufacturer setting it up to be life like and then sticking it next to all the vibrant ones. You would never buy it!! Its just human nature. We always go for the shiny one!
So what we need to do now is called calibration. We need to set your TV up to be the best picture you can get in your Front Room giving you the most natural picture and crispy crisp HD picture.
Now this is an understatement if I am honest. As we can get some very good results from this and many of you will be happy to leave it here. That’s fine. What we have to find is the picture menu on your TV/Display. So grab your control and hit the MENU button. Got it? OK I will continue.
First up is CONTRAST – This could also be called white level. This is the overall detail on brighter images. The way to set this right is to have an image on the screen with lots of white. A Shirt or blouse maybe. Take the level all the way up then slowly bring it back down until you still have a good white performance but can see lots of detail in the white too, the wrinkles etc. Got it?
Next, BRIGHTNESS, may also be called Black level. Despite the name this doesn’t adjust the brightness of the picture. It actually is more to do with the blacks. If the brightness is too low then blacks will look crushed and two-dimensional. A good way to check this is to display a letter boxed film. Set the control to the maximum and then reduce it down slowly until the black bars are no longer dark grey. Check the picture in the main field then to ensure you haven’t gone too far and crushed the blacks!!
COLOUR, this could also be called saturation. It is the control of how much actual colour saturates the image. This is always set high out of the box as the manufacturers want their TV to be the one that catches your eye in the showroom. To set this correctly, change the colour tones to warm (if you have a setting for this). Find an image on DVD or TV of someones face close up. Move the control all the way up until they look like they have been out in the sun all day. Then reduce it down until their skin looks natural and not burnt. If the rest of the image is boring then a little increase of colour isn’t going to hurt.
Other controls are, SHARPNESS, this is a funny one. It is there to give an artificial edge to images on softer SD material. But it will work against your High definition picture. Its better if this is left on zero or at least a very low setting. And BACKLIGHT (for LCD’s only), this would have been set very high for the showroom. It’s hard to work out, as it is individual taste that determines the best level. I recommend watching something fairly bright for a while and setting this to mid setting. If you find it too bright then lower it a bit.
OK, we should now have a much better picture. All we have done is go through the basic settings and already you are on your way to a fantastic HD Image from your new toy.
Did this help you get a better image? Have you tried calibration before? Comment Below…