Blogging Best Magazine: Taming Your HDTV

Blogging Best Magazine: Taming Your HDTV

Aug 21, 2007

If you've been lucky enough to score a high-definition TV--or do when we give this one away in September--you might not be sure how to optimize the settings for the best picture in your own home. Never fear, we're got the scoop, this time from Best Magazine: check out the 7 steps they recommend for the best picture after the jump.

#1 - Make sure you have a source of HD signals. If you subscribe to cable or satellite TV, you'll probably need to upgrade to an HD-set top box. Best Magazine recommends adding a digital video recorder at this point, if you don't already have one. You don't need to get cable if the channels you want to watch are already being broadcast in high definition; just make sure you have the correct type of antennae to maximize your options.

#2 - Set-top boxes usually have multiple output-resolution settings, such as 720p or 1080i. For a 1080p HDTV, choose 1080i, as 1080p isn't yet available. You can also have a technician calibrate your HDTV for you.

#3 - Go into the TV's picture menu; one of them is likely labelled Dynamic, Vivid or something similar. Dynamic mode on HDTVs are designed to make them look really good in showrooms, but can degrade the picture quality in your home. Choose a setting labeled Standard, Cinema, Movie or Natural. The contrast and colors will be more accurate, even if they're not as bright.

#4 - When you are viewing non-HD programming, you may need to adjust the Sharpness, but when viewing HD programming, you want to turn it down to 10-20%, as it's going to be sharp enough.

#5 - If your picture menu includes a color temperature or white balance setting, stay away from cool settings, and instead use medium/mid/warm setting to get better flesh tones and more natural colors.

#6 - Make sure the TV is positioned for the least amount of glare. Plasmas are more likely to have glare, despite anti-glare glass, than LCDs, but its best to do whatever you can to minimize the glare.

#7 - Use digital AV connections to hook up DVD players and set-top boxes. This will give you the highest picture quality with the lowest signal loss. HDMI connectors carry as much as 5 video components as well as audio, which means quality picture, sound, and far fewer cables to hide.

Check out the Spring/Summer issue of the magazine for even more information on this topic than we shared here, as well as a number of other HDTV-related topics.

-Image by jgutierrez_esp.

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