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FAQs about TV Settings

by Paul Sanders

Man changing his TV settings with a remote

You can start enjoying your new television with minimal setup, right out of the box. And you'll probably get a great picture, too. But your TV may not be optimized for the various video sources you're using. That's why it can be good to play around with your TV settings to find the best picture. It really is easy to tweak your TV. Here are some answers to some questions you may have.

TV Settings Explained:

  1. Does changing my TV settings really make a difference?
    Changing your TV settings can really affect the picture quality of your LCD TV or plasma TV. But if you don’t want to bother with the settings, your TV's factory settings can do the work for you. Many HDTVs even have presets customized for movies, sports and video games.

  2. Can I save more than one group of settings on my TV?
    Definitely. HDTVs typically keep your settings for each input. So, if you have three HDMI inputs and two A/V inputs, each one will have its own brightness, contrast and other settings. When you change inputs, your TV will switch to the settings for that input. If you're connecting your various devices through a home theater receiver however, you'll be stuck with the settings for the single input of the receiver.

  3. How do I choose a contrast level?
    Contrast controls the white levels for your TV. If this setting is too high, you won't be able to see the edges of bright objects. Choose a bright scene in a movie or video game and adjust the brightness to a level where you can see plenty of detail in bright objects on the HDTV screen.

  4. How do I choose a brightness level?
    Brightness controls how dark your TV's blacks are. The best way to customize this level is to choose a movie or video game you would usually watch and adjust the brightness to the lowest level possible without losing a lot of detail. If you watch movies with dark scenes, you may want your brightness higher to show the detail.

  5. How do I choose a color level?
    Color levels are hard to judge. A good rule of thumb when adjusting your TV color setting is to make sure skin tones look natural. If your HDTV makes people look like cartoons, the setting is probably too high.

  6. How do I choose a sharpness level?
    Sharpness is less useful for HDTVs and other high-quality video sources, because the picture has already had sharpening done at the source. If you're still using lower quality video sources, however, adjust the sharpness until the edges of people and objects look crisper.

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