The smart tvs They have more and more configuration options available in their operating systems, which on the one hand gives us more possibilities to adjust everything to the smallest detail, but also complicates our lives if we do not have much experience.
If we are the type of user who leaves everything as it comes from the factory, we may not even consider entering the configuration menus to modify anything, which depending on the model we have purchased may result in a poor and artificial image quality that will not represent what the screen can give.
This is the case, for example, of older people without much experience in technology or directly of some younger people who They don’t want to mess around with the TV in case they mess something up and then they don’t know how to leave it as it was.
Fortunately there is a solution, especially if Let’s go visit them these Christmas holidays, since in just under 10 minutes we can have the TV adjusted so that they have the best possible image quality. What should be checked quickly to achieve this?
Select a suitable display mode
The usual thing in some models is that, by default, an operating mode called “standard” or “dynamic”both designed to be striking, with very vivid and saturated colors that we will like at first glance, but in the long run, when we have spent a few minutes or hours with the TV, they will end up tiring us.
These modes usually put all the TV’s functions to work, with maximum brightness, colors and contrasts, as well as with image processing that can be attractive but also artificial. Therefore, the first thing we can do is switch to a mode that represents the image and sound more faithfully to the original signal.
This is the case, for example, of “cinema”, “movie” mode or the most modern “filmmaker or filmmaker.” The “cinema” mode It is usually the most balanced of all, and somewhat more attractive than the filmmaker, allowing more saturated colors and applying some post-processing to the images to improve its contrast and sharpness, but without going overboard. It also usually adds some motion smoothing, a function that, as we will see below, is something that should also be adjusted.
From this mode it is then possible to begin, if we want to refine further, with the calibration process, adjusting other parameters to leave everything to our liking. It is the case of contrast and brightnessthe two most important in terms of perceived image quality that we can easily adjust by following these YouTube videos.
Set the TV backlight
In the LCD-LED televisions and all its variants such as QLED, as well as in the OLED and QD-OLED models, there is a parameter in the image adjustment menu that should be kept in mind: the light emitted by the screena function that directly controls the luminous intensity that the panel is capable of providing.
How is backlight and brightness different then? Well, in what the backlight directly controls the light output of the OLED diodes or the LED backlight of the LCD panel, while “brightness” is the adjustment responsible for managing the depth of blacks and details in dark areas for an already selected backlight value.
That is to say, They are two independent settings although it may seem that they are the same and some manufacturers are even misleading by naming the backlight value as “OLED brightness” or “panel brightness”, being two completely different things.
In very bright rooms and for TV use during the dayit is advisable to raise this parameter “as much as we can” to show the maximum potential that the panel is capable of offering us, especially if we want to use content with high dynamic range or HDR.
This “as much as we can” in quotes has several counterparts. For a start higher electricity consumption, since we will be forcing LEDs and OLEDs to use greater electrical power. But also, in the event that our TV is OLED we will be shortening the lifespan of your pixels and increasing the risk of retention and burns.
Hence, we must assess in what situations and for what content this extra pixel effort is worth it. For example, if the typical use is to watch the news or a game show full of logos, it may be enough for us to use set the OLED light to between one-third and one-half of its maximum powerreserving resources.
In dark rooms and if use is in the eveningthen we can opt for lower backlight values that will save energy and extend the useful life of the panels.
We can reproduce a calibration pattern with dark areas, start with a very low value of the panel’s light level and go up until we can appreciate the details that correspond to each case and with which we feel comfortable.
Set up motion interpolation
He motion smoothing It is a function that most modern televisions include and whose mission in theory is improve the perceived quality in action sequences where there are objects or scenes moving on the screen.
It has many names, since each manufacturer calls it in a way such as “True Motion”, “Auto Motion”, “Motion smoothing”, “Motion Flow”, “Intelligent Frame Creation”etc.
Why turn it off? Well, because to carry out its task it uses what is known as frame interpolation, an image post-processing technique that “invent” new frames among several already existing ones, which can have negative consequences for the image quality in addition to adding a certain “soap opera” touch.
It is true that the function adds greater smoothness in slow object movements on the screen, being especially notable in the landscapes that move in the background with characters in the foreground, in slow side and vertical pans. And it also contributes more sharpness and definition of texts and isolated objects that move slowly across the screen.
However, as we already saw here, not everything is positive, since most likely it will give us the feeling that the image is recorded with a low quality camera or many times shot as if we were watching it in fast motion.
In addition, they also create digital artifacts very annoying that worsen the image quality. For example, they appear as “pixel clouds” around objects that move quickly from one part of the screen to another. It is especially visible in scenes that change very quickly with rotations of objects and movements from one point to another on backgrounds also in motion.
The intensity of the perception of these negative effects will depend on each user. In my case, they are very annoying and that is why whenever I can I turn off the function completely or at most I leave it to a minimum in the case of watching sports or documentaries.
Cover image | Jonas Leupe
In Xataka Smart Home | The “backlight” on your TV: what it is, how it differs from “brightness” and how to adjust it correctly