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PicturePerfect - Setting the correct TV picture size

Getting the full pitch-ure

by Mark Hodgkinson May 7, 2016


  • In the first of our PicturePerfect Euro 2016 setup guides we looked at the best picture mode to use.
    This time around, we’re going to look at the picture size, or as it is better known, Aspect Ratio. This isn’t something many people think about and most will assume that they are already seeing the whole picture, when the chances are they aren’t.

    This can be a very confusing subject matter as there are a number of variables to take into account when we look at the correct aspect ratio for the games being broadcast and then how we set the TV so it is displayed correctly.

    In this guide we are going to look at watching the best possible quality of Euro 2016 broadcast in High Definition (HD); we’ll just have to wait a bit longer for Ultra HD and HDR broadcasting. Both the BBC and ITV will be showing all the games in HD and as such we want to make sure we are seeing all the detail on our TVs. As we should all know, broadcast TV is in the 16:9 aspect ratio or picture size.

    However, it might surprise you to know that not all TVs that have a 16:9 ratio selection in the menus actually show the full image in that mode. Almost all TVs have an overscan feature which slightly zooms the incoming image before displaying it on screen.

    This feature is there to hide digital junk, noise or sync signals that are sometimes broadcast along with the image with Standard Definition material. If there was no overscan feature, the manufacturers would get a stream of phone calls to their customer services department saying their TV is broken. However, when we are watching HD broadcast material we want to make sure that we see every bit of detail. We need to find the correct picture size or aspect ratio setting that turns off overscan and displays the picture in all its glory.

    There will normally be a button on your remote control, specifically for changing the picture size. The name of the button varies depending on the make of your TV, but the most common are P. Size, Aspect or Ratio. You know need to find the mode on your make of TV that switches overscan off and displays a 16:9 HD image with all the picture detail.

    There is a full list of all manufacturers and settings on the Free to use PicturePerfect page.

    Here is a helpful video to take you through the process of selecting the correct picture size (aspect ratio):


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