World Cup 2018: Picture Processing Pt 1
With the first two steps of the PicturePerfect guide – picture mode and picture size – we explained the simple menu changes necessary to get your TV picture looking more accurate, less tiring to watch and probably more energy efficient than the out-of-the-box picture settings.
There are a number of other settings within the TV we can either switch on or off that will impact on your TV picture during the World Cup. In this article we are going to cover Picture Processing controls that affect the image brightness and energy use. Please note that not all TVs will have these controls or features.
On your TV these settings are likely called Eco or Energy Saving. This is where it gets counterintuitive as we want you to switch these features off. Why? Well they can actually affect your image quality by fluctuating the brightness of the screen in a very noticeable way and this changes the picture characteristics like gamma. Without getting overly technical the image will become washed out and dull one minute and dark and dim the next.
Most modern TVs do not use that much power and if you have followed our guide and put the TV in movie mode, it will be saving energy already so there should be no need for the Eco feature.
This control, if featured on your TV, will be called Dynamic Contrast, Black Enhancer, Dynamic Backlight or similar. Again we want you to switch these features off. They attempt to enhance the black and white areas of the image by boosting the output or switching off the backlight to deepen the black level. However all they really succeed in doing is masking detail in the black and white areas of the image and can cause the screen brightness to fluctuate. With them switched off you can enjoy a stable, detailed image.
The dimming features are only present on modern LCD LED TVs. On your TV these will be called Local dimming or global dimming. These features work as you would expect given their name. They dim the backlight of an LCD TV to try and enhance the black level and make the blacks appear darker than they are.
In LED LCD TVs there are two types that can be used, edge lighting or back lighting. There are also variations on those with different dimming zones used to further enhance the black level.
If you have a full backlit LED TV, then the best setting for local or global dimming is likely to be Low but, of course, experiment to see what works best for you. Some of the recent flagship LCDs such as Samsung Q9FN 'QLED' TV have made great strides with their dimming algorithms.
As a rule of thumb, if you don't have a full backlit LED TV, switch global and local dimming off, unless it's a high-end example, in which case see how it works on Low.
If you want to get stuck into the full PicturePerfect guide you can do so by visiting the pages here.
If you would like more details on professionally calibrating your TV or Projector you can read our guide here.
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