World Cup 2018: Setting the correct TV picture size

The old 16:9 formation with some tweaks.

by hodg100 Jun 5, 2018 at 7:28 AM

  • World Cup 2018 is just around the corner so what better time for us football fans to get our televisions in peak condition prior to kick-off?
    In this article we are going to look at Picture Size, or as it is better known, Aspect Ratio. 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 content, and then how we set the TV so it is displayed correctly.

    For this guide we are going to look at watching the best possible quality of World Cup broadcast and for most of us, so far, that will be in Full HD 1080p, although the BBC will trial some more Ultra HD through iPlayer Beta. We want to make sure you are seeing all the detail on your TV and, as we should all know, broadcast HDTV is in the 16:9 aspect ratio or picture size.

    It might however surprise you to know that not all TVs which 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 - especially on outside broadcasts. If there was no overscan implemented on most new TVs then manufacturers would get a steady 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 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 now 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).

    This first PicturePerfect World Cup guide has covered the very basic, but highly important steps to making sure your TV is displaying the very best images without losing any detail. We will have further articles on more complex aspects of your TVs' picture menus as the Finals near.

    If you want to get stuck into the full PicturePerfect guide you can do so by visiting the pages here.

    To comment on what you've read here, click the Discussion tab and post a reply.

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