Backlight vs Brightness setting?


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Jul 6, 2001
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I have just received a Sharp 26p50 (£499 from empire direct inc. delivery and glass stand) and I am trying to set it up for best PQ.

Problem is that I am not really sure how to set the correct level of brightness using the backlight and/or brightness settings. What is the difference between changing the backlight and changing the brightness?
I'd like to know this aswell. I recently bought DVE to calibrate my set, and there wasn't an option on the DVD which told you how to set the backlight, it only tells you how to set the brightness level correctly. I just whacked it down quite low, as apparantly it gives you better blacks like that.
You set the backlight according to how much ambient lighting you have. So during daylight you need more backlighting than you do at night. Therefore prior to calibrating you should determine the lighting conditions you would mostly watch TV in and set the backlight accordingly, then you can carry out calibrating as normal. In other words, I would normally watch DVDs at night with no surrounding light therefore I set the backlight way down and calibarted this input under these lighting conditions. If I then want to watch DVD's during the daytime I can just up the backlight to allow more light to come through the screen and the rest of the settings should still be OK.

You use the brightness setting to determine the screens black level and contrast to determine white levels.
You use the brightness setting to determine the screens black level and contrast to determine white levels.

Yes neilmcl but remember that the two usually interact to a small degree.
"Brightness" changes the colours of the pixels on the LCD screen. For example if you turn the Brightness up high, black pixels will change into light grey pixels.

"Backlight" is the intensity of the fluorescent lamp behind the screen that makes the picture more intense. This should be set low to get realistic blacks.

This should be an FAQ question.
Yeah, similarly if you read my Sony BRAVIA tips and secrets: then one of them is gettin the backlight *almost* as low as possible (which is very low, on the Sony LCDs).

It's astonishing how many manufacturers leave out a backlight control or keep it set high (probably because it will wear the set out quicker and force people to replace the lamp or buy a new TV?) It completely stops me from going anywhere near them. I want a TV that looks good in my home, not one that looks bright under the dazzling store lights.

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