Launched June 18th 2012, our press release is here : PicturePerfect_1.pdf.
Why are we doing it?
When we met lots of people at the Gadget Show Live 2012 at our AVForums stand, we realised that lots of people don't set up their TV's picture. Either because they don't think they need to, or because they don't know how.
They do need to because TVs are not set up ideally for the home environment when you take them out of the box. Usually they ship in Dynamic or Vivid mode and this is not even close to an accurate picture.
What's worse is that they like it. There have been times when I have gone through my usual process of improving a friend's TV by switching it to cinema or movie mode, reducing the sharpness to virtually off, reducing the colour by loads, giving them a nice, natural, more accurate picture, only to be told that it doesn't look as good.
Frustrating. It's their telly and they can have it set up however they like, but is the picture better when it's brighter and more colourful?It's too dull, now.
So we commissioned an Ipsos MORI poll to get some specific statistics including how many people set up their TV's picture, how they set them up, and how long they spend watching them.
The statistics backed up what we believe.
50% of people don't set up their TVs at all (48% do, 2% didn't have TVs).
Of those people who do set up their TVs, we thought that most just tweak the brightness and contrast a bit.
65% said they adjusted by eye using the settings option on the television menu without any guidance until the picture looked right.
28% said they followed guides available from the manufacturer, online or from family or friends to adjust their TVs. Which would also involve adjusting by eye.
You can't get an accurate picture without some kind of reference like a test pattern at the very least.
Only 3% said they had their TV adjusted professionally by the retailer/supplier installing the television.
Only 2% adjusted by use of test patterns or a test card.
All this effectively means that of the 50% of people who do set up their TVs, only 5% do it with any kind of accurate picture at the end.
Why does it matter that peoples' TVs aren't set up right?
Who cares? Well the filmmakers do for a start, because they want their movies and TV programmes to be enjoyed the way they were made.
Aside from enjoying a better picture, people with a correctly set up TV could have a lower electricity bill and a lower risk of tired eyes (more information on the PicturePerfect home page).
We think the problem is that people don't appreciate the loss of detail with an overly bright, oversaturated picture. Having a TV in Dynamic or Vivid mode ruins the image. You lose so much detail, it's unbelievable.
So our first goal was to show people how much the wrong picture mode can ruin your experience.
We created our first video for MyPerfectPicture.tv, available now on the home page.
We think that video is very convincing. Hopefully it will convince everyone else.
TV manufacturers also care about the TV viewer's experience. Almost all of them support our campaign. The full list of supporters is shown on www.MyPerfectPicture.tv.
And UK's largest TV retailer, Argos also supports PicturePerfect because they appreciate that our setup guides will help their customers get the most from their TV purchases.
More organisations will join our ranks soon.
Hopefully we can convince people that their TVs should be set up properly. But this wouldn't be much use without the help they need to do it.
So we have produced two videos which will, if successfully followed, will get people a long way towards getting a good TV picture.
In the first video we show people how to select the right picture mode.
This has a huge effect on the picture quality. Cinema or Movie mode is way more accurate than Dynamic or Vivid.
Then we have to convince people to live with that new setting for a while so they can get used to it and start appreciating the more natural colours and the full depth of detail.
In the second video we show people how to select the right picture size.
Having the wrong size setting can squeeze, stretch or zoom the picture so that detail is lost. We aim to match the HD image to the HD screen perfectly so 100% of the detail is visible on screen.
Step 1 gets people the maximum return with the mimium effort.
But we haven't finished, yet.
Steps 2 and 3
We will release more videos throughout the rest of the year to help people get closer to picture perfection.
Get personal help here
We aim to publish more information on the PicturePerfect site to help as many people as possible.
But for those with more specific needs, we hope that the AVForums community will help each other set up their TVs by sharing their own experiences and providing advice and guidance when asked.