How to set up your TV for the perfect picture

As well as that, it feels like each week a brand new TV or high-tech feature announcement shakes up the home cinema market – which means there's always something different to consider about setting up the perfect picture. 

The good news is that, as more and more TV display advances arrive, such as 4K Ultra HD resolution, HDR, and Wide Color Gamut, more of them also trickle down to the mass market. 

This means that the image quality you can get these days with even a budget TV can be astounding. Similarly, the rise in 4K TVs over recent years means you can now get four times as many pixels on your display as a regular, Full HD set – so you'll get more detail and precision than ever before. 

But even though TV tech has never been better, it's still possible that you can buy the best and see the worst – that's why we're here to guide you through the process of setting up the best picture possible.

 The good news is that fine-tuning your screen isn't difficult, and you really can't go that wrong. Even if you do get into a multicoloured motion-blurring muddle, we have an easy fix for that as well - just hit the Factory Reset and forget it ever happened. 

 So pick-up that remote, and let's have a play. 1. Use the right sources and connections It may seem obvious, but in order to get the best from your TV you need to put the best into it. 

 This boils down to using high-resolution sources. For watching films and TV shows on disc, regular DVD players represent the bare minimum of what's acceptable, but if you're quality conscious, they should really be ousted in favor of a decent Ultra HD Blu-ray player. 

At the very least you want to feed them HD content from a Blu-ray player and HD set top box. The amount of broadcast 4K content is currently minimal, but the world of gaming is storming ahead with 4K thanks to consoles like the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. There are now also plenty of 4K streaming devices like the Apple TV 4K and Amazon Fire TV Cube. However, if you really want to invest in 4K content then you should consider one of the best TV streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video or Disney Plus, which have a huge amount of 4K HDR content available. 

Of course, once you have your kit, it's imperative that you use the right connections. We've probably all witnessed someone watching a Sky+ HD box through the SCART connection at some point over the years (hint, you ain't gonna get HD that way). By and large, the only connection you should be using is HDMI, unless there's an overriding reason to opt for a legacy interface. 

Owners of older Panasonic TVs may still have a DisplayPort connection, which is used for connecting PCs and can deliver equally high-quality signals. 2. Make sure your sources are set up right Source components and Blu-ray players usually have a variety of display options, but will typically manage themselves depending on the display they're partnered with - thanks to the EDID (Extended display identification data) info they encounter. You can manually intervene though if your combination results in some odd behaviour. 

The best way of checking this is to hop into your set-top box, Blu-ray player or games console's display settings to establish exactly what they're outputting. Ideally, you're looking for them to output at 2160p (ie 4K), but many Full HD boxes won't be capable of this. If you're streaming 4K content online, it will also usually simply downgrade the quality to whatever your television set can output. If you're a little confused as to what your television can support, then we'd suggest picking the highest option available and simply seeing what happens. 

Most sources will briefly show an image designed to test if your TV can support the settings you've chosen, and if this image doesn't appear then you can safely assume your set can't support it. Just work down through the settings options until you find the highest option that your TV is able to display. 

The situation is made even more complicated by the fact that some cheaper 4K TVs will only support 4K on a fraction of their total HDMI ports (usually the first two). If your new 4K Blu-ray player isn't able to output Ultra HD to your screen, try plugging it into a different HDMI port to see if this resolves the issue. 3. 

Ambient light affects image perception One important characteristic of LCD screens is that they each behave differently according to the ambient light levels in your room. Because LCD is a backlit display technology it becomes increasingly torch-like in a darkened room. What looked like a black leather jacket in a room with average ambient light, becomes grey (be it dark grey or light grey) in a darkened room. Panel makers will try every trick in the book, from filters to backlight chicanery, to disguise this fact.


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