How To

How To – Simple Solutions For Common TV Issues

These easy repairs might help enhance your television’s picture if it has distorted images, odd hues, or the dreaded “soap opera effect.”

When you take into account that each video source (cable box, media streamer, Blu-ray player, gaming system) probably has its own optimum settings that apply, the default settings on many TVs don’t always provide the finest image. You can be dealing with bothersome oddities that you didn’t even realise you could fix if you haven’t looked into your TV’s menu system. Here are quick remedies for four typical TV visual issues.

How To Correct A Cropped, Squashed, Or Stretched Image

Have you ever felt the image on TV seemed a bit off? Perhaps the individuals seem squished, or perhaps portions of the image appear to be vanishing beyond the border of the screen. This is a frequent issue with many TVs, and you can fix it in a matter of seconds.

On many TVs, the setting for picture size goes by many different names, although it performs the same function: a geometrical depiction of the visual stream the TV receives on the screen. On the TV, the image should ideally be mapped pixel-for-pixel, although this isn’t always the case. When the aspect ratio is off, the image must sometimes be extended or cropped. Sometimes the TV may crop the picture’s edge to meet broadcast formats. When this occurs, you must adjust the image size.

best picture on your TV

Other names for the Picture Size (or Screen Size, or Zoom) parameter include Zoom, Wide, Aspect Ratio, and even plain Picture. Any control that sounds like one of those names may be found in the TV’s settings menu. Be aware that it may not be in the Picture settings menu and may instead be in the Screen or Inputs menu. Whether you’re unsure about your choice, see if Zoom, Stretch, Wide, or 16:9 are included within the possible choices. You’re looking at the correct setting if those alternatives are available. They also indicate that you’re probably looking at the incorrect selections while trying to acquire the finest TV image.

You want your TV to show the signal pixel-for-pixel if possible for any contemporary gaming system, media hub, cable box, or computer that outputs at 1080p (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) or 4K (3,840 by 2,160 pixels). Choose Direct or Just-Fit from the Picture Size drop-down option. By doing this, you may instruct your TV to display any video it receives from a connected device in its original, unaltered state. Any strange distortion you see when viewing TV may be fixed with this simple solution.

Try the 16:9 and 4:3 settings if the pixel-for-pixel mode is ineffective (particularly if you are using an older, pre-HD video source connected through composite or component inputs). Older game consoles and DVD players output with a 4:3 aspect ratio, and on current TVs with black bars on each side to maintain that ratio, they appear better pillar boxed.

Another issue, excessive overscan, may arise if you connect a computer or other device to your TV. Prior to the introduction of digital TV, TV signals communicated more of the image than was really intended for the TV. Overscan is this additional frame, and TVs are made to remove it. Search the menus on your TV for a distinct option called Overscan. It may be anywhere in the menu, most likely next to the Picture Size selection (including the Advanced Settings). When Overscan is set to Off or Disable, the whole scene will be shown.

The Soap Opera Effect: How To Avoid It

A typical visual complaint is the “soap opera effect,” which happens when the motion on the screen seems unnatural. When the source video doesn’t have 60 or more frames per second (fps), the TV simulates them. 24 or 30 frames per second is the standard for most films and television programmes. The film is often shot at 24 frames per second, whereas television is typically shot at 30 frames per second.

Many current TVs can show at up to 120 frames per second or have a refresh rate of 120Hz. Additionally, they often include image processing tools that may imitate greater frame rates or even make the movement look smoother to match that frame rate.

simulate higher frame rates

These characteristics may effectively smooth out 24 or 30 frames per second video. They make the video appear too smooth, which is the issue. The jarring and artificial appearance gives it a soap opera-like appearance. When you’re watching sports or playing video games, the motion smoothing sometimes works, but for the majority of movies and TV episodes, it simply makes everything seem strange as if you’re standing behind the camera and seeing precisely what it sees.

Turning off motion smoothing is the straightforward answer. I’m done now. If motion smoothing is still active after switching your TV to the Theater or Cinema mode, you will need to manually turn it off. To learn where the setting is hidden in the menu systems of contemporary Samsung, LG, Roku TV, Google TV, Amazon Fire TV, and LG TVs, see our guide to disabling motion smoothing.

How To Proceed If The Image Is Too Dark

Have you ever noticed how the brightness of the TV image changes with the time of day? That’s probably because of a power-saving function known as the light sensor, which is the torment of every cinephile. Many TVs contain ambient light sensors that instantly change the picture’s brightness depending on how bright or dark the environment is. On paper, it seems useful, but in practice, it prevents you from maintaining independent control over the TV’s brightness.

TV's brightness yourself

By disabling the ambient light sensor, you may maintain direct control over the brightness of your TV. Depending on the interface, this option may be concealed in a number of places in your TV’s menu system. It’s an option that can be found in the Picture settings’ Backlight menu on Android and Google TV devices. It may be found in the Energy Saving menu on LG TVs running webOS. To disable the function, uncheck all settings that indicate Ambient Light or Intelligent Sensor. If you want to make sure it remains off, you may also need to change image modes. Avoid using any Automatic Power Saving (APS) image setting since it will often provide output that is too dark.

You may also turn off your TV’s energy-saving functions for more exact control. Even if they don’t all have light sensors, they can nevertheless change the TV’s lighting to save energy. Any Power Saving, Energy Saving, or Eco setting should be found and set to Low or Off. The TV’s backlight may then be manually adjusted to your preference. Of course, your TV will use more electricity if the backlight is set to a brighter level.

How To Correct The TV’s Color

Your TV’s colour settings may be incorrect if you’ve watched television and noticed that the image seems too blue, too green, or that skin tones are unnaturally yellow. The greatest colours from your TV may be obtained by expert calibration, but this is a time-consuming and costly procedure that most people won’t want to go through. Thankfully, there are a few easy options you can switch between to achieve more true colours right out of the box, and in our testing, they are often accurate, too.

The D65 white point, a standard value that sets white to a colour temperature of 6,504 Kelvin, is the foundation for video transmissions. Without going into the complex math, this is how white should seem in the normal noon light. TVs’ default image settings often make white look a little bit bluer than it should. White balance is the name of this option, which is accessible on almost all TVs. The majority of image settings, including Normal, Standard, and Vivid, have the white balance adjusted to be deliberately chilly. Although it doesn’t seem natural, this helps the image stand out more.

most accurate colors

The most realistic colours are often produced when a TV is set to its movie-focused image mode. The colour temperature will be automatically adjusted in this image mode, which may be termed Movie, Cinema, or Calibrated, to be as near as possible to what the filmmakers intended, without a complete calibration. Activate this mode on your TV if it’s an option.

Set the white balance of your TV to the hottest level if that doesn’t work. Simply learn where to look for that setting. Look for a number called White Balance or Color Temperature under image choices in the menu system of your TV. You should have a few selections here, including Cool, Normal, and Warm. The truest colours you can anticipate from the panel will most likely be delivered to your TV by selecting Warm.

If there are many Warm settings available, or if no Warm setting is available, you must choose the setting that makes the image seem the least blue-green and the most red-pink. Don’t worry; these settings won’t drastically alter the colours, and despite the fact that the image first seems pink, it is really the truest alternative.

There are probably sophisticated submenus next to these settings that urge you to calibrate the colour or adjust the white balance. Avoid these choices and any other selection that asks you to adjust the numbers. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s too simple to totally skew the colour accuracy of your TV with these settings, which are intended for calibrators to use. In this case, you’ll have to reset your TV to its factory settings and start again.

The Rest Of The Story

Keep in mind that even if your TV is brand new, it could not be set up optimally for the finest image. It’s worthwhile to go through the options menu and see what’s there. Meanwhile, if you’re wanting to purchase a new TV, check out our articles on How to Choose the Right Screen Size and What TV Model Numbers and SKUs Actually Mean. To determine which characteristics are most relevant to you, see our explainers on 4K, 8K, and HDR.


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