By JAMEY TUCKER / Consumer Technology Reporter
Football season is kicking off. If you’re a fan, you’ll likely be gathered around a big screen to watch some games
If you spent hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars on a big screen 4K TV you’ll want to get the picture possible. That may require you to change the picture settings.
Why? Because most TVs right out of the box are not optimized for watching in a home. Many are optimized to be displayed in a brightly lit store. Colors pop off the screen under those lights because of the way the picture settings are set.
To get the best picture in your home, grab your remote and go to your TV settings to make a few tweaks.
- First, avoid the “Vivid” setting. That might be okay if you’re watching TV outside in bright sunlight, but it isn’t a good picture for your TV room.
- You might assume the “Sports” or “Game” picture setting is what you want. Trust me, they’re not. Sport mode is for fast-moving sports like hockey. If you later watch a movie, you might notice the picture gets blurry. Game mode isn’t for sports, it’s for video games so ignore them.
- The best setting for football and everything else is “Cinema” or “Movie” mode. It will appear darker than you want but we’re going to make it perfect.
- Let’s tweak the “brightness.” Find a show with a very dark nighttime scene like “Batman.” Adjust the brightness until you see the details in the darkest parts of the screen. You want the black to appear black, not grayish.
- Then, adjust the contrast by finding a scene with lots of white, like clouds and lower the contrast until you see details like shadows.
- Adjust color and tint until faces look flesh-colored and not red or green.
- Finally, open up the setting for sharpness. Refrain from being tempted to pump up the sharpness. You’ll be better off with a low number with today’s TV.
- If the game is available over network TV, tune in to the station using an antenna. The picture quality is a good deal better than cable or satellite.
- There will be a few football games broadcast in 4K but only a very few. YouTube TV and Direct TV offer some games in 4K but you may need to upgrade your plan. Check your provider to see if it’s available for you.