Tips To Set Up Your TV

I am probably speaking to the choir here, however getting the most out of your HDTV is worth repeating.. and repeating.. and repeating a little more. It is a good thing that we have sites like the HD Guru to help us tweak our HDTVs.

Get a Setup Disc – This one is fundamental. Sure you could mess around with the user settings till you get an ok image, but you won’t be able to eyeball the best settings for the TV. Even the pros can’t do that. A full ISF calibration is the ultimate in ensuring you’re getting the best from your TV, but a calibration disc will get you a lot of the way there. I did an article on these a few months back, and all the same editions are around (I use the Spears&Munsil disc to setup and test up every TV I review).

HD Guru

  • Is there a list of

    Is there a list of calibration discs that we could get from somewhere like Amazon or something like that?

  • Thanks a million$$$

    Thanks a million$$$

  • I’ve set mine up before and I

    I’ve set mine up before and I always seem to go back to vivid. The settings seem to cut the sharpness down. And I know it is too bright in vivid but it pulls me in like a moth.

    • Same here for the most part,
      Same here for the most part, PAPutzback. That, and the wife complained that it was too dark. I worked off of the vivid setting and got it to a point where we were both happy with the setup. It’s still not “correct”, but everyone is happy and that’s what it’s all about in the end.

    • My eyes are burning just

      My eyes are burning just thinking about it.  Torch mode….ugh, what a waste of a TV.

      • Most of the settings are
        Most of the settings are about half way in between the warm (which was really close to what the calibration CD got me to) and vivid settings. For example, I think the brightness for warm is 45 and for vivid it’s 100, we’re at 56. Again, not “correct”, but livable. I started at vivid and got as close to optimal as I could while still keeping my better half happy.

        • Generally speaking, Vivid

          Generally speaking, Vivid (aka torch) mode is built into the TV for sales purposes.  It’s designed to compensate for the overly bright lights of the sales floor and make the picture “pop” in that environment.  If you set your TV up in a similar environment at home (maybe not as bright, but still have ambient light interfering with the picture), it’s no surprise someone might prefer Vivid mode.  Depending on ambient lighting conditions, the other modes (especially the one that gets closest to what is actually correct) will look too dark and the picture will appear “boring” and hard to see.  With proper ambient lighting (little or no ambient light), Vivid mode results in an overly bright image that crushes blacks and whites.  Additionally, regardless of ambient lighting, Vivid mode generally has innacurrate color decoding and gamma.  You might be able to correct the black and white crush by adjusting the brightness and contrast settings in the user menu, but you’ll never be able to correct the color decoding and gamma innaccuracies.  That’s just a side effect of trying to achieve the massive “pop” on the sales floor.


  • Folks, we’ve got our own

    Folks, we’ve got our own guide on MissingRemote featuring the free and excellent AVS HD 709 patterns.

  • I was able to find my exact

    I was able to find my exact model of TV used in a CNET review several years ago and plugged in the settings they used. Depending on what you have tuned in, e.g. 1080HD or 480SD the settings seem to make the video better or worse. I know the softened settings used to setup a TV works great for 1080 but when a channel comes in 480 or the compressed video of Netflix is watched then I need to switch to the more vivid like settings.