Is your TV picture perfectly optimised? Research says no.

The infamous hymn All things bright and beautiful might apply to everything created by God, but there’s possibly one exception; your TV picture.

As manufacturers are keen to show off the impressive images obtainable from the latest hi-tech panels, the reality is that the picture is usually artificially enhanced to look good in a retail store than in your living room.

With pictures set to maximum brightness and with overly saturated colours, the home experience can be anything but beautiful. According to research carried out by, this might lead to a poor visual experience at best, or painful eyestrain at worst.

The leading forum for AV enthusiasts commissioned image specialists SpectraCal to look at the picture settings set as default by TV manufacturers, after launching the PicturePerfect campaign to try and get more consumers to adjust the picture for the best possible experience where it matters – in the home.

That likely means turning down the brightness, contrast, colours or a combination of all three, or just selecting a different preset picture mode on a TV set that offers the choice. Some new sets now have a specific menu option for ‘in-store demo’ and ‘home’, which should also be set accordingly.

Phil Hinton, Editor of AVForums said: “These [default] settings compromise picture detail and colour – which is why we launched our PicturePerfect campaign – but they could also shorten a TVs life, could use excess energy and, potentially, cause eyestrain. However, a simple adjustment to the correct preset will allow owners to experience improved pictures and help to avoid other potential problems.”

Derek Smith, Founder and CTO of SpectraCal Inc. added: “It’s amazing that so many people watch their new flat panels straight out of the box in these store modes. And it’s perhaps no surprise that after watching a display once it has been properly adjusted, people say they could never go back.”

The PicturePerfect campaign kicked off last month with an Ipsos MORI Study that revealed 51% of British TV owners don’t make any adjustments to their TV picture after purchasing their set, potentially compromising image quality and upping energy consumption.

The campaign is backed by TV manufacturers including Panasonic, Sony, LG, Sharp, Loewe and Toshiba, image fidelity experts SpectraCal, display calibration organisation the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF) and Hollywood sound and image optimisation experts THX. Other supporters include JVC, Argos, Genesis Technologies, Channel 5’s The Gadget Show and movie director Michael J Bassett.

More information: MyPerfectPicture

PicturePerfect campaign video guides


Part One

About author
Involved in tech since 1990, from selling mobile phones and computers, to writing about them for trade and consumer publications, such as Mobile News, What Mobile, Know Your Mobile and Stuff. If writing about mobiles wasn't exciting enough, being paid to watch TV during work hours is the icing on the cake. Jonathan on Google+

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