Home Self Improvement 5 Things You Should Do After Buying A New TV

5 Things You Should Do After Buying A New TV

by George Mensah
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When you buy a new television, it comes with a number of default settings that you may not want. In fact, there are many settings that you should change right away to get the most out of your new TV. When manufacturers select these default settings, they do so based on what they believe the majority of people will want to see in a store setting in order to sell the TV. However, this isn’t always what will look best at home, and you’re better off changing the majority of these yourself to get the best look for your new TV.

Keep in mind that the names of each setting will vary from TV to TV as you go through this list of TV settings to change. However, the names are generally similar, so you should be able to locate each setting in your own TV’s menu. When you change the settings, you’ll notice a difference right away, and you can change them again whenever you want.

Picture mode

The first thing you should do is change the Picture Mode. This is an overarching setting that alters a few other settings on your TV to improve the display in specific ways. There are several different modes to choose from, and each one offers something different depending on how you use your TV the most.

Picture Mode is typically set to a default setting such as Standard or Dynamic out of the box. This mode may look good on a store shelf, but it does not always look as good in the ambient lighting of a home. Dynamic mode usually boosts brightness, clarity, and possibly color saturation.

You should experiment with each of your TV’s picture modes to see which one looks best. Many television models include a dedicated Movie or Cinema mode that is intended to most accurately reflect the quality that filmmakers intended for their work to be viewed in. These two modes, however, are typically used to adjust the picture for watching movies in a dark room, which means they may be too dim for use during the day or when lights are turned on. You may find that you need to adjust the Picture Mode on a regular basis depending on what you’re watching at the time.


When new TVs are unboxed, the contrast may be set far too high. Though high contrast is beneficial, as Rting explains, excessively high contrast settings may remove finer image details that give the image the appearance of depth. This is easily remedied by changing the contrast while viewing a screen image, such as a bright picture with some detail. According to Consumer Reports, a shot of the sky with clouds is a good option.

When you set the contrast level, you will be able to account for the bright highlights and shadows, ensuring a good balance. A perfect setting will not have blown-out colors or excessive light glare. You should only be able to see the image’s detail. If you’ve already set your Picture Mode to Cinema, you can leave the contrast setting alone because it’s probably already optimal for watching movies.


Another important setting to consider is the brightness (black point). This is frequently set too high, resulting in a washed-out look, and if set too low, it can be difficult to see what is going on during darker scenes. This is a simple change that will allow you to see all of the fine details in your favorite movies or shows. Setting brightness is similar to setting contrast in that it is best done by looking at an example image on the screen as you change it.


Turning down the Sharpness setting on a television is the best thing to do. In fact, your television might look best with the Sharpness set to zero. When this setting is set too high, it can cause a lot of noise in the image as well as artifacts that make things look really off. If you’re used to having Sharpness set higher, you might notice that the images look a little soft when it’s set so low. However, when watching high-quality HD or 4K video, you’ll notice how detailed everything now appears.

If everything appears to be too soft, try increasing the Sharpness on an image with a lot of fine detail, such as close-ups of fabric textures, faces, or paintings. If you’ve already set your Picture Mode to Cinema or a similar option on your TV, Sharpness will most likely be reduced automatically, so you don’t need to worry about this setting if everything looks fine to you.

Motion Smoothing

Finally, you should definitely experiment with Motion Smoothing, which is a frame interpolation feature designed to smooth out the blurs seen in fast-paced shots. This option is intended to bridge the gap between the frame rate used in movies (typically 24 frames per second) and the frame rate used by your television.

When scenes shot at 24 frames per second are played back on a TV with a higher frame rate, an effect known as judder may appear. This can result in artifacts or other playback issues. To address this issue, television manufacturers developed Motion Smoothing. This feature, however, arguably makes movies and shows look worse, as it generates extra frames that weren’t previously present to smooth things out and just makes everything look incredibly uncanny (via Samsung).


Unfortunately, this option is usually enabled by default. You may also have to dig to find the location where you can turn it off. Go to Picture in your settings and look for a setting involving Motion. If you don’t see it, you may need to go to advanced settings or consult the owner’s manual for your television.

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