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AV Tip: A TV is Not A Flood Light

by January 30, 2013
Tip of The Day: A TV is Not A Flood Light

Tip of The Day: A TV is Not A Flood Light

In stores, manufacturers purposefully crank up brightness and contrast, among other settings, to make their TVs look "better" than the competition. We know that "better" actually means, "We jacked with the settings as much as possible, at the expense of an accurate picture, so you would buy our TV." And this isn't done only on the ones hooked up on the store shelves–they actually come that way in the box, so that when you set it up (be you a store manager, or a home user) the TV is still set to the same glaring "torch" mode. Unfortunately, this means your brand new TV doesn't look anywhere close to how it should.

Think of it this way, when video editors, photographers, or graphic designers need to collaborate on a project, they need to make sure that their video/photo/design will look the same on each individual's display. This is done by calibrating each display to a specific standard. If you can afford the money to have your display professionally calibrated by an ISF or THX certified technician, great! If not, you can still get 80% of the way there by utilizing a test disc. Below are a few of the most popular tests discs on the market. If you don't want to spend any money on calibrating your display, then look through your movie collection for a THX certified disc that has the THX Optimizer included. Set your TV's picture mode to Cinema or Movie (or THX if it's available) and run through the THX Optimizer.

Popular Home Theater Test Discs


About the author:
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Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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