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Adjust Xbox Series X picture settings: here’s what you want to watch out for

In this article, we'll tell you how to optimize the picture settings for your Xbox Series X, both on the TV and via the game console.

Xbox Series X picture settings- When you take the Xbox Series X out of the box, the console is probably not perfectly adjusted to your television. The Xbox determines which options are set on the basis of the HDMI connection; that is automatic. However, sometimes certain functions are not available or specific settings do not work well together, which can cause problems. That is why it is not a superfluous luxury to check the settings of your console and TV once, and you can do that on the basis of this article.

Xbox Series X picture settings

When the Xbox connected (for a while), go to Settings and then to General and Options for TV and picture for adjusting Xbox Series X picture settings.. There are a number of buttons, but first we press 4K TV details. There you will see an overview of the capacity of your television. For example, it says here that your TV can handle 4k at 60 Hertz, but not 4k at 120 Hertz, just to give an example. This information will give you a head start. You know what to expect and also know what you can possibly improve on the console.

If a problem arises or is present, you will find it in this overview. For example, you will see a triangle with an exclamation mark in it; that part requires your attention. Go through the parts and then go through your settings. The Xbox Series X explains exactly where to fix the issues. If you don’t see your problem listed, check all the green check marks. Maybe your TV doesn’t support a certain setting, so it takes something at a different level than you might expect.

Resolution and refresh rate

Now it’s time to look at the basic options. Under the heading Display, for example, are Resolution and Refresh rate. You usually want to set both options as high as possible. You can see which resolution your TV supports via the 4K TV details button; so this can hardly go wrong. Also know what your TV can handle: it does support 120 Hertz, but not in combination with the 4k resolution, so you can’t combine the two. The Xbox Series X will warn you and then prevent those settings from causing problems.

Then you have to make a choice: do you want to game in a high resolution or do you want to game with a high frame rate? With modern televisions, you may not have to make that choice, but keep in mind that not every (young) TV is so advanced. The Xbox Series X is perfectly capable of playing certain games at 120 frames per second, making it worth a try anyway. There are also two options on the left, namely Device Control and Night Mode. The first option is just as important.

With Device Control you set up hdmi-cec. With that, the TV and Xbox communicate with each other much better, allowing one device to turn the other on and off, for example. But hdmi-cec can also solve general connection problems, if you run into something. In any case, there is no harm in activating this function. Xbox also explains the possibilities of the connection well and you can set the connection at different levels.

High dynamic range and more options

On the right side of the page for TV and picture options you will see the advanced heading. Here are some key options that can make or break an experience. If you have a modern TV, chances are that under the Video modes button, roughly all the boxes are checked. For example, it is important that the Xbox supports different Hz modes, for video streaming services and Blu-rays. It is also useful to activate the low latency mode, so that the response time of the TV improves (significantly).

Some televisions do not support the options, but more and more TVs do: VRR, or variable refresh rate. For some games, that can make all the difference when you encounter something like ‘screen tearing’. You can recognize this phenomenon by a clear division of the image, if only for a second; one half shows an older frame, while the rest of the screen is already further along. Unfortunately, not every TV supports VRR, so the option may not be available. If so, check it out.

Below that you will see: Allow YCC 4:2:2 (this has to do with the chroma subsampling. Should the Xbox Series X turn it off automatically, it’s wise to leave it that way. But if you run into problems related to high dynamic range or the signal in general, try out the functionality, then you can activate it to see if that solves the problem. On the right side of this page are all options related to HDR; In principle, you can just turn them all on, if they weren’t already.

Finally, let’s take a look at Video quality and overscan (you go back to Options for TV and image). Here are options related to color depth and color space. To watch HDR content you need at least 10-bit color depth, but it just hurts to choose 12-bit (provided your TV can handle that). Under color space, choose Standard, unless you use a monitor or high-end TV. Then it is best to choose Pc RGB (which gives you access to a wider range). If problems arise after this, switch it off again.

Xbox Series X picture settings – TV picture settings

In order for your TV to properly process information from your Xbox Series X, you may need to adjust some settings. There are now many types of TVs from many manufacturers, which run on all kinds of different software versions. This makes it difficult to write out specific actions for everyone, so I now try to steer everyone in the right direction in general terms. For example, you should always set the HDMI channel on which the XSX displays to gaming mode, for example.

Many settings will therefore change automatically. But here too it doesn’t hurt to lend a helping hand to the TV. For example, you have to activate the HDR mode for the specific HDMI channel within the settings (you may have to look for terms such as deep color or high dynamic range). It is also a good idea to check whether HDMI 2.1 is activated. How you do that exactly also differs per TV — so you’ll have to figure that out yourself. So keep an eye on the TV manufacturer’s website during setup.

In addition, make sure that hdmi-cec is active on the Xbox Series X channel. If that function is turned off, there may be interference on the line, which means that certain information cannot be sent and you want to prevent that. Finally, some (OLED) televisions have an option for managing your black levels. It is often a good idea to switch off automatic modes of televisions, but in this case automatic black level control is what you want. And read this article about HGIG carefully for more information.

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