With the World Cup in prospect, there is a lot of sport on the program. You may not have thought about it yet, but the settings for film are in many cases not ideal for sports. What should you look out for?
Why set up your TV differently?
Many people set up their television and do not change the settings anymore. Once the image is at its best, can not you make it better? That seems logical, but unfortunately it is not entirely accurate. A television screen is not a perfect representation of reality, and so you make a number of compromises when selecting the settings.
In our reviews, we always recommend using the ‘Film’ or ‘Cinema’ image preset, because the best images. In doing so, we assume that you typically look in a slightly darkened environment, such as a moderately lit living room in the evening. But for sports, and certainly for football, there may be other priorities.
What are our priorities?
What should we pay attention to for ideal football images? We often watch football with family and / or friends. There is a lot of atmosphere, drinks and snacks, and because it is a very social event, where there is a lot of talking and supporting, we do this in a well-lit environment. The contrast with the subdued, darkened place where we quietly enjoy film can hardly be bigger.
In this environment we want a clear image with rich colors, to be used against all that light. If you look at a lot of people, not everyone is ideally positioned directly in front of the screen, and then the clear picture also helps to reduce viewing angle problems slightly. This is only possible because football images are very clear, and contrast is less important. Moreover, we do not want to miss a second of the action and the images have to be very sharp, even though the ball is flying at a frantic pace.
Which picture set to choose for sport?
The easiest solution is to put your television in the Switch sports picture mode. It is available on all brands. Unfortunately, we often find the image excessively sharp, with colors that are unnaturally bright, and a strongly exaggerated contrast. There is clearly something like too much of a good thing. The ‘Standard’ image mode is a good alternative, but of course it is aimed at more general television viewing, and does not provide optimum performance. The ‘Vivid’ image mode has been recommended for a long time, since it is only good for the shop floor. In recent years, we have noticed that manufacturers set the image mode better, and in some cases such as when you look at a sun-drenched afternoon, the results are not too bad. Experiment in the first place with the different image modes, so that you get an idea of the differences.
Even tinkering with the image settings provides the ideal image.
A custom image mode
Those who are willing to spend an hour in the settings can create their own picture mode that combines the best color reproduction with the ideal settings for sports. To make it a bit logical, we will adjust the Sport image mode. In practice, it may be less work to adjust the Film Picture Mode, but we prefer to leave it undisturbed. You end up with two good picture modes for different viewing conditions.
First take a look at the Film picture mode, a number of settings we will take over. We indicate which manufacturers use a different name. Write down the ‘color temperature’ (LG: Color balance, Samsung: Color tone, Panasonic: Heat color), the ‘Sharpness’, and ‘Color’.
Then switch to Sport mode and adjust those three values with what you found have in the Movie picture mode. The ‘Sharpness’ setting may be slightly increased, but we recommend not to go above 20 (on a scale of 100), unless that was the case in the film mode. Some manufacturers have additional sharpness settings, which you can activate in the lowest setting, or car if available (LG: Super resolution, Sony: Reality Creation, Philips: Ultra Resolution, Panasonic: Resolution Remaster).
Search Dynamic Contrast Enhancement (Sony: Advanced Contrast Optimization, Samsung: Contrast Enhancement, Panasonic: Contrast Control), and switch it on low, middle or auto (to taste). Finally, look for the color improvement (Sony: Live Color, Philips: Color enhancement, Panasonic: Vivid Colors). We prefer to see them turned off, but you can experiment with the lowest setting.
A good tip if you are looking for some help to find those settings: check out our website for a review of a TV of the same brand. We always give an overview table of the settings.
Finally, you want the best motion sharpness that your television can offer. The setting that is responsible for this is Trumotion (LG), Motion Flow (Sony), Motion Style (Philips), Auto Motion Plus (Samsung), and Intelligent Frame Control (Panasonic). Most brands offer three to four positions, typically ‘Off’, ‘Clear’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Smooth’. Normally it is already set correctly in Sport mode, namely ‘Bright’. If you notice that the image is moving around the field in fast actions where the camera is moving horizontally across the field, then try to shake the ‘Smooth’ image mode. If you see image artefacts such as a light halo around players or the ball, switch back to ‘Standard’.
Do not forget the sound
We’ve talked about image extensively, but an important part of the atmosphere comes from the sound. Look for the last time in the settings, this time with sound, and also activate the ‘Sport’ mode. That usually creates an effect with some surround. If you do not like the result, start from the sound mode you prefer, and play with the virtual surround settings.