Televisions nowadays come with a lot of settings and you can dive as deep into the menus as you want to optimize the picture quality. We’ve already covered a number of settings over the past few months and this time we’re looking at the dynamic contrast of TV.
Is this a setting you should use or not?
The contrast of a TV is a much debated point. Earlier we wrote an extensive article about the misleading contrast ratios of TVs and the fact that they are measured in two different ways. However, when you have purchased a TV, you often also get a number of options in the settings that you can use to influence the contrast. One of these options is dynamic contrast or dynamic contrast.
What is the dynamic contrast of TV?
The dynamic contrast option can be found on many televisions nowadays and simply ensures that the contrast, the difference between the deepest black and the lightest white, is adjusted in real time (continuously). This feature manipulates the contrast and brightness to generate an apparently higher contrast. Some people speak of a ‘pop’ effect where the colors of the screen jump. That sounds good, of course, since we all want a high contrast, but there is a disadvantage.
The big drawback
When the dynamic contrast option is enabled, the difference between the deepest black and the lightest white does indeed become larger, but at the same time many details disappear in the dark and lighter areas on the screen. In a dark scene with many shadows, there is a good chance that you will see less details in these shadows. Grayscale becomes black more quickly so that details disappear. The same applies to very bright parts of the image, for example with clouds that have to compromise on detail. Activating the dynamic contrast can therefore lead to an inaccurate or incomplete display.
On or off?
So should you use the dynamic contrast option or not? I would advise against doing this if you want an image that is as close to the original as possible and where all the details are clearly visible. However, if you want an image with a high contrast that makes the colors splash off the screen, you could consider activating this option. In addition, some TVs offer the option to set this option to ‘minimum’, ‘medium’ or ‘high’. It is wise to compare these options and choose the best option.