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Tips for setting up, connecting and calibrating your new TV

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More than two years ago we wrote extensively about setting up and connecting your new HDTV, but a lot has changed in two years. Hence an update with the latest tips for optimal connection, setting and calibrating your new TV no matter LCD LED, plasma or OLED TV.

We have now built up a nice archive with tips and advice for the purchase of a home cinema devices. In the context of TV, you can read five mistakes you shouldn’t make when buying a TV, 5 reasons to chose 4K when buying new TV, and buying LCD LED TV or OLED TV. 

calibrating your new TV – Placing your TV

The first thing you do is place your TV, but since the placement is important before you buy the TV, this will not cause many problems. A number of manufacturers supply a wall mount for when you want to hang the TV on the wall, and a stand for placement on a cabinet or furniture is almost always included. However, it is wise to purchase a cable duct for neatly concealing the cables that go to your peripherals. If you can still slide the seating arrangement and want to take this into account for optimal image quality, then it is wise to read our article about the optimal viewing distance .

calibrating your new TV – Connecting your TV

Every week we get a lot of questions about connecting a new TV and it is almost impossible to name the best connections for every set-up. In general, however, we can say that the digital connection of various devices is preferred. For example, connect your digital TV decoder and your Blu-ray (or DVD) player digitally via an HDMI cable. The same goes for a game console, a media player and various other devices. 

Cables and connections

There are a lot of options regarding the different cables you can use. HDMI cables are relatively easy to choose, however, as you should not be tempted to go for the extremely expensive cables. An HDMI cable for a few tens is just as good as a cable for 100 euros. However, with audio cables, it’s a slightly different story. Find out more about  audio and video cables .

With ever-increasing resolutions and techniques such as 3D display, the HDMI version of your TV and connected equipment is becoming increasingly important. For example, if you buy a 4K Ultra HD TV , chances are that it has HDMI 2.0 connections which support a wider color range and higher frame rates. However, if you want to make optimal use of this, you need peripherals with HDMI 2.0 ports . Pay attention to this when purchasing peripherals and cables. In terms of cables, you should use High-Speed ​​HDMI cables .

When you connect the TV to a receiver or home cinema system with speakers connected to it, you naturally want to get the sound coming from the speakers of your TV over the speakers of your home cinema system. For this you can use HDMI ARC, a standard with which audio can be sent back over the HDMI cable that goes to the TV. Read more about HDMI Audio Return Channel .

Smart TV

Nowadays, the majority of TVs that you find in stores are so-called Smart TVs . This means that the TV has various ‘smart’ functions, including a Smart TV platform in which apps can be used, various streaming options and an app with which the TV can be operated. To use all this, the TV must be connected to the internet. Many TVs have a built-in WiFi module so that you can connect to your home network via the menu on the TV. If the TV does not have this, you can connect an ethernet cable to the TV or connect a wireless receiver (WiFi dongle).

Digital television

If you have a digital decoder from a provider such as UPC or Ziggo, it is first of all important that it is properly connected (see section above). In addition, you will also have to set the decoder properly to optimally enjoy the image quality. So make sure you have used the correct cable and check whether the audio goes to your receiver or home cinema system so that you can listen to TV over your speakers. In addition, check whether the correct aspect ratio (16: 9) is displayed by the decoder and whether the decoder outputs the correct audio format (Dolby Digital). You can check the latter by looking up a program / series / film that is being broadcast in Dolby Digital (see info window of your decoder or the TV guide) and listening to whether sound is coming from the rear speakers of your home cinema system. .

HD audio formats

If you have a receiver or home cinema system that can handle the most recent HD audio formats , it is smart to set the Blu-ray player to pass the bitstream audio to your system. As a result, your receiver or home cinema set will decode the audio and reproduce the most optimal sound.

calibrating your new TV – Setting up your TV

Firmware

Of course, it overlaps a bit because as soon as you connect to the WiFi network, you are already setting up your TV. However, the next step is one that many people skip. In most cases, manufacturers offer software support for TVs and are continuously improving this software. When you have bought a TV, it may therefore be that the software is already ‘outdated’. To check this, you can look for a firmware update after connecting your TV to your WiFi network. This is an update that brings the TV’s software to the most recent version. Read more about firmware updates for home cinema equipment .

Other settings

The next step in setting up your TV is to ensure that all sources that are connected to the TV contain the correct naming convention so that you can switch easily and quickly using the remote control. It is also important that you activate the most important settings for connections, for example HDMI ARC, when you want to use them. In addition, in most cases you have to create an account within the Smart TV platform to be able to access applications and other applications.

calibrating your new TV

When everything is connected and you have checked the most important settings, you can start optimizing the image display. To do this, you dive into the picture menus of your TV and you will probably be presented with a large number of settings, most of which may not mean much to you. Still, there is some structure to be found in it and through the most important options you can drastically improve the image quality of your TV immediately.

There are several general settings that can improve the picture quality.  We have also written extensively about the dynamic contrast of TVs and whether this option should be on or off. This is of course not an advanced calibration as we stick to a number of relatively simple settings and also not optimize based on space and personal. However, you can get started with this yourself. There are various discs (Blu-ray) on the market with which you can optimize the image reproduction of the TV by means of test patterns.

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