Are our TVs just getting a bit too too smart for us? With so many new features, add-ons and fine-tuning possibilities for things like smart TVs, 4K TVs, and HDR, there’s a professional service that’s become available to help us better enjoy our viewing experience; TV calibration.
Why Calibrate a TV? Why Isn’t It Set Right Out of the Box?
Calibrating a TV allows you to ensure you’re getting the most out of your high-end TV. In essence, you’re making sure the video picture in your home is as good as the one in a professional theatre, the one that sold you on this model in the first place in the store, or that it allows you to view movies and TV shows with all the subtleties and nuances the director intended.
TV calibration can also be utilized to make specific adjustments for the particular environment or the room it’s to be watched in; for example a TV in a brightly lit living room should be calibrated differently that one in a dedicated home theatre in a basement. There are also the differences in time of day to consider when watching TV; did you know TVs can have day and nighttime settings for best viewing? Proper calibration of each of these means you’ll get the same great quality picture at midnight as you did at noon.
You may be wondering why your expensive new TV doesn’t come fully calibrated. Again, it comes down to viewing environment. The type of fine adjustments you would want to view visual media in your blacked-out basement media suite will be different than someone using a 30” TV in the kids’ playroom or home office, or a sunny main floor area. TVs do kind of come out with all their settings in the middle of the road, but the point is you need these fine settings to work for YOU in YOUR home. Calibration isn’t universal.
TV Calibration Is Especially Important for 4K TVs
Today’s 4K resolution TVs that are ultra sharp, replicate fine detail and provide a hyper-realistic looking picture, but you will only truly get the most out of what is still a several thousand dollar investment if it is properly calibrated. Proper calibration is also key for TVs with HDR colour that are capable of reproducing millions of colour subtitles; bottom line, if your TV isn’t properly calibrated, you’ve probably wasted some of your money.
Calibration Is Not Set-up
TV calibration and TV set-up are two different processes. While ‘set up’ implies simple and basic settings are changed, such as selecting your language, adding a Wi-Fi account or even selecting ‘favourite’ channels or services, calibration makes detailed and specific adjustments to the TV picture, fine-tuning things like colour, contrast and overall brightness.
Can I Do This Myself?
The honest answer is yes, you can calibrate your new 4K HDR TV yourself. There are generally a number of presets built into new TV’s calibration menus. You’ll often see these options called Cinema, Sports, or Vivid. You can easily select one of these and then watch some video and see how it looks to you. Granted, with presets, you may need to make your setting selection based on what specific type of program you’re watching.
You can, of course try to navigate the settings menus and tweak a bit here and a bit there, but unless you know what you’re doing or what effect you want to achieve, or what you’re trying to aim for, this might be ill advised.
Some TV owners are reluctant to call in a professional. But here are some signs you might want to ask for help:
- If the idea of messing with the deep internal settings menus of your brand new $6,000 TV gives you heart palpitations
- If you have no idea what a perfectly calibrated TV would look like
- If you’re the type of person who runs right to the IT person at work for help when your phone or computer crashes (which is more than OK by the way )
- If you’re just not getting what you thought you would from your new 4K or HDR TV set, if you’re just not ‘wowed’ by the picture quality.
Data Installers Inc. is here to help you get your entertainment needs through its audio video installation services, including professional TV calibration.