You’re using your TV wrong – 3 huge mistakes ruining your telly quality

IF YOU’VE forked out a pretty penny for a brand new TV, you want it looking as crisp as possible.

Here are three easy mistakes people make that can trash the quality of their picture – don’t worry, they’re easy enough to fix.


Picking the right picture mode is keyCredit: Getty

1) Pick the right picture mode

An easy one to start with is picture mode, which has the largest effect on your TV’s overall image.

The picture mode you select automatically adjusts multiple aspects of your TV’s image at the touch of the button.

Most boxes offer a range of presets that typically include cinema, gaming, sports, dynamic, standard and more.

It’s typically recommended that you stick to the picture mode labelled Movie (Samsung), Cinema (LG and Sony), or Calibrated (Vizio).

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These modes come the closest to official HD and UHD standards, meaning they present shows and movies as the creators intended.

Have a play around with your TV’s picture mode and pick the one that’s best for you.

You may find that, if your device is in a bright room, you’re better off picking a setting such as Dynamic or Vivid, which are best for naturally lit spaces because they exaggerate contrast.

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2) Balance the sharpness

On modern TVs, changing the sharpness of your image adds or removes something called “edge enhancement”.

This is a thin shadow or “halo” that surrounds images to help you pick out detail in the image.

Turn sharpness up too high, and the halo effect is very visible, leaving the picture looking unnatural.

Turn sharpness right down to zero and you’re left with a blurry picture with ill-defined images.

To find the right balance for you, go into your settings and turn it all the way down before bringing it up in small increments.

Stop once you’re happy with the picture. You should have a well-defined image without obvious edge enhancement.

3) Adjust the backlight

Your TV’s backlight setting adjusts the overall brightness of your picture.

In bright, naturally lit rooms, it’s better to increase your backlight setting in order to better see the picture.

In darker rooms – or if you watch with the curtains drawn – you can turn the backlight setting down to avoid straining your eyes.

The setting is purely down to personal preference and the environment your telly is in.

Try watching with your backlight lit at the halfway point and have a play around until you find a picture that’s comfortable.

Bear in mind that turning your backlight up uses more energy and so costs you more to run – although the difference is small.

In some cases, having your backlight turned all the way up can reduce the shelf life of your TV.

BONUS: Change your Netflix subscription

One easy way to boost your picture quality is to change the subscription plan on your favourite streaming service.

Platforms like Netflix only show you content in 4K – the highest picture quality on most affordable tellies – if you pay top dollar.

A premium subscription sets you back £15.99/$19.99 a month.

Paying for Netflix’s cheaper tiers means you can watch all of the same content, just not in 4K or Ultra HD.

If you have a telly that supports 4K, it may be worth upgrading your payment plan to get the most out of your box.

Remember, not everything on the app is available in 4K. You can check whether a show or movie supports 4K in its Netflix description.

Rivals Amazon Prime and Disney+ do not charge extra for 4K and UHD movies and shows.

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If you’ve meddled a bit too far and would prefer things how you started, you can usually find a reset option in the settings.

Hitting the rest option will take your picture back to its default settings, meaning your TV will look as it did out of the box.

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