Screen Size: Finding The Sweet Spot
Whether you’re looking for a basic or high-performance TV, the biggest factor in your decision will probably be screen size. Consider how many people in your family typically watch at once and where you’re going to put your new set. Then pick the largest screen size that will fit comfortably into that space and your budget. The sweet spot today, considering price, performance and the typical living room, is between 55 and 65 inches.
Screen size also depends on how close you sit to the TV. Basically, if you can see the individual pixels of the screen, you’re too close. A good rule of thumb is that you should sit at a distance from the TV that is three times more than the height of the screen for HD and just 1.5 times the screen height for 4K Ultra HD. In other words, you can sit twice as close to a 4K UHD TV.
Here’s a more in-depth guide to calculating the proper TV screen size based on the dimensions of your room, as well as the resolution of the TV. And check out the best TVs by size:
No TV buying guide, no matter how detailed, can replace your own experience and judgement. If you have the opportunity, go to a store and look at the TVs. Even though 4K content is less common than 1080p, you may want that higher-resolution technology if you plan to sit close to a very large screen.
Why TVs Dont Come With Optimal Picture Quality
Most TVs are not designed to have the best picture quality out-of-the-box. Instead, theyre designed to be eye-catching in the showroom, next to other TVs under fluorescent lights. That means their backlight is as bright as possible, contrast is set so the image pops, sharpness is turned up way too high, and motion is ultra smooth.
However, most of these features are not ideal for your living room. Colors that pop are usually ugly and un-lifelike, and can remove detail from the image. Those overly bright whites actually have a blue tint, which is inaccurate and can strain your eyes when youre watching in the dark. Furthermore, extra sharpening and smoothing features are usually just marketing gimmicks, and actually add artifacts to your image, rather than making them look better.
For a long time, TVs used to come with these vivid settings out of the box, which is terrible for at-home viewing. If you have a TV thats more than a couple years old, you may still be using those awful settings. These days, things are a little better, since most TVs will ask you to put them in Home or Store Demo mode when you set them up. But even the out-of-the-box Home settings are less than ideal, even if theyre not quite as bad as the old vivid settings were.
Why Does Motion Smoothing Even Exist
There is a reason that motion smoothing is on by default on all HD TVs, believe it or not. For the most part, it’s there to make your sports viewing experience better, but also motion smoothing smooths the content so that things filmed in slower frame rates look better. This is especially true for high-action content like football games. The unfortunate side-effect is that it makes TV shows and even more egregiously movies look weird and unnatural. It’s called the soap opera effect.
As TechRadar points out, movies and tv shows are typically filmed in 24 frames per second , but most HD TVs refresh at 60Hz. Because your television set needs to figure out a way to refresh without causing a blur or flickering effect called juddering, motion smoothing exists.
Too much motion-smoothing creates the soap opera effect, but two little leaves your content juddering as your TV struggles to fit a square peg into a circular hole.
I disagree with TechRadar’s comment that you should leave motion smoothing on, but at its lowest setting, but it explains why this is a default setting instead of a special option for sports.
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How To Get Free Hd Channels Without Cable TV Service
Here is how to get free digital HD channels without cable or satellite TV service no cable box needed!
Are you thinking about getting a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu and setting up an antenna for local channels? Its easy to get SD , HD and soon 4k channels without a cable box if you have the right equipment and decent reception at your home or office. Its often referred to as cord cutting . To get free TV channels you just need a TV and antenna ! Read on for more details!
Discover Your Local Channels And Their Signal Strength
To find out which TV channels you can get over the air for free, we recommend visiting a site called TV Fool and using their signal locator tool. Simply enter your address and click on Find Local Channels.
Give it a few moments to load the next page. Once it loads, youll see what looks like a round diagram with various lines inside, as well as a list of channels off to the right, highlighted in different colors.
It can be a bit daunting trying to figure out what it all means, but the only thing you really need to pay the most attention to is the circular diagram. The lines you see are in various lengths, and each line represents a channel. The longer a line is and the closer it is to the center of the bullseye, the better the signal is for that channel based on your location.
The direction of the lines are important as well. The diagrams cross represents north, south, east, and west. As you can see from my diagram above, most of the broadcast signals are coming from the northeast, which means I should ideally place my antenna in the northeast corner of my house so that I can get the best signal possible.
From the list of channels on the right-hand side, you really only need to focus on the distance of the broadcasts signals, which tells you how far away they are.
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Refresh Rate: Faster Is Better
The refresh rate, expressed in Hertz describes how many times per second a picture is refreshed on the screen. The standard refresh rate is 60 times per second, or 60 Hz. However, in scenes with rapidly moving objects, a 60 Hz refresh rate can make things look blurry or jittery, particularly on LCD HDTVs. So, to create a more solid picture, manufacturers doubled the refresh rate to 120 Hz .
Some new models are boasting High-Frame Rate support, which means that they have both a higher refresh rate and added support for content with higher than 60 Hz frame rates. With HFR content set to come from both movies and live broadcats, and HFR will be especially good for live sports, so it’s definitely a feature to watch out for.
Gamers will be especially keen to get higher refresh rates, but if you’re using a gaming console, 60 Hz is the sweet spot. Most gaming consoles top out at 60 frames per second, and even the best 4K gaming TVs offer the best performance well below the 120 Hz we suggest for other content.
A word of caution: beware of terms like “effective refresh rate,” which means the actual frame rate is half the stated rate . Everything else is done with video processing, not a refresh of the screen. Check our article ‘This is the biggest lie told to TV shoppers and how to see through it‘ for a closer look at misleading frame rate specs.
Bottom line: Gamers will get a lot from a 60Hz TV, but most TV shoppers shouldn’t buy a TV with less than a 120 Hz refresh rate.
Why Does Sd Look So Bad On Hdtv
A good high quality SD signal broadcast over the air looks pretty good on an HDTV, as long as that HDTV has a good video processor on board. It’s a common problem, but with a good video processor it can be improved. You should check in the cable box set-up menu to see if “output resolution” is one of the choices.
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Hdr: Get It If You Want The Most Colors
HDR is a new feature of 4K Ultra HD sets and it stands for high dynamic range, a reference to its ability to deliver more colors, more contrast levels and increased brightness. HDR is essentially an upgrade of the 4K, or Ultra HD, format . For this new feature, TV makers are christening new monikers for the sets to distinguish them from standard 4K Ultra HD TVs.
For a more complete discussion of HDR standards, and which you should look for when buying a TV, check out our article ‘Don’t buy a TV until you read this guide to all those HDR standards‘.
The basic standard for high-dynamic range content is called HDR10, as set forth by the UHD Alliance, an industry trade group. Dozens of companies are supporting this basic minimum specification for HDR compatibility, so you will see “HDR10” or “Ultra HD Premium” on a growing number of sets this year.
Dolby Vision is a more demanding version of HDR, created and licensed by the folks that brought us Dolby noise reduction and surround sound. In theory, a Dolby Vision set has to meet a stricter set of criteria to display HDR content, and our testing seems to bear this out. So far, Dolby Vision has led the industry in terms of proprietary HDR formats.
Bottom Line: Don’t choose a set just for its HDR support because the standard has not yet been settled. However, if you want the best, buy an HDR set that is compatible with Dolby Vision, as that format seems to be gaining momentum.
Q: My Homeowners Association Prohibits Antennas On The Roof What Can I Do
A: In 1996, The FCC affirmed the rights of homeowners to place antennas on property they own or control*. You can read the FCC ruling here: . The law basically states that homeowner association covenants cannot prevent you from installing antennas or dishes. The rule “prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance or use of antennas used to receive video programming.”
*Masts higher than 12 feet above the roofline may be subject to local permitting requirements.
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Q: What Is A Bowtie Antenna
A: A bowtie antenna is another name for a UHF fan dipole antenna. By using triangular elements instead of rods, the bandwidth is greatly increased, to cover the entire UHF band. Additionally, the mesh reflector of the bowtie is more efficient than the rod reflector. It is also lighter in weight and has less wind resistance.
How Do I Turn It Off
There is no easy way of going through each and every TV set’s picture settings to explain where it is and how to turn it off, but we can provide a general idea of where to find it in your settings section.
Find your TV’s settings panel. Don’t look for it under “quick settings.” You’ll need to get to the advanced features.
Select your TV’s picture or display settings. If you don’t see an option to turn off “motion smoothing” or “auto motion plus” or “motion enhance” or “motion interpolation” or something similar, click on your advanced picture settings.
It’s here that you should find the motion smoothing feature. Some TVs only have the option to turn it on or off, but a lot of newer TV sets will allow you to customize it. If you’re worried about juddering, or if you discover after just turning motion smoothing off, that there is a disturbing flicker or blur while you’re watching TV, you can adjust how strong the effect is.
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How Do I Get Hd On My TV
HD Sources When you want to get the most from your HDTV, you need one or more of the following high-definition sources connected to your TV: HD cable or HD satellite service. HD cable DVR, HD satellite DVR, or TIVO-HD or a similar device. Over-the-air antenna combined with an ATSC tuner in the HDTV.
By Step: How To Download And Install Cinema Hd For Pc
Since there is only a Windows 10 computer at hand, I’ll illustrate how to download and install Cinema HD for PC in the following section. But actually, by following the similar steps, you can also install Cinema HD for Mac and Windows 11.
Disclaimer: The following guide is demonstrated ONLY FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSE. WonderFox takes a firm stand against any copyright infringement and violation. The end-users should be solely responsible for your own behaviors.
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How Is It Possible To Record Hdtv
There are two ways to record HDTV broadcast depending on what HDTV set you have. Some modern HDTVs already have the option to video recording, so you just need to input a USB stick in order to save recordings. If your HDTV can boast of such a function, youll have to buy an additional equipment a hard disk recorder, DVD recorder with ATSC tuner, Blu-ray recorder .
Scanning/adding Hd Channels To Samsungtv
The following steps should help Samsung users scan and add HD channels to their TV set thereby answering the question of Can I watch HD channels on HD Ready TV once and for all.
- The first step is to open your TV menu, select Channel Setup or Channels.
- Next, look out for the Auto Store or Automatic Scan which can be found as you scroll with the channel buttons. To begin the scan, hit the Enter button. The TV will scan and bring to your view all available HD channels.
- Right after the scan is done, you should be able to view all available HD channels.
If you are using an HD Ready TV produced by VIZIO and so desire to view your favorite HD channels to get the best out of your box set, just follow the steps below to achieve that.
Users of LG HD Ready TVs are not left out as you finally solve the question can I watch HD channels on HD Ready TV by following these steps.
- Locate the Menu on your remote control/TV set and hit it.
- Find setup from the list of options on the menu and hit OK
- Highlight and select Auto-Tuning and hit the OK button.
- Proceed to select Start and thereafter press the OK button.
- The TV will start searching for channels from all available brands. You dont have to specify the source you are using, this is due to the fact that the TV scans for all available signals.
- After the scan is done, you should be able to access the available HD channels.
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Q: Getting Vhf Stations Is A Problem For Me I Get Everything Else Fine
A: Many stations that have reverted to VHF assignments have dramatically cut their transmitter power, in some cases by over 90%! Some stations mistakenly thought they could save money by cutting their power while reaching the same number of viewers. In other cases, the FCC imposed reduced power limits to stations that reverted to their old VHF assignments in order to prevent interference with adjacent markets. There has been a misperception among some station owners that while dramatically lowering DTV transmitter power, they could serve the same coverage area as analog, and this has turned out to be incorrect. Many stations that have reverted back to VHF are now finding themselves with significantly reduced coverage areas and fewer viewers after switching to VHF.
One potential problem with re-using low VHF and high VHF TV channels for DTV is the possibility of interference from other signals during certain times of the year. “Skip” may bring in distant broadcasts on the same channel and create interference. Low VHF digital broadcasts are particularly prone to interference and are often hard to receive reliably, regardless of what model of antenna is used. Note: The physical size of low VHF and high VHF antennas is much larger than that of a UHF antenna.
Fix Color Saturation And Tint For More Accurate Colors
Lastly, its time to adjust the actual colors on your screen. You cant do serious color adjustment without a colorimeter, but you can perform a few basic adjustments that should get you close, provided you have a decent TV.
There are two ways to perform this adjustment. If your TV has a built in RGB Mode or Blue Mode, youre goldendig through the settings and see if you can find something by that name.
If it doesnt, youll need a pair of blue filter glasses. They come with some of the aforementioned calibration discs, but if youre using the free AVS 709 disc like we are, youll need to buy a pairTHX sells them for $5.
To adjust the color saturation and tint, head to chapter 4 of Basic Settings, Flashing Color Bars. Itll look something like this:
Then, turn Blue mode on, or put your blue filter glasses on. Once you do, the screen should look a bit more like this:
Your goal is to get the blue inside the boxes to match the blue of its corresponding bar. Start by adjusting the Color setting on your TVturn it up or down until the outside bars match their boxes as close as possible.
Then, move onto Tint, and do the same thing with the middle two bars. Note that as you adjust the Tint, the Color bars on the outside will get a little out of whack too, since both of these settings are a little dependent on one another. So keep flipping back and forth between the two, adjusting them until all four boxes match all four bars.
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