Get your TV in picture-perfect shape for big game

SAN ANTONIO – Whether you're buying a new TV to watch the big game Sunday or planning to watch the Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics on your current set, you want the best picture possible.  

Consumer Reports has some tips on how to get your TV in picture-perfect shape.

While this may sound like a no-brainer, Consumer Reports electronics editor Jim Willcox said to avoid choosing the sports mode setting.

"It tends to artificially boost contrast, brightness and colors, and that makes the picture look unnatural," he said. "Instead, we suggest using either the movie or cinema mode, which will give you the most natural-looking picture."

Willcox said another factory preset mode to avoid, if your TV has it, is dynamic or vivid. Like sports mode, the setting overly brightens the image. 

One more trick from the Consumer Reports playbook: Turn off noise reduction and motion smoothing. Noise reduction can reduce detail and fine texture in the picture.

"Motion smoothing can cause film to look like video. Sometimes, it's called the 'soap opera effect,' where film starts to look like a daytime TV program," Willcox said.

If you're looking to adjust your set beyond the factory preset modes, Willcox said to take it easy with the sharpness by keeping it near zero. Turning it up too much can make the picture detail look less natural.

For color, Willcox advises choosing a low or warm setting to avoid whites looking blue. 

For tint, choose a setting that will get the "most natural-looking flesh tones," Willcox said.

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