84ºF

Three settings to turn off for better TV viewing

Consumer Reports says some features can make your picture look worse

SAN ANTONIO – If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday and want the best picture quality, Consumer Reports says there are three features you should turn off.

Noise Reduction - Noise or snow was a bigger concern with older analog TVs. Today’s digital signals are cleaner.

“The problem is that when you engage noise reduction, it comes at the expense of fine detail and texture, so images look a lot softer. When you turn off noise reduction, you’ll get more detailed-looking pictures and more natural-looking images,” said Jim Willcox, CR’s tech editor.

Cutting through streaming TV video confusion

Sharpness Control- It artificially boosts fine detail and texture, and it can exaggerate the edges of objects in the picture.

“It may seem like you’re getting greater detail, but sharpness control is actually masking fine detail, and it can create halos around objects in the picture,” Willcox said.

So, turn it way down or completely off.

Motion Smoothing -Some movies and a lot of TV shows are shot at 24 frames per second, or 24Hz. Video, on the other hand, is shot at 60Hz, which is why some programs, like game shows, sports, and reality shows, have motion that’s a lot smoother.

“The problem is that when you turn on motion smoothing, it makes images look a lot like they do in video, something people call ‘the soap opera effect.’ The good news is that a lot of TVs allow you to turn off motion smoothing,” Willcox said.

A final bit of advice: CR says don’t worry about straying too far with any of these adjustments, because most TVs have a reset option to restore factory settings.

12 On Your Side: Seller’s market, cable TV fees, and small business stories


About the Author: