What You See Is Not ­Necessarily What You Get

Getting the most vivid, real-­time display on home TV for watching sports and ­entertainment isn’t ­always “a given”

As is customary in any electronics store, you find yourself surrounded by walls filled with televisions, nestled side by side, streaming movies or sports in a synchronized manner. What you may not realize is that in order for the various manufacturers to stand out, these televisions have been carefully calibrated to create interest and convince you to make a purchase. However, when you get home and plug in your new TV, the end result may not be as exciting.

Most people believe that what they are seeing on their screen is a true depiction of what is being televised. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In the world of high-tech video and audio entertainment systems, there are many variables that can distort the images on your television that ultimately affect the desired visual effect. The only recourse available to obtain an optimal viewing experience is to properly calibrate your new television and create specific settings for different types of content.

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For sports and entertainment fans, the calibration factor is key to making or breaking your viewing experience. Sports events require a higher frame rate to depict action as more natural, smooth, and true-to-life. If your calibration setting is not adjusted accordingly, you will notice that the athletes in motion during play will appear choppy and out of sync.

Movies, on the other hand, are often filmed at 24 frames per second, compared to sports, which are televised at 60 frames per second. Due to this dramatic shift, televisions need a different calibration for the colors to “pop” and provide visual depth. In an effort to adjust to different content, manufacturers supply consumers with various settings in order to adjust the images based on the source. Adjusting a television’s color temperature isn’t something one can do by simply looking at the screen. When it comes to color temperature, a calibrator uses a measurement device to measure and adjust the temperature of the display, so that the image doesn’t look too warm—giving the image a pink tone—or too cool, giving it a blue tone.

What’s the best and easiest way to achieve the optimal viewing experience for sports and entertainment?

The first step is to start with the best possible equipment that is also capable of providing options that can be adjusted to handle your specific content or programming. If you don’t have the proper equipment to start with, you won’t be able to get optimal images on your screen. Although most consumers are focused on the size of the television and mainstream features, there are additional items to consider when buying a new unit. This is why an 85” TV can wildly range in price from one manufacturer to another. It should be noted that lower-end models are usually very basic, whereas higher-­end models offer very precise calibration capabilities for accurate tuning.

For sports and entertainment fans, the calibration factor is key to making or breaking your viewing experience.

Can a non-technical viewer calibrate their own TV or do they need the help of a technical person?

Although most televisions are built with presets for movie, games, and sports, these presets don’t account for many environment variables such as lighting, room size, and viewing angles. It is typically best to coordinate with a professional to calibrate your television to address the numerous variables and deliver the best viewing experience. This is especially prevalent when installing high-end televisions as they offer granular control so each preset can be adjusted to address all environmental conditions.

What if you prefer more advanced settings?

For those of you seeking a more advanced calibration, and don’t wish to engage a certified company, you may find a calibration disc online to perform some simple calibration settings. This disc is used on BluRay or DVD players. As it plays, it will provide a benchmark or starting point for your settings to accurately set the calibration on your TV. Once the disc has played, you will be allowed to adjust the settings using the TV remote control and choose from the options provided to select an accurate setting for what is being displayed.

If you prefer a hands-off approach, we recommend hiring a company that can provide Image Science Foundation (ISF) calibration to physically calibrate your screen. The benefit of using this service is that it will help you get the most out of your display, taking into account several different factors such as the lighting and dimensions of the room, the type of display you are using, the age of your TV, the way your system is mounted, and the capacity of the equipment itself.

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Making a simple change in calibration of your TV will not only enhance your viewing experience, it will also extend the life of your device, since your TV does not need to be used with the maximum brightness and energy on the setting scale once in your home.

As new technology emerges, INC Technologies will keep you on the bleeding edge with the latest and best options for viewing sports and entertainment. Whether you need a custom-built screening room or updated equipment for your multi-display sports bar, your outdoor TVs, or any size commercial installation, we are your premium audio visual experts.