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Adjusting your HDTV settings for prime football viewing

Maybe you spent thousands of dollars on the 4K TV in your house, so you’ll want to get the best picture possible for the approaching football seasons. That may require you to change the picture settings.

Most TVs right out of the box are not optimized for watching in a home. Many are optimized to be displayed in a brightly lit store. Colors pop off the screen under those lights.

To get the best picture in your home, grab your remote and go to your TV settings to make a few tweaks.

First, avoid the “Vivid” setting. That might be okay if you’re watching TV outside in bright sunlight, but it isn’t a good picture for your TV room.

You might assume the “Sports” or “Game” picture setting is what you want. Trust me, they’re not. Sport mode is for fast-moving sports like hockey. If you later watch a movie, you might notice the picture gets blurry. Game mode isn’t for sports, it’s for video games so ignore them.

The best setting for football and everything else is “Cinema” or “Movie” mode. It will appear darker than you want but we’re going to make it perfect.

Let’s tweak the “brightness”. Find a show with a very dark nighttime scene. Like Batman. Adjust the brightness until you see the details in the darkest parts of the screen. You want the black to appear black, not grayish.

Then, adjust the contrast by finding a scene with lots of white, like clouds, and lower the contrast until you see details like shadows.

Adjust color and tint until faces look flesh-colored and not red or green.

Finally, open up the setting for sharpness. Refrain from being tempted to pump up the sharpness. You’ll be better off with a low number with today’s TVs.

Feeling daring or nostalgic? If the game is available over network TV, tune in to the station using an antenna. The picture quality is a good deal better than cable or satellite.

There will be a few football games broadcast in 4K but only a very few. YouTube TV and Direct TV offer some games in 4K but you may need to upgrade your plan.


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