The Familiar Ring(ing) of Excess Sharpness!

The Sharpness control is one of the Basic Video Level settings found in every TV.  It is also, alas, one of the settings most commonly abused by manufacturers trying to make their TVs stand out in a wall of competing TVs under garish store lighting!  Indeed, TV Factory Default settings with Sharpness set WAY too high are commonplace --  a key facet of the justly-infamous Torch Mode settings foisted on new TV buyers. See my prior post on Extinguishing Torch Mode Settings for the others.

Excess Sharpness, in particular, produces the appearance of "false detail" in the image, which looks attractive on a casual glance (applause from the Marketing guys!).  However, the REAL details of whatever you are watching are ACTUALLY being obscured!

In this post we'll discuss what the Sharpness adjustment does to your image, and how to set this control properly in your TV -- using a Calibration Disc.

We'll also discuss the problem of "Edge Enhancement"; damage akin to excess Sharpness ALREADY baked into the content you are watching!

Read More

Just Bought a New TV, eh? Time to Extinguish its Torch Mode Settings!

OK, so you just forked over the cash for a brand new TV.  You wrangled it out of the box, got it positioned in place, cabled up, plugged in, and Voila!, you've even got a picture!  Pretty cool, eh?  Time to kick back, relax, and enjoy?

Not so fast, Bunky!

One of the dirty little secrets of the Consumer Electronics biz is that the "out of box", Factory Default Settings on just about every TV ever sold are flat out WRONG for best quality viewing!  There's no real mystery behind this.  The default settings are deliberately chosen to make the TV stand out -- to catch your eye -- from a distance, when buried amidst a whole wall of competing TVs, under garish, store lighting conditions.  THESE, my friend, are the so-called (and rightfully infamous) "Torch Mode" settings.  And if you are reading this, know that your FIRST task, should you choose to accept it, is to douse all of them!

Read More