How to get the best TV settings for the Super Bowl

CR photo

With major sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics right around the corner, you’ll want to get your TV in picture perfect shape. Believe it or not, Consumer Reports says that means avoiding the “Sports Mode” setting.

Sports Mode tends to artificially boost contrast, brightness and colors. That makes the picture look unnatural. Instead, we suggest using either the Movie or Cinema mode, which will give you the most natural-looking picture.

Another factory preset mode to avoid, if your TV has it, id "Dynamic" or "Vivid." The vivid mode works a lot like the sports mode where it 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 your 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.

If you’re looking to adjust your set beyond the factory preset modes, Consumer Reports says take it easy with the sharpness by keeping it near zero. Increasing the sharpness too much can make the picture detail look less natural.

For color temperature as well as color and tint, CR recommends that you typically choose the low or warm setting, so that whites don’t look too blue.

And with tint, what you should really try to do is get the most natural-looking flesh tones.

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