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Calibrate Your New Television - Three Reasons Why You Should

Nov 25th 2012 at 8:31 PM

Millions of consumers make a significant investment when they purchase a new plasma, DLP, or LCD television. A common belief is that the display settings present at the time of delivery are often the best ones. For a variety of reasons this simply isn't the case and, in fact, these factory settings may not create the best viewing, could significantly shorten the lifespan of the television screen, and will often cause the TV to consume more energy than necessary.

The display settings on a television showroom floor are often set to the extreme, with maximum brightness and contrast to catch the eye of passing shoppers. The lighting within a showroom is also much different than that in the average living room. Overly bright pictures, excessive contrast, and so forth can create eye strain over time. In addition, such settings are not realistic and do not accurately reproduce a scene as it is shot. Certainly, getting color settings accurate will also be key in obtaining a life-like picture. An owner should get their new television situated in the room and then calibrate it under the type of lighting conditions that will be present during normal viewing.

In addition to improving viewing quality and comfort, calibrating a new television can help to preserve the life of the screen. Settings that are too bright will prematurely age the phosphors in a plasma screen, the pixels in an LCD, or the lamp in a DLP. Replacing the lamp on a DLP is the most common repair but can cost a few hundred dollars even if the owner takes on the task. Obviously, replacing a plasma or LCD screen involves even greater expense if the screen is no longer capable of producing a quality image.

Another reason for calibrating a television screen as soon as possible is to reduce the amount of power it consumes. Decreasing brightness and contrast settings can significantly reduce the energy used. Energy conservation is not only environmentally conscious but it can help owners save on electricity usage each month. Certainly, a single electronic device is not responsible for a large percentage of any power bill but over time, the savings do add up. As television screen size has increased significantly in the past 10 years, the energy consumption of a television has become more of a concern. Consumers are wise to take this into consideration when purchasing a new television.

For a fee, many retailers now offer consumers the service of installing and calibrating their television upon delivery. However, owners can also take on the task themselves with relative ease using a commercially available calibration disk. The advantage of this do-it-yourself method is that if the television is moved at any point in time, the owner can easily re-calibrate it to suit the new living environment.

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