Damn you market perception!

If you buy *any* TV today, you will be watching an image like this one by default:

The colors and their temperature is jacked up like hell. They do that on purpose because when people are shopping for TVs in shops, their only frame of reference is “how lively the colors are”. And so manufacturers have NO ALTERNATIVE but to jack up the colors so they can have a shot in the TV market.

For years we left our TV, a 55″ Sharp 1080i rear-CRT projection, on its default settings. We just don’t mess up with it. It’s a bit of a taboo, and also because we trusted Sharp to do the right thing. But now that I am involved in video work, I just can’t stand how TV looks by default. You switch on Jay Leno’s or Conan’s show, and everyone looks RED. Everything is just so freaking saturated that it doesn’t make sense. It makes me sick. At first, I was thinking “what the hell are TV channels are thinking of shooting like this, don’t they do white balance tests before shooting?”. But now I know. It’s not the TV channels to blame, but the default settings in the TVs.

So, I decided to give an end to this visual ordeal. I went to Sharp’s picture settings and did the following changes tonight:
– “Color” went from “50″ down to “5″ !!!
– “Brightness” went from “50″ up to “65″.
– “Color Temperature” went from “High”, three notches down to “Low”. The “Low” temperature emulates the film look and looks very cool, especially in indoors scenes.

Now, everything looks so much more natural, more “filmy”, and I am such happy camper:

I only hope that when we will buy a new TV, these settings will be there so I can get them back to acceptable levels. Cheaper TVs don’t have adequate color controls you see, so I am rather stressed about it.

9 Comments »

Thom Holwerda wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 5:45 AM PST:

?

I have *never* seen such a ridiculously saturated and warm image you post here in Dutch shops, and since I’m a large-display junkie, I regularly check out the big-ass TVs, so I should know.

Weird stuff.


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Eugenia wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 7:25 AM PST:

Many TVs are sold like that. Maybe you are used to it so much that you can’t see it being as such anymore. Also note that the problem is not evident in HD channels.


Thom Holwerda wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 8:03 AM PST:

Many TVs are sold like that. Maybe you are used to it so much that you can’t see it being as such anymore. Also note that the problem is not evident in

TVs here obviously have a “warm” setting, but seriously, what idiot would use that. You can’t sell a TV that shows such images by default, so the shops here show normal images, on the “cool” setting or whatever each manufacturer calls it.


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Eugenia wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 8:11 AM PST:

I can assure you, it looks “normal” after you get used to it. The picture I grabbed obviously makes things worse because it makes it look worse than it is, but in reality most TVs are sold like that and you can observe that in *HD video*, not movies or SD. For example, watching Jay Leno is very evident.


Thom Holwerda wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 8:38 AM PST:

Trust me, I can tell the difference between saturated and too warm colours compared to normal, cooler pictures. In shops here, they DO NOT use the warm/saturated setting – at least not often.

I know what I’m watching.


jeroen wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 9:35 AM PST:

sorry to say thom , but you do not know what you watch.
my tv was on display in the shop i bought it and the colours had to be adjusted a LOT. I only noticed it when the set was turned on at home.


Thom Holwerda wrote on August 14th, 2007 at 10:21 AM PST:

False logical assumption, Jeroen. Just because your TV was adjusted improperly, it doesn’t mean they all are.

I can recognise the difference between a badly and properly adjusted television, because I’m *really* picky about TV images. They need to be *just* right, else I get annoyed and will continue to fiddle until it works like it should – as seen in Eugenia’s 2nd picture.


jeroen wrote on August 15th, 2007 at 9:31 AM PST:

Thom, just because you never ran into this, it doesn’t mean it’s not done that way. (talking about false logical assumptions) Also bear in mind that it’s very hard for the human eye to differentiate in saturation/hue levels, unless you have a refference. Thats why professional color-grading rooms take into account the surounding lighting, and even the color they paint the walls.


Luis wrote on August 15th, 2007 at 12:00 PM PST:

I do think that many shops show this kind of oversaturated image quality. But it’s so exaggerated that I always thought it was because nobody cared to adjust it, not because someone thought they would sell better that way.

However, it’s not the same to watch a film than, say, a football match. My TV has two presets, the Standard and the Movie. The latter cools the colors, brightness and contrast and it works good for movies. But for a football match, the Standard works better. I don’t really know why.


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