Looks like a few of us have been looking at new TVs recently, and I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread where we could help each other out.

Useful Sites:
http://www.rtings.com/tv (good reviews and some base calibrations to start from)
http://www.displaylag.com/display-database/ (lists the input lag of various TV sets which is very important for gaming)
http://w6rz.net (picture calibration files)

Key Technologies/Terms

4K: A digital cinema standard that is mainly focused around a much higher resolution image than 1080p

UHD: Ultra HD. A standard indicating a TV meets the requirements for 4K. A derivative of 4K.

UHD Premium: A standard that requires a TV to be 4K compliant in addition to supporting the 10-bit color and HDR standards

10-bit Color: A 10-bit panel, also called a "wide gamut" panel, has a larger granularity in colors to display, allowing for a richer picture. Most TVs today use 8-bit panels.

HDR: A standard that allows a panel to display really dark blacks and really bright whites at the same time. This is mainly done by changing backlight levels in different parts of the screen independent of each other.

Input Lag: The delay between when the TV receives a signal and when that signal is displayed. This is very important to gaming.

Response Time: How long it takes a pixel to fully change from one color to another. The quicker this is, the less motion blur the panel displays.

4:4:4 Chroma: Describes how pixels are grouped together when determining what color they should be. If a display does not use 4:4:4 chroma, tiny details can be blurry. This would be most obvious when connecting the TV to a computer and using it to display text. Heirarchy of quality: 4:4:4 > 4:2:2 > 4:2:0. This guy explains why:

LED: A display type that has really bright whites but not as dark of blacks as OLED

OLED: A display type that has really dark blacks but not able to get as bright as LED screens. Generally considered to have the better picture and much more expensive than LED.

IPS: A panel type that has great color accuracy and ability to maintain that color accuracy at any angle.

VA/PVA: A panel type that has great color accuracy but worse viewing angles than IPS panels.

TN: A panel type that has relatively poor color accuracy and viewing angles compared to IPS and VA/PVA panels. Cheap and has very fast response times. No longer used by high-end TVs.

"Easy" Calibration:
First off, make sure your TV and all connected devices are set to output with the same RGB color scale. If in doubt, default to RGB limited and you won't be wrong. The setting name may differ depending on the TV manufacturer (Samsung calls it "HDMI Black Level") so Google or ask here if you are unsure. 99.999% of all movies and certainly all TV shows use the limited and not the full RGB color scale so you aren't really missing out on anything if you use it.

It is very important that your TV and source devices have matching color scales or you will end up with either a washed out image or crushed blacks and whites resulting in poor brights/darks. If your TV and/or devices have an "auto" setting for this, it is important to experiment and make sure they work as expected.

If your TV has a color temperature setting, it is usually best to set it as warm as possible for an accurate picture. "Movie" mode presets are usually the closest to accuracy of all the mode presets. The correct color temperature and mode preset may differ from model to model. Again, search or post here for help.

Turn sharpness off; this is usually either 0 or 50%, depending on the TV (search or ask). If your TV has a wide gamut panel, make sure the color space doesn't default to Native at all times. Native will lead to over-saturation of colors from media that doesn't support wide gamut (99% of material you will view). Auto is usually fine, but make sure it works as expected (just like you have to do for the RGB Limited/Full Auto setting).

Turn off Dynamic Contrast and other visual processing effects. There are a few that may be useful in certain situations (like Smart LED on my set), but most change the picture from what was intended. After your set is calibrated, feel free to come back and adjust these settings to taste. You may need to recalibrate afterwards, though.

Once all that pre-calibration work is done and your tv has been on for ~30 minutes to "warm up", the set is now ready to calibrate. Brightness, contrast, color, and tint are relatively easy to adjust by eye and will get your TV having a "good enough" picture for most people so that is what we will work with.

To accomplish this, you will need to display a few different images on your TV. If your TV does not support a built-in RGB filter (which makes the entire screen either red, blue, or green) and you don't want to buy a cheap filter online, then use the free THX tune-up app on your phone. It will guide you through the process of setting your TV controls correctly.

If your TV does have a built-in RGB filter or you are ok with buying one (it's like $5 before shipping), then you will want to download one of the AVS HD 709 Calibration Disk packages at the top of this website: http://w6rz.net. Once it's downloaded, you will need to either burn it to a BD or find some other way to display the videos within the package on your TV. You will only need the ones in the "Basic Settings" folder. Most of the videos have instructions on them, but there is also an instruction manual on that same website.

It's all very confusing, I know. You can hire a THX technician to do all this (and more!) for you, but it's kinda pricey. There are also devices made to help with this (colorimeters) but they are also expensive.


If there is anything else people would like for me to put in the OP, post in this thread or message me.