Improve Your HDTV Picture Quality in 4 Easy Steps

Getting Started

Lately, your TV's picture quality just doesn't seem up to par. Maybe you shifted its location, or perhaps you just came from seeing your friend's professionally maintained home theater. Or maybe you started to mess with the settings and can't remember what you did to make it look worse, not better. Before you spring for a new HDTV, try these four quick tricks to get a better picture on the one you already have. 

Set up the room for your HDTV

Pay attention to how your TV sits in your room. Try to position it at eye level, and adjust your distance from it. You should sit far enough away so you don't see individual pixels. On a 40-inch, 1080p set, for example, that's about 5 to 8 feet (1.5 to 2.4 meters) from the screen.

Consider the brightness of the room before you start making any adjustments. Keep glare off the screen, either by moving the TV or by adding curtains to block outside light and dimmers to control the brightness of lamps or ceiling fixtures. Equip your indoor lights with "daylight" fluorescent or incandescent bulbs to closely match and, thus, blend in with the standard color cast of the screen.

You can also compensate for a bright room by boosting the brightness and contrast of your image.

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Melissa Perenson is a freelance writer. She has reviewed the best tax software for Tom's Guide for several years, and has also tested out fax software, among other things. She spent more than a decade at PC World and TechHive, and she has freelanced for numerous publications including Computer Shopper, TechRadar and Consumers Digest.