The best TV settings for watching football

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By Mike Atherton 22 Apr 2018
Best TV settings for watching football

With the UEFA Champions League Final in May and the World Cup starting in June, 2018 is set to be a big year for football - and you’ll want to make sure you’re getting the best possible picture from your TV.

Modern TVs have lots of different settings to help you get the most out of them, whether you’re watching sport, movies, or music. But it isn't always the best idea to just hit the 'Sport' button.

So here are a few tips for finding the best settings when watching football.

Check the processing rates

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This isn’t a setting you can change on most TVs, but it's worth mentioning because if you watch a lot of sport, or do a lot of gaming, you’ll want to take note of the processing rate when you’re looking at buying a new TV. To put it simply, the higher the processing rate, the better the TV can handle fast-paced action. Find out more about processing rates in our TVs Jargon Buster.

Turn on the motion smoothing settings

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Most modern LED TVs have a ‘motion smoothing’ (or motion interpolation) setting that adds extra frames to what you’re watching to make the action appear much smoother. This works really well for sport, but it can sometimes have a negative effect when you’re watching films by giving them a glossy soap-opera appearance.

So if you’re planning on watching a lot of football this summer, it’s worth figuring out where this setting is and turning it on. All manufacturers have a different name for it, and you'll usually find it in the picture settings - here’s what to look for on your TV:

  • Sony - MotionFlow
  • LG - TruMotion
  • Samsung - Auto Motion Plus
  • Panasonic - Motion Picture Setting
  • JVC - Clear Motion Drive
  • Toshiba - Active Vision

Get the right colour, contrast, and brightness settings

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Most TVs have settings like 'sport mode', or 'movie mode' in the picture options, and we'd normally recommend that you stay away from these at all costs because they limit the customisation options. Having said that, if you're watching the occasional match, sport mode can be an easy way to create a more vivid picture - just remember to turn it off when you're not watching sport.

  • Colour - as we've already mentioned, dynamic settings should normally be avoided, but if you don't want to start tweaking all of the settings individually, you could try the 'vivid', or 'sport' settings first - these presets will usually boost the backlight and colour, but they'll also limit some other functions. Aside from dynamic settings, adding a bit of extra colour can make football look loads better. But don't just set it to max, try turning it up a bit at a time. There are often some very brightly coloured shirts in football and setting it too high will cause the shirt colours to bleed into the green of the pitch.
  • Contrast - contrast is the difference between the brightest, and darkest areas of the screen. Setting the contrast too low will show less difference between colours, making it look like you're watching everything through a dark grey filter. Setting the contrast too high can make the colours look artificial and over-saturated. The easiest way to get the contrast right is to pause the TV on a picture that has bright and dark areas, then adjust the contrast so you've got a good balance between the brightest and darkest parts of the screen.
  • Brightness - having the wrong brightness setting on your TV can completely ruin the picture, if it's set too high, blacks turn to grey and colours look washed out. But too low, and you'll start to lose detail in the darker areas. Like the Contrast settings, pause the TV on a picture that has both bright and dark areas, then adjust the brightness to find a good balance.
  • Backlight - the backlight should usually be set to suit the type of room the TV is in. If it's a really bright room, the backlight should be turned up, and if it's a darker room, you can reduce the backlight a bit. But for football, setting the backlight a little higher than usual (particularly if you're watching during the daytime) can make all the difference.

Make sure you’re watching the HD option

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This one might seem fairly obvious, but most TV channels have an HD option, so always make sure that’s the one you pick to get the best picture.

Picture Perfect from Team Knowhow

If you really want to get the most out of your TV, or you're struggling to get those settings just right, Picture Perfect from Team Knowhow will help you get sharper images, better detail, and more realistic colours.

With videos and guides to make sure you get the best possible picture - whatever type of TV you have.

Hopefully, that’s helped you get the most out your TV through this World Cup season. If you’d like help with anything else, you can contact one of our Team Knowhow experts here.

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