Consumer Electronics & Appliance News, Reviews & Information.

Jul 12

Countdown to the games: is your TV ready?

Warming up

Athletes warm-up before a competition. Why aren’t you making sure your TV is warmed up before the games? (Photo by FaceMePLS. Used under Creative Commons.)

We’re less than four days away from the start of the Summer Games.

Athletes in top form (which is really all that we’ll be seeing for the next few weeks) all have warm-ups and rituals they do before competing, not only to get their muscles ready to go, but also to psych themselves up to get ready for the competition to come. They’re getting ready for the biggest performance of their lives.

It’s kind of the same way with your flat screen TV.

Sure you could just flip the TV on and start watching, but to make sure that it’s ready to give you the performance that an event of this magnitude deserves, I’ve compiled a few steps that you can take as sort of a pre-viewing warm-up.

Find the best viewing position

There are all sorts of formulas you can use to figure out the ideal viewing distance from your TV, some of them more trustworthy than others. A general rule you can use for finding the perfect position is to take the screen size, multiply it by 2, and then use that as the number of inches you should be away from the screen. Make sure you take into account TV height too.

Do you have the right connections?

This is more than just making sure you’ve got all your HDMI cables, optical cables, and other cables all hooked up. You’ve also got to make sure your stuff is taking the right path to get there.

The more connections and paths that your signals make going from your cable or satellite box to your TV, the more likely it is that you might get a degraded signal. So if you find that for some reason your signal is running through an old VCR before taking a trip through your home theater receiver to your TV, you’re probably dealing with a degraded signal that just isn’t necessary.

Calibrate and re-calibrate

Mistaking flag colors. Missing fingertip finishes. Eye fatigue. These are all symptoms of not having a correctly calibrated flat screen TV. Make sure your colors are right, your picture is sharp, and your brightness levels are on target by taking some time to have your panel properly calibrated.

If you’re in Montana, you could grab one of the professionals at your local Vann’s electronics store and have them do it, or if you prefer a DIY approach, check out the Monster Cable ISF Calibration Wizard.

Oh, and if you want a way to see the before and after effect, find your favorite moment from a past Summer Games and test the difference.

Make sure your TV is well protected

It would be fairly silly for a fencer to go into a competition without wearing their pads. There’s a greater chance of injury, and they may not be able to get to the end even if they really are the best in the world.

It’s just as silly leaving your TV unprotected without a good surge protector.

Not only do these small devices help protect your flat screen TV from big blows, they can also help keep it looking good with features like power filtration and line conditioning.

Keep an eye on the Vann’s blog this week as we countdown to this summer’s Opening Ceremony with tips to make sure your home is ready!

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