Question on Television (Display) Settings

So I’m a total layman, and I cannot figure out what all the display settings on my TV mean. It has several settings: picture, brightness, color, and sharpness, plus hue and IIRC “color temperative”.

I was messing with the settings, trying to get better text resolution for my XBox - on games like KOTOR I have trouble reading the text after awhile. The overall picture is fine though.

Can someone explain to me or direct me to a site that explains what the settings mean? And what sort of default settings are good for viewing text on a TV, while still have good video game quality? (I don’t watch much TV so actual TV image quality is secondary :) )

FYI my TV is a Sony Trinitron. Its not HD or anything special but has been a good reliable TV.



I don’t have any recommendations specific to console settings, but you can get decent calibration of the video of your TV by running the diagnostic tests included on DVDs that feature a THX optimizer. Some THX titles that would appeal to most Qt3ers include X-Men, Fight Club, Star Wars Ep 1 & 2, and Pirates of the Caribbean. A full list is here (just click the entire list link).

I’ve set up a modest home theater system in the last six months, so I’m pretty new to this calibration stuff. That being said, I found the instructions for the THX tests to be straightforward and easy to run. You generally find the tests under the Special Features section of the main menu on DVDs.

You will want to make sure that your TV uses the same video settings for your DVD input as it does for your XBox (my TV allows specific settings for each input feed; I don’t know how common this feature is). Once I calibrated my DVD, I just set my TV input to the same video settings.

The links under the DVD - Video section below provide basic overviews for each of the video settings.

The narrators on a calibration disc I own note that contrast (or picture) and sharpness are the two settings most often in need of calibration. Apparently the manufacturers set the defaults very high to provide superior picture quality in retail store settings (bright lights, competing against other sets). These are often too high for home use. Setting your contrast very high also reduces the lifespan of your picture tubes.