Anyone good at adjusting a television picture?

Posted on 2012-03-27
Last Modified: 2012-03-29
I've been watching a 19 inch Zenith for years.
It has shown signs of going bad. Every few days the picture would shrink, top to bottom. A nice tap on both sides and it clears up for a few more days.

So, I was given a 27 inch Zenith. This picture does not look right. There is something about the picture that does not look right. Now, part of this may be that I have looked at the other one, hours a day for years. And each TV has it's own personality. (?)
I have done some experimenting with adjustments of tint, color, contrast, and brightness.
I tried the middle of the range on all 4 settings, and combinations to the low side, or high side, etc.

How should I try to use brightness, tint, color, and contrast to make this picture look better?
The 27 inch was a give away so maybe it was not 100% when they gave it away.
It did not cost me anything but I do not want to trash it, if it can be adjusted.
Color, and brightness and tint are settings  where I can clearly see the difference if one or the other is too low (0 on a scale of 0-10) or too high (10 on a scale of 0-10).
Contrast is one setting where I am not clear on exactly what it is, and how it being adjusted, affects the picture.

Any TV pros?

It's cable TV, for both TV's and the signal goes through the VCR.  I'm not sure if staring at a 19 inch for years and now staring at a 27 inch would affect the looks of the picture.
Question by:nickg5
  • 4

Accepted Solution

kdebugs earned 275 total points
ID: 37774909

First, in the NTSC system (what we use in the US - mocked abroad as meaning Never Twice the Same Color), no two tv's will ever show the exact same colors for any given image.

If you have access to a video camera or a digital camera with video output, shoot some color charts ( - search for "tv color bars" - without the quotes).

Then get a cable splitter and connect BOTH tv's to the camera at once.

Now start adjusting the 27" tv:

First brightness: adjust until the whites look the same on both sets.

Now contrast: adjust until the blacks look the same (you might need to play a bit with brightness because if it's set too high, your blacks won't be dark enough).

Color: bring it to the middle, so the bars don't look pastel, yet they don't look like a clown's face makeup. That's your saturation. When you have it close to what the other tv shows, play with hue.

Hue: I can't imagine you being a woman. Call me sexist, but I'm willing to put money on this. Here's why this is important: men only see basic colors (most of us, at least). We have a single pair of brown shoes because brown is brown. If we have more it's probably because they're comfy, not because we need another pair to match that beautiful ostrich skin belt we got on that trip. And you're probably wondering (along with a number of women here ready to lynch me), "and this is important because?" It's important because due to technical reasons, no two tv's in the US will show colors the same way. Start at the middle of the range and play with the hue control until you get MOST colors to look similar on the chart between the two tvs. When you're watching a movie, your brain won't have time to become aware of any nuances that aren't what you'd expect.

Good luck!

LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 37779725
I have no way to try the camera on one or both TV's.

I believe this TV picture has defects (it's age and the reason the people were giving it away).

When the cable stations are changed, the 1-2 seconds between the two stations shows evidence of a fuzzy picture (not blurry).

And a station where a small strip at the bottom is supposed to be all yellow in color, but the shade of yellow varies and is not constant.

I should be able to sell it for $30+ or get used to the picture.
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

viki2000 earned 125 total points
ID: 37780673
If you have an old type (classic) TV cathode ray tube (CRT: ) then I just remember something:
-      Many years ago the TV Broadcasting (in some countries) use to generate sometimes a steady image (for few minutes) specialy desigend to calibrate the TV.
-      I speak about this:
-      Or just search on google “tv calibration image” and you will see

What you have to do is to generate such image for both TV’s in the same time – so you can compare.
Would very easy if you connect a PC or a DVD player with video out signal to the TV’s or to the VCR.
I do not know what you can do from technical point of view, but this is what I would try:
-      Try to find a video tape with such image pre-recorded or try to record such image with VCR from somewhere. When I say soemwhere I have in mind:
-      a source as old store that lents video tapes or a friend, old boutique…
-      Try to recorded by yourself with the VCR. The best source would be a PC with video out and a software (free on internet) which generates such image. Also if you have a DVD player then you can have the source on DVD disc. You just create in PC a DVD video disc with such image. If the DVD player can connect to both TV’s and you skip the VCR; if not then record fron DVD player to VCR; if you have no DVD player just make DVD disc and ask a friend in a weekend to come with his DVD player to record the video tape (or you go to him).
The idea behind is to have the same standard image on both.
The calibration image for TV’s has clear colors. bars…

The software is something like:
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LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 37785034
I noticed a faint white vertical line moving right to left.

Then a similar line moving left to right.

It can not be seen on all screens.

This TV will be put up for sale.
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 37785036
LVL 25

Author Closing Comment

ID: 37785037

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