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WM 2018: How to get your TV to watch TV


A good picture is the goooooooaal!

Sarah Tew / CNET

The world is now officially crazy about football (aka football) in the competition's months-long, fortnightly rage, known as the FIFA World Cup. Sure, hundreds of thousands of people will personally see the games in Russia, but hundreds of millions more will be on TV around the world.

If you are planning to be one of them, here are a few tips to get your TV set ready for the goal.

Go big

The football is mainly presented in a press box, with many fields visible at once and all too small players. More than most TV programs, it is best suited for larger screens. You will see a better experience on a TV as big as you have available. And if possible, a projector.

If your TV is smaller, you can get a similar effect when you sit closer. High-def images often look very good even up close, so it might be worth bringing the seat closer to the television for the game. This means if you do not hide the screen for your friends.

Check the setup: HDMI, HD and Wi-Fi (plus 4K HDR!)

The first thing you want to do is make sure that TV is set up correctly . If you have a high-resolution cable or satellite box, make sure it is connected via HDMI . You should also make sure you are tuned to the HD versions of the broadcast ̵

1; available on Fox, FS1, Telemundo and NBC Universo. Most cable and satellite providers in the US have both HD and standard definition channels, and HD will look much better.

If you're looking at a streaming device, make sure you have enough bandwidth. If there is a break or buffering during the game, make sure other devices in your home are not using the WLAN at the same time. You can also try to move things that are connected to a wired Ethernet connection or, if everything else fails, increase the Internet speed. For more information, see How to Improve TV Streaming .

WM 2018: When It Starts, How To Look And More

If you subscribe to DirecTV or Dish Network in the US, you can watch live games in 4K HDR (schedules here and here). The local providers Layer3 and Altice (formerly Cablevision) will also provide a live 4K feed, as well as the Fox Sports App, which is exclusively available for Hisense TVs. Comcast will also carry 4K HDR games on its Infinity X1 platform, but only on-demand the next day. UK viewers can stream 4K HDR games through the iPlayer app. In any case, you will need a compatible TV, source device and package package (if applicable).

Sound is important

You should also set up your audio correctly. If you use the TV speakers for audio, set your box to output stereo as opposed to 5.1 surround sound (Dolby Digital). But hopefully you are using an external audio system or soundbar that not only provides true or simulated surround sound (perfect for this great crowd noise), but also much better dialogue.

Speaking of Dialogue and Crowd Noise, 2010 The World Cup was known (amplified?) By the sound of the vuvuzela trumpet, whose characteristic buzzing monotony dominated the broadcasts. It is not expected to play such a large role in Russia, but various tools could be similarly disruptive to television viewers. Or maybe you're the kind of person who prefers to listen to the crowds, the instruments and everything, and would rather reject the announcers.

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Sarah Tew / CNET

If that's the case, try playing around with the sound controls. Many televisions and external sound systems have a multiband equalizer (top), which allows you to reduce certain frequencies independently of others in order to soothe the sounds you do not want to hear. If your device does not have an equalizer, experiment with a sound mode or even the basic bass and treble controls.

And if you're listening to surround sound on a surround system, you can lower the volume of the center channel to minimize the announcer's dialogue. Conversely, if you prefer listening to the crowd, turn down the other speakers (left, right and surround) and turn the middle up.

Picture Settings: Bright Ideas

At CNET, we calibrate the picture settings of each TV we review to get the best picture quality. If you have one of the TVs we've tested, you can try our calibrated settings yourself. Search our TV setting forum for your TV to see if we or any other reader has set preferences for it.

Of course, our calibrations take place in a dark room, while you may be watching World Cup games during the day. If the image appears too dark, try increasing the backlight control, which will increase the illuminance (usually LEDs) behind the LCD screen. If you have a plasma television, try increasing contrast or cell light instead. Also make sure that all room lighting sensors, automatic brightness control or energy saving features are disabled.

You may even plan to bring the TV out during the day. If that's the case, you want the brightest possible picture. Try one of the Vivid or Dynamic image modes, maximize the backlight, and try to protect the TV from direct sunlight (and rain). If you feel like buying a TV specifically for outdoor use, SunBrite has brought you … at one price .

Not light green

During our calibrations, we try to get the most accurate color possible. For football, the most common color is the green of the field, and if it's not accurate, it's pretty easy to see. The human eye is very sensitive to green, and you can usually tell whether grass looks brownish or boring, or too yellowish or vivid. If you are watching football, you want to be as natural and as green as possible – the World Cup field should not look like AstroTurf.

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The right color green is almost as important as survival.

Francois Nel / Getty Images

If you can not access our image settings, one of the best ways to ensure accurate colors, including green, is to enable the movie or cinema preset. Yes, it does not sound intuitive, but Movie usually offers a more accurate color green than sports or other picture modes. These are often stingy and oversaturated, with greens that are much more intense than in real life. If you like the punchy look, you may prefer one of these modes over a more specific one.

Unfortunately, on some TVs, Movie looks too dark, even if you turn up the backlight or contrast all the way. If so, choose a different picture mode and look for a control called "color space" or something similar. There you should choose the setting "HD" or "Auto" or "Rec 709", not the setting "Native". You can also make the grass look more natural by reducing color control.

The best time to adjust the image by eye is during the game itself – another channel or program, even another grass-centered sporting event, will not work so well. For more information, see Setting Up a TV with the Eye.

If you have a Smoothing or Dejudder TV (also known as The Soap Opera Effect), you can experiment with these settings as well. Look for a setting called Auto Motion Plus on Samsung, TruMotion on LG, Smooth Motion Effect on Vizio, and MotionFlow on Sony TVs. Football can sometimes benefit from the blur reduction effects of these settings, but on the other hand, you may notice artifacts, such as tracks behind fast-moving objects like a ball during a quick pass or a shot on goal. If you notice these effects, try completely turning off the setting.


So, if you've decided that you're not going to travel to Russia or buy a new TV, you'll have at least some ideas on how to get your TV and home theater into shape. Now you can re-decorate your man cave in a nationalist theme, invite your friends, and scream at the screen. Just do not sound like an American, OK?

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