AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Northwest Wisconsin
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Sharpness settings seem to get little mention. The more I play around with sharpness, the more I learn. Just today ...
On my Samsung plasma there is a button on the remote called "Tools". With that button switching (and A/B testing!) of different Picture modes can be done. Basically immediate switching is what happens, just by hitting the up/down arrows.
Just today I was doing A/B comparison of Standard and Movie modes with all other settings equal (cell light, contrast, brightness, color, tint, WB, etc.) except for color temperature settings (I thought.) I was curious to see how sporting events looked with cooler color temperature settings and was using this A/B test to see how Standard mode/Cool compared to my calibrated Movie mode/Warm2. I noticed that my Movie/Warm2 image was blurred compared to Standard/Cool. They had different Sharpness settings.
The program had some relatively static background signs to read making the difference easily seen. It was also easy to see the difference in facial lines of the guy talking on the show.
The Sharpness setting for (the slightly blurred) Movie mode was 10 and for (significantly clearer) Standard it was 50 (the halfway point of the slider.) So I increased Sharpness in Movie mode 10 points at a time and little by little the image got clearer until when it got to 50 it matched clarity with Standard using the A/B testing.
I also set the color temp settings the same- testing both on Cool and both on Warm2. Color temp didn't matter for this sharpness issue, as expected.
The setting of 10 wasn't just a guess either. Or at least I didn't think it was. I had previously set the Sharpness to 10 by adjusting it while standing close to the TV and looking at a test pattern on the AVS Rec709 disc. There is a lighter ghost image adjacent to dark lines at higher sharpness settings, so I turned sharpness down until the ghost disappeared. This is how I set my Sharpness.
That was 3 months ago.
And I haven't given it a thought as I enjoyed my TV's picture. The best TV I've owned. (plasma: Samsung PN51D8000).
So, while I thought the picture was close to as good as it can get for all these months, and while I was looking at something else, I noticed how blurry the picture is with such a low Sharpness setting.
I don't know if 50 is the best setting, but I know for sure it isn't 10. It will take awhile to see what looks best for a sharpness setting, and I know that looking at test patterns up close to the TV doesn't get it right.
Look at something with fine detail at normal viewing distance and do A/B testing if your TV has the ability. Sharpness, I am finding out, has a much bigger impact on the picture than some of these little errors in grayscale or color calibration.