Q. I keep reading in these elite tech publications that I should NEVER set my TV to Vivid because it’s not what the director of a movie would want. Well, excuse me! I like Vivid. It looks the brightest and most crispy of all the picture settings. Settings like Cinema and Standard are too dark and dull for me. What say you? What’s so bad about Vivid? — Barry, Chincoteague, Virginia.
Barry, there’s nothing wrong with Vivid, if that’s what you prefer. It’s your television, and your viewing experience. Whatever looks best to you is most important.
But that said, the Cinema (sometimes called Movie) setting will give your picture the greatest detail and most accurate representation of the original image, whether it’s a movie or TV show. This setting will also look good in a room that is somewhat dimly lit because Cinema tends to soften the screen’s brightness. It creates a more soothing feel.
This is why those ‘elite’ journalists often (if not almost always) recommend Cinema. It does make a movie look the way it does in the theater.
But I know that some people prefer the Vivid (also called Dynamic) setting because it tends to make the picture “pop.” With Vivid, you’ll find that the screen is brighter and more, well, dynamic. (Most in-store TVs are set on Vivid because TV shoppers are attracted to the bright picture. See our article, Why Did My TV Look Better In the Store, for more information.) But Vivid also tends to wash out the colors and some picture detail.
Bottom line, it’s your call. Play around with the two settings and see which one you prefer. (We know Barry has made his choice!) In a bright room, the Vivid setting just might wind up as your preference. But most picture snobs — and I say ‘snobs’ in a nice way — would recommend Cinema.
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— Phillip Swann