Q. I have my TV’s picture setting on Vivid. I like the way it seems to stand out and it’s sharper. But I read that it’s the wrong setting. Why is that? — Connie, Newark, New Jersey.
Connie, that’s a great question and one that I get quite often.
Generally, the Cinema (sometimes called Movie) setting will give your picture the greatest detail and most accurate representation of the original image. 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.
However, that said, some people like yourself 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. 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