Do a public service to a friend or neighbor… look at his TV.

The Super Bowl is coming in about a week and a half, and as usual it is expected to be the biggest event on television this year. It could be the biggest event on television ever… it has been in the past. Super Bowl parties will be focused on the Patriots and the Giants, with fans on both sides. Inevitably, circles of friends will descend on whomever has the biggest TV.

As an enthusiast, your friends look up to you, even if you’re not the one with the biggest TV. So, do a public service: take a look at that big TV beforehand while there’s plenty of time — especially if it isn’t yours.

It’s been three years since the digital TV transition took place, even more since HDTVs hit the market. Yet, with all those new big TVs out there, some of them look pretty bad.

A few questions to ask:

  • Are you even watching HD? It’s a silly question for the readers of this blog but for your friends, it may not be. Many cable and satellite systems put HD channels on a different number than their SD counterparts.
  • Is it better to go antenna-in as opposed to using cable or satellite at all? There can be a big difference between the quality of antenna in vs. cable or satellite, and satellite systems let you have all the DVR functions on antenna-in, with an extra module.
  • Is the TV set to “blazing-store-demo” mode? A few tweaks using a calibration disc or even just some common sense can make any HDTV look better.
  • Is the TV hooked up to a surround system? If so, a little time calibrating the sound will make a real difference too. Make sure the connection is the best possible: HDMI if the system allows it, optical or coaxial digital as a second choice. Avoid those red and white RCA plugs unless there’s no other choice.

This is the time that everyone is going to paying a lot of attention to TV, and it’s your duty as the lead geek in your circle of friends to step up and make sure everyone is watching the best picture that they can.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.