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6 Things You Didn't Know Your HD TV Can Do

by Cathy Carr

A bright television screen in the center of the shot slightly out of focus with flecks of light moving out from it.

HD TVs have been commonplace for years now, but that doesn’t mean that everybody who has one knows about all the features that these sets can have.  

So, as part of our efforts to continually educate our customers how to best use their new and shiny products, we wanted to pass along six tidbits that you might not know about your HDTV, and how to use these features to their best advantage! Take a look, and enjoy your TV in ways you never knew possible.

1. Your TV can make your media look “worse”

Most people expect new TVs to make everything look better, but then open up a new set and find out that everything they watch on it looks a little, well, off.

Well, there’s an explanation for that. TVs can have a feature called motion smoothing, which for some reason can be set as “on” for new sets. This leads to what is called the Soap Opera Effect – it causes your TV to add in extra frames to the frame rate of your content, which can make everything look like soap operas.

Most people are probably going to want to turn this feature off. Check your TV’s specific manual for what the feature is called and where in the menu you can turn it off. There, things looking better now? We thought so.

2. The smart features of your TV

TVs are getting smarter and smarter, and are expanding their out-of-the-box capabilities. Most TVs will come with at least one video streaming service already bundled in, while some even have a host of apps and other features that can do everything from let you browse Facebook to check the weather. If you only use your TV for watching TV, dig through the applications in your TV menu and see what else it is able to do for you.

If you want to get a TV with all the bells and whistles though, let us know! We’ll be able to walk you through all the popular TV options, and make sure you leave with one that does everything you want it to, and then some!

 

3. How to use your TV as a computer screen  

Your HDTV has several HDMI ports – these are the ports that you use to plug in your Blu-ray player, video game systems, and probably your cable box.

But, you can also use one of these ports to connect your computer to your TV. Instead of running your computer’s HDMI cable to a monitor, you can easily connect it to your TV, instead. Having trouble connecting? Don’t know where your HDMI port is? Stop by and ask out expert sales associates all your questions and they’ll be glad to help!

 A person holding both ends of an HDMI cord.

4. Your TV can play your photos and videos

TVs come with a wide array of inputs – HDMI, component, composite, it goes on and on. And once you hooked your TV up, you probably don’t spend a lot of time looking at the back side of it.

But, some TVs do have USB ports that will let you plug a flash drive in, and then enjoy your pictures and music.

 

5. Your HD TV can be super colorful

While 4K TVs have been getting a big push, there’s another new feature on the block that is getting attention: High Dynamic Range. Not all TVs come with it, but if your TV is equipped with HDR, it means you’ll be able to watch specially formatted HDR compatible titles. The long short of if means you’ll be getting more colors in your content. If you have more questions about HDR and HDR compatible titles, give us a call today.

 

6. Your TV might actually may not be a TV

“What do you mean, my TV isn’t a TV? What is it then? A giant frog from Sri Lanka? A moth the size of a football stadium? It looks like a TV to me!”

Yes, what you just bought looks and talks and walks and smells like a TV, and most people are still going to call it one. But, it probably doesn’t have an actual TV tuner anymore, which means that it isn’t going to be able to pick up local TV stations.

That doesn’t mean that you can’t watch local TV – you can purchase accessories to make it work – but it’s something to keep in mind either way.

 

Still confused by all of these features? Not sure which ones are most important for you? Give us a call, and we’ll be glad to help you navigate all of the current TV options. That’s what we’re here for!