Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your HDTV

While most homes today have an HDTV, surprisingly few are being used to their full potential. Whether you already bought an HDTV or you're still trying to decide which model is right for you, you can take several steps that can help you get the most out of your home theater experience.

Make Your TV Smart

Smart TVs offer a wide range of features not available in a standard HDTV. By connecting the TV to your home network with Internet access, Smart TVs can connect you to live video streaming services like Netflix, YouTube and Hulu, as well as other apps like weather. If you already purchased an HDTV without smart features built-in, you can still add them by purchasing a component that has these features, like a Blu-ray player or game console.

Use Real HD Input

HDTVs provide amazing picture quality, but many people find themselves watching standard definition broadcasts instead of HD. To enjoy the crisp resolution of your HDTV, you need to subscribe to an HD cable or satellite package. Game consoles and Blu-ray players can also provide HD resolution, but not DVD players. While Blu-ray can give you 1080p resolution, DVD players are limited to 480p, or 720-by-480 pixel resolution.

Calibrate HDTV Settings

When your HDTV left the factory, it was calibrated to display the best images under most situations, not for the specific lighting conditions in your home. Calibrating an HDTV involves tweaking the contrast, brightness and sharpness as well as the color and tint so the screen displays the best possible images. You can also customize settings for movies, sports and video games. Check your user manual or manufacturer's support website to see its recommendations for calibrating your HDTV. Most retailers and manufacturers can also direct you to certified calibrators in your area who have specialized tools to really bring out the best in your new HDTV.

Supercharge Your Remote

If you have a smartphone or tablet, you have additional options today that go beyond the remote control that came with your HDTV--like offering a full keyboard or reviews of the movie you started watching. Most major manufacturers offer free apps that can be used to control your HDTV, provided your smartphone is connected to the same Wi-Fi® network. There are also plenty of third-party remote control apps that can connect to most HDTVs, regardless of which smartphone or tablet you have.

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