TVs & Home Theaters forum


Why "Zero-Out" the Sharpness Control?

by woodystemms / January 29, 2013 11:12 PM PST

Posted several days ago on the "settings" forum, there's been no response to the question, so we're asking the broader audience:

Every "suggested setting" we've seen for adjusting an HDTV to achieve "best" picture indicates that the "sharpness" control should be reset to Zero.

What gives here? It seems counter intuitive.

Is there some technical answer that non-specialists can understand? Do the complex interactions of the controls of all sets link the sharpness control to other parameters in a way that can undermine the overall accuracy of color, contrast range, or motion-blur?

Does it really make a significant difference in "real world" viewing as opposed to watching a calibration DVD in a dark basement?

Thanks for your time and attention.

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All Answers

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The Settings Forum is well, not well read.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 30, 2013 3:30 AM PST tells a little about how they do that work. As to your question, it's interesting but I've rarely done or seen that advice. It's like ice cream flavors or your preferences. Only those new to this will declare that "this is the true way." Or tell you "this is the setting to use." It may be a good place to start but if you don't like the settings, change them.
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Here are a few examples of "Zero Sharpness":
by woodystemms / January 30, 2013 8:02 AM PST

For whatever reason, a lot of the best rated sets, have "Zero Sharpness" suggested after calibration.

Here are a few examples of those "Zero Sharpness" suggested settings as posted on Cnet:

The first is for the Panasonic TC-P55ST50 set that Cnet rates so highly it's an "editors choice".;createThreadPopup

The next set of calibrated settings are for the highly rated Samsung PN60E6500:

This next set with a "Zero Sharpness" suggestion is the Vizeo E601i-A3, a Cnet "best value":;blankArea.3

We ended up purchasing the third of these, but have yet to open the box or set it up.

( That will have to wait until tomorrow, when "in house tech jr." is available. )

Will probably do a "rough" adjustment of the simple controls, and then go from there for improvement.

The sharpness control will probably stay "neutral" until further notice.

Primary use is OTA signals, through a powered antenna, especially this Sunday.

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by Pepe7 / January 30, 2013 9:11 AM PST

In the other thread I replied but clearly wasn't reading your questions clearly enough.

I was thinking *contrast* while you are asking about sharpness settings. Hypothetically, on an HDTV the sharpness will already be quite good, so zero might be a good place to start, then gradually boost it until it suits your needs, based on individual inputs/content/etc. There's more on this @ AV (& AVS) too if you poke around. One example thread:

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Unfortunately, that site "doesn't compute"
by woodystemms / January 31, 2013 12:26 AM PST
In reply to: Answer

Thanks for your response.

However, the site you linked is not based in the USA and does not display Any information, of any kind, about Vizio products. None, zip, zero.

So, we'll look elsewhere for calibration suggestions for the Vizio E601i-A3

We're not sure, yet, how the controls of this set will display.

Could be a two-way slider with a central "null point", or a zero to 100 numerical scale.

Either way, we're inclined to leave the sharpness at the start point, and leave that adjustment of it for last.

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Don't give up so quickly when looking online
by Pepe7 / January 31, 2013 5:04 AM PST

The AVS (American based) site has several thread on your Vizio model, and others. Don't assume they are that different than the other common consumer models (Hint: they are using the same under the hood technologies. Gasp!) Look around here for such dedicated threads with specific info to your model/series/brand:

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Sharpness Control
by sunwatcher / January 30, 2013 11:49 PM PST

I like this answer from the Crutchfield website:

"Sharpness: Sharpness could more accurately be called "artificial edge enhancement," and generally only improves the look of lower-quality signals like standard broadcast, cable, and satellite programs. Increasing the sharpness is like turning up the treble control on your receiver; you may think you're getting more detail, but the result is definitely not more accurate. Having Sharpness set too high often creates halos around the edges of objects onscreen. Many DVD movies already have edge-enhancement added during mastering, so you can generally turn Sharpness nearly to zero for your DVD input. Sharpness is also not needed for most HDTV sources."

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That definitely helps
by Pepe7 / January 30, 2013 11:53 PM PST
In reply to: Sharpness Control

Thanks for adding that part from the Crutchfield site.

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Matter of personal preference
by mjd420nova / January 31, 2013 9:37 AM PST

Everyone has a slight difference in opinion and settings. I start with everything in the middle and work from there. My current set was a bit too bright so I was able to reduce the brightness to 40%. intensity, seperate from brightness, at 50% contrast at 50%, no adjustment was needed in any color or hue. Sharpness it 50% was also too sharp and a reduction to 35% was more pleasing, however when playing a BR input on HDMI the sharpness needed a return to 50%.

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That sums it up quite nicely
by Pepe7 / January 31, 2013 12:03 PM PST

Sometimes you have to futz around a little to get it to match one's taste. The room lighting and inputs can make a big difference too IME on what you ultimately might end up with, PQ settings-wise.


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