TIPS: How to improve your TV settings for major sports events

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Whether you're buying a new television for the big game or planning to watch the Olympics on your current TV set, you want the best picture possible. (KGO-TV)

Whether you're buying a new television for the big game or planning to watch the Olympics on your current television set, you want the best picture possible. In a partnership with Consumer Reports, 7 On Your Side's Michael Finney offers some expert tips and tricks to help you get there.

With some major sporting events like the Super Bowl and the Olympics right around the corner, you'll want to get your TV in picture perfect shape.

And, believe it or not, Consumer Reports says that means avoiding the "sports mode" setting.

"It tends to artificially boost contrast, brightness and colors. And that makes the picture look unnatural," said Jim Willcox, Consumer Reports Electronics Editor. "Instead, we suggest using either the movie or cinema mode, which will give you the most natural-looking picture."

Another factory preset mode to avoid if your TV has it: dynamic or vivid.

"The vivid mode works a lot like the sports mode where it overly brightens the image," notes Willcox.

One more trick from the Consumer Reports playbook: turn off noise reduction and motion smoothing. Noise reduction can reduce detail and fine texture in your picture.

"Motion smoothing can cause film to look like video. Sometimes, it's called the soap opera effect where film starts to look like a daytime TV program," said Willcox.

If you are looking to adjust your set beyond the factory preset modes, Consumer Reports says take it easy with the sharpness by keeping it near zero.

Turning it up too much can make the picture detail look less natural.

And for color temperature as well as color and tint, Willcox said, "typically, you should choose the low or warm setting so that whites don't look too blue. And with tint what you're really trying to do is get the most natural-looking flesh tones."

For those of you wanting to adjust your TV even more precisely, Consumer Reports offers specific settings for each TV they test to online subscribers.

Click here for a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit

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