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Dialing back display brightness is good for picture quality and your wallet

Steven Kim

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We've said it before, and we'll say it again -- once a TV has been moved from the store shelf into your shopping cart, the ultra-bright "torch mode" has served its only good purpose. Sadly, however, a study presented at the Ergonomics Symposium on Flat Panel Displays turned up more than 80-percent of the LCDs in the mode favored by alpine skiing fans, and almost 80-percent had the ambient light sensors disabled. That's bad news for picture quality, but also bad for energy consumption -- the study found that four factors (viewing angle, viewer age, content luminance and ambient lighting) can be used to determine an ergonomically correct display luminance, and we'd go out on a limb to say that the "dynamic" mode disregards what's "correct." Savings by dialing back the display can save energy by a not-too-shabby 20-30-percent. Statisticians can throw stones at the sample of 83 homes, but based on how many times we've found supernova whites and neon greens while visiting homes, it sounds about right.

In this article: brightness, calibration, ergonomics, hd, lcd, study
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