How To Reduce Blooming On Your TV

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How To Reduce Blooming On Your TV

Watching your favorite movie on an awesome TV in surround sound can be an absolutely incredible experience.

It’s possible to quite literally have the movie theater experience while at home.

This is especially true when watching on a big screen TV.

But the unfortunate thing is, most people don’t really get the most out of their TVs.

Calibration can make a massive difference and not doing so limits the full potential of the display.

Not only that, but it can even introduce problems —one of which is blooming.

But what is blooming exactly and how can you reduce it?

Let’s find out!

How To Reduce Blooming On Your TV

There are 2 ways you can reduce blooming on your TV; you can turn down the backlight setting to about half. Or you can reduce the local dimming setting – which will help blooming but will hamper the contrast ratio affecting image quality. Blooming is an issue unique to LED TVs since they use a backlight whereas OLED does not.



What Is Blooming?

Blooming, also often referred to as light bleed or the halo effect, is basically when a portion of the screen that’s supposed to be dark is illuminated by a nearby object or element on screen that’s brighter.

The bright object will look like it has a halo around it, that then permeates into other parts of the screen while brightening those too (hence the name)

It can be a really distracting effect if you happen to notice it.

Not only this, but blooming can elevate black levels in that area which will directly impact image quality.

The brighter the black levels, the less dynamic and washed out your content will look which — as you’d probably guess, obviously isn’t ideal.

Why Does Blooming Happen?

Here’s something interesting to note, blooming doesn’t happen to every TV.

In fact, the only kind of TVs that blooming really affects are LCD based TVs.


Well it has to do with their very design.

LCD based televisions; that is many of the modern popular options like Samsung’s QLED TVS, LG’s Nanocell TV, etc all use some sort of backlighting to display an image.

They all implement small lights behind the screen in various ways and to varying degrees of efficacy.

This is what’s known as local dimming.

These lights are then separated into distinct zones, and the more zones a TV has, the more intricate it can be with the picture quality it displays and its resulting black levels.

There’s even various types of local dimming like full array local dimming and edge lit dimming which can further help picture quality.

The problem arises though when a TV doesn’t have that many zones since the light output becomes localized in brighter scenes — which results in blooming.

The more zones or lights, the less likely it is that TV will have blooming issues.

The other reason LED based TVs experience blooming though is people use them with their backlight set too high.

It often comes from the store set at the brightest setting/mode without any calibration, and that’s because when it’s on the show floor, it has to accommodate for harsh store lighting and grab attention by being as bright as possible.

However at home this doesn’t help and while being inaccurate, it can also lead to blooming.

However the interesting thing is OLED TVS don’t rely on a backlight, and so don’t have to deal with blooming issues at all.

This results in a much more even looking picture quality.

However they also typically don’t get as bright as an LED TV would, especially with HDR content, so it’s really a tradeoff with both.



How Can You Test If Your TV Experiences Blooming?

But how do you know if your TV is experiencing blooming?

The easy way would be to play content you’re familiar with that has scenes where there’s a bright object or portion of the screen right next to a dark part of the screen, and pay attention to this area.

You can even pause it if you need to.

If you notice that the darker portion looks like it gets brighter when the lighter element is introduced, then it’s likely you are experiencing blooming.

Now this can be to varying degrees since every TV is different, and every person is different.

Some may be more sensitive to it than others, and some TVs may show the effects of it a lot more than others.

Which leads us to the original question..


How Can You Reduce Blooming?

How exactly can you reduce blooming on your television?

Well there’s 2 ways to do this, but keep in mind that how much of an impact or affect they’ll actually have isn’t known since every TV is different.

But the first, which can have an immediate effect is turning down the backlight in your settings.

Like previously mentioned, when this is set too high it can cause light bleed, and this can then lead to display issues.

Since lighting conditions will be different in every room, there really isn’t 1 best setting for this.

However I’ve personally found that turning down your backlight to about about half and working from there is a pretty good start.

The other way you can reduce blooming is adjusting your local dimming settings.

While local dimming technically can help to get a better contrast ratio, it also makes the difference between lighter and darker elements on screen greater which can cause blooming if the TV doesn’t have an adequate number of led zones.

So by lowering this setting you can help to mitigate this.

Though keep in mind when doing this, you might lose some dynamism in the image due to higher black levels.

You could also try to adjust the gamma by making that brighter or darker too — but white balance and image gradation could be thrown off balance if heightened or lowered too much.

So with that said there’s pros and cons to each way which really highlights the overall issue.

Blooming is an issue that inevitably all LED TVs face due to their very design — it’s just that some are much better at dealing with it than others.

Mini LED TVs and Micro LED TVs greatly minimize this issue, but they haven’t been widely adopted quite yet.

So if you find that you experience blooming, you can try the 2 methods mentioned — or even replace the TV entirely if it’s something that’s very noticeable.

Just know that with LED TVs, blooming is something that all of them will experience to some degree.

Now whether it’s actually noticeable though is something will certainly vary.


Final Thoughts

Hopefully this offered some clarification on ways you can reduce blooming at least somewhat, since it really isn’t possible to get rid of it entirely with LCD based televisions.

That’s definitely one of a few areas where OLED TVS do have an advantage, but there’s benefits to both technologies honestly.

But with that, that about does it for this one.

Until next time, make it easy, keep it simple!


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