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 are there ways to handle it?

Let’s find out!

How To Reduce Blooming On Your TV

There’s a few things that may help blooming on your TV; you can turn down the backlight setting to about half. Or reducing the effect of the dimming setting itself – which may help blooming but may hamper the image depth affecting image quality. Blooming is an issue unique to LED TVs since they use a backlight whereas OLED does not.



What Is Blooming?

Blooming is basically when a portion of the screen that’s supposed to be dark in a particular scene is then lit up by a nearby object or element on screen that’s brighter — which can then cause the scene to lose a degree of visual dynamism that it may have originally had.

Basically the bright element will look like it has a relatively visible halo around it, that potentially may then permeate into other parts of the screen — which isn’t good since the uniformity of the image itself can be broken up

It can be a really distracting effect if you happen to notice it since it kind of takes away from what the scene should actually look like (though the degree to which it might be visible depends)

Not only this, but blooming can elevate black levels in that area which can directly impact image quality since that juxtaposition of light and dark that helps give the image depth tends to be diminished.

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 often 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 since like the name would suggest, it’s tasked with handling that particular part of the image.

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 which can help with the depth of the image.

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 from what I’ve seen that it is that that particular TV will have blooming issues (though like most things it depends)

The other reason LED based TVs might experience blooming though is that people might use them with things set too high in the TV for their room.

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 sometimes don’t get as bright as an LED TV would, especially with HDR content, so it’s really a tradeoff with both — but it depends on the particular capabilities of the TV too.



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 it’s difficult to say since you technically can’t change the panel itself to get rid of the issue.

That said, there are a few things you can do that might make it a little less perceptible, 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 in my opinion.

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

Another thing that might help with the image quality is adjusting the settings around the dimming feature if the TV has one to see what effect it might have on picture quality.

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 likely 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 from what I’ve noticed.

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

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


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