Optimizing Your Gaming Experience: Xbox Series X Best TV Settings
Are you ready to take your gaming experience to the next level with the Xbox Series X|S? Then it's time to unlock the full potential of your console by ensuring you have the best TV settings. In this comprehensive guide, we'll show you how to connect your TV to the Xbox Series X|S and optimize your gaming experience with the perfect picture and sound. From selecting the right HDMI cable to calibrating your TV's settings, we've got you covered. Get ready to dive into a world of immersive gaming with our expert tips on Xbox Series X best TV settings.
How to Connect TV to Xbox Series X|S
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Before you can adjust the picture quality on your Xbox or TV, you need to connect your TV to your Xbox Series X|S console. It's a simple process: plug one end of the HDMI cable that comes with the console into the Xbox's HDMI Out port, and the other end into an HDMI In port on your TV. However, if you want the best experience, there are a few more things to consider.
The Xbox Series X|S has an advanced HDMI 2.1 port, and for your console to reach its full potential, your TV needs to have a corresponding HDMI 2.1 port. This is important for features like higher resolutions, faster refresh rates, dynamic HDR, and visual enhancements. Not every TV has HDMI 2.1, so check your TV's documentation to see if it supports this feature. If it does, connect your Xbox to your TV's HDMI 2.1 port.
If your TV doesn't have HDMI 2.1, don't worry. HDMI ports are compatible with each other, so your Xbox Series X|S will still work with your TV. Connect your console to the HDMI port on your TV that is most capable. Your Xbox will automatically detect and adjust to what your TV can handle.
Some devices with HDMI ports also support HDMI-CEC, which improves communication between connected devices. Check if your TV supports HDMI-CEC and which ports use this feature. Connecting to the newest HDMI port on your Xbox Series X|S can often give you the benefits of HDMI-CEC. Keep in mind that HDMI-CEC support varies between TVs and may be disabled by default.
HDMI ports that support gaming features differ depending on the console. If you have an Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or PlayStation 5, make sure you use a gaming-compatible HDMI port on your TV. Some TVs only support gaming features on specific HDMI ports, so check your TV's manual or do some online research.
To enable certain features for the selected HDMI port, check your TV's settings menus. Look for options related to video settings or input menus. Each TV brand may have a slightly different interface, so consult your TV's manual for specific instructions.
Using the correct HDMI cable is important. While most HDMI cables will work fine, newer consoles and higher resolutions may require an Ultra High Speed HDMI cable. These cables have a higher bandwidth and can transmit higher resolutions and refresh rates, along with HDR formats. If your console comes with an HDMI cable, it's usually best to use that. But if you need a longer cable or want to upgrade, look for Ultra High Speed HDMI cables.
It's also helpful to know the capabilities of your TV when setting up your Xbox Series X|S. The Settings app on your console provides a summary of your TV's capabilities. It shows resolutions, refresh rates, HDR support, media playback, and game capture compatibility. A green checkmark means your TV supports the features, a red cross means it doesn't, and yellow triangles indicate potential issues that can often be resolved by ensuring proper communication between your TV and Xbox.
Troubleshooting TV issues with your Xbox console is important for a smooth gaming experience. Xbox consoles aim to automatically connect and set up your TV, but sometimes issues arise. You can find a guide on fixing common display issues, including black screens and stuttering, to help troubleshoot any problems. The Xbox Assist app also provides guides and troubleshooters to assist with TV setup and resolution. Access it through the "TV & display options" menu.
If you're looking for the best TV to pair with your Xbox Series X|S, there are several options. The LG C1 OLED is highly recommended, boasting impeccable image quality, an HDMI 2.1 port, support for variable refresh rate, and more. It's a premium option, but there are more affordable TVs available that still deliver great gaming experiences. Check out the list of the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X|S for more options.
If you want to use voice commands with your Xbox Series X, you can connect it to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Enable the Digital Assistants setting in the Xbox Settings menu to use voice commands. Follow the instructions for either Google Assistant or Alexa to set up voice control.
For Xbox Series S consoles, HDMI 2.1 is necessary to fully exploit their capabilities. However, the console comes with an HDMI 2.0 cable because it doesn't always utilize HDMI 2.1 to its fullest potential. Using an HDMI 2.1 cable with the Xbox Series S can still offer a better experience, as it supports features like 4K at 120Hz, dynamic HDR, and auto-low latency mode. The HDMI 2.0 cable included in the box is sufficient for most players.
Calibrating your TV settings is important for optimal gaming. The Xbox OS provides a built-in guide to calibrate your TV. Access it through the "Calibrate TV" option in the "TV & display options" menu. Additionally, make sure to choose the right picture profile, adjust picture settings, configure brightness, and disable enhancement features. Aspect ratio settings may also need adjustments depending on your TV.
For the best gaming experience on newer consoles, aim for a 4K resolution and a high FPS (Frames Per Second) rate. 4K resolution provides incredible visual detail, and a high FPS rate ensures smooth motion on the screen. Most modern consoles demand 4K and 120 FPS, but even 60 FPS on a 60Hz display can provide a great gaming experience.
Ensure your TV is set to UHD color or "deep color" to see HDR video. Newer TVs may automatically detect HDR-capable devices and prompt you to set the input to UHD color. If your TV doesn't prompt you, check your TV's settings menu to enable UHD color.
Following these steps will help you achieve the best possible gaming experience on your Xbox Series X|S console.
Anyone who has tried to play a Game Boy Color in the dark knows the importance of backlighting. Backlighting is a feature that brightens the screen from within the device itself. It's one of the best TV settings for gaming because backlit screens reduce glare and eye strain.
Be mindful when researching this feature if you're aiming for a new TV because the backlight can also describe hue lighting displaying your screen's primary color palette on the wall behind your TV.
Most modern TVs have this feature equipped, but an older TV may have it in the settings, waiting for you to turn it on. If the feature is present, you should switch off auto-backlighting and manually change the backlight brightness to the desired range.
MotionFlow And TrueCinema
MotionFlow and TrueCinema, usually found on Sony TVs, will keep the frame rate onscreen locked. While this feature can make older movies and shows look prettier, it can be detrimental to gameplay.
In general, frame-rate locking options are not the best TV settings for gaming. Yes, locking the frame rate may make the game look a little more visually consistent, but it can also hinder the performance of online multiplayer games. MotionFlow and TrueCinema can and will make your game lag.
Unlike what the name suggests, Noise Reduction has nothing to do with audio settings. Instead, it makes the image less "noisy" by removing some details to make it look a little better.
While this is useful if you are trying to play something in Standard Definition, such as older games or films, noise reduction is not the best TV setting for PS5 gaming and other next-gen consoles. It's best left off whenever possible to keep the picture looking the best it possibly can.
Super Resolution, usually found on LG OLED TVs, fills in the pixel gaps when the image is being displayed at a lower resolution than the maximum possible (i.e., when a TV that has the potential to display in 4K displays in 1080p instead). This makes the image look better but at the cost of input and image latency.
In general, this will only affect much older games. However, Super Resolution is not the best TV setting for gaming online since it can negatively impact image quality and performance in online multiplayer. So, if you play those types of games frequently, turn the Super Resolution setting off.
Although they weren't around until the era of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, most modern consoles will have their own internal picture and audio settings to facilitate the TV they are being played on. Usually, these settings depend upon the TV being used, so the potential range of customization will vary.
Console settings can also ensure that the projected image is at the same maximum quality as the TV can handle, which is necessary if you are using an Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 on a much older TV that may not support high-definition pictures. Furthermore, internal picture and audio options often provide the best TV settings for gaming on dated televisions.
The PS5's console settings allow for a wide breadth of HDR (High-Dynamic Range) customization. On initial use, the console will walk you through the settings, but they can be altered at any time thereafter. One of its most intriguing features is the submenu, accessed in-game via the PS button in the center of the controller, which allows you to adjust on the go. If you don't like the settings in that submenu, change them out for the options you feel best suits your needs.
Xbox Series X
Much like the PS5, the Xbox Series X will take you through most of its settings on initial use. That being said, the Series X offers more options than you can cover in one entry. So, broadly, we recommend reading up on it before choosing the best TV settings for gaming on Xbox Series X.
We recommend getting a TV with an HDMI 2.1 port (it's essentially Microsoft's lightning cable). That's the only way to fully access the spectrum of visual customization available to Xbox owners.
Carrying on console features unique to the specific system, the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S both have sound settings that make the experience more cinematic and enjoyable. In addition to making the most out of a TV, surround sound system, or a headset for even better immersion.
The PlayStation 5 has Sony's exclusive 3D audio. It works well with the standard built-in TV speakers, sound bars, and surround sound systems. However, it works well with a good set of headphones, whether using the Sony's own PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, or a headset by Turtle Beach, the PS5's 3D audio is wonderfully immersive on games like Horizon Forbidden West and Marvel's Spider-Man. Additionally, you can change the sound settings to Dolby Digital or DTS under the Audio Output menu.
Xbox Series X|S
The Xbox Series X|S has more flexibility in its sound options, but the best ones come at a price. It lacks the built-in feature of 3D audio but has stereo uncompressed as the default option. If you want something that will give the best sound experience, you should download the DTS or the Dolby Atmos apps. Both apps provide a significant performance boost through a headset.
Like the PS5's 3D audio, the headset will use a virtual surround experience that's light years ahead of the default option. Of course, if you have a Dolby Atmos soundbar, surround system, or a DTS setup, the Xbox will take advantage of that. The downside is that DTS and Dolby Atmos require a one-off payment to activate them after a free trial. If you only want it for the headphones, the free trial will allow you to test both and see which audio system works better. However, Dolby Access has more headset-specific features to play around with in the settings menu.
HDR And Dolby Vision
Many modern 4K TV sets now come with HDR and Dolby Vision, either individually or together. HDR, or High Dynamic Range, takes advantage of modern displays capable of producing brighter whites, darker blacks, and more details in the gray, giving a more pleasing image to the eye.
Dolby Vision is similar to HDR, but it gives the game developers control over how the contrast is adjusted on a scene-by-scene basis. Some TVs come with a light and dark setting for HDR and Dolby Vision, but your preference would depend on how well-lit your room is. Unfortunately, for PS5 users - HDR is more than sufficient - only the Xbox Series X|S has a Dolby Vision feature and, like Dolby Atmos, requires the Dolby Access app and a one-off payment to activate it.
Additional TV modes
Got a Sony TV? Make sure the HDMI input you use for your game console has Sony’s enhanced HDR feature turned on. To do this, click the TV’s Settings icon, external inputs in the TV category, then select HDMI signal format and set to Enhanced format.
Other TVs, like LG’s OLED series, have a PC mode setting that enables support for 12-bit color. If you buy a PlayStation 5, this isn’t going to be very helpful as that console (for the time being) does not support 12-bit formats like Dolby Vision. But Microsoft’s Xbox Series X has both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support for movies and games. By enabling 12-bit color on your TV, you’ll get to see every possible color this console can produce — even if, for now, there isn’t much content that takes advantage of 12-bit color.
Adjust your TV’s picture settings
Switching to game mode will reduce input lag and turn off a bunch of picture processing, but you may find you get better overall picture quality by adjusting a few elements.
Try adjusting the color temperature in your TV’s game picture mode. For the most accurate picture, a warmer color temperature is preferred. This will shift the images away from the blue side of the color spectrum and a little more toward the yellow side. This is most easily visible in bright whites and some feel the warmer color temperature is easier on the eyes. Still, some find cooler color temperatures to be more vivid, so go with your preference. The key is to cycle through available options in your picture settings menu and find what you like best.
Another setting worth adjusting is the backlight (OLED light setting in OLED TVs). Move it up or down to suit your viewing environment. In most cases, the game picture preset will max out this setting, but if you game in a dark room, you may find the TV to be a little too bright. Toning this setting down a small amount can increase comfort, but should not dramatically affect contrast.
It is not advisable to adjust the brightness or contrast settings since these are usually calibrated to deliver the best balance of HDR highlights and shadow details.
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Stay in sync
The Xbox Series X gives you the option of using AMD’s FreeSync 2 technology if your TV happens to be compatible with this variable refresh rate (VRR) feature. But if you choose to enable it, keep in mind that it automatically disables Dolby Vision.
If you’d prefer not to keep messing with settings in order to get Dolby Vision to come back when you want it, you could simply opt to use HDMI VRR instead. As long as your TV supports HDMI 2.1 (which more and more new TVs do), performance should be about the same, and Dolby Vision can stay active.
However, as good as HDMI VRR is, some games can end up getting bogged down, producing frame rates that are beneath HDMI VRR’s range. Should this happen, it may be worth turning FreeSync 2 back on for its low frame rate compensation feature (LFC), as this can help smooth out the bumps.
Leave the lag behind with game modes
Newer TVs feature something called auto low-latency mode (ALLM), while older TVs simply have a game mode that can be engaged. Either way, if you want to avoid input lag — a delay between when you press a button on your controller and when the corresponding action shows up on the screen — you need to make sure your TV is set for gaming.
ALLM and game mode both accomplish the same thing: They turn off almost all picture processing so that there’s nothing getting in the way of your console’s video signal from showing up on the TV’s screen ASAP.
Adjust your console’s HDR settings
Once your TV is in game mode (or you have an ALLM-capable TV), it’s time to tweak your console’s HDR settings. While not mandatory, it’s a recommended step to make sure that your on-screen images aren’t losing critical details that HDR can sometimes obscure (see “What about HGIG?” below).
Step 1: For the PlayStation 5: Go to Settings > Screen and Video > Video Output > Adjust HDR. It will take you through a simple three-step procedure to optimize the HDR output for your TV.
Step 2: For the Xbox Series X: it’s a similar process, which is handled by the HDR Game Calibration app. To access it, press the Xbox button > Profile & System > Settings > General > TV & Display Options > Calibrate HDR for Games*.
One thing to keep in mind is that, depending on your TV and its native capabilities, you may not see a huge difference before and after adjusting these settings. It’s also worth noting that these tweaks are not a guarantee of perfect HDR performance. Some games — especially older ones — do not play nicely with the recommended HDR color space specs (called rec BT.2020 should you want to explore that further). In these cases, you may need to go back into your TV’s picture settings and continue to tweak things like color, brightness, and contrast to get the best results.
Customize the capture button
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In the Settings menu, scroll down to Preferences and select Capture & Share. In this menu, you can customize what the Capture button does on your Xbox Series X controller, as well as the resolution and duration of your captures. The key settings here are the three bottom ones: Automatically Upload, Game Clip Resolution, and Capture Location.
By default, the Xbox Series X will automatically upload screenshots you take to Xbox Live. You can turn this off, or you can choose to allow games to upload screenshots in addition to the ones you take. Game Clip Resolution is set to 1080p SDR by default with a one-minute record time. We recommend bumping the setting up to 4K HDR, which has a 30-second limit. Anything beyond that, and you’ll need a capture card.
Finally, Capture Location is set to the Xbox’s internal storage by default, and even with an external hard drive connected, you can’t change this setting right away. If you have any games installed on your external hard drive, you’ll need a different one for captures. The Xbox Series X requires a certain file system — a term that describes how devices read data off of storage — so you’ll need an external drive dedicated solely to captures.
Get a high-bandwidth HDMI cable
If you plan on gaming at 4K, we recommend connecting your console to your TV with an HDMI 2.1 cable that features a bandwidth of 48Gbps.
The cables that come with your Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5 are well-equipped to handle all of these consoles’ impressive features, but should you need a replacement or have a more complex setup that involves plugging your console directly into an A/V receiver or Dolby Atmos soundbar first rather than your TV, it’s important that you buy the right HDMI cable for the job.
Be on the lookout for cables that not only offer full HDMI 2.1 support but mention “high-bandwidth” capability at 48Gbps. “4K/120Hz” and “8K/60Hz” are also signifiers that an HDMI cable is a good fit for next-gen gaming, as both of these features are only attainable with cables that offer adequate bandwidth.
We’ve already tested plenty in our roundup of the best HDMI cables you can buy.
Enable HDR color on your gaming input
Setting your HDMI input to its expanded color setting will improve color production.
Not all HDR TVs will automatically adjust an HDMI input’s settings when an HDR-supporting device is connected—in many cases, this is a step you’ll have to take yourself.
Usually, this switch is located in a settings menu that handles individual HDMI inputs. For example, if you’ve connected an Xbox Series X to HDMI 1, you’ll probably have to enable HDR color via a settings menu for HDMI 1.
There are many different names for it: “HDR Color,” “UHD Color,” “Wide Color,” or “UHD Deep Color." Whatever it's called, this setting will enable 10-bit color depth for whichever device is connected to that particular HDMI port. Activating this setting will make the most out of games that support HDR.
If you can’t find such a setting in your TV’s submenus, there’s a way to check if HDR color is enabled through your console’s settings, too—which leads us to our next section.
Enable and Adjust HDR Functionality on Your Console
The "TV & Display Options" menu on your Xbox can provide information about the capabilities of your TV.
The Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PlayStation 5 all have menus that allow users to view and adjust display settings based on their TV's capabilities.
To access this menu on Xbox, open the "Settings" menu from the dashboard, go to the "General" tab, and navigate to "TV & Display Options." Here, you can check if your Xbox is outputting 4K resolution, enable HDR if it's not already enabled, and adjust the console's HDR settings. The "4K TV Details" tab will show you the specific features and display settings supported by your TV.
PlayStation owners can find a similar menu in the console's "Settings" menu under the "Screen and Video" tab. The "Video Output Information" option will display the display features supported by your TV.
The "Screen and Video" menu on the PS5 allows you to adjust your console's display settings.
From the "Screen and Video" tab on PlayStation, you can enable or disable HDR and select the "On When Supported" option to ensure the console doesn't affect picture quality in games that don't support HDR. You can also adjust HDR settings manually by selecting "Adjust HDR."
Switch Your TV to Game Mode and Turn off Motion Enhancement Settings
Game Mode, designed for use with video games, is a feature available on most modern TVs. It enhances gaming performance by turning off motion-smoothing modes, increasing brightness, and color saturation. TVs with Auto Low Latency Mode will automatically enable Game Mode when a gaming console is detected.
Switching your TV to Game Mode can improve the gaming experience.
If your TV's Game Mode doesn't automatically disable motion smoothing, it's recommended to turn it off manually for the input your console uses. This can usually be done in the TV's display settings under options like "Clarity," "Motion," or "Motion Smoothing."
Dynamic Contrast, also known as Contrast Enhance, optimizes the darkest blacks and brightest whites in real-time. While it can make the picture more vibrant, it sacrifices visual detail.
For gaming with optimization in mind, it's best to leave Dynamic Contrast off. However, for games with stylized animation, it may be fine to keep it on.
Many games have a Brightness Setting that allows you to balance your TV's capabilities with the developer's intentions.
A good starting point for the best TV brightness setting for gaming is around fifty percent. However, personal preferences and the game's aesthetic may warrant adjustments.
Adjusting the Color Settings is an easy way to optimize your TV settings for gaming. The specific adjustments depend on your TV and gaming needs.
Here are some quick tips for the best TV color settings for gaming:
- Set Sharpness to zero percent to avoid a halo effect
- Set the color setting to 50 percent to avoid filters built into games
- Tweak the Tint (G/R) setting to find the best color saturation, typically around the middle of Green and Red
Knowing Your TV
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By accessing the "TV details" section in the Xbox menu, you can learn about your TV's capabilities, troubleshoot issues, and configure settings accordingly.
Adjust Your Startup and Power Mode
In the "Power Mode & Startup" section of the Xbox settings, you can customize your console's power settings.
Set the automatic power-off time to your preference, choose whether to have the startup chime on, and select the desired power mode (Instant-On or Energy-Saving).
Additionally, you can configure settings related to waking the Xbox with voice commands and turning off storage when the console is off.
Set Your Install and Capture Locations
The Xbox Series X allows you to manage storage by choosing where to install games and save captures.
While Series X games should be installed on the internal storage for optimal performance, you can install other games on external storage to free up space. You can also save captures to external storage.
Access the "Storage" section in the settings menu to assign your preferred storage device for installations and captures.
Enable Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) on Your TV
Variable refresh rate (VRR) is a feature that can enhance gaming quality on Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 consoles. It is most commonly found on newer TVs with a native 120Hz refresh rate. VRR provides two key benefits:
- Reduces screen tearing and ghosting in games with fluctuating framerates
- Reduces input lag
Enabling VRR can improve your overall gaming experience. However, not all TVs support this feature, especially older models. Check your TV's specifications or settings to determine if VRR is available.
Use Gaming Mode for Optimal Performance
Gaming Mode is a must-have for serious console gamers. It disables unnecessary settings that can slow down response time, increase controller input lag, and cause image ghosting. Philips TVs, LG models, and many others offer this feature.
Enabling Gaming Mode can optimize your TV for gaming.
If your TV doesn't have a specific Gaming Mode setting, utilizing the "Movie" or "Sport" options can provide a similar experience.
Enable Dolby Atmos for Enhanced Sound (Xbox Only)
If your TV supports it, enabling Dolby Atmos can provide a more immersive gaming experience. Dolby Atmos uses three-dimensional sound to accurately position audio effects and dialog within the physical space, enhancing the realism of games and movies.
To enable Dolby Atmos on your Xbox console:
- Press the Xbox button on your controller and go to Settings > All Settings > Sound & Display > Audio Output > Spatial Sound
- Toggle Dolby Atmos on or off as needed
Use HDMI-CEC or HDMI eARC for Simplified Control
HDMI-CEC and HDMI eARC are features that allow your TV's remote to control your console and other connected devices. They enable audio and input information to transfer through a single cable.
These features can simplify control and allow for automatic TV and console syncing. Consult your TV's manual to locate and adjust these settings.
Customize Your Home Screen
You can customize your Xbox Series X home screen to your liking.
Press the "Change View" button on the home screen to access the customization menu. From there, you can delete unwanted apps and arrange the layout of your home screen. Adding Game Pass, the Microsoft Store, and your favorite games is recommended. Keep in mind that deleting apps from the home screen does not uninstall them from your console.
Game Mode, found on most modern TVs, optimizes picture settings to reduce input and image latency, improving the gaming experience.
This setting is particularly beneficial for online first-person shooter or fighting games that require fast input reflexes. However, not all TVs have a dedicated Game Mode setting. If your TV lacks this feature, using the "Movie" or "Sport" options can provide a similar experience.
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In the Xbox settings, under "TV & Display Options," you can access basic settings to customize your TV experience. The "Resolution" and "Refresh rate" menus allow you to adjust display settings based on your TV's capabilities. It's recommended to set both to the highest values supported by your TV.
Bear in mind that some TVs may not support the highest resolution and refresh rate simultaneously. Certain games may also have limitations on HDR and Dolby Vision at higher resolutions and refresh rates. Consult the "TV details" section for information specific to your TV.
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The "Device control" and "Night mode" menus provide additional options for controlling your Xbox experience. "Device control" allows you to enable HDMI-CEC controls if supported by your TV, while "Night mode" enables you to adjust the display's blue light and overall brightness. You can also customize your Xbox's theme from this menu.
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If you want to further fine-tune your display settings on your Xbox, there are additional options and settings available to help you achieve your desired outcome. To access these options, go to the General section in Settings and select "TV & display options." From there, you'll find an "Advanced" section that includes the "Video modes" and "Video fidelity & overscan" options. These sections offer various settings for players who want more control over their display.
In the "Video modes" section, there are up to 10 options, each controlling a different display feature. By default, it's recommended to enable all options that your TV supports. However, you can toggle these settings to match your preferences or troubleshoot any issues. Here are some of the options available:
- Allow lower refresh rate content: This option allows your TV to switch to a 50Hz or 24Hz refresh rate to match the displayed content. This can be beneficial for movies and other media.
- Allow auto low-latency modes: Some TVs have a low-latency mode designed for gaming, which may disable certain display features to prioritize fast response times. This setting allows you to enable or disable this mode automatically.
- Allow variable refresh rate (VRR): Certain TVs can dynamically adjust their refresh rate to match the content on the screen. This can reduce screen tearing and improve responsiveness in games.
- Allow YCC 4:2:2: This setting can improve compatibility for older or more affordable 4K displays by compressing content. It's usually best to leave it off unless you encounter issues with accessing 4K content.
- Allow 4K: This option allows 4K content to be displayed on your TV. It's essential to have this enabled if your Xbox's resolution is set to 4K.
- Allow HDR: This setting relates to various HDR features. HDR enhances colors and contrast, and not all TVs support it. There are different HDR standards, including HDR10 and Dolby Vision, each with different requirements. You can enable or disable these standards based on your TV's capabilities.
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In the "Video fidelity & overscan" section, there are additional options for configuring your TV when connected to the Xbox Series X|S. These options include:
- Color depth: This option determines the number of colors your Xbox can output to the display. Higher color depth can improve image quality and contrast.
- Color space: This option determines how color information is sent from your Xbox to your TV. The "Standard" option is commonly used, while "PC RGB" offers more color options but may not be supported by all TVs.
- Overscan border: This option is useful for older TVs or monitors that may cut off the edges of apps. It adds a border around the edges to prevent cutting off content.
What are the best TV settings to use with Xbox Series X|S?
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The settings on your Xbox Series X|S console already provide a lot of control over how games and media content are displayed on your TV. However, there are additional settings you can adjust on both your Xbox and TV to optimize your experience. By customizing your settings, you can achieve the best possible visuals and performance on your Xbox Series X|S.
Here's what you need to know about configuring your TV settings for use with Xbox Series X|S.
Turn on HDMI-CEC
In the TV & Display Options menu (found by going to Settings > General > TV & Display Options), select Device Control. Here, you can enable HDMI-CEC, which allows your Xbox to control your TV and sound setup using a single remote. Make sure your TV has an HDMI port that supports HDMI-CEC and that your Xbox is connected to that port.
Once HDMI-CEC is enabled, you'll have four additional options. We recommend enabling "Console Turns on Other Devices" and "Console Turns Off Other Devices." With these options checked, your TV and sound system will power on or off along with your Xbox. You can also enable "Console Sends Volume Commands" if you have a media remote, which allows you to control the volume using your Xbox controller.
The "Other Devices Can Turn Console Off" option ensures that all HDMI-CEC devices follow the same power state, meaning turning off your TV would also turn off your Xbox. It's recommended to leave this option off to avoid any unnecessary shutdowns.
After configuring the best TV picture settings for gaming, you should also consider audio, accessibility, and other quality-of-life settings. One important setting to check is "HDMI Device Link." This option allows you to control compatible devices using your TV's remote through the HDMI connection. You can access this option in your console's internal settings or the TV's system settings.
One advantage of HDMI Link is that your console and TV will turn on simultaneously. If you switch from one console to another, the TV will automatically change inputs to match the active platform.
Additionally, HDMI Link is a useful TV setting for PS5, as it allows you to control menus and streaming apps without using your DualSense controller. This can help conserve battery life for gaming.
NEXT: Best Gaming TVs
Check all compatible settings on your console
After connecting all your devices, it's essential to check the compatibility menus on your Xbox Series X|S or PlayStation 5. These menus show which features are active and may require further adjustments.
On Xbox Series X|S:
- Go to Settings > General > TV & Display Options to access various visual features. The 4K TV Details menu provides a summary of your TV's supported features.
- Under Settings > General, you'll find Volume & Audio Support Options. Here, you can enable or disable Dolby Atmos and other audio features. Use the Audio Testing & Details menu to ensure everything is working correctly.
On PlayStation 5:
- Navigate to Settings > Screen & Video > Video Output. Here, you can adjust various video-specific settings and view the console's recognition of HDR, VRR, and 120Hz support.
- For audio settings, go to Settings > Audio Output > Enable 3D Audio for TV Speakers. Although PS5 doesn't support Dolby Atmos, this feature enhances sound quality for home theater systems or soundbars with multiple audio channels.
If you encounter any caution messages, read them thoroughly to identify the issue. Some issues may be due to improper settings on your TV, console, or audio system, while others may require changes in hardware. Start by checking the software settings before considering additional purchases.
Use your controller to sign in
The Xbox Series X allows you to automatically sign in to your account using your controller. In the Settings menu, go to Account > Sign-In, Security & Passkey. Here, you can customize your sign-in preferences, such as requiring a passcode each time you boot up the console or only when making purchases.
By default, instant sign-in is enabled, meaning your main account will automatically sign in if you don't require a passcode. You can change this setting to enable instant sign-in with a specific controller by turning on the "This Controller Signs In" option. If you have multiple controllers and users, you can assign each account to a controller, providing both security and convenience.
Terms to know for gaming with the new Xbox Series X and PS5 consoles
- 4K resolution: Most new video games will feature a native 4K resolution, which offers sharper and more detailed visuals. If you haven't upgraded to a 4K TV yet, consider investing in one for the best gaming experience. Not all 4K TVs offer the same level of performance, especially regarding HDR support.
- High Dynamic Range (HDR): HDR is a video format that enhances brightness and color saturation for TV shows, movies, and video games. It takes advantage of HDR-compatible TVs to deliver more vibrant and realistic visuals. To fully enjoy HDR gaming, consider purchasing a TV with mid-range or high-end performance.
- Refresh rate: The refresh rate refers to the number of times the TV's display refreshes per second. A higher refresh rate, such as 120Hz, allows for smoother motion and improved gaming experiences. Consider buying a TV with a native 120Hz refresh rate if you want to play games with higher frame rates.
- Variable Refresh Rate (VRR) and Auto Low Latency Mode (ALLM): VRR and ALLM are display features that ensure smooth and lag-free gaming experiences. VRR synchronizes the action on the TV screen with the video output from your console, reducing visual inconsistencies. ALLM automatically switches your TV to gaming mode when a gaming console's input is selected, providing low input lag without having to manually adjust settings.
- Dolby Atmos: Dolby Atmos is an advanced surround sound format that adds a height element to the audio mix. It offers a more immersive sound experience for gaming, movies, and TV shows. Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S support Dolby Atmos for gaming, Blu-rays, and streaming.
Prices mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publishing but may change over time.
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In conclusion, optimizing your TV settings for the Xbox Series X|S can greatly enhance your gaming experience. From choosing the right HDMI port and cable to calibrating your TV's resolution and color settings, there are numerous ways to ensure that you're getting the most out of your console. Additionally, utilizing features such as game mode, HDR, and Dolby Atmos can further elevate both your visuals and audio. By familiarizing yourself with your TV's capabilities and making a few adjustments, you can create a seamless and immersive gaming setup that truly showcases the power of the Xbox Series X|S. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into your favorite games and let the stunning graphics and incredible sound transport you to new dimensions of gaming bliss.
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