What are the different TV picture modes and what do they mean?

Cause one mode can't do it all...

What are the different TV picture modes and what do they mean?

Table of Contents

The idiot box (read: TV) has now become a smart TV with settings that some might find difficult to navigate without a map. One of those paths will lead you to a treasure trove called ‘picture modes’. Read on to find out why TVs have a section called picture modes, what each of them means, and how they can make or break your viewing experience.

What are picture modes on TV?

What filters are to Instagram and Snapchat, picture modes are to a television. They are different presets that automatically adjust multiple aspects like colour temperature, backlight, and contrast of your television’s display. Depending on your TV brand and model, the names and number of picture modes may vary, but broadly speaking there are five picture modes on a TV:


It is the default, out-of-the box setting that is suitable for most viewing environments. If you’ve never heard of picture modes before, chances are your smart TV is already on the standard mode.

Dynamic or Vivid

Just as the name suggests, this mode makes your visuals brighter, and sharper but less colour accurate. This mode is recommended only if you can’t see the screen because of ambient glare or light.


For most TVs, the cinema or movie mode will generally show you visuals that are closest to what the filmmaker or content creator intended. At first, this mode may seem dimmer, softer, or redder because we’re used to seeing sharpened and brightened visuals. However, in a few days, you’ll come to appreciate the film-like appearance offered in this mode.


In this mode, not only do the visuals get brighter and more vivid, but the fast movements look a little smoother too. While this mode is perfect to watch sporting events, the motion smoothening can hinder the visual experience of a movie or a video game.


If you game on your smart TV, opting for the game mode is the best decision you’ll make. It basically cuts out unnecessary video processing features like motion smoothening to reduce lag and increases colours and contrast to make graphics vivid.

So, the next time you are having a movie marathon or a console gaming session, don’t forget to switch your TV to the best-suited mode to make the most out of your fun time.

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