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Hello,

I have a question regarding using the sharpness setting on an LCD TV for when viewing low-quality, standard definition content.

When watching a video that’s in low resolution and looks quite soft, do any of you think that it is a good idea to raise the TV’s sharpness level, just to make the picture appear “sharper”? Surely it would be better than it looking soft?
 

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... When watching a video that’s in low resolution and looks quite soft, do any of you think that it is a good idea to raise the TV’s sharpness level, just to make the picture appear “sharper”? Surely it would be better than it looking soft?
I think it's a good idea to give it a try and (literally) see for yourself if it results in a better-looking image.
 

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Usually increasing sharpness increases harmful artifacts like halos around objects, stairstepping, moire, macroblocking, etc. As mentioned before, feel free to try. I found that in my optimization travels an appropriate setting for sharpness was almost always closer to 0-1 out of 10, rather than say 5 out of 10...
 

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As mentioned, sharpness is a tradeoff between blurred edges and unwanted artifacts. Increasing sharpness is most useful when the signal is delivered using analog NTSC signals such as analog cable or one of the few NTSC OTA signals still available. It basically compensates for things like poor video hardware or signals that soften the edges of objects. Almost all TV signals are now delivered digitally. That includes most standard definition 4:3 signals. Sharpness adjustment is not required for digital signals. It's usually best to leave it off or turned down to the lowest setting.

Unless the TV service is analog NTSC cable, the only other reason for using sharpness adjustment I can think of is if the TV is connected to a set top box using an RF or composite video cable. Even then it will have minimal effect. I suggest turning the sharpness down to minimum and slowly increasing for the best picture.
 
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