So you’ve chosen a new OLED TV, the cream of the crop of television options. It doesn’t matter if you own one of LG’s new CX TVs, Sony’s Master series, or even an old or used OLED. Your screen will continue to look much better than the vast majority of LCD equipment, with unmatched black levels and astonishing contrast. But even if you have one of the best displays, there are always some updates you can still make.
Tune your settings correctly with a calibration disk
While most TVs have a useful variety of preset picture settings, they still need to fit your living space. A useful way to tweak all of those settings is with a calibration disc, like Spear & Munsil’s HD Benchmark Blu-ray. It will walk you through everything you need to do to ensure you get the best possible image, while avoiding mistakes like losing details in extremely bright and dark scenes. If you are lucky enough to have a 4K Blu-ray player or game console with one of those units, choose the updated UHD version from the Spear & Munsil benchmarks, which also helps you adjust your HDR settings.
If you want the best possible image quality, you can always hire a professional to calibrate your equipment. But from my experience and from what I have learned from television experts, that tends to be too much for most people. Spending an hour or two with a calibration disc will mostly give you the quality improvement you want.
Buy UHD Benchmark on Amazon – $ 40
Go big with sound
I know this may seem obvious, but it still amazes me how often I need to remind people that their sound system is just as important as their shiny new TV. Now, I’m not saying you need to build a discreet Dolby Atmos home theater system (although that will certainly give you the best sound quality at home). You can still get a decent audio upgrade with a soundbar, even if you’re on a budget. At the most basic level, it will serve as a replacement for the weak speakers in your OLED TV. But modern sound bars can also serve as the centerpiece for a wireless surround sound system, and many also include support for Dolby Atmos audio, which can simulate sound from the ceiling.
Our 2019 soundbar guide picks still hold up: Vizio’s SB362An-F6 is still a solid option under $ 100. And if your goal is something a little more immersive, consider the M-series line of the company, which starts with a more capable all-in-one soundbar. You can also upgrade to the $ 350 M-series wireless surround sound system, which includes two rear satellites and a separate subwoofer. And if you want superior Vizio quality, there’s the $ 1,000 Elevate soundbar, which you can rotate to produce Dolby Atmos and DTS: X audio from above.
Buy Vizio 2.1 M-Series on Amazon – $ 122 Buy Vizio Elevate Soundbar on Amazon – $ 1,000
If you don’t like Vizio for whatever reason, the Sonos family of products is also worth considering, especially if you already have a few Sonos speakers. The $ 399 Beam is still a capable mid-range option, and then you can add other Sonos hardware to transform it into a true surround sound system. On the higher end, there’s the $ 799 Arc, which offers a much bigger sound with Dolby Atmos support.
Buy Sonos Beam on Amazon – $ 399 Buy Arc on Sonos – $ 799
Switch it on
The best thing about OLED displays is that they offer almost infinite amounts of contrast. But a major downside to any modern TV is that they are often too bright to comfortably view at night without turning things down a bit. That’s where polarizing lighting comes in – it encompasses any type of lighting that is placed behind your TV to provide ambient light. Spreading your living room lighting a bit can help reduce eye strain from looking at a bright screen.
You can do this with any old lamp, but for a more balanced option, consider something like Nexilumi’s LED strip light, which offers application-based control and a variety of color options. And if you own Philips Hue smart lights, you should consider the Ambiance LightStrip Plus. The Hue lights can also work with the company’s HDMI box, which can sync its lighting with the images on your television. It’s a trippy, immersive upgrade, but it’ll cost you $ 230.
Buy Nexilumi Light Strip on Amazon – $ 27 Buy Hue LightStrip Plus on Amazon – $ 80 Buy Hue Play HDMI Box on Philips – $ 230
Other hardware worth considering
Headphones are essential for night viewing. Our guide to wireless headphones can help you get started, although you should be able to connect some Bluetooth headphones to your TV easily.
It may seem like an exaggeration, but if you want to watch the best quality 4K content on your OLED, you have to get a 4K Blu-ray player. 4K discs forever they look better than 4K streams, plus most players will upscale your older Blu-rays and DVDs than your TV. You can play 4K Blu-rays on modern game consoles too, but I’ve found those interfaces much more annoying to navigate.