- The final season of “Game of Thrones” is nearly over.
- The latest season is the darkest one yet – intentionally so, as a reflection of the arrival of winter.
- If you’re having trouble viewing the show, there are a few simple things you can do to prepare your television for the best possible viewing experience.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After eight seasons of buildup, some of the most-anticipated moments in “Game of Thrones” are finally happening.
The show’s final season features some of the series’ most massive battles, sometimes set in the dead of night.
The show has a proclivity for nighttime scenes lit only by fire, and the third episode of the final season was one of the darkest in its history. But rather than struggling through the darkness, we’ve got a handful of TV tips to make your viewing experience a bit more easy to see:
1. The obvious stuff first: Turn down your ambient lighting (or turn it all the way off if possible).
There’s a good reason that all the lights are off when you go to the movie theatre: Because it makes the movie easier to see!
The same logic applies here.
Rather than keeping the kitchen light on so you’re able to easily grab snacks, maybe just bring the snacks to the table and shut off your lights for the duration of the episode.
2. Turn up the brightness on your screen (to an acceptable level).
It’s not just you: “Game of Thrones” has gotten intentionally darker as the seasons have progressed.
“In season seven, of course, winter is here,” Robert McLachlan, a cinematographer, told INSIDER in 2017. “In the past, we had the shutters open out of necessity for the day interior [scenes] in Winterfell or Castle Black or Eastwatch, so that some daylight could make its way in. That was your primary lighting source. There was this rule there that nobody in this world would burn candles in the daytime because they’re a luxury item, they’re far too expensive.”
By season eight, the show is at peak darkness – a reflection of the show’s world, where winter has arrived. This is especially true during the massive battle on episode three, “The Long Night.”
One simple solution: Turn up the brightness setting on your television. If nothing else, this will help with details in especially dark scenes.
Beware, of course, of going too crazy with the brightness – you risk completely washing out the image, and that’s no good for anyone.
3. Turn down the contrast setting on your TV.
Turning up your brightness will only get you so far – it’s contrast, which controls the disparity between white levels and black levels, that will help get you closer to something balanced. After turning up the brightness, head over to the contrast setting and turn it down.
Ideally, a balance of the two will help to make the entire scene brighter without getting too washed-out.
4. Test it with a previous episode before the show starts — preferably an episode from the current season.
The only way to find out how it’s all going to look is to test your tweaked settings against the show itself. But instead of trying to fiddle around with settings while the battle plays out, you should load up the second episode of season eight and use it as a measuring stick.
Maybe use a few especially dimly lit moments of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen talking in the Winterfell crypt, and contrast it with a brighter moment to see how washed-out the details are.
5. If all else fails, your TV likely has setting templates for different types of viewing — give them a shot!
Many TVs have a variety of preset viewing modes – Night Mode or Game Mode or Sports Mode – that do a bunch of the fine-tuning for you.
Sometimes they work out great, and sometimes they’re less great – they’re worth giving a shot regardless. If nothing else, these different modes aim to quickly demonstrate the spectrum of picture settings on your TV.
They are also, frankly, much easier than tweaking individual settings and trying to balance each. Unfortunately, that ease of use comes a lack of customisation – it’s a trade-off – but many TVs allow finer tuning after selecting a preset.
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