How to set up your TV for Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones is back. Swashbuckling action. Sprawling, mountainous scenery. Vast temples and castles. Exceptionally good-looking characters. But is your TV set up to get the best from it?

1.57 million people in the UK tuned in to watch the season 5 premiere of Game of Thrones. It is safe to say that season 5 is going to be one of the biggest things on TV this summer, so we have pulled together some tips, on making Westeros look and sound as good as possible.

Game Of Thrones Kings Landing

1) Are you in the right picture mode?

Your TV has lots of different picture modes, each of which optimises certain picture settings to create a particular effect. These modes can include Sports, Vivid, Dynamic, Cinema and Movie.

Movie is the one for watching Game of Thrones - here’s why:

  • Watch in the dark: Game of Thrones’ brooding landscapes, atmospheric sound-effects and colossal characters are best viewed in darkness. Movie mode is for low-light conditions.
  • As the director intended: Dramatic sights include King’s Landing and The Wall; Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons and the many duels of the Hound. See them as close to how the director intended.

Game Of Thrones Jon Snow

2) Have you tweaked your picture settings?

Game of Thrones is typified by its dark, shadowy scenes. Most of the scenes that take place at The Wall are dark and brooding. To see it at its best, you need to turn everything down a bit.   

  • Contrast ratio. Blacks are darker with a wide contrast ratio. Set your contrast ratio to about 65%
  • Sharpness. When this is turned up it creates an artificial edge to the picture. This should be set to minimal 
  • Backlight. If you have an LED TV you can control its brightness by tweaking the backlight. It should be set at about 50% for a more natural, detailed picture

Braavos Game Of Thrones

3) Switch off additional features

When watching fast-moving sport like football or basketball your TV has some special features to keep the action running smoothly and free of blur.

Features such as MotionFlow, CineMotion, TrueMotion or CineSpeed.

But when watching Game of Thrones or another big-budget TV programme it can make the picture seem less natural, creating a dreamy effect. It’s best to switch it off.

Dragon Game Of Thrones

4) Feel as though you’re in the middle of the action

Swords smash against one another. Dragons breathe fire. Injured warriors shriek in pain. Rampant armies march and chant.

Westeros is a noisy place, with sounds coming from all directions. Place yourself in the middle of it all with a 5.1 home cinema system. You will have:

  • 2 speakers either side of you dedicated to the action
  • 2 speakers behind you providing atmospheric sounds and heightening suspense
  • 1 speaker in front of you dedicated to dialogue
  • Subwoofer for boosting the bass


By making these adjustments your Game of Thrones experience can be even more immersive.

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