Using a TV for photo editing

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
hemiola Junior Member • Posts: 28
Using a TV for photo editing

Hello,

I would like to ask if anyone is using a TV for photo editing in 2022 and what your observations and recommendations are.

For starters, let's try to get past "TVs are not meant for close up viewing" and "devices meant for viewing content shouldn't be used for content creation".

Also in order to hopefully steer the conversation I'd like to go over a couple of potential sticking points and things I've learned so far.

  1. Viewing distance and angle. Not an issue for me as I have a deep (1.2m desk).
  2. VA panel's BGR subpixel layout. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker either. With some scaling and ClearType tweaking I found the text and images appear reasonably sharp.
  3. Pixel density. Having been spoiled in the last 5-7 years with 4K laptop screens and near 4K phone screens as well, we tend to perceive everything else as blurry or pixelated. Still, a 42.5" 4K screen has slightly higher ppi than a 24 or 27" monitor which I assume was the norm for most people until not THAT long ago (maybe still is for some).
  4. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?
  5. Color accuracy. This is probably the biggest issue and the only one I'm conflicted about. It's not a spec that TV manufacturers list, and I'm wondering if there's any way to quantify that. Does calibration help or is it even possible on a TV set?

Thank you in advance!

MOD AcquiredTaste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,293
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
2

hemiola wrote:

Hello,

I would like to ask if anyone is using a TV for photo editing in 2022 and what your observations and recommendations are.

For starters, let's try to get past "TVs are not meant for close up viewing" and "devices meant for viewing content shouldn't be used for content creation".

Also in order to hopefully steer the conversation I'd like to go over a couple of potential sticking points and things I've learned so far.

  1. Viewing distance and angle. Not an issue for me as I have a deep (1.2m desk).
  2. VA panel's BGR subpixel layout. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker either. With some scaling and ClearType tweaking I found the text and images appear reasonably sharp.

Should be a deal breaker.

  1. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?

It's not going to be as good as a monitor.

  1. Color accuracy. This is probably the biggest issue and the only one I'm conflicted about. It's not a spec that TV manufacturers list, and I'm wondering if there's any way to quantify that. Does calibration help or is it even possible on a TV set?

You won't be able to calibrate it, and you won't get consistent accurate color. If you do not care about color accuracy, go for it. Otherwise, there is a very good reason people recommend against this idea.

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Studiophotgrapher Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
3

We use 75in TV’s as spot monitors, colours are off and I would hate to use then for editing on.

OP hemiola Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
1

Biggs23 wrote:

hemiola wrote:

  1. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?

It's not going to be as good as a monitor.

To clarify, are you saying a HDR TV with a VA panel always has an inferior gamut compared even to a non-HDR IPS monitor?

Biggs23 wrote:

  1. You won't be able to calibrate it, and you won't get consistent accurate color. If you do not care about color accuracy, go for it. Otherwise, there is a very good reason people recommend against this idea.

Thanks, I thought any display connected to a PC can be calibrated. Didn't realize it's not possible to calibrate at all.

MOD AcquiredTaste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,293
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

hemiola wrote:

Biggs23 wrote:

hemiola wrote:

  1. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?

It's not going to be as good as a monitor.

To clarify, are you saying a HDR TV with a VA panel always has an inferior gamut compared even to a non-HDR IPS monitor?

What editing software platform is making use of that technology?

Biggs23 wrote:

  1. You won't be able to calibrate it, and you won't get consistent accurate color. If you do not care about color accuracy, go for it. Otherwise, there is a very good reason people recommend against this idea.

Thanks, I thought any display connected to a PC can be calibrated. Didn't realize it's not possible to calibrate at all.

You can calibrate a lot of things, but keeping that calibration is a more significant problem. Laptop screens are notorious for this problem.

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OP hemiola Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

Biggs23 wrote:

hemiola wrote:

To clarify, are you saying a HDR TV with a VA panel always has an inferior gamut compared even to a non-HDR IPS monitor?

What editing software platform is making use of that technology?

Good question.

Photomatix for example can export HDR images as radiance RGBE, Open EXR and floating point TIFF files but I'm not sure they can be viewed & edited directly. Some newer cameras also support the HEIF format which seems to be HDR capable. Not exactly my area of expertise and besides we're getting a little far from the subject.

My assumption (and I'll admit it's only my assumption and not necessarily a fact) is that once a display is capable of displaying additional colors it can do so whether in HDR or SDR mode.

Craig Gillette Forum Pro • Posts: 12,598
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
1

I don't know that one couldn't.  One does have to deal with the size and placement issues.

TVs aren't really optimized for use a still photo editing monitor.  My 55" OLED looks good when I display stills.  I've had it adjacent to my desktop. But the problems then were viewing angles, placement, etc.  Aside from the OLED burn-in concerns, I could treat it as a monitor.  But I didn't edit or really do other work on it, placement, if nothing else, made that almost impossible.

One can say they don't have the right gamut or color spaces, or consistency, backlighting variances, contrast, etc.  But it's capable of being set up and calibrated, it can be set for a variety of presentation purposes. So while not specifically a photo editing monitor, I'm not sure it's worse than a huge number of "real" monitors which also are less than ideal for some purposes.  Gaming monitors look for responsiveness, refresh rates but with moving game action, one may not notice limited gamut or backlighting variations, maybe contrast or black levels.  I've got a couple of older 1920x1080 cheap monitors which are fine for office work but I'd hardly call them photo editing monitors, either.

I guess it comes down to just what one needs in a monitor or tv.  Some people want their tv viewing experience in lighting controlled rooms, multi-channel audio. dedicated seating, etc.  If the photo editing is limited, one shoots in jpg and maybe crops some, etc., then the Tv may be fine.  Others need controlled lighting, critical repeastability and matching, etc.and aren't using $500 consumer monitors, either.

Rambow
Rambow Senior Member • Posts: 2,376
Amateur level? Not an issue
1

No major difference between a tv and a monitor at the same price level.

Just set the colours on the tv like you want them and have at it.

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Rambow
Rambow Senior Member • Posts: 2,376
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

Studiophotgrapher wrote:

We use 75in TV’s as spot monitors, colours are off and I would hate to use then for editing on.

Who's fault is that?

Samsung panels have worse colours than LGs, for instance. So they are not all the same.

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OP hemiola Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

If I'm reading this right, the best TVs have white balance dE detectable only by colorimeters, and colour dE noticeable to professionals (barely) but not to enthusiasts or the general public:

https://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/picture-quality/color-accuracy

Light Pilgrim
Light Pilgrim Senior Member • Posts: 1,480
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

I am using 85” Samsung 8K OLED for editing. Mostly happy

Studiophotgrapher Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
1

Light Pilgrim wrote:

I am using 85” Samsung 8K OLED for editing. Mostly happy

Samsung don’t use OLED 🤪

Studiophotgrapher Junior Member • Posts: 37
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

Rambow wrote:

Studiophotgrapher wrote:

We use 75in TV’s as spot monitors, colours are off and I would hate to use then for editing on.

Who's fault is that?

Samsung panels have worse colours than LGs, for instance. So they are not all the same.

it’s no one’s fault they serve a purpose perfectly well, in our scenario as they are used by stylist and MUA to check stuff in real time, saves being huddled around a computer.  But no matter how much you try the image will never match that of a decent monitor 🤪

Light Pilgrim
Light Pilgrim Senior Member • Posts: 1,480
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

OLED, QLED- same thing

Studiophotgrapher wrote:

Light Pilgrim wrote:

I am using 85” Samsung 8K OLED for editing. Mostly happy

Samsung don’t use OLED 🤪

Glass Jaw Forum Member • Posts: 70
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

Light Pilgrim wrote:

OLED, QLED- same thing

Studiophotgrapher wrote:

Light Pilgrim wrote:

I am using 85” Samsung 8K OLED for editing. Mostly happy

Samsung don’t use OLED 🤪

It is NOT. QLED is and LED. It is nothing like OLED and is a term created by Samsung merely to obfuscate.

Back on topic, most top-tier TVs--whether LED or OLED--have very, very good out-of-the-box color accuracy. I wouldn't mind using them to edit photos on--after choosing the mode that is closest to D65 and setting the lumens to ~120.

(unknown member) Forum Pro • Posts: 16,732
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
1

hemiola wrote:

Hello,

I would like to ask if anyone is using a TV for photo editing in 2022 and what your observations and recommendations are.

For starters, let's try to get past "TVs are not meant for close up viewing" and "devices meant for viewing content shouldn't be used for content creation".

Also in order to hopefully steer the conversation I'd like to go over a couple of potential sticking points and things I've learned so far.

  1. Viewing distance and angle. Not an issue for me as I have a deep (1.2m desk).
  2. VA panel's BGR subpixel layout. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker either. With some scaling and ClearType tweaking I found the text and images appear reasonably sharp.
  3. Pixel density. Having been spoiled in the last 5-7 years with 4K laptop screens and near 4K phone screens as well, we tend to perceive everything else as blurry or pixelated. Still, a 42.5" 4K screen has slightly higher ppi than a 24 or 27" monitor which I assume was the norm for most people until not THAT long ago (maybe still is for some).
  4. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?
  5. Color accuracy. This is probably the biggest issue and the only one I'm conflicted about. It's not a spec that TV manufacturers list, and I'm wondering if there's any way to quantify that. Does calibration help or is it even possible on a TV set?

Thank you in advance!

If your editor's colour management supports P3, no issue. Or, as some do, it may support sRGB in emulation mode.

DCI-P3 is not as big as AdobeRGB, but it isn't far off. However, if you can't use it as a working space, all bets are off.

Colour accuracy should not be a problem. However, you can usually adjust by eye to get reasonably close to a reference display if you have one handy.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 20,681
Re: Using a TV for photo editing

Glass Jaw wrote:

Light Pilgrim wrote:

OLED, QLED- same thing

Studiophotgrapher wrote:

Light Pilgrim wrote:

I am using 85” Samsung 8K OLED for editing. Mostly happy

Samsung don’t use OLED 🤪

It is NOT. QLED is and LED. It is nothing like OLED

See:

https://www.cnet.com/tech/home-entertainment/qled-vs-oled-samsung-and-lg-tv-technologies-explained/

QLED is basically an enhanced variant of LED-backlit LCD display, while OLED involves getting rid of the LCD and using tiny "organic" LEDs to generate light directly for each pixel.

jackalopemaui Senior Member • Posts: 1,199
Re: Using a TV for photo editing
1

hemiola wrote:

Hello,

I would like to ask if anyone is using a TV for photo editing in 2022 and what your observations and recommendations are.

For starters, let's try to get past "TVs are not meant for close up viewing" and "devices meant for viewing content shouldn't be used for content creation".

Also in order to hopefully steer the conversation I'd like to go over a couple of potential sticking points and things I've learned so far.

  1. Viewing distance and angle. Not an issue for me as I have a deep (1.2m desk).
  2. VA panel's BGR subpixel layout. Not ideal, but not a deal breaker either. With some scaling and ClearType tweaking I found the text and images appear reasonably sharp.
  3. Pixel density. Having been spoiled in the last 5-7 years with 4K laptop screens and near 4K phone screens as well, we tend to perceive everything else as blurry or pixelated. Still, a 42.5" 4K screen has slightly higher ppi than a 24 or 27" monitor which I assume was the norm for most people until not THAT long ago (maybe still is for some).
  4. Color gamut. VA pannels usually get slammed compared to IPS counterparts (though they are superior in at least one metric namely static contrast). However, when it comes to HDR capable TVs they have to support wide color gamuts in order to pass certain certifications. It's not always clear and transparent what "wider" means though. In this particular case I'm looking at, it covers 100% of DCI-P3, which I think is the digital projection equivalent of AdobeRGB. Thoughts?
  5. Color accuracy. This is probably the biggest issue and the only one I'm conflicted about. It's not a spec that TV manufacturers list, and I'm wondering if there's any way to quantify that. Does calibration help or is it even possible on a TV set?

Thank you in advance!

Size isn't an issue if you have space. I use a 39 inch table as a desk and my screen is a 4k Dell 43 inch U4320Q

The problem with TVs is getting the settings to stay consistent. I used an LG 4K TV for a while as a monitor and it would constantly switch to automatic settings

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