Of course the Xbox One X is both a movie player and a games machine, but your TV is smart enough to automatically switch the latest Samsung televisions across to Game Mode when you fire up a game.
Maximising your viewing experience
Samsung’s Movie Mode is a great starting point when watching a Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray disc, but it’s still worth diving into the advanced settings.
If you’re watching high-quality Ultra HD content on a great screen like a Samsung QLED then you can often dial down many of the advanced picture settings. These settings tend to be more important when trying to improve the picture from DVD or free-to-air television.
For starters, try disabling Contrast Enhancer and Digital Clean View as well as dialling down Sharpness. Next, try turning Auto Motion Plus down or off. It uses motion interpolation to add frames which help smooth out the action, but it can also make the picture look a bit fake, known as the “soap opera effect”.
These days many Netflix movies and Ultra HD Blu-ray discs take advantage of High Dynamic Range, which helps to add more vibrant colours along with extra detail in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows.
Depending on your television, it’s possible that only some HDMI inputs are HDR compatible so it’s worth checking the manual. You might also need to enable Wide Colour Gamut or UHD Colour to get the best picture, although the latest Samsung televisions do this automatically.
Also keep in mind that when your television detects HDR content it will probably switch across to a HDR picture mode. You might need to adjust the advanced settings again for this picture mode but, once again, you’ll only need to do this once.
Optimising for gaming
Game Mode is the best starting point when playing games from a computer or games console, especially with the latest games supporting HDR where QLED’s brightness shines through while helping to maintain colour integrity.
The idea of Game Mode is to minimise the image processing to reduce input lag – the delay between when you push a button and when you see the reaction on the screen. This lag is measured in milliseconds, but it can still be a matter of life and death in fast-moving first person shooters where every shot counts.
The latest Samsung televisions support AMD FreeSync for variable refresh rates, to further improve the picture with compatible devices and games. With FreeSync you can get the input lag as low as 6.8ms but it’s not enabled automatically. You need to dip into the General, External Device Manager menu to access the different game modes.
The automatic Game Mode offers input lag of as low as 15ms, which is still low enough to do most action games justice.
If you’re more interested in lush graphics than super-low response times, perhaps for a free-roaming role playing game like Red Dead Redemption 2, try Game Motion Plus. This setting bumps up the response time to as low as 24ms, but in return the television works harder to help the picture look its very best.
As with watching movies, you’ll generally want to dial down settings like Contrast Enhancer, Digital Clean View and Sharpness when playing games. You might adjust the colour temperature to taste and perhaps change the colour space settings from automatic to native to let the Xbox One X take control.
One great thing about Samsung’s QLED televisions is that they are guaranteed against screen burn for 10 years, where objects that always appear in the same place can become etched into the picture. Samsung is so confident that it actually offers a 10-year no screen burn guarantee.