- Cable Connection
- TV Setup
- Soundbar Setup
- PC Setup
This is a guide for the (almost) perfect setup between your PC and your TV screen. Everything that it necesarry to setup on your PC / mpv, Soundbar and TV. Modern technology should become easier, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to be the case. It is a lot more complex than just plugging in a HDMI cable. I can’t go into detail for every TV or soundbar brand, so I’m starting with introducing my current setup:
OS: Windows 10
PC: AMD Ryzen 5900X + Nvidia Geforce RTX 4080
TV: Samsung S95B OLED
Soundbar: Samsung HW-Q990B / Q995B (Firmware: 1008.2)
There are certain important factors:
– The GPU supports HDMI 2.1 (= 4k@120 Hz possible)
– The TV is an OLED (= burn-in/out risks)
– The soundbar supports 7.1 with Dolby Atmos
– TV and Soundbar are connected via eARC
– PC conncted via HDMI 2.1 port on the TV
If you have a similar setup, or even if you don’t, it might still be interesting for you to read the guide, and maybe there’s still something that could be useful for you.
There are two common types:
1) PC => Soundbar / AV receiver => TV
2) PC => TV [=> Soundbar / AV receiver]
On a Samsung TV you can only get true 4:4:4 Chroma with “PC Mode”.
As soon as you connect a PC to your TV it’ll auto. recognises it as a PC.
However, with “PC Mode”, your picture modes are limited to “Entertain”, “Graphic” & “Game” (only game mode). The recommended “Picture Mode” is “Entertain”. “Graphic” displays colours that are too pale and “Game” overshoots yellow elements.
Brightness: Matter of own preference.
Contrast: Matter of own preference. Values between 45-50 are recommended.
Sharpness: Leave it default (10). With PC input that’s the equivalent of 0 with every other input.
Colour: Leave it default (30).
Tint (G/R): Leave it default (0).
Picture Clarity Settings: “Off”.
Contrast Enhancer: Matter of own preference. It boosts colours and obviously ruins colour accuracy with that. However, on Samsung OLED TV’s it’ll also boost brightness without the impact of ABL. So it’s a trade-off situation here. In my opinion “High” does look better with anime, but worse for Live Action content. So I would go with “Off” here instead. “Low” pretty much always looks worse and is not worth to consider.
Colour Tone: Matter of own preference. “Standard” looks the best in my opinion. “Warm 1” or “Warm 2” might be more accurate to life, but look too redish for my taste.
Gamma: “2.2” or “BT. 1886” for SDR is a matter of own preference. “ST.2084” is the only option with HDR.
Shadow Detail: For SDR content I would leave it to “0”. With HDR you recommended values are between -3 and -1, also matter of own preference.
Colour Space Settings: “Native”.
Peak Brightness: This option is only available for OLED TV’s. Turning it on makes the TV much brigher, but also enables ABL (Auto Brightness Limiter). It can look pretty distracting/annoying. With SDR I would recommend “Off”. However, if Brightness: 50 & Contrast Enhancer “High” isn’t bright enough for you, you might want to turn it on. With HDR “High” is highly recommended nonetheless.
HDMI-eARC Mode: “Auto”.
Digital Output Audio Format: “Pass-through” for ARC/eARC. If you use “Dolby Atmos for Home Theater”, switch to “Auto” instead.
Digital Output Audio Delay: “0”. With HDMI eARC it’s not recommended to add extra delay.
Dolby Atmos: “Enabled”.
On “External Device Manager” it’s recommended to enable “Input Signal Plus” for your HDMI 2.1 devices. By default they are only limited to HDMI 1.4.
Game Mode should either be “Off” or “Auto”.
Game Mode does have a quality impact, but it’s the only way to get low latency and G-Sync/FreeSync enabled. Game Mode is not needed for 4k@120Hz@12-bit. “Off” is recommended, if the TV is never used for gaming. If “Auto” is selected, it’s recommended to enable “Surround Sound”. “Basic” OR “Advanced” for HDR10+ GAMING under HDR Tone Mapping is a matter of own preference. For “Game Picture Mode” (inside the game mode menu) “Standard” or “Custom” are recommended.
General & Privacy
It’s highly recommended to disable all options within “Power and Energy Saving”. The only option you should change is “Auto Power Off” to the lowest value (4 hours) possible. These settings does heavely affect brightness. For “Panel Care” (OLED only) it’s recommended to leave “Pixel Shift” on and set “Adjust Logo Brightness” to “High”. Technically “Pixel Shift” ruins true 4k (3840×2160) resolution. It does crop at least two borders up to ~10px each in certain intervals. The hard shifting can get pretty distracting as well, but turning it off does heavely reduce the lifespan of the TV and certainly introduces burn-in/out sooner or later. Therefore, leaving it should be the better option. With “Adjust Logo Brightness” I’ve never experienced any issues or downsides. Not really an TV option, but if your TV is an OLED, make sure to never disconnect the TV from the power plug. When turning off, it’ll start auto refreshing the pixels. In case you disconnec the TV from power supply, that won’t happen and most certainly ruin your TV sooner or later. The last option “Start Screen Options” is more of a quaily of life option. Set it to “Autorun Last App”, if you’re only using it as a PC screen.
For the soundbar there isn’t much to change.
Most of the options are a matter of own preference.
The only two options that needs to be set are “Rear” for “Surround Speaker” & “On” for “Virtual”. The second option is actually hidden and not even visible within the Smart Things App. Use the settings option on your remote control. Side note, most TV’s (like mine) don’t support DTS via eARC, so you should hook up everything with DTS passthrough with the soundbar instead (like a Blu-ray player or Nvidia Shield). Here are the other options I’m using (Sorry, only having them in German):
Within the NVIDIA Control Panel under “Change resolution” you’ve to select “PC => 3840×2160” first. That’s the only option which allows 4k with 120Hz. “TV” is limited to 60Hz. Under “Use NVIDIA colour settings” select either “10 bpc” or “12 bpc”. Affordable OLEDs or LEDs most likely only have 10-bit panels. Some are even limited to HDMI 2.1 with 40gbps instead of 48gbps. Using “12 bpc” won’t make a difference. Choose whatever the highest available is. The other settings are left default – Highest (32-bit), RGB & Full. If Game Mode is enabled, it’s also important to enable G-SYNC under the “Setup up G-SYNC” option. With “AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition” or “Intel Control Panel” the settings are probably pretty similar. It’s just important that at the end Windows shows the correct resolution of 3840 x 2160 with 119,880 Hz / 120,000 Hz, 10-bit / 12-bit & RGB.
I highly recommend reading my advanced/extended mpv guide HERE.
OLED TV users can also try out the script oled-screensaver.
I’m listening the necessary settings as a tl;dr here:
vo=gpu-next #Allows options that aren't possible with "gpu". gpu-api=vulkan #Allows HDR. target-colorspace-hint=yes #Enables HDR. audio-exclusive=yes #Enabled the soundbar to soley handle the audio. audio-spdif=ac3,eac3,truehd #Direct passthrough of Dolby Atmos audio. For DTS:X passthrough adding "dts,dts-hd" is necessary (if your TV supports DTS via eARC). Only use this for Dolby Atmos/DTS:X audio, because it disables interpolation. audio-channels=stereo,5.1,7.1 #Select all channels your soundbar supports. The order is important, start with the lowest to the highest channel layout. dither-depth=12 #The bit-depth you set within your driver settings. dither=ordered #"fruit" for "8" - "ordered" for "10"/"12". video-sync=display-resample #Resamples audio to match the video. interpolation=yes #Smooth 120Hz experience.
These Tweaks are only necessary if you’ve an OLED TV:
1. Enable “Automatically hide the taskbar” & “Use small taskbar buttons”.
2. Install TranslucentTB from the Windows Store and change “Desktop” to “Clear”. This will completly hide the taskbar.
3. Use a black background or multiple wallpapers (preferable dark ones) as a “Slideshow” with “Shuffle” enabled, that changes the pictures every “1 minute”.
4. Setup a “Screen saver”, either “Blank”, “Mystify” or shuffled “Photos” with a wait time between one or three minutes.
5. Set up a screen timeout. With a screen saver it’s not 100% required, but it’ll safe a bit more power consumption in case you accidently left your TV on.
6. Disable “Show desktop icons” or keep your desktop clean.