The night is dark and full of terrors, but you don’t want tonight’s Game of Thrones episode to be the same. There’s a chance that Season 8 Episode 5 will feature another big battle, and you certainly don’t want to run into the same issues that viewers faced with low-quality streaming during Episode 3. Here are some tips for making sure you have the best streaming quality possible.
If the episode appears too dark, try some of the following tips.
First, look into calibrating your TV, in case it hasn’t already been done. This could help give you the best possible picture and correct black levels that may be off and make a dark episode tough to watch. Try setting your television to Movie, Theater or Cinema mode to see if that helps. Others have suggested that a first-person gaming mode might be better for a darker episode. So if your TV has some kind of Game mode, give it a try.
If it doesn’t help, try following the advice in one of the videos below for calibrating the colors on your TV:
Hisense, which just launched its 2019 lineup of Android TVs, told Heavy that you can even hire someone to professionally calibrate your TV if your own efforts don’t work. This might be a worthwhile investment before the finale next week. The services can vary in price, but are the best way to ensure you get the best picture possible. “Just remember not to factory reset the TV,” Hinsense advises. If you do a factor reset after hiring a professional, you’ll lose all those settings and your investment.
The video compression from HBO GO and NOW might also be creating issues, TechCrunch noted. Hisense gave Heavy the following tips for optimizing the resolution and compression. “With so many ways to watch these days, it’s easy to blame the TV for a bad experience because that’s where the issue is happening, right? Well, not necessarily. If the signal input is less than stellar, the TV is only going to be able to work with what is sent to it. Make sure that if you’re steaming content, that it is in a high-resolution format, your internet speed can handle it, and your TV supports the resolution. Also, make sure that if you’re using cable provider that the set-top box is capable of supporting high-definition, and that the HDMI cable going from the box to the TV is of high enough quality to support high-resolution signals.”
Hisense also suggested keeping an eye on your room’s lighting. If there’s a dark scene, try to eliminate potential glare by turning off all the lights, including lights in other rooms that might bleed into the background, and close the blinds. (I also suggest using Hue lights that can be dimmed or in some cases even tuned to complement the colors of the screen.)
Some viewers have noted that HBO GO streams seemed better the next day, possibly because fewer people were watching at the same time. Others have noted that they thought HBO GO’s quality was better overall than DirectTV Now’s streaming quality. So try a different streaming service or watching later if all else fails.
You might also try downloading darker episodes when they’re available on iTunes (sometime after the entire season is finished) or watching on Blu-Ray in the future when available. In Denmark and Germany, you’re in luck because Season 8 episodes are posted the day after they air on iTunes there, including in the original English.