I've been searching but I can't find relevant info. I'm actually filming, but figured the problem's still there in photography. I also don't know where else to ask.

Does anyone know what can be done? What do news shows do to their TVs so they look right on camera?


Hello and welcome to the forums!

This is caused by the difference in white balance between your ambient light and the television. I am assuming you are filming indoors with tungsten lighting, which means the white balance of your light is at a yellower point than that of your television. Your camera will automatically adjust to match the white balance of the ambient light, leaving the television looking blue.

In a television studio, the lighting will be of the same white balance as the TV monitors you can see. You have a few options here:

  • Get hold of some studio lighting that is closer to daylight white balance
  • Adjust the white balance of the TV screen to match your ambient lighting. If this is not possible you may be able to use a computer monitor in its place
  • Use as much daylight as possible. You haven't said what specifically you're filming so it's hard to know whether this is practical
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    +1 - Another option is to gel the lights, if possible. It doesn't even have to be perfect, just adding blue to the ambient light will allow for more accurate white balance on the TVs. – John Cavan Aug 2 '11 at 18:46
  • we have a closed set, so daylight ain't happening. Our tv's white balance, in it's warmest setting (barely warm, that is), still looks bluish. We also can't modify the lights we have. I was asking because I was sure that tv shows with screens in the set modified their tv's. – navand Aug 2 '11 at 19:19
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    I think it's more likely they use daylight WB lights. Many of them have windows that look out onto daylight, which would look odd with tungsten-adjusted cameras (as blue as your TV). – NickM Aug 2 '11 at 19:29
  • What about "geling" the TV screen?, If that's not possible, maybe you can process the signal that is being displayed in the TV. – Jahaziel Aug 3 '11 at 15:43

Another approach for still photography, if the ambient lighting is out of your control, is to shoot the scene in RAW, produce two copies with white balance corrected for the TV and ambient light respectively, then comp them together in Photoshop using layer masks. (The rectangular TV screen makes for a really easy masking job.) I have no idea if this can be done with video footage though.

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    p.s. I appreciate the question asked specifically for video solutions, but this is a photography forum after all, with the aim of producing Q&As useful to more than just the original questioner. :) – Mark Whitaker Aug 2 '11 at 21:14

Yes you can adjust tint on the screen. Vizio HDTVs give you the ability to adjust the television's picture to suit your needs. The various settings that can help you to djust include the picture's brightness, contrast, color, sharpness and tint.

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    I'm not sure this actually answers the question, and I'm a bit curious about the specific reference to Visio HDTV's... – jrista Oct 20 '11 at 6:46
  • I think it's a spam post intended to sell TVs. But the suggestion is interesting: make the TV's color temperature very warm, to match the ambient lighting. – mattdm Dec 12 '11 at 13:03

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