Television Presentation

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Today’s Question: How should I fill in the Lightroom Export box for images I am sending to Apple TV? Does the size of the TV matter here, analogous to the size of a printed photo? My TV is 48 inches wide.

Tim’s Quick Answer: Most television sets today can be thought of as a larger version of the digital display you’re using for your computer. Therefore, just as the resolution of the display on your computer impacts the optimal pixel dimensions for a slideshow on that display, so too will you want to size the images based on the pixel dimensions of the television’s display. The other settings in the Export dialog would be the same as you would normally use for presenting photos in a slideshow or sharing them online.

More Detail: You should be able to obtain the resolution information for your specific television with relative ease. You can check the owner’s manual, but a quick online search will probably provide the details. In general, most digital televisions today are likely to use a very common resolution, such as “720p” or “1080p”.

For example, the 720p high definition (HD) standard is 1280×720 pixels. The 1080p HD resolution is 1920×1080 pixels. Some television sets will offer a different native resolution, and in some cases you can adjust the resolution as well. In any event, you want to size your images based on the resolution of the display.

So if your television has a native resolution of 1080p, you would want to resize your images to fit within pixel dimensions of 1920×1080. Thus, I would use the “Width & Height” option from the popup next to the “Resize to Fit” checkbox (which should be turned on) within the Image Sizing section of the Export dialog in Lightroom. You can then make sure the unit of measure popup is set to “pixels”, and enter 1920 for the W (width) value and 1080 for the H (height) value.

I would save the images as JPEG images with the Quality setting at the maximum value of 100. I would also use the sRGB option for the Color Space popup. All other settings can be established based on your personal preferences.

The result will be images sized to fit the display resolution of your television, so that the image quality will be as good as possible.