At my job we have internal TV screens, with content airing throughout the entire company. This is a fairly new way of internal communications marketing. My group does several projects per month where we make JPGs to be viewed on these screens.
I am however noticing that, the photos especially, look really bad compared to what I see on my mac, no matter how I save these files out.

Does anyone have an idea of how to best export the files?

Should I use a specific NTSC profile or not use JPGs at all? Are PNG/Targa/BMP files better?


  • Are these LCD TVs? If so, they likely were installed with the picture pre-set to look overly saturated/bright (common for 'showing off' the TV in a store). I don't think there's a particular profile or that it's JPGs causing the issue...you just need to adjust your images accordingly to fit the particularities of the color and picture settings of these TVs.
    – DA01
    Apr 16, 2015 at 18:59
  • 2
    NTSC stands jokingly for Never Twice (or The) Same Color. Be sure to check out the color range of ntsc never use black or white.
    – joojaa
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:05
  • I figured, because I have seen the same image looking different on the LCD screens. The screens are in offices on both coasts and in the UK so that's not gonna happen. I'm just going to have to adjust to the one in my office. I did think I was doing something wrong, I tried Adobe RGB, sRGB, NTCS and althought they were different the overly bright, and choppiness was the same. The files are 1920x1080 before you ask.
    – Tamara
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:35

2 Answers 2


sRGB is the correct color profile to use, but there are things you need to do in creating the images if they're going to video. Staying within broadcast standards are the safest way to go, but that's an expensive setup to work with.

For a simple, practical workflow, do this:

  • Set your black floor to RGB 25/25/25. Don't go below that.

  • Set your white ceiling to 235/235/235 and don't exceed in any channel.

  • Set your histogram display to show color channels in color, and use that to check your layout before you save the production file.

That should keep everything within safe limits.

  • The term of art for further reading is "tv reference levels." I googled that and see "full-swing" and "studio-swing." It varies, but "studio-swing" is pretty much what Alan suggests.
    – Yorik
    Apr 16, 2015 at 21:23
  • Correct. I'm trying to keep it as non-technical as possible. Apr 17, 2015 at 0:09

I am not sure if this will solve your problem, but I hope it gives you a metodology to solve it.

1) You need to define what "looks really bad" means.

  • Contrast. Too much contrast? Too low?

  • Color. Has the color shifted?

  • Problems with saturation? Do they look pale? Or oversaturated?

  • Does the problem occur with all colors? Or just with some vibrating colors like neon green, or red?

  • Sometime ago you needed to adjust the gamma to some video files. Does the images look specially bright? Or specially dark? (Correct the gamma)

2) Find out if the video is actually using NTSC. Probably is digital. If it is digital there is no need to look for a NTSC profile.

3) Review your color calibration settings. Use a Web/Internet settings, not a press settings.

4) Be sure you are not using a cmyk export on the jpg files.

5) Try to send a color chart or color bars and see how it is displayed.


6) Turn off the Include ICC profile. And see the results.

Some problems can be just that your monitor has better quaility than the tv they are using, some could be their system is not recognizing the colour profile, or just droping any.

  • Hi, You're right on; the images have way too much contrast, blown out in the highlights. They're overly saturated in the reds and the lighter blues look almost white.choppiness occurs between the colors. The files start as InDesign RGB files w/ web intention. First I export to 144 dpi JPGS, open in Photoshop and Save for Web, so all they're RGB throughout the process. I spoke to the guy who posts all the video loops + images and he uses a program called AppSpace so definitely digital and maybe that's the issue. I will try to not include the ICC profile and see what happens. Thanks again!
    – Tamara
    Apr 16, 2015 at 19:58

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