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How to Calibrate your HD TV

After you get your new high-definition (HD) TV out of the box and start watching your favorite shows, you might notice you're not getting as clear a picture as you want. You don't need to worry becausethere is an easy fix for this. Much like a sports car, your HDTV needs to be fine-tuned so that it can work at peak performance for you. Follow these simple steps to improve your viewing experience.

What you'll need:

  • Calibration disc. You can purchase one or there are free versions you can download online and burn onto a Blu-ray Disc.
  • Blu-ray player. You'll want to make sure that the calibration disc you'll be using will play back in full HD quality
  • Original remotes for your DVD player and your HDTV. Only the original remotes will have certain buttons needed for adjusting the settings.
  • Blue filter or blue glasses. These are optional but can help you adjust your set's tint.

Step 1: Adjust the lighting in your TV room.

Make sure that not too much ambient light is hitting the screen; otherwise your calibration will be a bit off. If you can, it's best to wait until nighttime to calibrate your set so you'll have the optimal settings.

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Step 2: Bring up your TV's basic setting

These will include contrast, brightness, picture mode, color and sharpness. Set everything back to factory default so you're starting with a clean slate. Then you can put your calibration disc in and get started tuning up your TV.

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Step 3: Follow your calibration disc.

It’s likely the disc is already set up in chapters to help you go through the calibration steps in the right order, but one of the key things to remember is to make sure that you calibrate sharpness after you've done brightness and contrast. Otherwise, those other two categories will not be set correctly.

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Step 4 (optional): Use your blue filter to calibrate tint

If you bought a calibration disc, it probably came with a blue filter. If you decided to download your calibration disc, you can also purchase a pair of THX blue glasses for only a few dollars. This will ensure optimal colors for skin tones that look lifelike.

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Step 5: Test your work.

Pop in a Blu-ray movie or switch to an HD channel and see how everything looks. If the picture is still a little off, tweak the settings again until you have the crystal clear and vibrant image you want.

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