Tips

Tip: Get the Best Color From Your HDTV

Scott Wilkinson has a tip on how to get the best color out of your HDTV. When you buy a TV, it will probably be set to "Vivid Mode" when you first get it out of the box. This is one of the picture modes, and it's meant to look very bright to stand out on a showroom floor. But when you set it up in your home, you'll want it to look natural.

The first step in that process is to go into the TV menu, and look for "Picture Menu," then look for an item called "Picture Mode" or just "Mode." It'll likely be set to "Vivid" or "Standard," but none of those presets will be as accurate as the mode called "Movie" or "Cinema." Setting it to the movie mode will give you the most natural colors and brightness for your home. This alone will get you a long way toward proper calibration.

The second step is to adjust the picture controls, which includes Contrast, Brightness, Color, Tint, and Sharpness. You can use a disc like Disney's WOW (World of Wonder), Spears and Munsil HD Benchmark, or the DVE (Digital Video Essentials HD Basics) disc. You can also get a program for free from AVSForum.com called AVSHD 709.

Finally, if you want to go even further to get it set up exactly right, you can call a professional calibrator to come in and calibrate the TV.

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