Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Got a high-definition television? It's time to calibrate it

Datacolor. Windows XP/2000. $249.

Throughout my years as a television owner, I would get out of my chair to play with the Tint button if an actor, not starring in a science fiction movie, had a green cast to his face.

Or, if I had suffered through muddy pictures for a while, I'd come to the conclusion it was time for a new set.

But like most TV owners, I'd never heard the word calibration, at least not as applied to my televisions.

Who knew you should spend long periods of time squinting at test patterns to determine the best settings for whites, blacks, grays, magentas and other parameters?

All that changed when I bought my first high-definition TV.

Suddenly, there were whispers: HDTVs are artificially hyped up in stores to produce dramatic pictures, so what I was likely to see at home would not resemble what had seduced me in a store.

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