How Do I Calibrate My Samsung HDTV?

Automatic picture settings are often geared toward in-store display on a newly bought HDTV; the settings are designed to pop out and get you to buy the television. Your home lighting environment may require different settings. Samsung's HDTVs have adjustable picture settings that can be stored in the television's memory. Calibration of these settings can be accomplished with free tests found on some Blu-ray movie discs and by adjusting settings on the Samsung HDTV.

Step-By-Step

1. Purchase a Blu-ray movie from one of the Sony studios. Sony hides a television calibration test as an "Easter Egg" within all its discs. It's easy to find if you know where to look. Simply load the disc, and from the disc's menu screen, press 7669 on the Blu-ray player's remote. Then press Enter. A calibration test card will launch.

2. Run through the first test, which will allow you to adjust Black Level. This is a crucial setting when using HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) connections and affects the depth and richness of colors when watching a movie. Raise the Brightness setting on the Samsung by pressing the Menu button to display the menu. Then use the Up and Down arrows to choose the Picture option and choose Brightness. Increase the setting so that the three test screen PLUGE (Picture Line Up Generating Equipment) bars in the lower right of the screen show up fully. Then lower the Brightness until only the right bar is just visible.

3. Make detailed Black Level changes if you are unable to get the right bar to be just visible. From the Picture menu, choose Detailed Settings, and then press Enter. Choose the Black Adjust option. Choose Off, Low, Medium, or High until Black is adjusted properly.

4. Run the second test--the Monoscope test--by moving forward one chapter on the disc. Press the Enter button to return to the Picture Menu on the Samsung HDTV and check out the screen. Look for clear, sharp patterns. Any round patterns should not be oval. There should be a full image with no cutoffs. Use Sharpness in the Picture menu to sharpen or soften the patterns.

5. Watch a high-quality movie and make further adjustments. Remove the Sony Blu-ray disc from the player and reinsert it. Watch the movie and pay particular attention to skin tones and the color white. Within the Detailed Settings from the Picture menu, adjust skin tones so that they appear natural. Simply go through Color Space, My Color Control, and other menu items until the skin tone is perfect for your viewing environment. Do the same kind of custom adjustment with White Balance, making sure any whites don't have a blue or red tint.

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