The TV industry would squawk, as they did with the now-required but seldom-used program censorship chip, but a more useful circuit built into HDTVs would put basic test patterns on the screen. Wouldn't surprise me, given microprocessor flexibility, that some of the current microchips in sets could generate patterns. Set makers would claim $200 added cost, but suspect it's possible at a tiny fraction of that.
A simple EPROM program would generate a pluge pattern to set proper contrast and brightness levels. A sequence of high-frequency multiburst patterns would show approximate resolution limits. Throw in some color test patterns. (Actually, my Philips HDTV displays a nice standard color-bar pattern in its HDTV section.) And for Circuit City showroom floors or quick home checks, have a menu selection for an autorun sequence. Finally, no cheating. The patterns would have to meet international test standards. -- John
[This message has been edited by John Mason (edited 08-01-2001).]