Originally Posted by Rick Son
How about clibration really neccessary???
To your optical out question, if you use the internal ATSC tuner for television (OTA/cable), then optical out will give you the ability to listen to discrete 5.1 if you have a receiver capable of it. Some tv's have the ability of passing 5.1 from an external source (HDMI) to a receiver but it's hard to determine which sets can really do that.
Calibration is totally up to you. You may find that the presets are good enough. You can get a calibration disk and at the very least, set the basics yourself (contrast, brightness, sharpness, aspect, color). That can improve pq considerably depending on where your tv is at initially. Viewing environment is also critical and something like a bias light (a light behind the tv with a set temperature) can also help with pq. I would give your tv a couple of weeks to "break in" before seriously messing with it. Depending on where you're coming from with your current tv, it will also take your eyes (and brain) a little while to adjust to the new tv. As far as a real, professional calibration goes you need to think about it. BB offers them "free" if you buy your tv there but a lot of folks have been less than satisfied with them. A professional calibration should take 3-4 hours depending on the tv and cost $300+. Keep in mind that calibrating a tv is not a permanent thing meaning that, depending on the tv, you may have to re-calibrate it a couple of years down the road due to natural "aging" of the components.