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Calibrate Your Own Audio and Video

Use these professional tips to bring the best out of your audio and video equipment.

So, you've purchased a shiny new home theater, and now you want to sit back and enjoy it. If you want the best out of the system, however, you'll need to follow a few more steps. Using your home theater without first configuring it for the best performance is selling the system -- and yourself -- short. Everything from color, brightness, and contrast on the TV to programming speaker levels and size into the A/V receiver can, and should, be addressed. We've talked to the experts in the field of home audio and video and compiled this list of tips to help you adjust the settings on your system for an enhanced home theater experience.

Calibration DVDs
Calibration DVDs are essential tools for do-it-yourself calibration of home audio and video. These DVDs come with step-by-step instructions, test patterns, and test tones that are necessary to properly adjust the picture and sound quality of your home theater system.

Industry experts insist that reliance on the eye and ear alone is not enough. You simply cannot correctly calibrate the system without a disk, says Jayson Small, President of Adobe Cinema and Automation. The two most popular calibrations disks on the market are Audio Video Interactive Aid (AVIA) and Digital Video Essentials (DVE). Disks can cost as little as $25-40 and often come with filters to assist in color and tint adjustment.

For tips on calibrating video and audio, as well as info on professional calibration, check out