Scott has a computer running Windows XP. It's his calibration computer and he doesn't put it online. Leo says that there isn't anything wrong with that as long as it's not used online. This week's question is: What is the best HDTV Calibration utility to buy? Scott says he really likes Disney's World of Wonder (WOW) Disc. It's hosted by Goofy and they walk you through the process of calibrating your TV in a fun, Disney way. Scott says that it has an excellent walk-through with some great demo content.
Scott also says there's a difference between setup and calibration. Utilities like Disney WOW and Joe Kane's DVD essentials handle the controls: color, tint, contrast and brightness. These are very important for getting the best possible picture quality. Spears and Munsel's HD Benchmark Disc or Digital Essentials HD Basics are great for those who want to get more geeky, and they only cost $30. But for calibration, that requires expensive equipment and training, diving into special parts of the menu. which most people probably don't want to mess with. You can get 80% of the way there with Disney WOW or Joe Kane's DVD Essentials. Leo says that putting it in "movie" or "picture" mode will get you half way there as well.
Some say you can go online and get special settings to enact. Does that work? Scott says it may, but settings don't work from model to model, so you may end up using the wrong settings for that TV. If you spent a lot of money for an expensive HDTV, it's worth paying to get it professionally calibrated. Otherwise, use the aforementioned discs.
Programming note: Home Theater Geeks has changed to Thursday, 2:30 pm PT.