We at TrustedReviews firmly believe that you really can make a big difference to the quality of your home TV picture with a minimum of effort and expense. In fact, there doesn't have to be any expense at all if you don't want there to be. For while I would urge you to get a professional disc to help you calibrate your TVs - more on a couple of these shortly - just following a few basic rules of thumb with your TV's various picture settings will get you at least somewhere down the line towards picture perfection.
The problem with calibration disc aids at the moment is that there just aren't enough of them around. The two I personally use are Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics on Blu-ray and, to a much lesser extent, the HQV Benchmark Blu-ray and DVD package. But there are issues with both of them.
The problems with Digital Video Essentials are that it's a little limited in its scope, and that it's frankly a nightmare to use, until you get used to it. As for HQV, it also has its limitations, and is really more of an evaluation tool than a calibration tool. Furthermore, the HQV Benchmark package is currently unavailable to anyone other than the press as a result of the Benchmark having been bought from its creator, Silicon Optix, by Integrated Device Technology (IDT) Ltd.
The HQV's new owner is currently ‘reviewing and updating the fulfilment process', and has promised to let us know when the discs become available to buy again. But we don't currently have any idea when this might be. Because of this - and the fact that IDT don't want us to use any screen shots of the Benchmark in action! - we toyed with not including any HQV material in this feature. But ultimately we stuck with it, as it seems certain that IDT will get the discs available again at some point.