There are a few things one should do before hosting a TV-centric party: Rearrange the furniture, buy snacks in bulk and re-calibrate your TV. Why that last one? Well, it's just like cooking for a group: Even if your picture is perfectly seasoned to suit you, you may want to restore it back to a more conventional calibration to suit everyone's tastes. How to get it there? Check your DVD racks for a title with a THX logo, then use the super-easy built-in THX Optimizer. Here's how.
Sure, there are plenty of quick and dirty ways to calibrate the picture on your screen. But when you already have an easy optimizer built-in to plenty of the discs in your DVD library, why would you want to?
Which DVDs Have the Optimizer?
A whole bunch. Any DVD or Blu-Ray disc with the THX logo has the THX optimizer embedded. You can also check this search-able list on the THX website.
Do I need Anything Else?
Yep. For the best calibration, you'll want to grab a pair of Blue Filter Optimizer Glasses. You can order them from the THX site and get them sent to you for less than a fiver ($1.99 + $2.50 shipping). But you can use the optimizer without the glasses, too.
When Should I Do It?
If you're prepping for a party, do the calibration the day before, at the same time of day. The idea is to simulate the lighting conditions you'll be watching in—including whether blinds will be drawn and lamps will be left on. If you're generally calibrating your TV, try to find a happy average of your TV-watching conditions. A moderately-lit room without any window glare should work well.
Anything Else to Know Before I Start?
Yeah, turn off your TV's smart settings. If you have any kind of "auto" or "dynamic" smart picture settings on your TV, turn them off or they'll mess with your manual calibration adjustments.
So How Do I Do This Thing?]
It's easy. Run the THX Optimizer from the DVD menu, then follow the on-screen prompts. Or, just follow this guy's lead:
(Images: Photo illustration adapted from Flickr member flash.pro licensed for remix use under Creative Commons, Retrevo)