When it comes to getting the best performance out of your home theater system, keep the following in mind:
Use a dedicated calibration DVD, such as AVIA or Digital Video Essentials, to generate the appropriate test patterns, signals, and calibration tests.
Before you calibrate your television's video performance, turn off all automatic picture functions, set the white balance to the neutral setting, and (if available) display the "pro" level configuration menu.
Video calibration involves setting the brightness and contrast levels (while watching a black and white picture), setting the color and tint levels; setting the sharpness level, and then configuring the proper grayscale levels.
Before you calibrate your system's audio performance, you must configure your A/V receiver or preamplifier for your speaker's size and distance (from the main listening position).
Audio calibration involves setting volume levels for each channel (using a test tone) and then adjusting the frequency response for your particular listening room.
Professional calibration is done by technicians trained and approved by the Imaging Science Foundation. These technicians typically charge in the $300 range for a basic calibration.