By Will Greenwald
Published May 7, 2012

Calibrating an HDTV is a simple process, but few users bother to do it. Our handy guide walks you through manually calibrating with a test disc, but there’s another way, besides paying a calibration specialist, that is. Datacolor’s Spyder products have helped people calibrate their monitors for years, and the company is now bringing its technology to HDTVs with the Spyder4TV HD. This $129.99 (direct) kit includes everything you need to calibrate your HDTV’s contrast, brightness, color temperature, color saturation, and tint with test discs and PC software.

A Spyder puck scans the HDTV as you go through the process, making sure the adjustments are accurate. It doesn’t support advanced controls, so you can’t get the precise calibrations a trained professional can, but it streamlines the process and can help improve your HDTV picture with only 20 minutes of work. It’s similar to the original SpyderTV we reviewed in 2006, and uses the same concept to calibrate HDTVs. It can work with standard-definition TVs and computer displays, but for PC monitors you’ll need a separate computer to run the software (or be able to output your Blu-ray or DVD player to the monitor while using another display for the software).

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