How to Calibrate Your Plasma TV

Learning how to calibrate your plasma TV does not have to be a difficult process. Plasma TVs are just like any other television in the sense that they need to be calibrated. An improperly calibrated plasma TV can cause poor picture quality, dark visuals or completely incorrect colors. This article will outline the simple process of calibrating your plasma TV. The tips and instructions given in this article may also apply to other televisions as well.

You will need:

  • Calibration DVD
  • Really good eyes
  1. Select the "TV" mode. This should be the first step to calibrate your plasma TV. Most plasma TVs offer the option to select the mode. Selecting the proper mode involves cycling through each one until you notice one with satisfactory quality. The best options are usually "Movie," "Professional" or "Cinema" if available. If not, "Normal" or "Standard."
  2. Disable any "Enhancement" settings. Most newer plasma TVs offer a setting to process and "enhance" the picture. These settings typically come disguised as "Auto Correction," "Auto Enhancement," "Quality Enhancement" or any other setting containing the word "Auto." Disable all enhancements before proceeding to calibrate your plasma TV because these settings typically do a terrible job and lower picture quality.
  3. Adjust the color temperature. Adjusting the color temperature of your plasma TV is purely trial and error. Cycle between the presets until a pleasant-looking color temperature is obtained.
  4. Adjust the brightness or "Black Level." Adjusting this setting will either make the picture darker or lighter. This setting is easiest to calibrate with a calibration DVD. If you do not have a calibration DVD, you can still adjust your television's color temperature using any movie with particularly dark scenes. Pause the movie during a dark scene and adjust this setting until it looks best.
  5. Adjust the contrast level. Adjusting the contrast level is easiest to do using a movie with dark and light scenes side by side. Pause the movie during a scene with black and white and adjust the contrast level. The perfect result is achieved by tuning the level as high as possible without losing quality on small details such as cracks or snow flakes. This setting is also easiest to adjust using a calibration DVD.
  6. Set the saturation. A black and white picture has a saturation level of zero percent. An image with an unrealistic appearance due to the color is caused by a high saturation setting. Use a DVD featuring a scene that displays different colors to adjust the saturation level. Adjust it until each color–"red", "green" and "blue"–looks natural.
  7. Setting the tint. Adjust the tint setting when calibrating your television to ensure the picture is not too dark. Accomplish a proper adjustment using a calibration DVD. If you do not have a calibration DVD, this setting will be hard to adjust. You can use a trial and error approach or just leave this setting at 50 percent.
  8. Set the sharpness. Adjusting the sharpness setting is necessary if the majority of the media you watch on your plasma TV is standard definition. Simply leave the setting turned on. If you primarily use your plasma TV for watching high definition content, turn this setting off. The sharpness setting causes quality loss in high definition media.


  • Calibrating your plasma TV without the use of a calibration DVD is a trial and error process. A calibration DVD is generally not included with a new plasma TV, but can be purchased at most major electronic retailers. Calibration DVDs can also be found online. To achieve best results, consider purchasing and using a calibration DVD.
  • Calibrating your Plasma TV will require a decent eye for colors and contrasts; this is likely not an easy task if your vision is less than perfect.
  • In some instances, it may be too difficult to calibrate a plasma TV with or without a DVD. A calibration technician can calibrate your plasma TV using specialized equipment for a reasonable price, producing the best quality results.
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