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Monster HDTV Calibration Wizard review

Learn how to calibrate your display yourself

thanks to a DVD produced by ubiquitous cable company, Monster, you can calibrate your display yourself

Our Verdict

A good idea in principle, but the information is too sparse and the presentation is infuriating


  • A noble idea


  • Gratingly patronising

The default picture modes of your display often give results that may look acceptable in a brightly lit showroom, but leave a lot to be desired as far as home viewing is concerned.

But it is possible to achieve a much better picture through careful calibration of the user controls.

The displays of professionally installed home cinemas are usually calibrated by a technician who has been trained by the Imaging Science Foundation (ISF). Such people are quite expensive to hire out. Wouldn't it be nice if you could do the job yourself?

Well, thanks to a DVD produced by ubiquitous cable company, Monster, you can.

Introduced by none other than Monster's maverick CEO, Noel Lee, this US-sourced DVD aims to be a single port of call for basic user display calibration. It guides the user through the brightness (black level), contrast, colour, sharpness and aspect-ratio adjustments.

Bearing in mind that no colour filters are supplied for saturation adjustment (you get these with superior discs, such as Digital Video Essentials), it's possible to do a fair job that certainly improves on typical factory defaults.

Although worthy in intention, the whole thing is so patronisingly presented that you feel like hurling a brick through your screen before you've calibrated it.

But it's not just the presentation. Why hasn't Monster and its friends given us a 'reference' section, containing test patterns? Why has audio been forgotten? And even including a ridiculous pop video at the beginning, the whole thing only runs for less than 15 minutes. But there is a secret - the entire contents are presented again in 720p.