Essential HDTV accessories

An HDTV is just a TV with a pretty picture until you add a few important accoutrements. The dozen add-ons shown here will greatly enhance your HDTV watching experience.

Colour Calibration System

Back when HDTVs cost US$5000, spending another few hundred bucks to bring in a professional calibrator to make a house call to fine-tune your set seemed like a good investment. But now that some pretty large HDTVs cost much less, few people want to spend half again as much on a visit from Dr. Lookgood.
You could opt instead for a hardware calibration device such as Datacolor's US$200 SpyderTV (pictured), which includes a colorimeter, test patterns on a DVD, and software that runs on your PC or laptop (though some videophiles prefer to use the colorimeter with third-party software such as HCFR 2.0.1).
But you can perform a simple and reasonably effective calibration for almost nothing: Look through your DVD collection for a title carrying the THX logo; its presence on a DVD case may indicate that the disc includes free calibration test patterns (though you'll still have to send off for a pair of special glasses, for US$4.50). See our story "How to Calibrate Your HDTV" for more options.

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