If Santa delivered a new HDTV to your home today, use this list to help get your HDTV up, running and looking good. Please read the owner’s manual before proceeding.

1) Get it ready

If it is flat, (LCD or Plasma) the HDTV may need attachment to its table stand (if you are not wall mounting it.). This requires two or more people. Remember, NEVER LAY A FLAT TV ON ITS FACE OR BACK. HOLD IT UP (vertical) BY HAVING IT SUPPORTED ON THE BOTTOM OF THE BEZEL THAT SURROUNDS THE SCREEN. TO KEEP THE SET VERTICAL HAVE SOMEONE HOLD IT UP TO KEEP IT FROM FALLING OVER UNTIL IT IS PROPERLY ATTACHED TO THE TABLE STAND. NEVER PLACE ANY PRESSURE ON THE SCREEN (SUCH AS YOU PALM) DON’T TOUCH THE SCREEN. IT DOESN’T TAKE MUCH PRESSURE TO CRACK IT! If the screen cracks, the HDTV is destroyed. Always lift by it by the bottom of the outside of the bezel, you may also steady it by grabbing the edges and sides of the bezel.

2) Make sure your new HDTV is functional.

This will save you a lot of aggravation. As soon as it is unpacked and supported (such as assembling the table stand and attaching the panel properly by consulting the owner’s manual), connect the power cord to wall AC and power it up. Put the batteries in the TV remote and hit the menu button. If you get an on-screen menu of any kind the HDTV is functional. If it stays black, it is probably dead. After verifying the on-screen menu, proceed to connect the TV to your signal sources.

3) To see HDTV programs you will need one of the following depending on the related service.

A) For over-the-air reception, you need a TV antenna connected to the HDTV via the HDTV’s F type connector. If there is no F type connector on the back of the set you received an HDTV monitor, meaning there is no built-in digital tuner. You will need purchase a free standing HDTV tuner box to get the free over the air channels if it’s a tunerless HD monitor.

B) For HD Cable You will need either a HD cable box, a CableCARD (if your new HDTV has a slot know as a DCR or digital cable ready TV and you have receive the card from your cable provider) or you may connect the cable directed to the TV’s F connector to receive the unencrypted HDTV cable channels (generally the broadcast network stations) provided your new HDTV has an unencrypted QAM tuner built-in (most digital tuner sets do, you need to check the owner’s manual for inclusion and instructions to scan in the channels once connected)

C) For HD satellite reception you will need an HD satellite box and the appropriate dish already installed (check with your satellite provider for more information)

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4) To see HDTV with a HD satellite box or HD cable box you must use the component video connection (YPrPb) or HDMI or DVI connection. Oh no, you don’t have either one of these cables. Here is a tip to get you up and running till you get one. Temporarily use an audio/video cable you may have laying around (it came with your VCR, DVD player or other video component). This cable is the one that has three RCA type connectors, a yellow one, a red one and a white one at each end. Connect the yellow one to the Y output jack on the source box and the other end to the HDTVs component video Y input. Then connect the red one to the Pr output jack on the source box and the Pr input on the HDTV and finally connect the white one to the Pb jack on the HDTV and source box. Make sure all three are on the same numbered input on the HDTV (i.e. input 6 see owners manual for identification of the component video input on the HDTV) With the same numbered input selected on the HDTVs video input via the “input” button on the remote control, you will be able to see an HDTV image once you tune to an HD channel (the how to is in the owner’s manual). Not sure which channels are in HD? Use channel up on the remote, till you see a widescreen HD image (tip- make sure the HDTV’s aspect ratio you selected is the“FULL” mode and the source box is in its 1080i output mode) You will need an audio cable too, in order transfer the audio from the source box to the display (unless you are using an HDMI cable and connection).

5) Once you have your HD image on the screen, change the user picture controls. Get the set out of “Vivid” and into standard, movie or cinema (depending on the set) if you don’tt have an input named “movie” the HDTV will have one of the others and either one will produce a more accurate image. Next, turn down the contrast control to 50% or less. (I have written about setting the controls in more detail, see the archive button). Adjust the brightness control low enough to get the deepest black possible but do not bring it any lower, for it will bury the dark detail. This will require some experimentation by raising and lowering the control to you reach the ideal level. Adjust the color and tint control to produce the most natural, accurate skin tones.

6) Sit back and enjoy the HDTV experience. Have a Happy Holiday.

Copyright 2006 HD Guru (sm) All rights reserved