Most HDTVs look perfectly fine straight out of the box these days, without any sort of professional or DIY calibration. But if you want to crank up the quality just a little bit more, it's much easier than you think.
Sound and Vision says it's best to start by letting your set warm up for a half hour or so, and setting the lighting in your room to the levels you'll typically use while parked on the couch. From there, all you'll need is a Blu-ray player and a $US25 - $US30 calibration disc that'll guide you through tinkering with your picture settings. Just don't start messing around without instruction - you might end up making your image worse than it was before you touched it. With a little patience, you'll end up with better colour reproduction, contrast, and brightness.
Sound and Vision's full guide is easy to follow and worth a read - after dumping a grand or so into a new set, why not drop in a little extra investment to make 'er shine? [Sound + Vision]
Photo by Karl Baron