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Home theater receivers have come with auto-calibration systems for several years now. The process is pretty simple—plug a microphone into the front of the receiver, press START, andthe system shoots out a series of audio tests. By the time you’ve made a fresh pot of coffee, your receiver is properly calibrated. TVs, on the other hand, require a professional to come and hook up a sensor, use a test-pattern generator (or Blu-ray disc) and tweak the TV via the remote. Those days may be coming to an end. Bang & Olufsen, for example, recently released the BeoVision 4 TV that handles the calibration process all by itself, every 100 hours. A built-in robotic arm with a camera sensor extends from the TV to take measurements and make adjustments. Of course, this TV costs $13,500, but expect the concept to catch on with other manufacturers. The results may not reach ISF (Imaging Science Foundation) perfection, but the self-calibrating TV offers a big improvement in picture quality over TVs that stick with settings set by the manufacturer or retailer. TVs with THX modes also come pretty close to one-button perfect picture.
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