The contrast control may be named "picture" or "white level".
I find it hard to believe that a TV set may lack that option.
To prolong the life of the TV set, for CRT (both direct view and projection) and plasma set types, contrast should be set so the overall screen brightness is noticeably less than the maximum achievable. For a new set we suggest aiming for less than halfway for direct view, less than a third for RPTV or FPTV. Within the above restriction you can use test patterns such as on Video Essentials DVD.
oh ok, yes my tv does have picture, but i just didnt know if that was contrast because i have seen other tvs with the contrast option. i have a sony kv-hs420 that i just bought fairly recent, where would my ideal setting be? thanks
You may notice that shadow detail might be buried or highlights may be washed out but you really need a gray scale step test pattern if you want to be sure of "getting it right". Both AVIA and Video Essentials have this pattern.
The "correct" calibration will be different for daytime versus nighttime unless you have dark drapes drawn over the windows.
The brightness control is used to adjust the darker end of the gray scale test (or shadow detail) while the contrast control is used to adjust the lighter end (or highlights). You may have to go back and forth with the two controls. There are additional test patterns for contrast, do not crank the contrast higher than the smallest level suggested by any of the tests.