CNET reviewers compare big screens side-by-side in a light-controlled space using a variety of test equipment, source devices, software and a comfy couch.
Our TV lab is closed off from the rest of the product-testing space by a theatrical curtain, which allows full control of lighting within the lab.
Inside the lab we arrange the TVs and set up a specialized meter, the Konica Minolta CS-2000 spectroradiometer (which costs about $28,000), to measure brightness, color and more.
We use Portrait Displays Calman Ultimate to control the spectroradiometer and a signal generator to aid in the evaluation process. Most of the figures in the CNET's TV reviews, including color, brightness, black level, gamma and more, are derived from Calman reports.
CNET's head of TV reviews, David Katzmaier, has extensive experience reviewing and calibrating displays.
Drawing the curtains allows complete darkness in the lab, which is ideal for comparing the TVs' raw picture quality, without the influence of ambient light.
We also test bright-room viewing conditions and look at factors such as screen brightness and reflectivity.
We control everything with these TV remotes and remotes from a variety of source devices. And you thought your coffee table was cluttered.
Sandwiched between two 4K UHD Blu-ray players -- a Sony UXP-700 and an Oppo BDP-203 -- is the meat of our comparison lineup, an AVPro 8x8 4K UHD Matrix Switch. The switch allows us to send any of eight sources to up to eight TVs with no signal degradation. We use Blu-ray for some of those comparisons, including reference discs like the Spears & Munsil HDR benchmark, and streaming for others.
Behind the couch are a pair of nooks for meetings and storage.
No lab is complete without easy access to all the extras, from cables to Blu-rays to hardware to streamers to microfiber wipes.