So you want to know how the pros test all those HDTVs. Perhaps, you even want to go around to all of your buddies house to see who has the best HDTV. Well, PC World has cracked open the trap-door on their HDTV testing lab to show everyone how they do it. While this lab maybe deep in an underground lair, they keep it real down there with goal of testing under real world environments. So real that they even preform tests under two different light conditions because everyones household lamps are a bit different and that can make a big difference on how the colors appear. The very first thing they do is calibrate the set using AVIA: Guide to Home Theater along with Digital Video Essentials. (proving once again that you need to calibrate your HDTV and it doesn't have to be expensive) Only once this is done do they move onto the testing that involves a standard-series of high-def material that they present to each HDTV with areas that they know will give it trouble. (think torture test) The test then moves onto standard definition material, followed up by DVD scenes.
It's really not that hard and you can see the key to testing HDTVs, right? Consistency.