(From: Chris Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org).)
If you have access to a DVD player, get the 'Video Essentials' DVD and follow the directions.
If you have access to a LaserDisc player, get 'A Video Standard' and follow the directions.
But, here are a few quick pointers:
Back off the color control all the way on a program. Set the color balance for a true grey appearance without any bias toward red, green, or blue. (Or any other color.)
Max brightness should not be high enough that vertical lines (like the needle pulse on the test LD or DVD) don't bend.
On the test pattern with the multicolored bars, the large bars should have the following colors: white (actually grey, but fairly light), yellow, cyan, green, purple, red, blue.
The purpose of the narrow bars just below the large bars is to match up the tint balance. You do this with a blue filter, or killing the R and G guns. The narrow bars will be exactly the same intensity as the large bars above them, if the color and tint balance is correct.
Here's a quick trick if you're lucky enough to have a set with separate gun killer switches for R, G, and B guns: When properly set, the narrow bars will be the same intensity as the large bars above them, if you only turn one gun on at a time. First do red, then green, then blue. Go through the process once and you'll never forget what it looks like.
Last point: The pluge bar (in the lower right section of the color bar screen) should NOT be visible, being ten percent below black level. If you can see it, back off the brightness.
Using just these concepts, you can get REAL close to a proper alignment.
Most people set the color too high. News programs should NOT be as colorful as the movie 'Jingle All The Way'. (Which, by the way, is a real test of your TV's abilities.) Most people's faces should not be red.
You know you have it all set right when black clothing on people on TV has texture and depth to it, and also when purple and blue are two distinct colors. Some TV sets don't do that very well as shipped.