The typical user controls - brightness and contrast can, of course, be set arbitrarily, depending on video content and ambient lighting conditions.
Set the user brightness and contrast controls in the middle for the following adjustments and let the set warm up for 20 minutes or so.
(From: Jeroen H. Stessen (Jeroen.Stessen@philips.com).)
Now the screen control, that's another matter. It sets the voltage on the second grid of the electron guns, typically between +500 and +1000 V. You will want to use a well-isolated screwdriver for that if it is a naked potentiometer. In the old days there used to be 3 separate potentiometers for 3 G2s, now there is generally only one.
Its purpose is to set the cutoff voltage for the guns, i.e. the voltage between K and G1 at which the beam is just off. The higher you set the VG2, the higher VK - VG1 must be to cut off the beam.
If you set VG2 too low then your picture will be dark. You can compensate for that with the brightness control, which in effect will lower the VKs. A disadvantage is that you will not get optimum sharpness and peak brightness from your picture tube.
If you set VG2 too high then your picture will be bright. You can compensate for that with the brightness control, which in effect will raise the VKs. You might even get retrace lines which can usually not be made to disappear with the brightness control. Another disadvantage is that you will not get optimum LIFETIME from your picture tube. With a too high cutoff voltage the cathode (electron emitting surface) will wear out too soon.
You will need to see the picture tube specifications (or possibly the Sams' Photofact or service manual for the set --- sam) in order to find the correct setting for the cutoff voltage. This is measured as VK - VG1 (for each channel RGB) and is typically 130-160 V max. There will be spread between the 3 channels, typically the highest of the 3 measured values will be set against the upper limit.
The usual adjustment procedure is as follows: