We can say that using a calibration disk without having meter/software you can do plenty of things, for example using Ted's LightSpace CMS Calibration Disk
1. Display a Brightness Pattern to set the Black Level (Brightness Control) of the Display; to prevent crushing of shadow details or raised black levels.
2. Display a Contrast Pattern to set the White Level (Contrast Control) of the Display; to prevent color detail clipping up to peak white levels and above reference white level color shifts/discoloration. The limitation to this is that you don’t know you peak output without a meter/software to measure the 100% White patch.
3. Use Sharpness Pattern to prevent edge enhancement (halo/ringing effect) or soft contouring (blurring of the image details).
You can check using that Sharpness Pattern some display settings like: Reality Creation, Noise Reduction, MPEG Noise Reduction, Dot Noise Reduction, Noise Filtering, Detail Enhancer, Edge Enhancer, Super Resolution, Digital Clear View to see how they are affecting your image resolution.
4. Use Color Clipping Pattern to prevent clipping of each color channel (RGB), this sometimes can be fixed be removing some clicks from the contrast control also.
You can check display settings like Live Color, Dynamic Color or Color Enhancer etc.
5. Display a Grayscale Ramp Pattern and find by swapping thru the available color temperature modes (normal/warm1/warm2 etc) of your display; which looks more neutral to your eyes. (It's guessing by the user selection), but Don’t try to fix the RGB Balance based to your eyes and tweak the RGB-High/Low Controls without meter/software.
6. Display a Grayscale Full Step Pattern and check your various enhancements controls of your display; Advance Contrast, Black Tone, Black Correction, Advanced Contrast Enhancer, Auto Light Limiter, Clear White, Dynamic Contrast, Cinema Black, Smooth Gradationetc. to have a better view of the problems they introducing and to realize why you need to leave them untouched to prevent new problems. (no smooth color graduations, distortions, discoloration, clipping, banding, posterization, crushed shadow details, raised black levels etc.)
7. Display a convergence pattern to find which mode of your TV provides you the 1:1 Pixel Mapping, to be able to view the correct full 1920x1080 pixel resolution of your display.
There a lot of people that they don’t have a local tour calibrator to calibrate their displays so a calibration disk is their only way to make some adjustments to improve their display performance by spending only a few bucks by ordering a calibration disk or by downloading a free one.
There a lot of people also that they don’t want to spend 400-600$ to calibrate their display to meet the Standards for Blu-Ray Disk playback because they are not comfort with their economics for such that amount of money so a calibration disk is their temporary solution.
There other people where they have 4-5 displays at their home and they are not able to spend a large amount of money to a professional calibrator to calibrate them all or they prefer to call a pro calibrator for their main display and use a calibration disk for the others.
There a lot of people where a pro calibrator can’t reach them, they have the money to pay for that service but they are not able to find any calibrator…. There countries that don’t have a pro calibrator also…
Taking in count all the above cases, a calibration disk without meter/software can improve the stock display modes of any display and it’s a really value with high performance/price ratio that anyone can use. It’s the first step for anyone to realize that his display can perform better with the correct settings, and maybe it can trigger people to request services from a pro calibrator later.
We can say that by using only a calibration disk we can’t meet the REC.709 standards, this requires meter/software, but it will be a good improvement for a small amount of money or by downloading a free one from web.
Also is an introduction to what a display calibration can do, the user maybe be interested to buy meter/software to do DIY or hire a pro for this job.
Can we say that by using a calibration disk only that a display is calibrated? No, this requires meter/software/knowledge, but can improve a lot the factory default settings and it’s better solution from copying display settings from web.
But by using only a Calibration Disk you can't set your peak light output, perform RGB Balance of your grayscale, calibrate your Primary/Secondary Colors (Hue/Saturation/Lightness), fix your gamma levels etc. for REC.709 without a meter/software.