"High Definition Benchmark" BD Edition by Stacey Spears and Don Munsil - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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For all you video gurus out there who can never get enough test material especially on Blue Ray format your in for a treat

Stacey Spears and Don Munsil, who created the highly-regarded DVD Player Benchmark™ and Progressive Scan Shootout at Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity®, have applied all their technical wizardry to this Blu-ray test and evaluation disc. "The test patterns on this disc represent the current state-of-the-art. They are cleaner and more accurate than the test patterns found on previous discs. There are a lot of subtle details that go into making them as mathematically perfect as possible, especially to ensure that they retain all their precision after lossy encoding. We have built proprietary tools to generate patterns and a custom encoder that preserves much more detail. Even ordinary patterns like color bars have unique traits that make them cleaner." - Stacey Spears, co-creator.
http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/






Thank you to both Stacey Spears and Don Munsil.
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post #2 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:17 AM
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I can personally attest to this amazing disc, it gets my videophile stamp of approval to the highest degree possible and that ain't easy

-Gary
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post #3 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:18 AM
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Thank you for posting this Alan.

Don and I will be here to answer questions.

Let me start by posting a few screen shots of the disc menus.










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post #4 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:24 AM
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Thank you Stacey and Don for putting this together. I look forward to putting it through its paces once I get it with my Oppo 83. If I set the Oppo on source direct, could I use this to test my display's deinterlacing performance as well?

Addicted to shiny round discs with HD content


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post #5 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:25 AM
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Hi, all.

We're really happy to have the disc available through AV Science, as we've both been long-time partipants in the forum and fans of AV Science and Alan.

Whether you have the disc or not, feel free to ask questions about it, suggest features to add in future discs, or make any comment you feel like.

The disc's user guide is available in PDF format on our web site: http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/pdf/U..._Benchmark.pdf. It lists all the patterns and has some notes on each.

Stacey and I will be checking this thread and answering pretty much any question anyone wants to ask about this disc, calibration, test patterns, the AIG scandal, March Madness, and epistemology and the works of W. V. Quine.

Actually I'm kidding about March Madness; I don't know a darn thing about football.

Don Munsil
Co-Creator, Spears & Munsil High-Definition Benchmark, Blu-ray Edition
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post #6 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:33 AM
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Looks good! Can I assume those 'PLUGE High' and 'PLUGE Low' are 75% and 25%, respectively?

I don't feel special...
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post #7 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

Looks good! Can I assume those 'PLUGE High' and 'PLUGE Low' are 75% and 25%, respectively?

PLUGE Low and PLUGE High refer to the average picture level (APL). PLUGE Low is just the PLUGE pattern on an otherwise black background. PLUGE High is the PLUGE pattern with a bright window on the screen to raise the APL. This is for checking black level retention - on some displays the black level changes when the APL changes.

Don

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post #8 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
If I set the Oppo on source direct, could I use this to test my display's deinterlacing performance as well?

That is correct. In source direct you can test a video processor or display.

While it is not an easter egg, there is a hidden title on the disc that contains some of the static patterns in SD resolution so you can look at the conversion from SD to HD. It is title 127. You can use the title search button on the remote and jump straight to this title. Each pattern is a chapter in the title.

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post #9 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmunsil View Post

PLUGE Low and PLUGE High refer to the average picture level (APL).

Thanks, Don!

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post #10 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 12:22 PM
 
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Why should anyone care or spend hundreds more for de-interlacing Blu-ray HD discs when 99% of them are mastered progressively?

It brings back bad memories of $2,000 players with analog outputs and the extra seven cables. Why bother now that the technology has drastically improved?
Might we be regressing? Kris Derring writes in Home Theater Magazine just how important de-interlacing and cadence decoding is for Blu-ray players. Startlingly more ironic is the fact that Sony Music is releasing the majority of 1080i Blu-ray concert discs. Go Figure!
But back to this test disc. Are we forgetting the discs are commonly mastered at, then output at 24p through HDMI with 1:1 mapping? Who even cares about 60hz frame rate displays anymore?
Why can't we be a bit intelligent and assign any 1080i deinterlacing to the display? After all, it’s already performing these tasks for HD broadcasts.

Who cares about 60Hz for even DVD's? The Toshiba, Panasonic and Oppo players are all discarding the inserted 3:2 pulldown frames necessary for legacy 60Hz displays. As a result judder and decoding and worries are removed.
My simply advice is to let the A/V controller decode the HDMI audio and the display decode the video. There is no reason to spend more than $300 on a fine Blu-ray player such as the new Panasonic BD60. Thanks!
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post #11 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 12:56 PM
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Wow. If you don't care, why are you here? The whole point is that some folks like to get 100% satisfaction out of their equipment, not 99% (to use percentages you threw about somewhat haphazardly).

1080i concert BDs exist because that is how they were shot: most "live TV" stuff is either 720p or 1080i. HD cameras used to professionally record concerts seem to be usually 1080i, probably to capture the "live" feel that you don't get using film-like speeds of 1080p24. The strobing effects in the NIN BD is a good example of something that probably doesn't translate well at 24 fps.

Some displays don't deinterlace as well as they should. That's just a fact of life, and if you can get better deinterlacing done at the player or pre/pro, then this BD test disk will help you figure that out.

Not everyone can go out and get a new DVD or BD player that supports proper 24p output from SD DVDs - so these test disks help identify your players shortcomings and optimized-for-the-player settings.

Just because something doesn't interest you doesn't mean others are not interested. Yeesh. Nothing like being a downer on an otherwise useful thread?

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post #12 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 01:03 PM
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Shinksma is right. You are not always going to get good HD de-interlacing from your display or various other components in your video chain. Deciding what you want to handle de-interlacing is a decision one needs to make and having a disc like this will help tremendously as it allows you the opportunity to test the various components one may use and find out which one works the best.

We are still seeing concerts, films and TV shows appear on Blu-ray in 1080i. A recent example is the 12th season of South Park, which is encoded as 1080i. If you want to get the best possible picture quality from these releases, you want to make sure you are using the best de-interlacing available to you.

As a side note, Home Theater has been using this disc for quite sometime now as our de facto standard for testing various video displays, video processing and Blu-ray player performance along with some various SD discs. Stacey and Don have delivered an outstanding test disc that will really show the strengths and weaknesses of your display chain and help guide you through the setup and basic calibration of your display. The disc is easy to use and the help guides will make setup even easier for the new user.

To me this is a must have for any video enthusiast and Blu-ray owner.

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post #13 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 01:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiFun View Post

Why should anyone care or spend hundreds more for de-interlacing Blu-ray HD discs when 99% of them are mastered progressively?

Well, for me it's sort of like finding out that a particular turntable works great for 99% of the records out there, but it turns out that it's just no good for Tchaikovsky. All Tchaikovsky records sound lousy. I may not even be a Tchaikovsky fan, but I'm going to think "What if I want to listen to Tchaikovsky once in a while? What if I suddenly develop a big appreciation for Tchaikovsky? Do I need to get a second turntable just for that?"

DVD players and Blu-ray players that don't have good deinterlacing do a terrible job of playing anime, for example. I don't watch much anime. But if a friend lends me a box set of some nifty anime series, I'm going to be really annoyed if it combs all the time.

Certainly no one is required to care about this stuff, just as there are going to be lots of people who continue to think that spending any amount of money on a Blu-ray player is a waste of money because "DVDs look fine." Nothing wrong with that. Stacey and I are certainly hoping there are more people, especially on AVS Forum, who do care about this stuff - they're our target market!

And, of course, there are more issues to evaluate (and more to our disc) than just deinterlacing performance.

Don

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post #14 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 01:55 PM
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This sounds great. Does the product come with the required filters.
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post #15 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Why should anyone care or spend hundreds more for de-interlacing Blu-ray HD discs when 99% of them are mastered progressively?

Season one of CSI is encoded as 1080i. This is one of the earlier HD shows and it has a lot of bad edits.

A feature film on BD should be great, but you may also own other HD sources such as a TiVo, DirectTV or Comcast. You will get 1080i from these sources. The deinterlacing tests will help you figure out if your display is doing the best it can.

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Does the product come with the required filters.

We are evaluating filters at this time. Until we find filters that we like, and trust, we are not going to include them.

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post #16 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by hawkeye3.1 View Post

This sounds great. Does the product come with the required filters.

Just to add to what Stacey said, we find that every filter we've looked at (so far) has failed to produce an accurate result on at least some displays. We've seen displays that are absolutely correct (checked using a pro photospectrometer) but look wrong through the filters we've tried, and correct when you disable the green and red channels.

And ultimately most modern displays have their color and hue set correctly or close to it at the default factory position (though on some displays you have to choose "cinema" or "pro" mode or something similar). So in the end we decided that the filters we could find were just as likely to make people's decoding worse as better. So until we could find filters we could stand behind we were going to leave them out. On many displays you can turn off channels by going into the service mode (or sometimes just in the regular menu), and that's the strategy we'd recommend.

If you do want to try using filters, and don't have some from any other discs, the blue side of the ColorCode glasses that were used for the Super Bowl and Chuck 3D promotion is as good as anything out there. You can also get a pair of the THX glasses for $2 from THX, though the shipping is a killer if you're just ordering one pair of glasses.

Don

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post #17 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 05:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmunsil View Post

You can also get a pair of the THX glasses for $2 from THX, though the shipping is a killer if you're just ordering one pair of glasses.

The THX order page (http://www.costore.com/THX/producten...=87&pid=930793) at one time said $12 shipping, but if you actually try it it is something more like $2.50. At least it was once so: I haven't done it recently.

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post #18 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 06:28 PM
 
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I'm about to order this promptly, but are there any good banding checks on this disc? My reference for checking system bit-depth is still the good old deep ramps on the Avia PRO disc/AviaII which should be inherently banding free.

Quote:
While it is not an easter egg, there is a hidden title on the disc that contains some of the static patterns in SD resolution so you can look at the conversion from SD to HD. It is title 127. You can use the title search button on the remote and jump straight to this title. Each pattern is a chapter in the title.

Also, I'm confused about this one, I've always wanted an SD disc with 709 patterns on it to check the matrix flow if things are being upconverted and then decoded wrongly in 709 without a twist. In other words, a wrong (709)SD colorbars suddenly turns out correct, so you're not chasing yourself in circles with wacky color controls, it's easier to track down. In other words, are these patterns treated like regular DVD content within a player? I guess as soon as I can get my hands on it I can figure it out!

Also, on a related note, the manual describes very briefly "color bars" and "HD color bars" the latter of which is "designed for modern displays." Huh?

Does it have any forced intros? I hate that. Even Avia PRO you gotta sit through the stupid WARNING screen.

Anyway thanks guys! Been waiting for a disc like this for a long time!
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post #19 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 07:54 PM
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Chris,

The contrast pattern has a double luma ramp in the middle. It will ramp from 1 to 254 to 1. The idea is you can use the white boxes to find the clipping point and then the gradient to adjust below the clipping point to find where the ramp is the smoothest. There are some interesting banding situations we have seen with recent displays. We are developing a pattern that will expose this problem in hopes that display manufacturers can fix it.

As far as the intro. If you try and skip it, we make you watch it again. Just kidding. There are two clips before the menu. One is a 30-second animation and the other a 3-minute montage. If you let the disc play both, it will default to the help menu. The idea was the first time someone plays the disc they might watch both. The help menu then tells them how to navigate the disc. At anytime during the intro's, you can press the menu button and it will take you to the setup and evaluation menu.

SMPTE re-designed the color bars a while back to "optimize" for modern displays. The color bar pattern on the cover of the case is the new HD color bars.

The SD patterns are 601. When the player is set to output 1080p, the SD color bars and HD color bars should look the same, assuming the proper color conversion is done. In fact, the OPPO BD player will actually twist the 601 to 709 if you chose to output 4:2:2 or 4:4:4. At least I recall it doing that.

There is a codec selection option in the setup menu. This is for all of the deinterlacing patterns. You can choose from VC-1 HD, VC-1 SD and MPEG2 SD. The VC-1 SD uses Blu-ray constraints while the MPEG2 use DVD constraints. It was kind of a test to show what SD could look like on Blu-ray.

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post #20 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 07:56 PM
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On a side note, it appears I have been a member of AVS over 10 years now.

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post #21 of 1227 Old 03-20-2009, 08:21 PM
 
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Quote:


The contrast pattern has a double luma ramp in the middle. It will ramp from 1 to 254 to 1.

Perfect. That pattern is like test-pattern porn! Deep ramps DEEP RAMPS! Nothing beats it to spot clipping.

Quote:


At anytime during the intro's, you can press the menu button and it will take you to the setup and evaluation menu.

As long as you can just hit menu, that's awesome. It's the restricted stuff that drives me nuts, especially after waiting 47 hours 13.39 minutes eleventy nine seconds wait wait no still longer now there's a different loading screen, for a BD player to boot up!

Quote:


SMPTE re-designed the color bars a while back to "optimize" for modern displays. The color bar pattern on the cover of the case is the new HD color bars.

Oh gotcha! I'd have figured that one out once I get the disc, maybe I'll wait till I can just look at it before I continue to berate you with questions. My wish list had Guy Kuo's animated color bars on it, I still find that the flashing boxes aids so much with precision.

Quote:


The SD patterns are 601. When the player is set to output 1080p, the SD color bars and HD color bars should look the same, assuming the proper color conversion is done. In fact, the OPPO BD player will actually twist the 601 to 709 if you chose to output 4:2:2 or 4:4:4. At least I recall it doing that.

Excellent. That saves yet another disc change and waiting and waiting.

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Yup, I never really left. Just some abroad stuff for a bit.
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post #22 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 12:40 AM
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Originally Posted by dmunsil View Post

If you do want to try using filters, and don't have some from any other discs, the blue side of the ColorCode glasses that were used for the Super Bowl and Chuck 3D promotion is as good as anything out there.

Handy tip - this week apparently Time, People, and Entertainment Weekly have 3D inserts with ColorCode glasses. I just checked the blue side of a pair of ColorCode against the THX optimizer glasses, and I actually think the ColorCode are a little bit better.

I also had a thought that filters are multiplicative, so layering them generally leads to increased frequency selectivity. So I tried two layers of ColorCode. I just took two pairs of glasses and laid them over each other, then looked through the blue side. That worked quite well. Still not perfect, but better than one layer. It's very dark, but it does cut out almost all the green and red. Three layers was even better.

So there you have it - the poor man's color adjustment filters. Buy two magazines and save the glasses. Or if you still have glasses left over from the Super Bowl, use those.

Don

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post #23 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 08:19 AM
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Since Xylon likes to post screen shots of discs, I thought I would post my own. I have posted a link to the original 16-bit 4k TIFF as well as the 1080p source frame and encoded/decoded frame so you can compare.

Original 4k TIFF: (48 MB) http://www.spearsandmunsil.com/image...riginal_4k.tif

Source:


Encoded:

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post #24 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 09:15 AM
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I have the SD version that came with the DVDOpro50. (I think it was you guys) The black and white levels showed results different from any of my other test disc (AVIA, DVE, even Wall.e). Was something wrong or were the others wrong? If so, is it fixed?

Also, does this come free with the Oppo?

Thanks again guys.
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post #25 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 09:17 AM
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Also, does this come free with the Oppo?

Yes, it does.

-Bill


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post #26 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 09:45 AM
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This sounds great. Does the product come with the required filters.

real theaters with CRT projectors don't need no stinkin filters

sorry I couldn't resist

-Gary
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post #27 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 10:39 AM
 
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Do you ship the disc to UK addresses ?
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post #28 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 11:54 AM
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The black and white levels showed results different from any of my other test disc (AVIA, DVE, even Wall.e).

The original AVIA did not include below black information. The original DVE's below black was not at -4% (Y 7). I have not looked at WALL*E as I only own the Blu-ray version. For the VRS disc, most of the static patterns were generated by the VP30 and then encoded by me. We wanted users to be able to match the built-in patterns with the ones on the disc to confirm the system end-to-end.

The video levels on our Blu-ray disc are 100% accurate. We are working on some technical documents that describe each pattern in detail. We will publish those, along with decoded images so that others can confirm the levels.

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post #29 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 11:56 AM
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Do you ship the disc to UK addresses ?

That's a great question! We did not use any region restriction so that the disc would work on all Blu-ray players. You will need to contact AV Sceince directly and find out if they will ship overseas. I am not sure if the free shipping applies in that case. If AV Science is unable to ship overseas, then you will need to order directly from OPPO Digital.

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post #30 of 1227 Old 03-21-2009, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by FoxyMulder View Post

Do you ship the disc to UK addresses ?

Yes we do, not a problem. PM sent.
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