Asking the creator of one title to compare it against another is always dangerous.
Don and I are biased, but I will do my best to be as unbiased as possible. If we are going to discuss DVE and S&M, we should also bring AVIA into the mix, even though they don’t have their BD on the market yet. I suspect you will see it bundled with Sony stuff. I have been friends with Joe since 1994.
AVIA and DVE include instructional videos on calibration while our disc does not. AVIA takes the live approach while DVE is animated. Both accomplish the same thing, which is explaining how to adjust the controls. I would love to produce an animated tutorial and I hope that one day we can. It’s not a cheap endeavor. The tutorial on DVE was created back when the original DVD was produced. Joe, way back when, decided to produce the original DVD at 1080p for future use. The new DVE: HD Basics includes a new intro that goes into some detail about post production. Allen Daviau even narrates some of it. This is the section where they color grade a banana and make it blue. This alone makes DVE: HD Basics worth owning in my opinion.
I always wanted to get Guy Kuo and Joe Kane to work together on a disc. I felt that Guy’s synthetic patterns with Joe’s tutorials and montage would make the perfect disc. Sadly that never happened.
Both DVE and S&M contain a montage of images. Joe’s was shot pre-2001 with a Panasonic HD camera at 720p resolution. The computer animated portions were done at full 1080p resolution. Joe considers this a torture sequence more than demonstration material. He has a commentary track on DVE: HD Basics that explains the purpose of the scenes. Our montage was meant more as demonstration material.
Our montage was shot last year from August through September using the RED ONE camera. We shot everything at 4k with a 2:1 aspect ratio. For us, it was a learning experience. We used our own algorithms to convert the 4k down to 1080p. We used the same algorithms to create the 720p version of the Joe’s Montage, on DVE, including our dither.
DVE has some test patterns in 720p and some in 1080p. I don’t believe all exist in both resolutions. Our patterns are all 1080p with a title that includes some at 480p.
I believe our test patterns represent the state-of-the-art at the present time. We believe our chroma alignment pattern is the first real useful pattern for evaluating YC delay both horizontally and vertically. At anytime, you can use the up arrow on the remote to display on-screen help for the pattern you are viewing. You can use the menu to navigate patterns or the left and right arrows. You can force our patterns to loop until you chose to move on or have them return to the menu after one minute.
DVE has a lot more synthetic patterns than we do. You can blame Don for this.
Don strongly believes that we should not put patterns on a disc just for perceived value. He wants every pattern to serve a purpose and for us to be able to explain how to use it. This disc focuses mainly on patterns an end user can use without special instrumentation. We have a lot more patterns up our sleeve, but they do require special test instruments to use properly, which is geared more towards the CE companies and reviewers.
Our disc has an entire section on film and video deinterlacing in HD and SD. In fact, ours is the first disc to have non-synthetic patterns to check for inverse telecine. The HQV disc offered one synthetic pattern.
I believe DVE is localized in other languages while ours is only in English.
I personally own all flavors of AVIA and DVE.