Originally Posted by Voyeur
I posted this on another site, but I thought I'd share some observations since I've used 4 different calibration discs now: the DVE
, Spears & Muncil
, the Monster HDTV Calibration Wizard
and Disney's WOW
Bluray is way easier to navigate than the standard def version. The Brightness test is okay, but the Contrast test is useless as far as I'm concerned. The specialized HD color bar/tint test is really the reason to get the DVE
. It's not only easy to adjust, but more accurate than the SMPTE test. Usually the SMPTE test wants my color to be around 49/50. But the DVE
HD color bar test has my perfect color at 48. Sounds like it wouldn't make much difference, yet 48 really does look more accurate and is a bit easier on the eye.
The Spears & Muncil
is a very nice all around calibration disc. It has a similarly unique HD color test of it's own, but not quite as easy to gauge as the DVE
. I think I like it's Brightness test more because there's a couple of effective patterns, especially the checkerboard. The Contrast test is also better than the DVE
because it includes a couple of ramps with number bars (one for Brightness and one for Contrast) and the instructions tell you how the two ramps should look together, which helps in calibrating both adjustments. The S&M
disc (that sounds bad) is also very easy to navigate. I'd definitely say this disc has the overall edge over the DVE
The Monster HDTV Calibration Wizard
is surprisingly the best Contrast test for me (so far). Primarily because my HDTV seems relatively unfazed by various fancier tests. I can have the Panasonic Contrast all the way to 100 and still see the whiter-than-whites clearly. This disc, however, has a very simple video of a dude wearing a very white shirt. And even though the buttons never really "disappear", which is what we're supposed to look for, it's great for adjusting the Contrast to the point where it's bright enough to pop, yet not too much. The real trick is to get it as bright as you can while still looking natural. The brightness test is quite nice too. It's a dude wearing a black coat, black shirt and tie (so you can make sure to distinguish the different black levels). Even better, there's a blacker-than-black "X" that moves around in the dark background. You are to lower Brightness until the "X" disappears into the background. What makes this great is this test seems to work even on DVD players that clip blacks. I know this because I tried to calibrate my aunt's new HDTV thru her rather modest DVD player and the blackest bar from my DVE
was completely clipped. I put the Monster in and the "X" was clearly visible. All other tests on this disc are worthless, judge by your own eye
color and sharpness tests.
Finally, I have to say I'm completely impressed with Disney's WOW
calibration disc. I love that it provides demonstrations before having to make adjustments yourself. I also like the uniqueness of the Brightness and Contrast tests (especially in the Advanced settings) and the fact they have indicators of what should be visible and what shouldn't be. Not as good for me at judging Contrast as the Monster
disc, but still impressive. I'd say the Brightness test, however, is almost as good as the S&M
disc. Really, you can't go wrong with either of these discs in terms of Brightness. The Color test is the same old SMPTE test, so no revelations there, but this has the best Sharpness test of all the discs. It's similar to the standard Sharpness test pattern, but with more going on within the pattern for better adjustment. On a side note, I also really like the WOW
's Audio/Video sync test and the Pixel Flip tool (which allegedly "exercises" your screens pixels). This is a really nifty calibration disc, I have to say. The only annoyance is it seems to take a long time switching between tests, but that may just be my Bluray player needing an upgrade or something.
So all these discs have advantages:DVE
: Color and Tint is best for HD, Brightness decentSpears & Muncil
: Brightness best, Color and Tint 2nd best, Contrast decent.Monster HDTV Calibration Wizard
: Contrast best, Brightness decent (good for sources that clip blacks)Disney's WOW
: Sharpness best, Brightness and Contrast 2nd best
For me, the DVE
are pretty invaluable for Color and Contrast respectively. If you can only choose one disc, however, I'd say it's a toss up between the Spears & Muncil
and the WOW
having the edge on color, but the WOW
having the edge on everything else.