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I'm interested in picking up the AVIA DVD... but how much does it really help? I'm going to get a calibration sometime in the near future, but is AVIA really helpful enough to provide some noticable difference in the meantime? And where can I get it for cheap, or at all? Is it easy to tell how exactly you should adjust different settings, or is it like the THX Optimizer in that it just gives you an image and tells you to use your own discretion?


Ok, enough questions for now...
 

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Avia is great, while DVE (Digital Video Essentials) is very hard to use? There's plenty of instruction on Avia, with videos explaining different aspects of home theater video and audio, basic instructions on how to use the tests, etc. Once you get into the calibration parts, there is text on the screen telling you how to use the individual patterns or test tones.


How much of an improvement depends on how well you use it, how deep you are willing to research and calibrate (simple user menu adjustments, or getting into the service menu), etc.


The easiest way to get the best PQ possible would be to hire a pro to calibrate for you. But if you want to do it yourself, the more time you spend on it the better picture you'll get - theoretically - because it takes time to go into the service menu and do the overscan, greyscale (=color temp, using r/g/b cuts/drives), gamma, brightness (black level) and contrast (white level), color, etc.
 

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What is the most up to date version so of Avia and DVE? I saw on Amazon an Avia disc from 1999 and a DVE disc from 2001. THose don't seem like they would be the most up to date.


Which one is better: Avia or DVE?? Do they both contain the color strips? WHich one is more user friendly to someone with moderate home theatre knowledge?
 

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I think those are the most recent versions - before Digital Video Essentials was Video Essentials. I know Avia has color strips, but I'm not sure about DVE. DVE might be a little better for digital displays with the video calibration portion, but DVE is really hard to use/navigate. Avia is very easy to use/navigate. Also if you do the audio, DVE's subwoofer tones are not correct, while Avia's are.


If you're on Netflix, you can rent both (no color strips, though) and try them both out.
 

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Both AVIA and DVE have the color "strips". There is also another disc from Ovation (the AVIA authoring company) called "Sound & Vision . . ." (also available from Amazon) that is newer than the AVIA one. However it's not as complete as the 1999 version of AVIA. Since the principles of calibration don't change, the age of the version doesn't really matter. THX also provides "Blue glasses" from their web site which can be used for "Color" & "Tint" adjustments (only).


BTW, AVIA includes instructions for both CRT and flat panel/digital displays (LCD/DLP, etc.), but you have to listen for it (ie. don't let your attention wander when they are describing how to use the patterns in the "basic video tests" portion of the DVD. Be sure to "warm up" your display for at least 20 minutes before making the adjustments (it needs that length of time to stabilize the internal temperatures which will effect calibration accuracy).


You might also check out this thread from GetGray: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...41#post6855541 . The Version 1 should be available soon (at about half the price of AVIA. However, getting AVIA should help you, because of detailed instrucions that are part of the material on the disc, itself (really helpfull for someone new to calibration details). DVE requires that you read the instruction book and navigate the disc (with no real help).
 

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It depends on how deep you want to go. Monster is coming out with a possibly more user friendly calibration disc in mid-January. It's not too much either. I have Avia. I might pick up the Monster too.
 

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Thanks for the info guys. Very helpful. I will probably try to pick up the Avia off of Ebay and go to Radio Shack and get an SPL meter. ANy suggestions for an SPL meter. I saw what I am guessing is a basic one Radio Shack's website for $40.


I would rent the calibration discs off of Netflix, but the main reason I want them is to properly set the colors and if I don't have the color strips, it doesn't do me any good. I did just send off for the glasses from THX, but I have heard that the THX Optimizer is only good for the movie it is on, not as a calibration standard for all. If it sucks, I am only out two bucks.
 

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The Radio Shack meter is fine, either analog or digital. If you have a camera tripod, it's easiest to mount it to it and set it where your head would be. That way you get consistent results.


I think the THX Optimizer is good overall - the main thing that varies from disc to disc is the brightness pattern for setting the Brightness (black level) setting. The brightess pattern for Monsters, Inc. seems to be pretty accurate, and I know the one on Incredibles is off quite a bit. If you haven't adjusted anything, the THX screens are better than nothing. The main one I look at is brightness anyway.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NDHorse
Thanks for the info guys. Very helpful. I will probably try to pick up the Avia off of Ebay and go to Radio Shack and get an SPL meter. ANy suggestions for an SPL meter. I saw what I am guessing is a basic one Radio Shack's website for $40.


I would rent the calibration discs off of Netflix, but the main reason I want them is to properly set the colors and if I don't have the color strips, it doesn't do me any good. I did just send off for the glasses from THX, but I have heard that the THX Optimizer is only good for the movie it is on, not as a calibration standard for all. If it sucks, I am only out two bucks.
The analog Ratshack meter is fine for your purposes. Keep in mind that it reads LF a bit off, but there is a compensation table posted on the 'net somewhere.


The colored glasses from THX should work with Avia, DVE and THX as well as some patterns shown on HD networks (INHD, HBO HD). They are nothing more than a blue filter. FWIW I've used the blue filter in Avia and DVE and had it give me the same result for color and tint. Also used those filters on INHD and HBO HD test patterns and got the same result. If nothing else, you can feel reasonably comfortable that the filters for color/tint are consistent.
 
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