What is the best DVD audio and video test/calibration disc?? How much does it cost??

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by kurt_fire, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. kurt_fire

    kurt_fire Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm willing to spend up to $30 for a quality home theater video/5.1 audio test disc. What is the best disc to do this and how much would it run me?

    For the people that have used one, does it make a noticable difference and is it worth the money?

    Also, can I purchase this at Circuit City or Best Buy??
     
  2. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    You can purchase them from some B&Ms but you won't find Avia at that price. The cheapest I have EVER seen Avia is $34.36 from Deepdiscountdvd.com.
     
  3. Kevinkall

    Kevinkall Second Unit

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    You can get the SOUND & VISION setup disc for around $15 and can be found at Circuit City. It has 6.1 and DTS test tones to! Good disc.
     
  4. Darren Mortensen

    Darren Mortensen Stunt Coordinator

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    The long awaited Joe Kane Production of DIGITAL VIDEO ESSENTIALS will be shipping as of July 15. The HiDef D-VHS version is currently shipping its preorders. I just preordered my NTSC DVD version last night for $24.99. You can find the link at www.widescreenreview.com
     
  5. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    To answer your last question - Yes they are worth the price and are almost a necessity to get the proper picture and sound balance on your system.
     
  6. BrianEK

    BrianEK Stunt Coordinator

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    to calibrate your system at a low cost you can simply purchase a dvd movie that is THX certified and that comes with a THX Optimizer. for example the two new Star wars and the new T2 Extreme edition dvd's. if you already own or like these movies, you can buy them and you basically get he optimizer free. it will run you through calibration for video as well as audio to THX standards, which is the best out there. if you don't know what THX is it is a certification made by George Lucas setting a certain set of minimum quality settings. Getting tru THX sound requires THX certified equipment(and is really expensive) but you can optimize your system to it's fullest by using the Optimizer found on these movies. good luck.
     
  7. Jeff Gatie

    Jeff Gatie Lead Actor

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    BrianEK,

    Although you can approximate a calibration with the THX Optimizers that come with some DVD's, it has been found that these are optimized for the movie themselves and are not standardized. In other words, you will find differences between the calibration for Star Wars and the calibration for T2, i.e no two THX Optimizers are alike. This may be a minor point to some, but to get a true reference calibration, the Avia, S&V or VE disks are the standard. Also, the THX Optimizer does not explain how to do a calibration, whereas the disks mentioned above have tutorials included which may be useful to a novice.

    I'm not disagreeing with your suggestion, just giving the full story so kurt_fire can make an informed choice.
     
  8. Geoff S

    Geoff S Stunt Coordinator

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    I second what Jeff said. I tried calibrating using THX, but their test tones are as much as 10dB off from what they say they are, and all they are are tests, not calibration software. Go with one of the other mentioned discs to get the best result.

    Use the THX ones to make sure your speakers are simply hooked up right, and can do in-phase, and out of phase playback correctly.
     
  9. JamesCB

    JamesCB Second Unit

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    Don't forget...

    You also have to get a sound level meter. Like the one from Radio shack. That will run you about $30-$40.
     

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