I will probabley get shunned for saying this: Avia

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joe Tilley, Nov 18, 2002.

  1. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just bought Avia the other day & I wish I would have spent the money on something else. I just don't understand what all the hype over this disk is. I thought that some of the video test patterns were useful, but the audio sweeps & tones weren't very useful to me at all. I went through the Basic video adjustments & didn't have to change anything but my sharpness just a slight bit the brightness & color were pretty much dead on. Going into the audio portion of the disk I just dont see the point here. Through all the different tones, sweeps, & panning from speaker to speaker everything on my system sounds very well balanced with no jumps or changes in tonal quality at all.
    I thought I would find this disk pretty useful as much as everyone here & other places rave over it but[​IMG] [​IMG] I wish I would have spent the 40bucks on something else. I've always been the type to set everything up by ear though so this may be part of why I dislike it.
    All in all I just felt like I was watching a training video for BB or something like that. Sorry to have to say it & call me a dip shit if you will but thats just my .02
    Joe
     
  2. Kwang Suh

    Kwang Suh Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 1999
    Messages:
    849
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You cannot level speakers by ear. It is simply impossible. Get a SLM.
     
  3. Jagan Seshadri

    Jagan Seshadri Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Messages:
    528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    If your equipment had been off you probably would have found the AVIA disc more worthwhile. Be happy that your HT setup was well-calibrated to start off with.

    Just sell it to someone else.

    -JNS
     
  4. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 1998
    Messages:
    8,332
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Real Name:
    Neil Joseph
    You may appreciate it more if you ever have to change/upgrade some of your equipment. It is a must for any projector user for instance. Also, I find that most TV's are preset way off in their factory settings. Setting things right can only help to extend the life of your unit.
     
  5. BruceSpielbauer

    BruceSpielbauer Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 27, 2002
    Messages:
    275
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joe:

    It may be that you are simply educated enough on the visual aspects of home theater that you managed to get your video settings all set up correctly. If so, congratulations! Most consumers have their sets somewhere very close to the factory pre-set conditions, which typically means that they are in torch mode, their contrast is maxed out, their brightness is way off, their sharpness is way, way, way too high, their SVM is still on, they are living with a great deal of red push, or the blues. They also typically still have all of the "artificial enhancement" garbage turned on, such as an Iris or automatic room light sensor adjustment, and black level enhancements, and similarnonsense which causes loss of detail. They never know what you and I are seeing, those incredible blades of grass, and those individual strands of hair on a person'e head. They cannot see this detail because they are looking at a bad strobe light designed to catch people's attention on a showroom floor, and not a NTSC standard. Those settings, of course, obscure all detail, and also obliterate much of it. You and I know this. The typical person entering this area has no idea, and will never realize what he or she is missing.

    It may help to realize that most people are not videophiles, and do not hang arond these forums, or read intensively the calibration articles in home theater magainzes. Avia is aimed at educating those consumers.

    It is also useful for recalibrating. I run mine about once every six weeks, now that my set has settled in, and most of the drifting has stopped. I found I got better every time, for about the first ten times I did it. The first several times, I was missing things. I heard the narrator tell me to check for item A, and I was concentrating on that, and missed the fact that he also said I must check item B. It wasn't until the fifth or sixth time I ran it that I realized I was setting my contrast at the "maximum acceptable level," and was not even looking at the indicator for the "optimal acceptable level." I did the same types of things on several of the test patterns.

    As for the sound, I am afraid that I would recommend you obtain a sound level meter (I know, and additional $40 -- ouch!) and run that Avia again. There is simply no way one can set the audio properly by "trusting one's ear." It cannot be done, and even the most advanced experts in acoustics will explain this, and also explain why this is.

    Then, of course, if you decide that the Avia and the meter have served their usefulness, you can always unload them both on E-Bay. I promise they will both sell.

    -Bruce in Chi-Town
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2002
    Messages:
    3,168
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joe T: I agree. These test discs are overrated. The video section though, as you said, has some good use. But, I think just using your common sense and careful listening/watching will do fine for most people. And I'm not sure what's wrong with using a TV's room light sensor--how many people watch their TV in a room with no windows? [​IMG]
    And personally speaking, this 100% Accurate Sound Level setting thing is really overrated and is worrying people needlessly. There are so many TV shows & movies I've watched where one minute I can barely hear the surrounds, then I'll change the disc or channel and I'll get blasted out of my chair. Sorry, but I am going to turn down those suckers--despite what a sound meter or even my receiver's test tone generator tells me is "correct". This reminds me too much of the "tones controls are evil" way of thinking. If a recording is too raspy or boomy, I definitely will reach over & twist that bass or treble knob to control the sound. And remember, a room's acoustics have WAY more affect on a system's sound then any tone control--so audiophiles that pooh-pooh the idea of using tone controls because they "distort" the sound don't know what they are talking about (this stuff is why I longer read AudioAsylum.com).
    I say go ahead and just use the test tone generator and your ears. Then relax and enjoy what the director & actors have to show you.
    LJ
     
  7. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2001
    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Well I know when i first ran Avia i was really pleased with the picture result, i thought i had it dead on, but then i ran it again last weekend, and i was amazed by the difference, give it some time and try running it again, like Bruce and I experienced the more familiar you are with it the better the picture you can get.
     
  8. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2001
    Messages:
    492
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Joe,

    On the video portion: wow, congratulations on having hyper-accurate vision, enough so to be able to calibrate your hue/tint perfectly without the aid of test patterns and those colored plastic strips that Avia provides. I never would've been able to do that.

    On the audio portion: did you use a sound pressure level meter? Do you care enough to use one? If not, then the audio test portion won't be of much use to you, particularly the level balancing portion.

    Regarding different TV shows having different sound levels--don't blame Avia for that. That's the TV stations' fault. Most audio for DVDs are calibrated to a set specification, and calibrating your system with Avia will allow you to hear the mix in a way that is as accurate as possible. Of course, some people would rather have sound that is to their liking and like to fidget with the tone controls every few minutes. I personally don't, and prefer to fire and forget as far as calibration goes.
     
  9. Ted Lee

    Ted Lee Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    8,390
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    another aspect of these calibraton dvd's is the fun factor. (yes, i'm a geek).
    it's nice to know you've squeezed every last ounce of perfection you can out of your gear and to know that everything is calibrated as well as possible.
    now you can sit back, relax and watch movies the way the director intended.
     
  10. Jerry Gracia

    Jerry Gracia Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 1998
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    AVIA is an essential part of my Home Theater.

    Just recently I bought a new HDTV and a new progressive scan DVD player, AVIA has paid for itself in my home.

    It just depends on the individual. If you feel you need your HT gear running as close to 100% as you can get most of the time, AVIA is a must.

    AVIA belongs in any serious HT buffs collection IMO.
     
  11. DerekF

    DerekF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2000
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joe,
    You could have just used the free "THX Optimizer" calibration suite that comes with THX DVD's like Star Wars, Toy Story, etc..! I ordered the extra $2 blue glasses from THX to go with their color and tint adjustment test patterns, though.
    That's all I now use on my Elite-RPTV/Denon-DVD3800 combination. Images are superb now. I went over 2 yrs. eye-balling it, but these quick and easy THX Optimizer cal screens showed me just how much my eye-ball was "off". No need to go to a theater ever again after this do-it-yourself free calibration! [​IMG]
     
  13. John Beavers

    John Beavers Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 1998
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My only issue with AVIA is the color/hue setup. If you want fleshtones to be "fleshy" looking, you have to reduce the AVIA color settings by quite a bit. In order to get the AVIA color boxes to quit flashing, on both my previous and current set, color had to be set above 50, which produced skin tones of a very deep orange.
     
  14. Oachalon

    Oachalon Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    195
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    i was wondering when you guys say that you should set up ur speakers with an spl meter what for. Well i know what for but an spl meter is not your ears. Shouldnt you set it up to your liking not an spl meters liking. I have the avia disc and i set everything up correctly using that i didnt like it that way so i changed it to my preference. If you dont like how something looks or sounds shouldnt you be able to set it the way you like it.
     
  15. Phil Nichols

    Phil Nichols Second Unit

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2000
    Messages:
    345
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    John Beavers,
    I found the same thing on flesh tones you did when using the THX Optimizer I mention above:
    My color settings went way up, then everyone looked like they were sunburned - but boy did all the other colors in images look good! So, since I was using component cabling, I merely plugged a $9 Rat Shack 75 ohm TV "antenna" attenuator into the Pr connector on the back of my DVD player and then plugged the Pr strand from my component cable into the attenuator. Turned the attenuator up part of a turn while watching the screen and wa-la ......... skin tones became perfect. Now for the clincer ....... doing this DID NOT affect the perfect color and tint settings I had setup via the calibration screens earlier. Now, I have deep saturated colors of the proper tints throughout all images PLUS natural looking skin tones. It "sounds" impossible to attenuate the Pr line signal a bit and not affect color and tint settings, but once you understand NTSC color space principles and the NTSC color transform equation signals traveling on the component Y/Pr/Pb component strands, you'll understand why this works! (The Y/Pr/Pb signals on component video lines ARE NOT simple "RGB" signals - a mis-understanding many get caught up in.) It's almost unbelievable, but it does absolutely revolutionize your images once you do it. [​IMG]
     
  16. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    To the few that said to get a meter, you might as well be telling me to buy Avia all over again. Yes I do realize that things may not be perfectly dead on without using one but this is home theater not rocket science. I'm just not going to fork out another 40 bucks just to find out that one speaker was off by 1/4db than the others it's pointless to me.
    To me & anyone else who has heard my system thinks it sounds damn good & I think that that is all that matters here. I simply wouldn't feel any better if I did get a meter, I think I would be just that much more upset that I wasted my money once again for something that I found useless.
     
  17. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

    Joined:
    May 6, 1999
    Messages:
    2,259
    Likes Received:
    25
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Real Name:
    Carl III
    Calibration discs and meters are toys for those who like to tweak their systems, nothing more. I paid for mine and wouldn't hesitate to do so again but when I got them I wasn't expecting earth shattering changes. It's no different than a painter buying an expensive brush knowing full well that it won't make a whole lot of difference in the final picture.
     
  18. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 1999
    Messages:
    3,756
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Joe,
    As far as picture adjustments, I had pretty much the same results--what I'd done by eye was pretty close to what AVIA specified. I've been adjusting television picture controls since the early 50s and pretty much now how--most folks these days don't so AVIA is a big help for them. The idea of AVIA is to set a baseline that conforms to the ntsc standard for picture adjustments and stick to it. When this is done the set will most accurately reproduce what the director and cinematographer of the movie wanted you to see, which is the whole idea of Home Theater--duplicating as closely as possible the movie theater experience in one's home, not having a really bright supersharp picture for watching Wheel of Fortune.

    Those who get glowing orange fleshtones or sunburned faces have sets with too much red push--the disc deals with this in the color decoder evaluation screen.

    One can either turn color down to make fleshtones realistic and sacrifice a color intensity in the rest of the picture or fix the red push with an attenuator or in the set's service menu.

    Just as the picture you see with it's distinctive color and lighting carefully chosen by the director and cinematographer is part of the moviemaker's art, so the sound editors and mixers put a lot of effort into how the sound effects and music complement what you see on the screen. You don't experience this the way the artists who produced it meant you to unless your sound system is correctly balanced.

    Again, we're talking about accurate reproduction of the movie going experience--getting as close as possible to what the moviemakers intended you to hear as well as see.

    Movies are an art form, and with the lousy quality of most movie theaters these days it's often easier to truly experience them as the artists intended in our own homes. This is impossible without correctly calibrating our systems. If one is serious about Home Theater as a way to experience movies as their creators intended, one should make the effort to set up the gear properly.

    Overall, AVIA didn't really change my picture settings much over what I did by eye, but did get that last 10% or so.

    As for sound, it has actually improved quite a bit.

    The disc and sound meter cost me a total of $70--pretty cheap as they get me recalibrated with every gear upgrade and the overall improvement in accuracy is well worth it.

    I find it hard to understand why one would pay several thousand dollars for gear and begrudge this relatively small sum to make the difference between watching tv and experiencing home theater.
     
  19. DerekF

    DerekF Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I respect your preference for playing it by ear--literally, but my VE disc and SPL meter are the single best dollar-for-dollar investment I have made in my HT.

    As a footnote, Joe, Lance, are all of your speakers timbre matched, and from the same manufacturer?

    I'm just curious...You see, my mains were in the shop recently, so I dusted off an old pair of speakers to tide me over. Long story short: even after calibrating the system with the old mains in place, I was often "losing" the center channel--something I attribute to totally different construction/timbre. I found a mis-matched front stage really tempted me to constantly play with output levels (something that never happens with my regular mains).
     
  20. Joe Tilley

    Joe Tilley Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Messages:
    686
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Derek, yes all my speakers are timber matched. I have an all Polk set up using a CS400i center, RT55i mains, RT55i front surrounds, & RT55i rear surrounds. As for my sub I'm using a 270 liter DIY sono tuned @17hz with a 15" Dayton DVC sub & PE 250watt plate amp.
     

Share This Page