DVD International // 2007 // 114 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // June 20th, 2007
The 1080p and 720p high definition test and demonstration materials from Digital Video Essentials are now available on HD DVD.
I'm one of the more dangerous consumers when it comes to home theater products, in the sense that I adopt a lot of the current video technology early on without perhaps allowing time to provide a proper, more reasoned perspective on my video purchases. That goes as far back as a decade, when I bought a Pioneer DVD player for the then-ungodly amount of $314, and that was with a discount that allowed me to purchase it at cost plus 5 percent. And in the last 18 months, I've purchased first generation models of the Toshiba HD DVD player and Sony XBR series television, and purchased a Playstation 3 as my Blu-ray player two months ago. But I'm without kids, I live with my wife who's been going to college and working for many moons, and I've had a little bit of personal financial leeway, since I've made sure the house hasn't burned to the ground while she's been at work or school, or while she's done homework. But she's graduated now, and I'm going to presume that the proverbial part is over.
But in said 18 months, I'd like to think I've gained a little more than a layman's knowledge of audio and video products using the Al Gore invention of the intertubes, and it's helped me decide what to buy and, in some instances, how to set it up for its maximum use. But there's a prevailing opinion that I should probably have my existing setup looked at or calibrated to ensure that it's doing what it should. An enterprising home theater wiz named Joe Kane has been involved with the process for years now, and even put out a disc that many technophiles swear by to calibrate or make adjustments to their setup. It's now come out on the next generation video format of HD DVD to help make lives easier.
To put it in a nutshell, Kane helps make sure that if you have your television setup, your colors aren't too exaggerated to the point where they'll bleed all over your screen, and any sort of contrasting colors (black and white) are consistent without being too blown out. Basically, the work of trying to forever tweak your television should be a thing of the past with Kane's Digital Video Essentials. With his help, he ensures that anything you have to do to improve your home theater setup has only to do with adjusting the volume.
Admittedly, I'm the most dangerous type of consumer, one who's got a lot of disposable income but not a lot of brains, so with all this equipment, the only calibration I've done is via some information sharing on message boards. This disc is a combo, so I put the standard definition part in and took a look at things. The disc has a bit of information for the layman, explaining and illustrating the examples of prime position and calibration, and helps to stress what is important for your home theater setup. From there, you can start performing the tests that are included on the disc, both on the SD and HD sides, if you have an HD DVD player. It may behoove you to invest in a couple accessories that the disc mentions, including some specialized calibration equipment that can be found for purchase at some electronics outlets. But the tests show you what to look for, how you should be viewing and hearing the material, and how to make the necessary adjustments, along with (repeat after me) consulting your owner's manual.
For the laymen out there who wants their equipment to operate at its peak, the Digital Video Essentials disc is designed to help them do just that, calibrate their equipment. Since calibration is the lynchpin of any electronic equipment, this disc proves to be a vital addition to any home theater enthusiast's library. While some of the material may be a bit overwhelming or tough to follow for the absolute beginner, novices will appreciate this disc and will be ready to hold onto it.
Review content copyright © 2007 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: DVD International
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Full Frame
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (English)
Running Time: 114 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Additional Calibration Test Patterns
* Color Filters
* Downloadable Content
* Official Site