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Which Setup Disc Do You Use?

As regular readers of this site know, we strongly encourage all video enthusiasts to take a few minutes to tweak their display's basic picture controls—brightness, contrast, color, tint, and sharpness—to get the best possible picture quality short of a full professional calibration. There are several inexpensive Blu-rays and DVDs that provide all the images you need to accurately set these controls. My question is, which one do you use? Or do you watch your display without making these simple adjustments?

Vote to see the results and leave a comment about your choice.

Which Setup Disc Do You Use?

techguy378's picture

I use SpyderTV Pro (the original). I bought it brand new. It was a bit pricey at $199, but totally worth it. The setup disc includes test patterns for full grayscale calibration on TV's with RGB cuts and gains but not for TV's with a six color calibration system. My LG 1080p TV has all ISF calibration controls available in the user menu so there's no need for a professional calibrator.

jeffaudio's picture

I use the AVS HD 709 disc from It may not be as fully featured as some of the others, but it's free and provides everything for a basic calibration. It can be burned onto a normal DVD in various formats depending on what your blu-ray can accept.

KikassAssassin's picture

I use DVE: HD Basics with an X-Rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter, the Colorimetre HCFR software from, and I follow the instructions at to calibrate my TVs.

I know you've said before that you don't recommend using cheap colorimeters, but to my eyes, my TV's picture looks better after calibrating this way than it does after making simple manual adjustments. I'm sure a professional calibrator with more expensive equipment could do a better job, but I already had the meter, and it works well enough for me.

I originally bought the i1 to calibrate my PC monitor for Photoshop work, and for that I use the calibration software that came with the meter.

David Vaughn's picture
Scott, I use all of them because I haven't found one disc that has it all. Disney's "WOW" is nice, but it doesn't heave grayscale patters, for example. If someone wants to do a "basic" calibration, I think the "WOW" disc is the best one to use for simplicity.
Scott Wilkinson's picture
This question pertains only to "basic" calibration (or what I tend to call "setup" to distinguish it from full grayscale and color calibration), and I agree that the Disney disc is great for that. The only discs among the ones I listed that have full grayscale patterns are DVE and DVE: HD Basics, so if someone has the training and equipment to do a full grayscale calibration and wants to do it using a disc rather than a pattern generator, that's the one to use.
mdanderson's picture

I really like the Spears & Munsil bluray disc. It came with my Oppo bluray player and it works great. I am very pleased with the results I have gotten with this disc. The AIX disc is good for audio and that came with my bluray player.

Jarod's picture

I've used DVE HD Basics for years for general setup of HDTVs. It's served me well.

Krondo_jd's picture

I've used both but I later had my main display ISF calibrated. I bought DVE-HD when it first came out, the S&M disc came with my Oppo BDP-83.


TheJoBoo's picture

For displays that cannot be immediately calibrated, we enjoy the Disney WOW disc for a quick optimization. If the client is in the room, we'll play a bit of the home theater cartoons. Of course, we come back later and do a full calibration sans Goofy.

Albert71292's picture

I just tinker around with the settings until I get the picture looking the way I want it, without using any discs.

unisenmedia's picture

I use the Spyder TV 2 Pro. It does the best job of getting your TV to look the best while conserving energy. I use it at customer's houses as well as my home.

Steve Caliendo's picture

I voted 'None'.

I tried the DVD version DVE disc once but didn't get too far with it. Since then, for my main HT Room displays, I always use the settings from the AVS Owner's Thread, or until the pro calibrator arrives at my house (I always use David Abrams from Avical who was a former guest on Scott's HTGeeks Podcast and does a fantastic job.)

For my bedroom displays, I just use the consensus settings from sites I listed. This seems to work great for me.

brianlangevin's picture

Home Theatre Test and Set-Up Disc by Musicland Stores Corp. Don't recall where I bought it but most likely with my old Panasonic carousel DVD player. Comes with a blue strip of 35mm negative.