DVE (Digital Video Essentials): HD Basics Page 2

In addition, the disc contains extensive tutorials on video in general, high definition, and on how to use the included patterns to properly adjust your set. Again, much of this material carries over from the standard-definition DVE, but there’s new content about high definition. I highly recommend all of these features. Even if you think you know all you need to know about the subjects, you’re certain to learn something new. I did.

JKProductions also carried over the majority of the demo material from DVE. Like the test patterns, the demo material is available in both 720p/24 and 1080p/24. The 720p material adds some exceptional New York scenes that carry over from the D-VHS releases. (The D-VHS versions also included additional material from early ABC HD tests that is not included on this disc.) The 1080p demo material includes an optional narration track by Joe Kane.

The disc presents one of the demo scenes shot on film in two different transfers. There’s a conventional 1,920-by-1,080 transfer and a 4,096-by-2,302 transfer for 16:9 material. JKP downconverted the 4,096-by-2,302 transfer to 1,920 by 1,080 for the disc. Additional detail is visible in the 4K-mastered clip, but whether or not you’ll actually see it will depend on the quality of your display. Although relatively subtle, it’s easier to spot when you know what to look for (check the facial textures). Some studios produce their current Blu-ray movie transfers this way, starting at 4K and then downconverting to 2K for the disc. But no studio has promoted the process as a selling point. Because of that, there’s no way to tell a 4K original from the disc’s packaging.

If you are still using HD DVD, JKP also released DVE: HD Basics in that format. Samples may still be available at some retailers. Both versions’ content is essentially the same. However, the HD DVD adds a bookmarking feature that lets you set up your own string of test patterns for easy recall. In its current version, the Blu-ray does not offer bookmarking.

Before JKP released DVE: HD Basics, the company released another test disc on HD DVD called Digital Video Essentials (DVE): High Definition. This combo disc offers DVE: HD Basics on one side and the standard-def version of DVE on the other. Unfortunately for Blu-ray owners, this version is not yet available on Blu-ray.

Both DVE: High Definition and the SD version of DVE include additional test patterns that are not included on DVE: HD Basics. But no test disc, no matter how complete, can produce a full ISF calibration by itself. To measure and tweak a display’s color-temperature consistency (which is almost never correct out of the box), you need test patterns, precision test gear, and the skills to use them.

While not everyone can perform a soup-to-nuts calibration, anyone can calibrate his or her basic video settings. If you get these right, you can greatly improve the quality of your display’s picture. Discs such as DVE: HD Basics can provide all the help you need to get there.

For additional information, you can find the program notes for DVE: HD Basics at videoessentials.com/dvehdbasics/index.html.