TV Setup

I recently bought a Sony KDL-60NX810 TV, and I used the Spears and Munsil High-Definition Benchmark Blu-ray setup disc to optimize the picture controls. A friend has Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics from Joe Kane. Should I try it too, or have I gotten it as good as it will be?

Dennis O'Neill

You won't get appreciably different results using DVE as you did with HD Benchmark, so I see no need to try it. Both discs have reliable patterns that help you set the basic picture controls to their optimum values for your TV and room.

The only thing that might improve the TV's performance further is to hire a professional technician to do a full grayscale calibration. However, this typically costs several hundred dollars, and in many cases, it improves things only slightly from the basic settings you've already established.

If you have an A/V question, please send it to

bwilberg266's picture

Curious if there is any word of a calibration disc that would be specifically for use with 3D Televisions? I know the color is thrown off with the glasses and the attempted increased image brightness when the TV is in 3D mode, so I am just curious if there is a better way for me to calibrate it at home other than just "eye-balling" it?

Take Care,

Scott Wilkinson's picture
I know that Spears & Munsil and Joe Kane are working feverishly on 3D setup discs, but I've heard nothing about when we might actually see them. The AV Foundry VideoForge signal generator, available from SpectraCal, includes Kane's 3D test patterns, but it costs $2500. You can be sure we will alert our readers to the discs as soon as we possibly can.
bwilberg266's picture


I really appreciate your quick and informative reply. I should be fine for now with my Panasonic Plasma, but when I install the home theater with a screen/projector next year I will want to be able to calibrate both 3D and 2D.

Thanks again, and I have to say I have really been enjoying the new format of the website and the increased flow of articles, stories, and tips.

Take Care,

lancep2011's picture

DVE is an vary good but my fav is an free one form the AVCHD folks. The only bad thing about it is that you need an supported Blu-ray Player and a DVD-RW Dirve in your PC. Theirs no Blu-ray Player that I know of that doesn't support AVCHD and since it's free I do remand trying it out. It also has how to videos done by the hosts of HD Nation form Reversion 3 on the same disk.

curtiswhite's picture

About a month ago I got the Disney wow calibration disc. And It was well worth it. Great results on my Mitsubishi wd-65738

TheJoBoo's picture

As an AV pro, I was hesitant when I heard that Disney had made a setup disc. I now use it for all out-of-the-box setups (pre-calibrations, if you will). The patterns are excellent and, for the DIY HT crowd, the instructions are superb. And thank you, Disney, for telling people correctly that using good cables is important, even with HDMI.

techguy378's picture

I seriously hope you're not believing that a $50 HDMI cable is better than a $5 HDMI cable because it's not for the average consumer. Things might be different if you need an unusually long run of cable.

lancep2011's picture

I find for just hooking the Cable Box, Game System, Blu-ray player, or set-up box to the HDTV an $5 HDMI cable is OK. Now if I was running 25 to 50 feet of cable in the walls of my house then I may buy $50 cables, but I will not pay $50 for an HDMI Cable if I'm just hooking the Cable Box to the TV.

carl109's picture

Are there any patterns on these discs (such as a gray scale) that would assist in setting gamma? My Panasonic gives me options of 2.0, 2.2, 2.5 and S-curve.
Cheers, Carl.

Kris Deering's picture
Unfortunately no. Gamma is tricky and the best way to set it is using test material and a meter with special calibration software. There is a pattern on the S&M disc that does a decent job though. I believe it is the pixel cropping pattern which has a 1 on 1 off rectangle in the middle of the screen (not sure on this, I'm typing this from a hotel on travel). If your gamma is right, this box should be at the same level of overall brightness as the boxes above and below it and essentially blend into the white around it. There might be some more info on this on the S&M website.