Test Tool Reviews

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Thomas J. Norton  |  Aug 30, 2004  |  0 comments

Of the several good test DVDs available for optimizing the audio and video performance of a home theater system, the best known are <I>Digital Video Essentials</I> and the <I>Avia Guide to Home Theater</I>. Either will guide a consumer, step by step if necessary, to get the most from his or her equipment, particularly the video. In fact, most serious videophiles probably own both DVDs, along with a copy of DVE's predecessor, <I>Video Essentials</I>.

Michael Berk  |  Dec 09, 2011  |  0 comments

Volume-limiting earbud outfit dBLogic introduced an interesting little product this past year: a miniature SPL meter ($49.95, dblogic.com), suitable for hanging on a keychain.

 |  Jul 17, 2006  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/706dve.jpg" WIDTH=148 HEIGHT=198 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>$25<BR>
The latest iteration of video expert Joe Kane's <I>Video Essentials</I>, the <I>DVE</I> DVD is already an industry standard. Revised and updated, <I>DVE</I> has everything you need to dial in your home theater, and more than a few patterns we use in our reviews at <I>UAV</I> to evaluate the performance capabilities of source components and displays. In addition to providing the test patterns, it also tells the less initiated how to go about making adjustments in a clear, concise fashion. For just $25 you can elevate the performance and accuracy of your entire system.

Kris Deering  |  Dec 23, 2014  |  0 comments

PRICE $1,299

Supports all SD, HD, UHD, and 4K Resolutions
Over 100 custom test patterns
Unique Color Checker function
Professional instrument pricing
Bandwidth limit may prevent some future tests

The DVDO AVLab TPG is one of the only pattern generators out there for video calibrators and evaluators that supports both UHD and 4K resolutions. This small package packs a lot of patterns and can also be used for large 3D LUT calibrations that require thousands of color combinations.

One of the most essential tools for a video reviewer is a test pattern generator. Without a confirmed and reliably accurate source for signals it is difficult to evaluate a display properly. Some people just stick to everyday viewing content like Blu-rays or DVDs, but if those sources don’t look right how are you going to figure out what’s causing the issue? A reference generator gives you the ability to evaluate a display’s capabilities with tried and true patterns that show exactly what a display’s limits are. But with 4K just making its big break-thru into the market, only a small number of generators today provide options for evaluating 4K flat panels and projectors. The DVDO AVLab Test Pattern Generator (TPG) we’re reviewing here is a super compact reference pattern generator that not only supports the majority of all common resolutions today, but also Ultra HD and full 4K.

Thomas J. Norton  |  Sep 29, 2008  |  4 comments
Anyone can calibrate.

According to Websites that investigate such things, there are 219 million televisions in the United States. That averages to about 0.74 TVs per person. Bermuda leads the world with more than one TV per person (must be all those hotels). And China reports it has 400 million TVs in all.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Feb 01, 2005  |  0 comments

<I>Audio test gear meets the pocket computer</I>

 |  Jul 17, 2006  |  0 comments

<IMG SRC="/images/archivesart/706isf.jpg" WIDTH=250 HEIGHT=190 BORDER=0 ALIGN=RIGHT>$30<BR>
The Imaging Science Foundation teamed up with Monster Cable for this setup DVD, which is designed to allow even novices to adjust and setup their HDTVs without fear of techno-intimidation. In other words, although the ISF is involved, this isn't a test disc made by and for ISF calibrators. It's a quick and easy to use tool for the average Joe to simply and easily take his TV as far as it can go short of a full ISF calibration. Educational, effective and relatively easy to use, even for non-techies who want to get the most out of their movie and TV watching at home.

Scott Wilkinson  |  Mar 24, 2008  |  1 comments

Anyone interested in accurate video reproduction knows the name of Joe Kane. For the last 35 years, Kane has tirelessly advocated that consumer video displays must be calibrated according to standards defined by the broadcast industry in order to produce the best possible picture. To that end, he has produced several video discs with images specifically designed to help do just that.

Chris Lewis, Geoffrey Morrison  |  Oct 28, 2005  |  First Published: Aug 28, 2005  |  1 comments
HT's audio and video editors share the test and demo discs they use to put a system through its paces.

Audio Test Discs

Geoffrey Morrison  |  May 07, 2012  |  0 comments

Somewhere between a simple setup disc and a full professional calibration is the Spyder from Datacolor.

Consisting of a small colorimeter you attach to your TV, some software, and a Blu-ray (or DVD) with test patterns, the package claims to let you "calibrate" (their word) your own TV.

Geoffrey Morrison  |  Oct 22, 2012  |  0 comments

The CalMan software has become a de facto standard among the TV reviewer elite. Using a pattern generator and a measurement device, we can learn most of what we need to know about a TV in just a few minutes.

Among professional calibrators, use of the software is even more widespread, since it allows the printout of elaborate graphs and charts in a custom report for customers, showing them what their calibration money paid for.

With CalMan 5, SpectraCal has upped the awesomeness.

Kris Deering  |  Aug 02, 2019  |  1 comments
The Spears & Munsil (S&M) UHD HDR Benchmark is a video test disc developed with a wide range of users in mind. It has basic video setup and evaluation patterns aimed at the general consumer, but also patterns and features designed for use by professional calibrators, reviewers, and even manufacturers. Unlike S&M's previous test disc, the HD Benchmark, this version does not include general explanations on how to use the patterns wrapped into its interface but is still easy to navigate and use. (Tips are posted on the spearsandmunsil.com website that will help to get the most from the disc's content.)
Thomas J. Norton  |  Nov 07, 2004  |  0 comments

TacT is a company with a mission. Their amps are all digital, and their 2-channel and AV preamplifier-processors are dedicated to solving the single biggest puzzle in home audio reproduction: the effect of the room.