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Video Essentials (1997)

Sam Dalton , Carlos Stevenson , Joseph J. Kane Jr.  |  NR |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)

List Price: $49.98
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Dalton, Carlos Stevenson, Hidemi Inoue, Jenifer Wymore, Craig Johnson
  • Directors: Joseph J. Kane Jr.
  • Writers: Joseph J. Kane Jr.
  • Producers: Joseph J. Kane Jr.
  • Format: Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1), Japanese (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Japanese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Japanese, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Dvd International/Rv
  • DVD Release Date: July 21, 1998
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305073279
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,870 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Video Essentials" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Blue filter for adjusting tint on your video system
  • Video essential still frame presentation
  • Sound level meter setup
  • Web links

Editorial Reviews

The video calibration section is this DVD's strength. The explanations of the roles of brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, and tint, together with steps of how to adjust them to get the most proper picture, are great. Also a blue filter is included for use with the color test patterns (but no green or red ones). Still, the program scarcely mentions certain video issues such as grey scales, picture convergence and trigonometry, and only says they need to be handled by professional technicians. Also, there are many clips of what look like real TV programs scattering throughout the disc that are supposedly for you to test your display, but we are never really told what to do with them other than just "eye-balling" them and see if they look right after you made your video adjustments. The audio calibration section not only doesn't tell me anything new, it doesn't tell me nearly close to what I (or most people) already know. It merely comprises of a brief "tour" of surround system, a superficial segment that essentially just reminds you to check your connections, a segment on checking polarity of the center speaker, and separate segments containing pink noises for testing each speaker, which is something most people already have built into their receivers. There is absolutely not a word on important issues like acoustics of the room, speaker placements, cabling, or what type of speakers to use.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
131 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Video Essentials vs. Avia: No contest May 11, 2001
Format:DVD
Having purchased both discs, I have very strong feelings about this. Avia bests VE in almost every respect:
1. Navigation: On VE, the navigation is handled by a very confusing set of menus within menus. On my DVD remote, I could only access one of the menus using a button that I otherwise never use. Until I figured this out, the only way I could skip through the initial (not very useful) audio stuff was to fast forward! Avia's menus work like every other menu I have ever used. No problem with navigation.
2. Color calibration: VE offers only a blue filter. However, Avia provides red, blue, and green filters and allows you set each independently.
3. Sharpness: VE simply tells you to turn your sharpness all the way down. The pattern for setting sharpness is so under explained, it is useless. Avia provides a full explanation and resulted in my setting the sharpness level considerably above zero.
4. Brightness and Contrast settings: VE provides only static bars (and requires that your DVD passes pure black). Avia provides bars that flash. This makes getting proper settings much easier. Also, your DVD doesn't have to pass pure black.
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79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good tool but too expensive March 21, 2000
By T'Pol
Format:DVD
Some love it and some hate it. I'm somewhat inbetween. The first part "Audio Setup" does nothing more than help you to connect the wires correctly and adjust the channel levels. I think everyone with a basic understanding is able to do this without this DVD. I expected some more help in finding the correct location for speakers and listener in the room (distance from wall, distance from listener, etc.). But besides a note to try different spots for placing the sub-woofer(s), not one word is spent about this topic. From my point of view, this part is absolutely worthless and could be reduced to a few words on a piece of paper. The "Video Section" is somewhat different. It offers some good reference pictures and explanations to correctly set brightness, contrast, sharpness, tint and color. After going trough all steps, the picture of my TV set really did look a lot better ! But here also I expected some more in depth insight.
Summa summarum: It's a really good tool to improove the image quality of your set. But the price is way to high ! $10.- would be a fair price.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More $ than normal... but it will yeild excellent results November 25, 2000
Format:DVD
This DVD is an invaluable tool for anyone who wants to extract the most from their home theater. I am the managing head installer for a high-end Audio/Video salon in NY. Don't let the price concious reveiwers fool you, this DVD may be a little [much] but it provides you with reference video setup patterns whose use yeilds excellent results. Yes, your picture will look much much better. The audio tracks are usefull only to assure of proper hook-up, but the video tracks will give you a mastered set of calibration patterns for your monitor including black and white levels, color, hue sharpness and geometry. As professional set-up usually costs $300 and up, fifty bucks isn't that bad ... This DVD will improve your display, GAURANTEED! (For professionals some additional test patterns could be included; and as I am aware, an updated dvd is due to be released with all the features of the original Laserdisc including the full frame indian head pattern.) If you know what your getting you know this is an excellent tool indeed.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good video tests, inadequate audio tests January 14, 2001
Format:DVD
The video calibration section is this DVD's strength. The explanations of the roles of brightness, contrast, sharpness, color, and tint, together with steps of how to adjust them to get the most proper picture, are great. Also a blue filter is included for use with the color test patterns (but no green or red ones). Still, the program scarcely mentions certain video issues such as grey scales, picture convergence and trigonometry, and only says they need to be handled by professional technicians. Also, there are many clips of what look like real TV programs scattering throughout the disc that are supposedly for you to test your display, but we are never really told what to do with them other than just "eye-balling" them and see if they look right after you made your video adjustments.
The audio calibration section not only doesn't tell me anything new, it doesn't tell me nearly close to what I (or most people) already know. It merely comprises of a brief "tour" of surround system, a superficial segment that essentially just reminds you to check your connections, a segment on checking polarity of the center speaker, and separate segments containing pink noises for testing each speaker, which is something most people already have built into their receivers. There is absolutely not a word on important issues like acoustics of the room, speaker placements, cabling, or what type of speakers to use.
I sincerely hope the disc maker would release an improved edition of the disc that has expanded coverage on audio. But I would hate to pay a higher price for it since it is already at a premium.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Source for Video Calibration Signals April 20, 2000
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I felt that I needed to write a review because so many of the other reviewers clearly didn't understand much of the purpose of this DVD.
Problem: you need to setup a projector or projection tv (e.g. set the dynamic convergence). You read the service manual. It says "feed a checkerboard test signal into the projector and proceed to tweak the following variable resistors inside the set until red converges with green..." Hmm, you don't have a video test pattern generator do you ? But...stick this DVD in your DVD player and lo and behold you now DO have a pretty good test pattern generator. And at $40 it's a heck of a lot cheaper than the real thing.
Obviously not everyone needs to or is able to perform dynamic convergence or focus adjustments on their equipment, but I do and so do many others and this disk is a godsend for us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
ok
Published 1 month ago by the mad one
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff
This is one of the product I would recommend to anyone who appreciates their home systems but wanted more from their systems. Read more
Published 16 months ago by jazz man
1.0 out of 5 stars Video Essentials
I have never received this item. I have written to the supplier but have never received a reply. I cannot say whether it is good or bad.
Published on November 23, 2008 by Donald R. Wickstrom
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor layout, difficult navigation, poor explanations.
First of all, like most DVD's you are not able to simply navigate this DVD with the Title and Chapter Menu buttons. Read more
Published on November 1, 2003 by JanSobieski
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and well worth the money
I have had this DVD for years. It was tought to buy it at first since $25 seemed like a lot for something I would only use once. Read more
Published on October 23, 2003 by Kirk Bauer
4.0 out of 5 stars BUY THIS THING!
Made all the difference for our 65" wide-screen Mitsubishi TV. We had a tech come out and try to improve our picture, and he accomplished nothing. Read more
Published on December 14, 2002 by Sandi Hultman
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is an outstanding DVD to be used to set up and fine tune your home theater system. Highly recommended!!!
Published on July 20, 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars A "gotta have" DVD
I have the Laser Disk version (now out of print) and this DVD version is just as good. However, it takes a lot of navigation to go directly to the test images as they are not... Read more
Published on May 10, 2002 by Alan R. Applegate
4.0 out of 5 stars Video set up
This was a very good start out for set up on our projector systems. Everything was straight forward in it's text, and very helpful. Read more
Published on August 20, 2001 by robert hawkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Essential for higher end theatre setup
If you own a bigscreen TV and a surround system than this disc is essential to own (or rent at least once). Read more
Published on November 20, 2000
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