on November 5, 2010
Recently purchased a 55" Samsung UN55C6800 LED TV and was looking for a calibration disc. I was about the purchase the DVE HD Basics Blu-Ray but saw a press release concerning this DVD, so I decided to wait until this one came out and give it a go.
I will preface this by saying I had already used calibrated settings from CNET as well as users on the AVS forums to tweak my TV already. Before using the WoW Blu-Ray I would say I was about 95% satisfied with the picture my TV delivered using the settings I found online. The main reason I bought the blu-ray is I was just interested in seeing all the (albeit non-professional) test patterns used to calibrate a TV and so forth. I went in to this purchase not expecting any vast improvements in Picture Quality over my already somewhat tweaked settings. I know this disc is no substitute for a ISF professional calibration and was not expecting such results.
First, for people who havent purchased, head over to Disney's website and search for this blu-ray. On its Disney page, you'll find at the bottom a link to download the "WoW Technical Manual." This is basically an instruction booklet on how to use the blu-ray, and I found it to be a nice read before I actually received the blu-ray itself. It goes over a lot of the test patterns and how they work.
Here are the contents of the blu-ray:
The discover section basically gives you an overview of what HDTV is, how a picture is composed, etc.
*Brightness *Aspect Ratio *Contrast *Color *Sharpness
VIEWING ANGLE DIAGNOSTIC Find the best seat in the house
*Speaker ID *Polarity Test *Noise Floor *Buzz & Rattle Test
ADVANCED VIDEO CALIBRATION TOOLS
*Advanced Brightness & Contrast *Aspect Ratio *Convergence *Chroma & Hue *Sharpness/Focus *Overscan Test *A/V Sync
DISPLAY EVALUATION TOOLS *Purity *Scaling Test *Advanced Scaling 1 & 2 *Sharpness/Focus *Hyperbolic Zone Plate *White-Black Clipping *Viewing Angle Test *Gamma Response *Grayscale *Compound Test Chart
AUDIO TOOLS *Speaker ID *Polarity Test *Noise Floor *Buzz & Rattle Test *A/V Sync *Speaker Level Adjustment *Subwoofer Level Adjustment
PROFESSIONAL TOOLS HD SHOOTOUT Standard DVD vs. HD Blu-ray (BD only)
1-2 minute clips of recent Disney movies.
So....how did it work for me?
First, I love the included manual. Very well written and easy to use. Also, this blu-ray comes with a blue filter gel used to calibrate your colors. (I believe the DVE Blu-Ray also comes with color gels).
The actual DVD menus are wonderful too. Each test pattern has three sections: Overview (description of whay the particular TV setting is important), Instructions (shows the test pattern and clearly talks about how to use it), and finally just the test pattern itself, allowing you to tweak and take as long as you want.
Depending on how familiar you already are with your TV and if you wanted to watch the "Discover" portion of the disc, you can expect to spend anywhere from 1 hour to a few hours with the disc. There is a second included disc called Visions that has a bunch of nature scenery/etc to show off your TV. I did not care for the second disc, but i could see how someone could enjoy it.
At the end of the day, after running through all the tests (some multiple times because other tests later on may change your initial settings), I only changed two settings on my current set-up, and they were very small changes at that. I was disappointed that my settings didnt change too much, but like i said in the beginning I was already very happy with my TV's picture using settings I found online.
For what it is (an average-joe TV calibration blu-ray), this product is wonderful. I highly recommend it for people purchasing their first HDTV as it thoroughly discusses everything a person new to the technology would need to know. If you are the type of person who buys a new TV and starts watching it day 1 on the default settings, this dvd may help a LOT. However, for those who already play around with settings, consumer calibration dvds such as this one will probably not help all that much - especially since we can get decent settings online already from professional review sites or forums.
However, since I am rating the product, it undoubtedly deserves 5 stars. Easy to navigate, well produced, professional, etc. Just understand that if you've already tweaked your TV settings using information you've gathered online, this dvd may not bring that much of a change to your picture settings!
I'm an ISF-certified HDTV calibrator and can highly recommend this disc to anyone with an HDTV who wants to get their display adjusted for better images but doesn't want to invest in having a professional calibration done. I've got several other DIY "calibration" DVDs and this one is by far the easiest to use (particularly for first-timers) and does a better than average job of fine-tuning your HDTV. It's the best investment you can possibly make in optimizing the performance of your new DLP, LCD, LED/LCD or plasma HDTV and you'll be rewarded with much better images than your display exhibited out of the box. And, while it won't allow you to properly adjust the color management system or fine-tune the grayscale performance that professional calibrators are able to do (with a $10,000+ plus investment in equipment and training!), it will get you much closer to industry standards and eliminate some of the more common adjustment problems such as the "torch mode" that most HDTV sets exhibit out of the box. Highly recommended and definitely well worth the small investment of time and money. You'll also be better informed about what it takes to make great pictures (and convincing surround sound) and your home entertainment quotient is bound to increase significantly. Try it, you'll definitely like it. Who knows? You might even be so impressed with how much your HDTV performance has increased that you'll go to the Imaging Science Foundation website (www dot imagingscience dot com) and contact a professional calibrator to take you the rest of the way to the maximum performance your new HDTV is capable of with a professional ISF calibration.
on November 13, 2010
If you've recently purchased or own an LCD, LED, Plasma, or DLP television, buy this Blu-Ray. Disney's calibration disc is very user friendly and easy to use. As the previous reviewer did, my TV was already calibrated from settings I found on CNET and AVSForum. I was interested to see how my settings compared to the settings changed using this Blu-Ray. My already tweaked settings were pretty close to the settings after calibrating my TV from the blu-ray. I just had to tweak a few things. Regardless, I still give this disc 5 stars. The directions are very easy to follow, plus the blu-ray comes with an instruction booklet. I recommend reading the instruction booklet before using the blu-ray to calibrate your television.
The blu-ray is very easy to navigate. If you need to return to a previous step, it's very easy to do so. After you calibrate your television, there are clips from several Disney movies such as Bolt and Pirates of the Caribbean to view your settings in action. The second disc on the blu-ray called Visions: Inspired By Nature is a stunning HD demo reel. There are scenes of waterfalls, an ocean sunset, flower fields, desert vistas, mountain vistas, a fireplace scene, plus more. You can play each individual scene or run a loop. The second disc is approximately 64 minutes long. The second disc is something you can play in the background if you are having guests over or play it while reading a book or just relaxing.
Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone who owns a high def television who hasn't tweaked their settings. You will learn which each setting on your television does and it learn about surround sound. Like the previous reviewer stated, If you have already calibrated your TV from settings you found online, this disc probably won't help you every much.
on April 27, 2011
I had my system calibrated by a professional with the other 2 main companies. I forgot the names, but one was a DVD and the other Blu-Ray. He did a great job and loved it. I purchased this one cause it was newer and I had other TV's i wanted to calibrate. After running the first few tests, I realized that my new 2011 Plasma was under utilized. I ran the test and calibrated it to the WOW and noticed a dramatic increase in color, brightness, shades of black. 2 people wearing different black suits next to each other with shadows, PERFECT!
I highly recommend this for anyone with a Blu Ray player and/or a 7.1 receiver.
The experience, or test clips to see how good your calibration was, were BORING and not worth watching.
Must do: Brightness, Color, Contrast, and Gamma. =Video
Must do: Phase Test and sound check using the sound meter =Audio
on December 28, 2010
I purchased this for Christmas, and have calibrated 3 tvs with this so far - a 55" Samsung LED, a 42" Samsung Plasma, and a 42" Panasonic Plasma. The verdict? Not bad, not great.
My main issue is that it really just doesn't go through that many settings to tweak. For example, I have at least 15 settings on my Samsung plasma that can be "tuned". With this Bluray, all I wound up changing with it was the darkness level, the sharpness, and the color. That was literally it. According to the bluray, my saturation and whatnot were already perfect, but I can tell just looking at the TV that the settings are less than optimal. Same story goes for the other two tvs.
From the reviews, I had hoped for a more in-depth calibration bluray. This one doesn't do a bad job, but I think it really just scratches the surface of calibrating. Two of the three tvs didn't look noticeably different when I was done, and the third one just had the brightness way too low from the get-go.
I will give it this - the bluray does do an excellent job of telling you what you're changing and what to do, although I definitely think the explanations will go over most people's heads if they aren't technology-inclined as they were a bit techy.
on September 14, 2011
I haven't tried any other calibration DVD's or Blu's, so I can't compare it to what else is out there on the market, but this disc really helped me with my TV. I haven't done the audio setup yet because I don't have a sound system, but the video tests are great and fairly easy to use.
Important note for anyone using a PS3 to play this disc: Make sure you turn SuperWhite and Full RGB on in your PS3 System Settings, or else some of these tests won't work. It's impossible to do even the Basic Contrast test without SuperWhite turned on.
on December 8, 2010
I recently purchased this with trepidation because I reside In Australia.
However I found out very quickly that this Blu-ray version is Region Free, not Region 1 as indicated
in the Disney WOW Blu-ray specifications.
Amazon please note.
on May 25, 2011
I was using professional settings for my TV from a forum over at HDJ and they looked good. But I just wanted to see how good this disc was with these settings.
The profession settings were right in both brightness and contrast. But wrong in the blue filter test and sharpeness.
I did a few tweaks and I am very happy. The colors pop now and the picture looks better overall.
Recommend this disc to anyone looking to get better picture out of their HDTV. Even if you got setting like me from the net.
However the 2nd disc isn't great at all... Save money if you can and get the 1 disc unit.
Only thing I wish they had included would be a green and red filter. So that you could get even better colors.
on March 5, 2011
There are a lot of benefits to run a disc like this, but the biggest benefit is simply to find your display's "true black" and "true white" settings. The contrast and brightness adjustments alone will improve the details you see in your HD picture.
After using this disc to calibrate my display, I discovered: (1) the brightness and contrast on my projector were set too high thus washing out the details of my HD picture, (2) I needed to turn up the color in my picture, (3) the volume on the center speaker of my 5.1 system was set far too low.
I used the "basic" options to setup color and sound. I used the "advanced" options to setup brightness and contrast. I was able to build and save 3 different picture settings on my Mits projector depending on room lighting. There is also an "expert" option that disregards all the descriptions and instructions for the tests. This is for those already familiar with the calibration process.
There are two discs in the case as well as a blue film filter you're supposed to hold over your eyes for the "advanced" color settings. I went through the process but found my color settings didn't need any further adjustments after completing the basic setup. Unless you have an older projection system, I don't think you'll use the advanced color settings.
Disc 1 includes the tests themselves as well as an optional intro video that explains all the Blu-ray and surround sound technologies to beginners (right down to the type of cables you should be using). Each test has (1) a descriptive overview of the test and what you can hope to accomplish, (2) instructions for the test, (3) the test itself. The advanced tests allow you to choose your display type (CRT, LCD, plasma, projector, etc) and run specific calibrations for your display type.
Basic display calibrations include (1) brightness, (2) contrast, (3) color, (4) sharpness, (5) screen size. The tests consist of a test pattern or HD photograph to which you adjust your display settings according to the instructions. The audio menus include placement, polarity, buzz and rattle, and an assortment of other audio tests which may or may not be useful. The audio tests also include accompanying animations to illustrate the intended results.
Disc 2 is a collection of Blu-ray nature videos with surround sound music. The discs only play on Blu-ray players.
on September 18, 2012
If you are like me, you appreciate the experience of a nice home-theater system, but you may not have all of the A/V know-how to make the most out of your setup. There are a LOT of different settings to tinker with, and frankly, it can be frustrating, confusing, and time-consuming to get everything "just right". When you tinker with one setting, it affects others, and some of the advanced settings on a good plasma or LCD TV almost seem like a foreign language to those of us who wern't in the A/V club in high school!
This product changes the learning curve. No longer will one feel the need to call in some "expert" to set up their home theater. The set-up of this disc is such where those people who don't know beans about any aspect of home theater systems have some great intro material to watch and learn from, while others that have more experience or knowledge can easily skip those sections. Then, it progresses in to the actual tests and tools that you will be using to calibrate your system. These are also divided in to sections ranging from basic to advanced-level tools.
Each test/tool is then further split in to three parts, which are also individually selected on the menu so you again have the ability to skip anything that you don't think you need. The first part explains the purpose of the settings, and how it affects the picture or sound. The explanations are straight-forward, simple without having the feeling that you are being treated like an idiot, and quite informative. The next part is the instructions of how to perform the test/use the tool, including explaining exactly what setting you shoud be adjusting on your TV or speaker system. The third part is the test/tool itself.
To make things just a tad easier to start with, instead of starting from scratch, I went to CNET and looked up the recommended settings for my television. Since all TVs are a bit different, and settings will differ depending on ambient room lighting, age of the TV, etc, these will almost certainly not be the perfect settings for everyone. I then went ahead and used the tools on this Blu-ray to fine-tune my system. The results were truly astounding! The difference in picture and sound quality was vastly superior to what the factory pre-sets were, let alone my feeble attempts at adjusting the settings myself without a guide!
So, here's the bottom line: you just spent a huge chunk of change on a nice television and sound system. You want the best performance possible from your new "toys". You can either drop another $100.00 + USD to have an "expert" come in and get everything set up for you, or, you can spend $20.00 USD for a tool that will allow you to do it yourself, and be able to use it for any other TV in your home. If somehow your system decides to do something funky in the future, and it resets itself to factory defaults, (hey, all electronics are buggy... no matter the brand or the price tag!), the you have this awesome tool to get everything back to optimum performance. You want to change the furniture around, and need to move the speakers? No problem! Pop this disc in the Blu-ray player, and get the settings perfect for your new configuration!
Did I mention it also has an excellent tool to fix image burn-in and "pixel fatigue"? This is an important part of the maintenance of newer televisions, and the tool provided on this disc is far superior to the "anti-image retention" tools pre-installed on most televisions.
Anyone who owns a new plasma or LCD television are truly missing out if they do not utilize this amazing product! There are similar ones on the market, but this is by far the best one available and accessable for the vast majority of people. And for $20.00 USD, after dropping a few grand on my system, it's a no-brainer purchase in my book.