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24 Reviews
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4 star:
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best upgrade available for your Home Theater!
This is an essential purchase for anyone buying a decent Home Theater system and large screen TV. When we all watched TV with nothing bigger than a 27" GE or RCA set it was no big deal. But as we watch more DVD's or HiDef on bigger TV's and listen in amazing surround sound sound it is vital that you set up your system to accurately represent the bits on the disk or...
Published on Oct. 10 2003

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read the other reviews before buying
First let me say that I consider myself to be an "intermediate audiophile". I have 4 complete A/V systems in my home (2-5.1, 1-6.1 & 1-7.1 systems). After purchasing a 65in. HDTV and running across this product on-line by chance,I figured...what the heck? Well, just got it/watched it today. The commentary part is basic stuff that most folks know...
Published on March 4 2004 by McB


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best upgrade available for your Home Theater!, Oct. 10 2003
By A Customer
This is an essential purchase for anyone buying a decent Home Theater system and large screen TV. When we all watched TV with nothing bigger than a 27" GE or RCA set it was no big deal. But as we watch more DVD's or HiDef on bigger TV's and listen in amazing surround sound sound it is vital that you set up your system to accurately represent the bits on the disk or in the signal.
Video Essentials takes you through various vital tests with great explanations for newbies and nerds alike. It was amazing to me how much better films and programs looked and sounded after running this disk. Natural detail, natural colors and an exquisite movie theater look and feel now accompany our shows.
I can not believe that someone recommended using an animation, Monsters Inc., to calibrate ones set. It is a cartoon with green and blue cartoon monsters and digitally created light and sound sources - how can that help anyone! Calibration and sample disks like this and the THX optimizer that comes with several DVD's helps you to recreate in your home theater what the director intended. If anything I would use Monsters Inc to set up a custom set of screen values just for animations since it makes sense to make this type of movie more vivid. Yet for live-action movies this disk is a must!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wish I had read the other reviews before buying, March 4 2004
By 
McB "KM" (Atlanta, GA United States) - See all my reviews
First let me say that I consider myself to be an "intermediate audiophile". I have 4 complete A/V systems in my home (2-5.1, 1-6.1 & 1-7.1 systems). After purchasing a 65in. HDTV and running across this product on-line by chance,I figured...what the heck? Well, just got it/watched it today. The commentary part is basic stuff that most folks know. Then...you get several audio (followed by video) test tones and patterns thrown at you. I know about pink noise, white noise etc., but like several other reviews, "Where the heck are the instructions on what to do with them ? I know the basics of the audio tests, but I feel bad for anyone else who isn't "into" this stuff. What were these people thinking ? (I promptly e-mailed DVD Int'l with these same comments/questions and hope to get a response and reasonable explanation. The only review I read before buying exclaimed "easy to navigate". Like other reviewers stated....this product is terrible to navigate through.
I'm not very keen on any of the video patterns. The "gray color" card....What the heck do I do with it ??? What the heck do I do with ANY of the video test patterns ? Do I adjust my dvd player ? TV ? It really aggravates me that they leave you hanging out there with no explanation or instruction. I'm sure this disc is pure gold to a technician or professional set-up folks. However, while I would venture to say that I know about ten times more about A/V systems that most of my friends, watching this disc left me feeling like an idiot. In my e-mail to the company I even said "Just tell me I'm an idiot and completely missed a section/chapter...I can deal with that". I decided to come to this site to see what others had to say. I now see that I'm certainly not alone. I would even venture to guess that some of the "pro" review folks might be a little less than forthright when claiming how great this disc is. Either trying to stroke their own egos or they're certainly waaaay ahead of this humble soul. Maybe I'm just getting old :-). For the guy who said his Yamaha A/V system wouldn't read the supposed DTS....you need to get it checked. It is in DTS.
Well, I've always been VERY pleased with my current systems, but I'm always open to any possibilities to make them better. I did learn one thing ! I never really thought about the color of the wall behind the screen. However, my main system doesn't need/want any ambient light around or behind it so it's a moot point ! :-) I guess I'll go back and watch it a few more times. Maybe something will click.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digital Video Essentials, Sept. 26 2003
By A Customer
I have been interested in home theater, as well as audio video calibration for years now and I must say that this disc is the absolute best value in home theater that I have ever found!!! Not only does it give you a lot of helpful information concerning the industry today and where it is going, but it also gives you more than the necessary amount of test patterns/signals in order to calibrate your system to the best of it's ability.
I never realized how poorly my system was setup until I was able to use this disc. My picture never looked so GOOD! Even the family cannot believe the results!
I really enjoyed the tutorials - very helpful! For anyone interested in home theater, into home theater, or looking to take their education to a whole new level I would highly recommend this DVD.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, but can be repettive., Jan. 31 2004
The general consensus seems to be that this is hard to navigate, Which I would have to agree with. But then this is a tool, not a movie. There really isn't a way to do this that wouldn't be hard to navigate in anything but a completely linear way.
However, that said, it's easy enough to follow, if a little dull, did manage to improve the image on my Philips 8833 TV using the color filter, etc. learned that my DVD, (or TV) is clipping the darker than black TV signal, etc. V educational, as well has having video test cards on it, which was the real reason I bought it, so I can bounce into the service menu and tweak the geometry of the TV which is just a bit off.
However, while it claims to have a DTS sountrack, (and the free aqaurium DVD that I got with it does have) the DVD itself doesn't. I've got a Yamaha DSP-AZ2, all digital AV amp, and it just doesn't pick it up, even when I force the DVD input, (coming out of the DVD via Fibre Optic) to DTS, I get nothing. This is despite having set the audio track to 6.1. Dolby 5.1 works fine however, and comes in Spanish too, (the PAL version)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great do-it-yourself tune up for your home theater, Jan. 20 2004
By A Customer
I own a rather inexpensive home theater system. I'm still using a standard definition television and don't even have a real external powered subwoofer. Being a perfectionist however, I try to squeeze the most out of every electronic gadget I own. Digital Video Essentials does a fantastic job of getting the most out of even lower-end home theater systems. A fabulous tutorial that's well paced and easy to follow helps you configure your sounds system and display for the best sound and picture possible. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, but can be repettive., Jan. 31 2004
The general consensus seems to be that this is hard to navigate, Which I would have to agree with. But then this is a tool, not a movie. There really isn't a way to do this that wouldn't be hard to navigate in anything but a completely linear way.
However, that said, it's easy enough to follow, if a little dull, did manage to improve the image on my Philips 8833 TV using the color filter, etc. learned that my DVD, (or TV) is clipping the darker than black TV, etc. V educational. As well has having test cards on it, which wsa the real reason I bought it, so I can bounce into the service menu and tweak the geometry of the TV which is just a bit off.
However, while it claims to have a DTS sountrack, (and the free aqaurium DVD that I got with it does have) the DVD itself doesn't. I've got a Yamaha DSP-AZ2, all digital AV amp, and it just doesn't pick it up, even when I force the DVD input, (coming out of the DVD via a premium Fibre Optic cable) to DTS, I get nothing. This is having set the DVD to 6.1. Dolby 5.1 works fine however, and comes in Spanish too, (the PAL version)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tool to learn and use for home theater calibration, Nov. 29 2003
By 
Byron D. Miller (Austin TX) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This DVD is an excellent and easy to use resource for tunning your home theater systems. Everything from 6.1 audio down to color temperature and scan rates is covered. The DVD is jammed packed with plenty of calibration "slides" as well as your 3 color test "wheel" that you can use to make sure your colors are testing right. The DVD starts off showcasing some materials and immediately walks you through how all of the pieces of your home theater rely on each other and tie together in the end result to make your home theater experience what it is.
This DVD is definately worth the purchase price in picture quality clearity once your have calibrated as well as the knowledge you get from watching through the tutorials. A definate must for any person who is interested in all of the terminalogy, learning about picture & sound quality as well as someone who wants to get the best from there hard earned and worked for investments.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well done - picture looks good, Feb. 28 2004
By 
Ryan (Los Angels, CA USA) - See all my reviews
I used this DVD on one tube TV, and two rear projection TVs. Tube TV ended up great - one projection set fairly good, and one had a lot of adjustments that were compromises. All three looked better when I was done. :) Make sure you let the TV warm-up ~30 mins before you start.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST HAVE DVD FOR HOME THEATER, Jan. 4 2004
By A Customer
If you are serious about your home theater setup, you need this disc. I have read a review here stating that its just as useful to turn your system with a Monsters Inc DVD...CRAZY. You cant correctly calibrate picture and sound by watching a cartoon. All you can hope to do is guess. This DVD takes you into the minute details of system calibration and fine tuning, and explaining its importance. If you feel a cartoon DVD is "just fine" for calibration purposes, then are probably just as happy watching movies on a 20" TV and 2 head mono VCR. BUY THIS DISC!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the average consumer, Nov. 24 2003
By A Customer
This is a high end product for people who really know what they are doing in reference to fine tuning their AV equipment. If you can't figure out how to use a remote, this is not the choice for you. For people needing to fine tune their HD equipment, this is a God send. I and many others have waited far to long for a test and set up DVD for my home theater that supports Anamorphic images. If you are confused by this disk and it's uses I really don't knwo what to tell you, call for help. Again, this is not for your average consumer.
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Digital Video Essentials [HD DVD]
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