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DVD on easy to follow basic player & display set-up & calibration

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I have a friend in NZ who's wanting a DVD that has a 'test card' on it i.e. the familiar 'Philips PM5544' test card (see attached) that TV stations used to show before 24hr programming became the norm. I'm assuming he want's the test card to be able to properly adjust the colours on or get a better picture on his Panasonic LCD TV which is only a small 50cm TV he has in his bedroom he watches DVDs on through his Panasonic Blu-ray player which I believe is an early basic model.


When I last spoke to him he mentioned he'd found a seller on eBay AU called 'MCB Electronics' who are offering a 'TV Test Card / Video Pattern Generator & Test Tones DVD' which has a comprehensive collection of various video test patterns including the Phillips test card. I get the feeling though it's aimed at someone who's going to know what each test pattern is for and how to properly use it which would not be my friend who had to pay someone to come and hook up and tune in his TV. I also suspect one may need hand-held test equipment like a colorimeter to make the most use of the various tests anyway. Am I right?


I'd also rule out a DVD like 'Digital Video Essentials' by Joe Kane as clearly that's going to be way beyond his knowledge and understanding as he doesn't know about things like progressive vs interlace, black level setup, grey scale tracking, chroma delay, luminance resolution, overscan, aspect ratios, etc, etc that a 'videophile' knows about. Also I think this disc was meant for when most people still had CRT and plasma sets.


I'm wondering therefore if there's a DVD available, preferably for the Australian & NZ market, that's aimed at the average person i.e. not a home theatre enthusiast, that clearly explains and shows how to set-up and calibrate your DVD player and TV for a much better viewing experience, but of course it would be nice if it does have the Philips test card on it as he seems to really want something with this test card on, perhaps due to nostalgia because he was saying to me you just don't see the test card on TV anymore!


My friend is not a movie watcher. He mainly watches DVDs of classic and cult British TV shows of the 60s, 70s and 80s. So it's not like he watches the latest Hollywood blockbuster movies on DVD or Blu-ray so something like the 'Disney WOW' home theatre demonstration and setup disc is probably not his thing. Besides it's for the north American market anyway.


I can get him this disc that MCB Electronics is offering, but I just feel that 90% of the content isn't going to be of any use or interest to him which is why I was thinking more along the lines of something like 'Digital Video Essentials', but obviously suited to the average TV watcher who just wants a better picture from their DVD player and TV, but who isn't into home theatre or has an interest in video to the degree of a videophile.


What does everyone here think. Can anyone point me to any DVDs that might fit the bill. I'm due to speak to him again and hopefully I'll find out a bit more of exactly what he wants, but it would be nice if I could say to him "how about this DVD as it'll show you how to get a better picture and you'll easily be able to follow it as that other DVD looks to me more like what a TV technician might use.















Philips PM5544 Test Card.png

Edited by DarkAvenger
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I think the Phillips test card is propitiatory, so unless the producer of any test disc that has it is prepared to pay a royalty fee, they would be using a different test pattern.


There is a very good test DVD and a list of what the test patterns are available on it, for free to download and burn to a disc, that has been available for years at the AVS forum.




As with any Test Disc. it's of very limited use unless you have a calibration meter.


Basically all anyone can adjust for without a meter would be, Brightness, Black level, overscan and sharpness.


If on the otherhand your friend were to purchase a meter, there is a very good site that walks you through the entire process of calibrating a TV from start to finish.

He could also download and use the free calibration program HCFR.


I give links below to both.

There are two versions of the calibration for dummies guide, which are basically identical, it's just that the old one uses a old version of HCFR which has been updated substantially since that guide was posted.

The basic process remains the same, it's just that the screen shot of the program are going to look a lot different to the current one.


Calibration for Dummies.[newest version]


Calibration for Dummies [Old version using HCFR]



HCFR software.



AVS forum page on use of HCFR.



I'll just add that I think the newest version of HCFR now has build in test patterns, much like ChromaPure software that I use, and is used in the Newest version of the calibration for dummies guide. [I bought and use ChromaPure with a Xrite i1Display Pro meter.


i1Display pro.



ChromaPure software





Edited by Tweaky
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