Overview: The Spears & Munsil High-Definition Bench Mark
Hand Forged Video Disc is a Blu-ray audio/video test and evaluation disc to help
you get the most out of your HDTV and Blu-ray player. All
test patterns and clips are created at 1080p in native color space using custom software.
Note that all 3D patterns require a 3D Blu-ray Disc player and 3D television.
The 2D material will play in any Blu-ray Disc player.
Note: Using the tests on the Spears and Munsil High
Definition Benchmark to adjust your display is not difficult and performing
the basic calibration should take 30 minutes or less
Video Calibration: The Blu-ray test disc collects in one
place the patterns that are most useful for setting up a display and player with
no special equipment necessary other than the Spears & Munsil blue filter
(included with disc).
- Brightness: Bring up the PLUGE Low pattern using the Blu-ray
remote, then bring up the Brightness control using the display remote. Raise
the Brightness control all the way and then lowering it all the way and
watch what happens to the pattern. With the Brightness control at maximum,
on most displays you will see four vertical bars on screen and a
checkerboard pattern in the background. With the Brightness control at
minimum, on most displays you'll see a completely black screen. If you never
see the two leftmost bars no matter where the Brightness control is
positioned, then your display or player is clipping the below-reference
image data; use the Alternate Brightness Adjustment mentioned lower down.
Otherwise, use the standard adjustment, below.
- Standard: Turn the Brightness control up until all four bars
are visible on screen. Then turn it down until the two leftmost bars
disappear and the two rightmost bars are visible. The far-right bar will
be slightly easier to see than the middle-right bar. If there are
several settings of Brightness that make the left bars invisible and the
right bars visible, you may be able to get a more precise setting by
looking for the setting that makes the background checkerboard just
- Advanced: Turn the Brightness control up until the two right
bars are clearly visible. Turn the Brightness control down until the
middle-right bar disappears, but the far-right bar is visible. Now turn
the Brightness control back up slowly until the middle-right bar just
- Color & Tint: For this adjustment you'll need to use the included
colored filter. The included blue filter allows you to select 1X, 2X, or 3X
strength to help get an accurate calibration with different displays with
different color spectra. The colored filter works by showing you the blue
color channel only, filtering out all the green and red. First bring up the
Color and Tint pattern and look through the 1X side of the filter. Look at
the left side of the screen. Through the filter, the interior of the three
bars should look black, just like the background. You may still be able to
see the edges of the bars faintly, which is perfectly fine. If any of the
bars is at all brighter than the black space around them, then switch to the
2X side of the filter. If any bars are still brighter than the background,
then you'll need to fold the filter in half to make a 3X filter. The 3X
filter is nearly opaque, and to use it you may need to make the room
completely dark or nearly so. This is the exception to the rule about
calibrating in the same light you normally watch movies in; for this
adjustment, if you need to make the room dark or wait for nighttime to make
the filter work, do so.
- Color: Look through the filter and watch the large blue
rectangle in the upper right and the white rectangle around it as you
move the Color control up and down. You'll see the relative brightness
of the blue and white areas vary. Moving the control one way will make
the blue bar brighter, and the other way will make it dimmer. Adjust the
Color control until the blue and white areas are as close in brightness
as you can make them (when viewed through the filter).
- Tint: Look at the magenta and cyan rectangles in the lower
right corner, without the filter. The large magenta rectangle has a cyan
rectangle inside it. The object is to set the Tint control so that the
magenta and cyan areas have the same brightness when viewed through the
filter. Look at those rectangles through the filter and move the Tint
control up and down to see how the brightness varies. Then adjust the
control so that the colors are as close to the same brightness, when
viewed through the filter, as you can make them.
- Sharpness: The Sharpness control is perceptual, so it has no "calibrated" setting
other than the one that works best for your particular display, seating
position, and eyes. Sharpness is generally a good thing, but not if it makes
the image look strange, so the goal is to turn it up as high as possible
without adding artifacts to the image. Try taking the sharpness control all
the way up to see what happens. On most displays you'll see white "halos"
around the darker lines in the image, and sometimes even several concentric
halos. You will also generally see that the diagonal and curved lines look
stairstepped or jagged. You may also want to turn the Sharpness control all
the way down and see what happens. On most displays, the lines will be
smooth, with no jaggedness or halos, but the lines will not look crisp and
sharp. You are trying to strike a balance between the crisp & sharp look and
the artifacts like halos and jaggedness. While sitting in your normal
viewing position, turn up the Sharpness control until you see the artifacts
clearly, then turn it down until the halos are no longer clearly visible and
the lines look smooth and not jagged. The lines should look crisp and sharp,
but should not have extraneous artifacts, noise, or blockiness.
- Color Temperature: This pattern has two rows of 11 gray steps
from black to white. Now run through all of the available color temperature
settings on the display using the display remote and look at the overall
tint of the gray steps. The goal is to pick the color temperature that looks
closest to a neutral white. The correct color temperature setting may well
look dimmer than the others, but the brighter settings often have an overall
blue color cast.
- Color Space: Many current Blu-ray players offer a range of output
color spaces, for example "4:2:2", "4:4:4", "RGB", etc., and most displays
can handle all or most of those spaces. At some point, all video has to be
converted to RGB, and the video on the disc is always stored in 4:2:0 Y'CbCr,
so the choice of which color space to output from the player is really a
choice as to which device will do which portions of the color conversion
process. The whole conversion chain is 4:2:0 Y'CbCr to 4:2:2 Y'CbCr to 4:4:4
Y'CbCr to RGB (which is sometimes redundantly called "4:4:4 RGB"). In real
processing chips, some of those steps may be combined for speed, but
conceptually those are the processing stages. So if you output 4:2:2 Y'CbCr
from the player, the display will do the rest, converting to 4:4:4 Y'CbCr
and then to RGB.
- Chroma Alignment: The center of the Color Space Evaluation pattern
contains shapes that are designed to show any horizontal misalignment
between the chroma channels and the luma channel. These misalignments can be
caused by mistakes or shortcuts in the chroma upsampling, and it's not
uncommon to find that changing the format sent from the player to the
display changes the amount of chroma misalignment. Look at the eight long
thin diamond shapes to the left and right of the center of the pattern. Each
of them has a single straight line of chroma pixels laid on top of a long
skinny diamond in the luma channel. When the alignment is correct, the
chroma should be centered on the diamond, and the diamond should look
completely symmetrical, with the same amount of color overlap on both sides.
Most people find it easiest to see the alignment clearly against the gray
background. The difference can be quite subtle, on the order of a half-pixel
- Chroma Bursts: Near the four corners of the middle section of the
pattern are twelve sets of thin colored straight lines, three in each
corner. There is one horizontal, one vertical, and one diagonal in each
corner, and each corner has a different color combination. These sets of
lines are called "bursts" or "frequency bursts". Next to each is a small
"zone plate" pattern, which is a set of concentric colored circles. The
bursts should have clear, bright colors that look identical to the colors in
the circular patterns next to them. If the colors are muted, or the burst
looks solid gray or any other color, it shows that chroma resolution is
being lost during one of the upsampling conversions. If the horizontal burst
is muted, that shows a problem in the 4:2:2->4:4:4 conversion. If the
vertical burst is muted, that shows a problem in the 4:2:0->4:2:2
- Chroma Upsampling Error: For this test, just look at the diagonal
chroma bursts. If the Chroma Upsampling Error is present when you use one or
more of the modes, the diagonal lines will look very jagged, or sometimes
will actually have small horizontal zigzags on the edges. It can be hard to
tell the difference between nearest neighbor upsampling and chroma
upsampling error, both cause jagged diagonals and both are bad, so if you're
not sure, leave either or both boxes unchecked. In general you want the
smoothest chroma diagonals for the best picture possible. After viewing this
pattern with all of the different output modes selected sequentially, put a
check in the row labeled "Diagonals smooth" for the mode that has the
smoothest-looking diagonal lines. If they all look the same, put a check in
all the boxes
- Ramps: A "ramp" is a smooth gradient of color or gray that goes
from one color to another or one level to another as you move across or down
the screen. There are six ramps on this pattern: two vertical ramps on each
side (one luma and one chroma per side), and two horizontal red and blue
ramps just above and below the chroma alignment patterns. Each of the ramps
should look smooth and even, with no bands or streaks anywhere along it. The
two ramps in the center should not have a wide solid colored area in the
center, but should vary from black to full red or blue at a thin peak in the
center and back to black
- Clipping: For this test, look at the Clipping section in the top
center. In each of the six rectangles you should be able to see four darker
square. The white clipping (labeled "Y" on the middle left) is the most
important to check, but clipping in any of the six channels is bad. Note
that the leftmost square is just slightly darker than the main rectangle and
can be hard to see, especially if your room isn't dark
- Color Conversion: The boxes at the bottom center of the pattern
are to check for two common errors in doing the color conversion from Y'CbCr
to RGB. All HD signals are supposed to be converted using the equations in
the BT.709 specification, not the BT.601 specification (which is for
standard definition NTSC TV). The three boxes at the bottom are to check
which color conversion standard is being applied. The middle white box is
just to check for clipping, which would invalidate the rest of the check.
You should see a darker gray box in the middle of the white box.
Advanced Video Calibration: This section of the Blu-ray test disc
contains test patterns that are designed for the advanced video enthusiast or
video professional to use. Some of them require a light meter to get the most
out of them, but most can be evaluated with your eyes.
- Setup: These patterns are useful for setting up a display. Some
of them are repeated from the Video Calibration section for convenience,
though in some cases the help text is more detailed for the pattern in this
- Evaluation: These patterns are useful for evaluating the picture
in various ways. They can be used for making decisions between different
components, for example if you've borrowed a component to see if it's worth
adding to your system, or for evaluating the differences between different
picture and video processing modes on the display and/or player.
- SD Evaluation: These patterns are essentially the same as the
Evaluation patterns, but encoded in 480-line (SD) resolution. Many displays
have different processing for SD and HD content, so if you watch DVDs on
your system, these patterns can help you evaluate how well your player and
display handles them.
- Contrast Ratio: These are the patterns needed to measure ANSI
contrast, using a light meter. The ANSI contrast standard is titled "ANSI/INFOCOMM
3M-2011," and can be purchased from the ANSI standards committee at
Video Measurements: These patterns are generally designed for
quantitative analysis with a waveform monitor. Some of the patterns can be used
with the naked eye to do rough qualitative analysis, especially once you have
seen the pattern on a variety of displays and know what the pattern should look
like on a properly calibrated display.
Video Processing: These patterns are primarily designed
for evaluating handling of motion and motion processing, including how well the
player or display converts interlaced content to progressive (also called
- 24P: These patterns are all encoded at 24p. They should play
smoothly and without artifacts on any display that has a 24p mode. If you
see judder (staccato movement rather than smooth) or anything other than
smooth motion, you should check to see if your player is set to produce 24p
output and if your display is set up to handle it.
- Source Adaptive: These patterns are designed to test the conversion of
interlaced content to progressive content (or "deinterlacing"). Most of the
sequences in this section were derived from progressive sources, and the
very best deinterlacing will use "film mode" deinteracing, where it restores
the original progressive frames. When everything is working properly, the
wedges should look identical to the wedges in the 24p test patterns. There
should not be extra moiré, blurriness, or other visible artifacts. If the
deinterlacer cannot reconstruct the original progressive frames, it switches
to "video mode", where it interpolates frames from a single field. This cuts
the vertical resolution in half, and in video mode the wedges will turn
blurrier with very visible moiré and jaggies.
- Edge Adaptive: These sequences are all encoded in video mode,
where the picture changes every field. Since there are no progressive frames
to reconstruct, the deinterlacer must interpolate extra scan lines to fill
in the missing information in each field and make it into a full frame. The
very best deinterlacers are able to interpolate smooth diagonal edges by
detecting edges in the video and doing special processing to make the edges
clean. When this is done well, the various diagonal lines in the video will
look smooth and clean and not jaggy.
- Motion: This section contains tests to check for loss of
resolution and dynamic range on moving objects. These tests are primarily to
test the effectiveness of the "120 Hz" or "240 Hz" modes on many modern
displays, especially LCD displays. These modes may be called "MotionFlow" "TruMotion,"
"ClearScan" or some other proprietary name.
Equal Energy Patterns: The Blu-ray test disc contains the following
Equal Energy Pattern tests to make sure the entire screen's total energy is
constant. The patterns are "equal energy" in that each of the target levels is
surrounded by a pattern that is adjusted in level to make the entire screen's
total energy constant as you move between the various gamma levels. This is
useful for measuring displays that cannot display large window patterns without
lowering their total light output, most notably plasma display panels.
- Equal Energy Gamma: This section contains patterns for checking
the effective gamma of a display by eye. The idea is to put up one of the
gamma patterns and then use the left and right arrow on the remote to move
to higher or lower gamma until the fine-grained patterns around the center
window have the same apparent brightness as the center window. When the
patterns match the window, the effective gamma can be read numerically off
the label on screen.
- Equal Energy Windows: This section contains window patterns,
typically used for measuring gray-scale tracking and gamma using test
- Equal Energy Gamut: This section contains colored window
patterns, typically used for measuring color gamut and adjusting a Color
Management System (CMS) using a colorimeter or spectroradiometer.
Stereoscopic (3D): This section contains patterns useful for
evaluating and setting up a stereoscopic (3D) display. In addition to the
patterns in this section, almost all the HD patterns on this disc have been
encoded in "flat 3D", so that you can view the pattern while the display is in
3D mode. The patterns will still appear flat, but this mode is useful for
setting up the 3D mode of the display and making sure brightness, contrast, etc.
are correct. Most displays have a completely different set of presets for 3D
mode, so it's necessary to run through the same calibration steps for both 2D
and 3D modes.
- General: These are miscellaneous patterns useful for checking for
proper 3D display setup and functioning.
- Visual Crosstalk: This is a set of patterns useful for visually
estimating the amount of crosstalk between the left and right eye that your
display has. To compare two displays numerically, you need to know the
actual gamma of the display near black, in 3D mode, which generally requires
measurement equipment. If you don't know the gamma and just want a rough
idea of how much crosstalk the display has, choose 2.4 gamma, but don't
expect the numbers from one display to be comparable to another display
unless you are confident the two displays have near-identical gamma near
black, in 3D mode.
Audio Calibration: The Blu-ray test disc also contains signals to help
you set up and test your audio system. Test tones are available for 5.1 and 7.1 audio systems in Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. By default, the disc is in 5.1 speaker mode. You can use the setup menu to change the disc to 7.1 mode and select between Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA. For the audio level and audio phase
tests, there is no video component of the test, so the help information is
visible on-screen all the time.
Demonstration Material: These are high-quality clips that you can use
as reference material or to show off your home theater. The DTS Living World
clip and the Montage are both encoded in 3D, but will play in 2D on a 2D player.
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