If you have an HDTV and a Blu-ray player, this calibration disc can help you make sure you're getting the best-looking picture possible. Whether you own a flat-panel TV, a rear-projection set, or a front projector, this disc can help you maximize your investment. It includes a comprehensive set of test patterns for color, contrast, sharpness, and lots more.

Previous calibration discs have tended to be either too basic, or so complicated that you needed to be a video engineer to use them. With the Spears & Munsil disc, you can make as few or as many adjustments as you want. Each test is clearly explained, with examples of correct and incorrect settings, so you know what you're doing and why. Running through the entire set of tests usually takes 45 minutes to an hour.

"The Spears & Munsil disc is the most effective calibration disc I've used. I'm particular about picture quality, and didn't expect a dramatic improvement, but after using the disc, my TV's picture definitely looked more natural."
—Steve Kindig, Crutchfield Senior Home Audio/Video Editor

Product Highlights:

  • calibration patterns for all major TV picture controls
  • setup and evaluation patterns for optimizing your TV's and Blu-ray player's settings
  • video clips to test your TV's deinterlacing performance
  • will only play in a Blu-ray player; will not play in a standard DVD player
  • warranty: 60 days
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Blu-ray high-definition calibration disc
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  • Storage case User's Guide

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Spears & Munsil High-Definition Bench Mark Hand Forged Video Disc is a Blu-ray 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: Can only be played on a Blu-ray player. Not compatible with other disc players.

Setup & Evaluation Patterns: The Blu-ray video test disc provides Calibration and Evaluation Patterns for all major display controls to measure your HDTV's and Blu-ray player's quality.

  • PLUGE: PLUGE stands for Picture Line-Up Generator.
    • PLUGE Low:  This pattern is used to set the black level of the display by adjusting the brightness control.
    • PLUGE High: This is a pattern used to check that the black level looks correct even when there is another bright image on the screen.
  • Contrast: This pattern is designed for fine-tuning the settings of the brightness and contrast controls. All of the numbered white bars should be visible and distinct from the surround background.
  • Sharpness: This pattern is used to check for sharpening artifacts such as ripples near hard edges. The vertical and horizontal lines should have clean, sharp edges with no ghost lines or bright halos next to them. The circles and diagonal lines should be smooth and free of stair-stepping.
  • Color Bars:
    • SD Color Bars: This pattern is designed for setting the color (sometimes called "picture") control on the display. This requires a blue filter or the ability to turn off the red and green channels on the display.
    • HD Color Bars: This is an alternate color bar pattern designed for modern displays. To set color, look through a blue filter, or put the display in "blue-only" mode if available, and adjust the blue, cyan, and magenta bars so they match the brightness of the white bar beneath them.
  • Clipping: This pattern is designed to show clipping of the peaks in both the luma channel and the three RGB display channels. Each patter  has concentric squares that range from the reference level to the peak level for luma (white) and the four color channels. A properly adjusted display should be able to reproduce all of the levels.
  • Image Cropping: This pattern is designed to show how much of the image encoded on the disc is visible on the screen. It can also be used to center the picture on screen.
  • Chroma:
    • Chroma Alignment: This pattern is designed to test alignment of color channels. The colored lines should be exactly centered in the thin diamond shapes. If the colored lines are shifted to the left or right, then the chroma channels are misaligned with the luma channels. Every element of this pattern should look symmetrical, with the right side matching the left side and the top matching the bottom.
    • Chroma Multiburst: This pattern is designed to test the bandwidth of the chroma channels. All of the burst patterns should show clear blue and red stripes, with the peaks at essentially the same intensity as the stripes on the far left.
    • Chroma Zone Plate: This pattern is designed to check overall chroma resolution and reproduction. The center o the pattern should be clear, bright, and smooth. No stair-stepping should appear on the edges of the concentric circles. The brightest peaks should look rounded and not flat or clipped.
    • Chroma Upsampling Error: This pattern checks whether the MPE-2, VC-1, or AVC decoder in your player is properly upconverting the chroma channels for progressive 4:2:0 content. The diagonal lines should be smooth and free of obvious jaggies, steps, or streaks.
  • Luma:
    • Luma Multiburst: This pattern is designed to test the bandwidth of the luma channel. All of the burst patterns should be clear, with the peaks at essentially the same intensity as the stripes on the far left.
    • Luma Zone Plate: This pattern is designed to check overall luma resolution and reproduction. The center of the pattern should be clear, bright, and smooth. The center of the pattern should be clear, bright, and smooth. No stair-stepping should appear on the edges of the concentric circle.
  • Dynamic Range:
    • Dynamic Range High: This pattern is designed to show whether the display is reproducing all the levels above reference white up to peak white. On a properly adjusted display, all the bars except the brightest one should be visible and distinct from the background.
    • Dynamic Range Low: This pattern allows you to check if all of the range possible in the video signal is being sent to the display. Under normal circumstance, only bars 18 and above should be clearly visible, and possibly just barely bar 17.
  • 11 Step Crossed Gray Scale: There are 11 levels of black and white on this chart, and all 11 levels should be clearly visible. The far left and right bars are slightly wider; this is normal.
  • Geometrical:
    • Geometry: This pattern is designed to facilitate measuring whether the display is distorting the height or width of the picture. Using a tape measure, measure the height and width of the circles and squares. They should be equal. The diagonal sin the center should also be equal length.
    • Geometry 4x3/16x9 PIP: These patterns check whether the player is rendering Picture-in-Picture (PIP) with the correct aspect ratio. The circles and squares in the PIP frame should not be distorted. The diagonal lines of the main frame and the PIP frame should be aligned properly

Source Adaptive Deinterlacing Clips: The Blu-ray test disc also provides Source Adaptive Deinterlacing Clips and patterns to test your HDTV's and Blu-ray player's overall deinterlacing performance.

  • Wedge Pattern: As the wedges move, the narrow end of the horizontal wedge should have clear alternating black and white lines rather than blurry or flickering lines. The overall brightness of the wedge should be the same across the entire length. Both wedges should remain steady and not flicker for the length of the clip.
  • Racecar Clip: As the car moves across the screen, the bleachers in the background should be detailed and free of obvious noise. They should remain steady at all times and not flicker for the entire length of the clip.
  • Cadence Details: The Blu-ray test disc provides various clips with different cadences to see how your HDTV and Blu-ray player handles each one.
    • 2-2: The cadence of this clip is 2-2, meaning that there are 2 fields (1 frame) of each image. This is equivalent to 30 fps, which is commonly used in computer graphic rendered for video and in some high-speed camera footage.
    • 2-2-2-4: The cadence of this clip is 2-2-2-4, which is 2 fields (1 frame) of each of the first three images, then 4 fields (2 frames) of the fourth image, repeating to the end of the clip. This cadence is a less common way of converting 24p film to 60i video, used occasionally for film transfers and on some camcorders that have a "film-look" mode.
    • 2-3-2-3 (PF-T): The cadence of this clip is 2-3-2-3, which is 2 fields (1 frame) of the first image, then 3 fields (one frame plus on field) of the next image, repeating to the end of the clip, This cadence is the most common one used for transferring 24p film to 60i video. This version of the clip is encoded using individual progressive frames, which is more commonly used in professional film encoding. this version should produce results identical to the alternate version which uses interlaced frames.
    • 2-3-2-3: The cadence of this clip is 2-3-2-3, which is 2 fields (1 frame) of the first image, then 3 files 91 frame plus 1 field) of the next image, repeating to the end of the clip. This cadence is the most common one used for transferring 24p film to 60i video. This version of the clip is encoded using interlaced fields, which is somewhat less commonly used in professional film encoding. This version should produce results identical to the standard version which uses progressive frames.
    • 2-3-3-2: The cadence of this clips is 2-3-3-2, which is 2 fields (1 frame) of the first image, then 3 fields (1 frame plus 1 field) of the next image, then 3 fields of the next, then 2 fields of the next ,repeating to the end of the clip. This cadence is used by a few camcorders that have a 24p "film-look" mode.
    • 3-2-3-2-2: The cadence of this clip is 3-2-3-2-2, which is 3 files (1 frame plus 1 field) of the first image, then 2 files (1 frame) of the next image, then 3 fields of the next, then 2 fields of the next, then 2 fields of the next, repeating to the end of the clip, This cadence can occur when film is transferred at slightly high-than-normal speed, usually to condense a film for time.
    • 5-5: The cadence of this clip is 5-5, which is 5 fields (2 frames plus 1 field) each image. This cadence is the most common one used when 12 fps animation (often used in TV shows), is transferred to 60i video.
    • 6-4: The cadence of this clip is 6-4, which is 6 fields (3 frames) of the first image, then 4 fields (2 frames) of the next image, repeating to the end of the clip. This cadence is a less common pattern used when 12 fps animation (often used in TV shows), is transferred to 60i video.
    • 8-7-8-7: The cadence of this clip is 8-7-8-7, which is 8 fields (4 frames) of the first image, then 7 fields (3 frames plus 1 field) of the next image, repeating to the end of the clip. This cadence is most commonly used when 8 fps animation (often used for Japanese anime), is transferred to 60i video.
    • 24p: This clip is encoded as true 24 fps progressive, and any cadence used to convert the 24 fps content to the native display rate is being done by your Blu-ray player or HDTV. If your player is outputting 24p video, and your display can display it at 24 fps or a simple multiple of 24 (like 48 or 72 fps), you should see smooth motion with no stuttering or hitching.
    • Difficult Edits: This clip is representative of material that was originally shot on film, but edited on video. Within each section, the 2-3 pull-down cadence is perfect, but just before and/or just after every other edit, the patter is slightly different. All film frames have been encoded with at least 2 fields, so a good deinterlacer should be able to reconstruct each original film frame and stay in film mode at each edit. The image should retain all its resolution and not show any flicker or artifacts.
    • Time-Adjusted: This clips was originally transferred using standard 2-3-2-3 cadence, then sped up by a small amount by dropping a field every half-second. This causes the cadence to "break" regularly. A good deinterlacer should play the clip in film mode with no flickering, and it should look, essentially identical to the 2-3-2-3 cadence clips.

Edge Adaptive Deinterlacing Clips: In addition, the Blu-ray test disc provided Edge Adaptive Deinterlacing Clips to evaluate the Blu-ray player's and HDTV's ability to deinterlace true video content without distracting jagged stair-step patterns on edges.

  • Jaggies: The diagonal edges of the bar shown in this clip should look clean and not obviously jagged. In addition, the alternating black & white lines should stay solid and not flicker or turn solid white, black, or gray.
  • Bridge: The diagonals of the bridge's cables should be smooth and solid, and not look like stair-steps or a dashed line. The diagonals on the flag should be smooth and not stair-stepped.
  • Hockey: The diagonal edges of the top of the glass in the foreground, the lines on the ice, and the edge of the rink in the background should be smooth and not jagged or stair-stepped.
  • Ropes: The thin ropes should be smooth and solid looking, not jagged, stair-stepped, or broken into small segments.
  • Ship: The thin ropes that crisscross the ship and the yellow trim of the side of the ship should be smooth and solid looking, not jagged, stair-stepped, or broken into small segments.
  • Mixed Film & Video: This clip is designed to test the ability of the deinterlacer to handle a composite image with two different cadences overlaid on each other. In this case, a film-cadence clip has scrolling text over it that is interlaced. A good deinterlacer will recognize that the text is video encoded and stay in video mode. A bad deinterlacer will lock on to the cadence of the main video and cause the text to comb badly.

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Spears & Munsil High Definition Benchmark Reviews

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Works great

Written By JohnH, Campbellsville, KY on Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This benchmark disc is easy to use and full of good information. I found that the easiest way to use it is to go to the help screens and look at the examples of the adjustments that look correct, and the ones that look incorrect. Picture looks great now!

Pros: Ease of use Price Lots of information if you want it

Cons: None

Spears & Munsil High Definition Benchmark

Written By Vic, Charlestown, RI on Friday, February 04, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very useful for calibrating HD screen and blueray player - need to be a techie to find this helpful and with lots of patience to do the fine reading of your HD display manual.

Spears & Munsil High Definition Benchmark

Written By ron, md. on Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

made a major improvment to my tv,easy to setup and run

Great Product

Written By Mark L., Redding,Ca. on Saturday, November 06, 2010

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recommend you play with it first so you understand how it works. It is pretty easy once you understand the T.V. ajustments you need to make to your T.V. Why pay the expensive cost locally for a calibration of your T.V when you can do it yourself.
Thank you Crutchfield