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Category:    Home > Reviews > Video Tests > Audio Tests > HD Technology > Adjustment Tool > Calibration > Optimal Playba > DVE – Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics – Blu-ray Edition

DVE – Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics – Blu-ray Edition


Picture Demos: A-     Sound Demos: A-     Extras: B-     Main Content: B+



Continuing their standing as the best set-up software on the market, Joe Kane Productions and DVD International have delivered a next-generation set of demo discs for the very best High Definition playback around.  Last year, they issued an excellent HD-DVD/DVD-Video Combo Disc that set new high watermarks in the industry to get the most out of your HDTV and software playback.  You can read about that groundbreaking release at this link:





Unfortunately, a Blu-ray was not available, though we had heard rumours one would be along in the near future.  Not only was that true, but it would be a modified edition that was so new, there would be an HD-DVD version (not a Combo disc this time for those having problem with Combo playback) and both have now arrived with DVE – Digital Video Essentials: HD Basics.  This review focuses strictly on the Blu-ray Edition and the highlights the makers rightly boast about include:



  • An easy to use menu system that makes this material accessible to everyone.

  • 25 minute 'quick set-up" option including an in depth description and explanation of how to use specific test patterns to calibrate your display.

  • Audio calibration test signals continuing to use Dolby TrueHD and lower formats.

  • Very descriptive text in the menus to help navigate each of the options.

  • A 97-minutes-long overview of the basics of HDTV.

  • An introduction to the world of creating HDTV programs.

  • Separate, informative audio commentary tracks by Cinematographer Allen Daviau and Joe Kane.



You also get the same effective Tri-Color Optical Filter to thoroughly adjust the picture in a way no previous releases have, just like the HD Combo first offered.  As with the previous released, you get 1.78 X 1 reference quality HD images that come in 720p/24fps, 720p/60fps and 1080p/24fps, the latter of which tends to offer the best performance, but some HDTVs (to the shock of many, including those who bought them) can only do 720p and it turns out TVs before 2006 do not have 1080p, but 1080i.  You can still use the 1080p to set the 1080i displays at their best, so do NOT use the 720 modes.  A paperboard pullout is also included showing you how to set up your equipment.


For those following the growing capacities of menu Profiles the format offers with its Blu-ray Disc Java (BD-J) technology, this not only covers Profile 1.0, 1.1 & 2.0, but shows how to get the most out of their implementation per each machine and how a higher number does not automatically equal backwards compatibility with a lower one.


But best of all, something struck me about this release is how it settles an issue about the future of High Definition and the potential success of Blu-ray.  Blu-ray is finally going to keep the promise regular DVD never could in delivering (at its best) high quality digital HD video and (even better) film-like images from said sources that finally can compete with the high quality images that drove those who had the money to invest highly in 16mm and even 35mm and 70mm systems for the home.


With HD-DVD retired after a very fair competition, Blu-ray is the next great format and there has been much misinformation and confusion about what HD is and its future.  Some falsely believe there is no difference between low and high def TV, some mistakenly think all HD is created equal, some think downloads are the future when the infrastructure is many years away from making that possible and some think a old-format low-def DVD-Video player with HD upscaling is somehow full high definition.


Unfortunately, that is all myth and very, very bad assumption.  Once you see Blu-ray at its best (especially from the discs we highly recommend all over this site) on a properly calibrated HDTV via this Joe Kane release and you start watching, you realize without words that hardly anyone has seen High Definition at its best and all those other supposed options are by those who don’t know better, have never seen the unbelievable playback the format can deliver or don’t care and just like to talk.


Fortunately, people like Joe Kane, his crew and ours do care, which is why discs like HD Basics are produced and sell so well.  It is also because people still love films, TV, concerts and other programming in the highest quality program that does the work for you so you can enjoy it even more.  That is what the Home Theater experience is all about and that is why releases like this are must-own and arrive in every format so no one is left out.


With Blu-ray the future, this particular disc will be hot for years to come.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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