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Digital Video Essentials

 

If you are like most people, your HDTV is among the most used and least understood devices in your home. Getting the most out of your set will require some adjustments. HD Basics will teach you how to achieve this.

Created by home theater industry legend Joe Kane, HD Basics is the definitive High Definition home theater calibration tool. It promises to help you maximize the capability of your set with the user controls, and give you an understanding of the concepts that are vital to getting the most out of your HDTV. 

“Where Would You Like To Start?”

HD Basics begins with this simple question. The straightforward menu will take you directly where you want to go.

A printed “road map” included with this program will help you determine if your home system is connected for optimal performance.

  • Easy to use menu system
  • A ‘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
  • A 97 minute overview of the basics of HDTV
  • Introduction to the world of creating HDTV programs
  • Audio commentary by Cinematographer Allen Daviau
  • Audio commentary by Joe Kane for the demonstration materials
  • Joe Kane’s custom Tri-Color reference Filter

DVE: HD Basics Blu-ray Program Notes

Notes About Playing the Blu-ray Version of DVE: HD Basics

1. Not All Blu-ray Players Are Created Equal

There are many player manufacturers supporting the Blu-ray format. Partially because certain player capabilities have been listed as optional, they don’t all have the same capabilities.

Here’s a brief summary of the Blu-ray group’s attempts at phasing in requirements of players.

The earliest players are now known as Profile 1.0. There is often a limit to how far these players can be upgraded as the updates require capabilities in the players that were considered optional at the time they were built.

All players built after October 2007 must to conform to Profile 1.1 or the “Final Standard Profile”. Many of the optional features of earlier players became mandatory. This profile still doesn’t include the capability of playing the picture-in-picture commentary feature found on a number of discs.

Sometime in late 2008, possibly as early as October, there will be a Profile 2.0 requirement for players. It will be know as “BD Live”. Players will have an Ethernet port and 1 Gigabyte of on board memory to support internet interactivity.

We now know of only one Blu-ray player that can be upgraded to Profile 2.0 when it becomes available. It’s the Sony Playstation 3. There should be standalone Profile 2.0 players by the end of 2008 or early in 2009.

2. The Blu-ray Format Allows Two Different Types of Programming for Menus

There is a simple menu system called BD-MV for the Movie mode. It’s similar to the navigation system used in standard definition DVD’s. It was all that the majority of Profile 1.0 players supported.

A more sophisticated system is based on the Java® programming language. It’s called BD-J. It’s what we’re using in DVE: HD Basics. Some Profiles 1.0 players can be upgraded to at least play discs using the Java® programming language. Their functionality will not be complete.

3. Why Does DVE: HD Basics use BD-J instead of BD-MV?

Probably the most important reason for using Java® is that this disc is a test disc, in addition to an information disc. The Advanced Video Test Patterns can be used to evaluate the player’s video capability and the menu system will test some of the current specifications for Profile 1.1 players.

There are other reasons for using Java®. It allows us capabilities not available in DVD. Using it, we can populate menu graphics with words from text files. In the old days, the text had to be imbedded in the graphics. If you wanted to create a menu in a different language, you had to create a completely new set of graphics. If you wanted to have multiple languages in menus on a single disc, you had to create parallel menu systems. In the HD optical formats you can load the menu graphics and text files into the player and ask the player to build the menus for you. This allows multiple languages in menus with just the addition of a font and text file for each language.

4. Can the Blu-ray version of DVE: HD Basics be used to determine if a player is Profile 1.1 complaint?

While the disc uses Java®, and Java® support is required for Profile 1.1, there is nothing in the disc that will put a sign on the screen saying this player is fully compliant with Profile 1.1.

5. What Might You See From Your Player?

We found players where the menu didn’t come up at all. In every case where we found this, we were able to update the firmware in the player and it would then at least play the disc.

Some players don’t display the fonts properly. What you see on screen will remind you of what a printer looks like when it is time to change the ink cartridge. Not all of the areas of each letter are equal in intensity.

Some players won’t fill in the letters. There are transparent. You can see the background behind them.

Some players will fill the letters with gray instead of white.

Some players take a lot of time to bring up individual menus, even after the wait for the first menu to appear.

Transitions from one menu item to the next in this program are often animated. The animation may appear to be in slow motion on some players.

Some of the layers in the menu system might be a bit dim in video level. The layers are all visible, but in one player in particular the foreground of the menu was only 20% as bright as we intended. The background in the menu is reproduced at the right level.

 

 

 

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