Just curious, have you had time to mess with the new Video Essentials Disc yet. Reason I ask is you know how much I value your input before buying something. They're is a review done over at Sound and Vision forum and just wanted to compare what you thought to the other gentlemen. Here is what he wrote..
I respectfully offer my review and observations of Joe Kane's new Digital Video Essentials disk. This is, I think, is the most complete audio visual education and tweaking tool on the market in any format, written or video. I was blown away by this disk.
1. Quality-10 In the opening scenes, I just knew subjectively that I was watching HDTV, even though objectively I knew I was only watching 480p DVD playback. This disk has flawless video and audio production values. It was mastered as 1080p and then converted to 480p for progressive scan video playback with DD and DTS audio tracks. It made me see what DVD producers could do if they wanted to-fie upon thee, Superbit, you ain't nothin! The included package insert lists the over 160 educational and calibrating sections completely and is very helpful. The red/blue/green filters are thoughtfully bound on a single cardboard backing to prevent loss and damage. The video quality of this disk is so good, you might want it just to show off-the picture easily exceeded the best show off stuff I've got-especially after DVE calibration-read on.
2. Utility-6 This is an expert's tool with great value to a novice. Even though this disk contains terrific and complete explanations of EVERYTHING for the novice who may only have a conventional TV and a $99 DVD player, DVE is only fully useful to someone who has at LEAST the following: 1. An HDTV compatible video display (or at least 480p native), 2. A progressive scan capable DVD player or transport, 3. A Dolby Digital and DTS capable sound system with at least 5.1 output ( 6.1 DD EX and DTS EX all the better), 4. A sound pressure level meter and the ability to use it, 5. A virtuoso abilty to use all your remotes and a detailed understanding of all your setup menu options (which DVE explains in some detail-even how to navigate the menu on a DVD setup disk).
3. User Friendly-7 While my SO would learn a tremendous amount if she watched this, she'd go into tilt trying to actually use it. Imho, this disk would have answered over 90% of questions on our boards, and allowed all the wonderfully patient and complete answers given by Ray, Soundhound, COF, Captain RJ, apcarandang and Rich to be summarized "See Digital Video Essentials and then write back if you still have a question." It contains all the material which I think should have been included in earlier versions of S&V and Video Essentials-things like better explanations of room environment, light, MPEG encoding, speakers, video displays, placement, acoustics, how to use and hook up equipment, formats, widescreen, DTS, DD, 5.1, 6.1. etc. Hard to think of what isn't here. A great review for everyone. You MUST use patience, however-many of the myriad tweaking options REQUIRE that you've completed the prior menu-use caution jumping around.
4. Value-10 I think everyone's system would be "better" after using this disk in an amount far greater than the disk cost. My own system was professionally tweaked and this made it better-a lot better. It also showed me that my new stuff was much better than I thought and maybe worth all the bucks sunk into it. So, it can be a great conscience assuager, even though I don't think Joe Kane so intended.
5. Comprehensive-10 As I said, this has everything, over 160 seperate sections and calibrations in refined increments not on any other disk. You can really stretch your system and see how good it is. Related to value, an average system properly set up will probably look and sound better than a really good system in a bad environment and not set up. How many times have we said THAT?!! It's all here, folks.
I guess you can tell I think you should own this disk. Put simply, it just has information and calibrations not available anywhere else, period. It would be a good educational medium, review or complete calibrator-even a great show off disk. Good for hours of fun at home for everyone!
For more information, please see www.digitalvideoessentials.com. If the disk makes you want to run out and get a 6500 degree kelvin backlight and maybe paint your wall gray, see www.cinemaquest.com.
(sorry, guys, forgot to use rich text-I'll post a following click to link)
I hope this gives you a little more info than you had before-nothing prepared me for the overwhelming completeness and detail of this disk, nor was I prepared for just how good a dvd produced and mastered like this could really be-truly terrific. Please read my Soundhound inspired disclaimers below-I almost retired from posting altogether because of the meanness and rancor of some "my opinion is world without end fact" kind of posts which have crept into these forums. As Rich has pleaded, this is supposed to be FUN! If really getting into your HT is not fun to you, you wouldn't really "get" DVE, that's for sure.
So, my friends, happy viewing, listening and tweaking. Other opinions will differ and it's only your opinion which counts when you're the one listening, viewing or buying. Direct links follow.