Although the Disney WOW Blu-Ray is frequently shown as Region A, it is in fact Region Free as confirmed by Disney Studios. I've added an image of the back of the Blu-Ray package that shows the ABC symbol confirming that it is Region Free. You will need to go to the Disney web site to download the manual.
People who have the knowledge to properly set-up a flat screen TV will use Spears & Munsil Region Free Blu-Ray. For the rest of us, the Disney World of Wonder (WOW) Blu-Ray will do the job. There are test procedures for beginners, expert - that'll be you after listening to the instructions and running the beginners test - and a section for techies.
The only issue I had relates to the television and not the disc. Each time I used the remote to set black or white clipping, the screen would brighten for a few seconds then revert to normal. There has always been a slight delay between my Blu-ray player and the television. Using the synchronisation sound and image on the disc, I was able to adjust the sound delay on the player.
A very useful disc.
on 24 July 2013
I bought this calibration disc to better the colour reproduction of my HD Samsung tv as well as ensure that my surround sound speakers were set up correctly. I did download the AVSHD709 disc for free from the following site last week and its pretty damn complicated, even following the pdf intructions for it:
avsforum dot com/t/948496/avs-hd-709-blu-ray-mp4-calibration
After spending around 4 hours navigating through all the instructions, explanations and calibration pages on the disney WOW bluray i am incredibly happy with the results.
Instructions are clear and precise and providing you follow the instructions to the T, you will get fantastic results. The disc covers basic, intermediate and advanced options and some things require specialist equipment such as a sound pressure measuring device (for the speakers). For sorting out my surround sound speakers i just downloaded a decibel measuring app and held it in front of my face, i then slowly went through all the tests to ensure that all my speakers were exactly the same volume from my seating position.
Some of the most useful test cards that you get on the bluray allow you to perfectly set up the colour and hue of the tv with the use of a blue transparent piece of plastic in the centre of some card that comes with the bluray. Its hard to explain but by looking at Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Cyan and Magenta through a piece of blue plastic you will see everything on your screen in grey. You simply have to ensure that the top and bottom vertical strips on the screen match colours as best as possible. There are two strips for sorting out the strength of the colour and two for sorting out the hue (how green or how red the picture should be).
The bluray also has an option that allows you see any distortion on the screen or varying colours due to not sitting directly in front of the tv. It displays a pure megenta colour on screen and if there is any kind of discoloration it means you need to rotate the screen slightly towards your view.
To help set up true colours there are sections with mountain scenes, an ocean with a coast, a photo with a woman holding different coloured peppers and a photo of a fruit and vegetable market stall. There are many HD demos on the disc that you can enjou watching after you have done all the fine tuning and calibrating. Toy Story looked absolutely phenomenal after I spent the best part of 3 hours doing all the calibration tests provided.
My calibration settings afterwards:
For a Samsung flatscreen LCD tv:
Surround Sound Volume
Tint G 50 R 50
Black Adjust - off
Dynamic Contrast - off
Gamma minus 1
Edge Enhancement - On
R offset 17
G offset 25
B offset 34
R Gain 36
G Gain 34
B Gain 42
Colour Space - Custom
Hope people find them useful, and remember that the colours and brightness arent meant to melt the retinas from your eyes, natural and realistic colours will appear dull but your eyes will quickly addapt and you will appreciate decent blurays much more!
If you own home cinema equipment be it LCD, Plasma, projector and maybe a multi speaker sound system then you will want this Blu-ray which will walk you through a whole series of tests to help you get the best picture and sound from your kit. Made by experts in the AV field enthusiastic about educating end viewers and providing quality on-disc resources, showing everyone it is worth any time spent enhancing the enjoyment of the content that they produce. Everyone wins.
You choose via a menu system which starts with a choice of Discover Optimise Experience. Discover is an educational feature explaining what is HD, colour, pixels etc. Only the advanced is worth a look. The rest is thinly disguised ads and promos plus Goofy's guide to HD for those who find sitting still a challenge.
Optimise is the main tools section where you choose one of three tech levels Beginner, Advanced and Expert, whichever you are comfortable with and the appropriate tests will follow. You also get to choose what type of screen and sound hardware you have. The purpose and format of each test is first fully explained and then the test is started. You can jump in on any test and you can skip the intros when you are familiar with them. There is a also a large list of test footage from Pixar/Disney films (Experience section) to test your efforts. Perhaps a little more information on why each Experience clip was chosen would be of additional education value. Actually it is interesting to try and figure out what it is in each movie clip that is being demonstarted. Is it some sound detail, tricky high or low frequency? Some technically demanding visual detail or colour? Both? Some are obvious.
I would advise to not try and do the whole of the disc in one go, it would take you several hours if done properly. You will be frustrated and tired. Focus on basic Video adjustments one session, run with that setup for a few days and say take it to the next level the following weekend. The disc is not a magic tool, press one button and you are done. It is a process with you the human being at the centre who has to be willing to take a bit of time critically assessing what you are seeing and hearing. There is plenty on this disc to work with over multiple sessions.
The Optimize, Video calibration test tools is however the one part everyone should try. Don't just go with straight built-in TV manufacturers settings, certainly not dynamic and guess work is just as bad. The large number of disc test screens will definitely help put your set in a much better place, even using the most basic level sequences . Provided you listen carefully and learn a little about what it is you are trying to achieve.
There are also single colour screens (purity), all red, all green all blue, all black, all grey and purple; use the skip button on player remote to advance. This was interesting as the Green screen demonstrated some image retention on my Plasma showing the outline of DOGs and lower thirds from a recent channel I viewed. Thankfully temporary. Speaking of which there is also a Pixel flipper which is designed to exercise each and every pixel with random noise to help with stuck pixels, image retention etc. Can be left running for an at least an hour which is what the disc recommends or even overnight which is probably more likely to be needed if you have this problem. This won't fix dead pixels but it may help 'reset' stressed phosphors.
A nice feature is that some patterns pulse key elements to help concentrate your eye where matching of tones is crucial. Staring at just a static pattern would be prone to error as the brain fades static features away. There is an A/V sync test which is testing audio and video arrive from the player at the correct time. You are supposed to be able to judge in either +/-1 frame (41.6 ms) increments. To be honest that's really tough to judge simultaneously by ear and eye. I have yet to see a good way of doing this without a couple of detectors and a milisecond timer doing the job. There used to be a BBC screen on one of their Freview HD channels but thats was amazingly hard and lasted for just a minute or two. Covering bits of the screen with a sheet of paper hilst listening can help. I can't tell better than between -2 and + 2 frames with this method though. Note This only tests the Blu-Ray sync and not any Freeview codec sync problems.
UK users will have PAL TV sets so you have to skip the tint test. PAL does not have a Tint adjustment, it is taken care of in other ways in the format. All other disc tests do work with PAL and you get the elusive blue plastic gel filter to help with colour (ahem, color) adjustment. This is perhaps one of the finer user judgements to make and you should take your time with it. In fact an eye for detail is required for all tests and its best to refer to the full manual which is only available as a download. For those willing to go more advanced you can go round the sequence of test a few times as there is a degree of interdependence requiring some iteration.
Some test pictures will also help evaluate all the stuff the TV manufacturers like to add to "improve" the picture and build an impressive feature list for salesmen that actually you will discover you will want to turn most of them off. A lot of them are acronyms that sound like they should be left on but this disc allows you to see and judge for yourself in a controlled way vs the benefit of say maintaining 1:1 pixel mapping for example. I had one obscure TV setting that stretched the picture just a few pixels to the right for no obvious reason (giving an overscan on the rightside only plus the loss of 1:1 pixel mapping). One test pattern showed the problem straight away (you should be able to see the sharp arrow tips on all screen edges) and I had to go through every TV menu Picture related featuresturning each one off to find the culprit. It was Pixel orbit On. The only other option was Pixel orbit Auto which eliminated the one sided overscan. Not something I would have found out otherwise. Auto sounds like it is on sometimes but from the TV manual you have no idea.
I primarily bought this as an upgrade over the short DTS picture tests on the Pixar discs but I found the detailed sound test materials on the WOW disc are very usefu and interesting as well. Both as a accurate reference for which channels are wired up to which speaker but also phase checks and a whole suite of frequency based tools like rattle tests. It's great way to comparre the performance of different speakers when you want to assess which ones to swap out. The sound tests at the higher tech levels require ownership of a sound meter which most people won't have but my tip that will get you a good part of the way there is to download a 3rd party sound meter phone App with a dB readout, many are free that perform well enough to do reasonable level of reproducible volume balancing. Obviously a real meter with calibration is always going to be better but if you use what you have to hand it is better than doing nothing at all. Just use a bit of common sense, place your phone in the main listening position and watch the readout. Don't touch the phone and be very quiet.
Once you use ithis WOW disc you will want to go and sort out your friends and family out as well. I would say even the most technically challenged could achieve noticeable benifits with just the basic level adjustments, as long as you are motivated. You may find some fellow viewers will complain the new image is a bit dim for example but that passes within a few days of eye re-education. You will have to ban fiddling with the promise of a review in a week. Some scenes are intentionally shot dark by directors as part of the atmosphere.
Do remember there is a 54 page PDF fully detailed manual out there which is meant to be used with the disc to help identify what to look for in all the tests. You only get a very basic mini leaflet, the disc and a blue filter in the box. Look on the back of the mini leaflet for the URL to get the full manual.
After you are done just wait to you next see a HD program of natural scenery, wildlife (hair feathers whiskers). The Olympics 2012 was another good HD example. Yes, hairy atheletes. Water surfaces also look spectacular. The only downside is you will notice how poor some SD material can be in comparison.
on 5 December 2014
It's a good calibration disc although the end results weren't at all noticeablly different from when I calibrated my tv using the THX Optimizer on my Terminator 2 blu ray disc so I think yes this is a good calilbration disc but buying yourself a blu ray movie disc with the THX Optimizer on would be a cheaper option and you'd get a movie with it too.
on 20 December 2013
I have used this with 5 TV's now and people that didnt think it was worth it now realize what a difference this makes. The first time through the basic setup it will take about an hour as you will be learning how to use it and get the most out of the disk, after that you can do a TV in about 15 minutes. I would recommend having one of these in your collection just to get the full potential out of the expensive TV screen you have just brought. I had set the TV's up to what i thought was close to the cinema settings but this made me think how far out i was. The TV is now able to show the pin stripes on suits where as before i thought it was just black. Little changes make a big difference.
On a side note: the player you use to set the TV up should be able to show the full dynamic range. I tried this with a PS3 to start off with and the disk was not showing "beyond Black" and "whiter than White", There is a setting that allows the full range to be displayed through the PS3 and the 3 blu-ray players i have tried have all been no problems at all with it.
on 18 February 2013
Back in February 2011 I purchased an Optoma HD600X-lv Projector so that I can enjoy Movie's, TV and Games in HD with a big screen experiance, right in my bedroom. When I first turned on the projector (even though it had good reviews), I was dissapointed with the picture quality, skin tones were off, white was blue (picture looked too cold), colors were distorted, etc. I simply fixed these problems by going into the projectors menu, changing the display mode from Presentation to Movie and played about with a control in the projectors advanced menu (called BrilliantColor, that I disabled and it matches the blue filter pattern that way), but after that I noticed that blacks were a muddy grey color and the image looked a little washed out. I simply kind-of fixed these problems using the THX Optimizer in the setup menu of a DVD disc, after that it was better but not perfect. So I needed to resort to something better.
I came up with the idea of purchasing a proper setup disc and borrowing a PS3 or Blu-ray player to do this properly. I was down to quite a few choices here, such as Spears and Munsils, Digital Video Essentials, and a few more and out of the lot, this seemed to have the best reviews and I heard was the easiest out of the lot to use. I simply popped in the disc just to find out that when I started this up, I was almost self-explanitory, you just have to follow simple instructions (set the brighness so that only star 1-5 is visible, set contrast so that stars 1-5 are atleast visible, etc.). and after following these simple instructions, my onscreen picture was much better and how it should be displayed for every type of content that I would be viewing, my projector now shows every step of grey (16-235) and is too my liking, thanks to this disc.
Also, this disc doesn't just include basic setup features, it also includes eductional clips on everything to do with HD, Frames-per-Seconds, Cables, etc. (so you can atleast be turned from a noob to an amature here) aswell as some content from Disney Pixar Blu-ray and DVD movies to test out your TV/Results. If you want your TV setting up nicely and want to know more about the Audio/Visual world, don't hesitate, JUST BUY IT!!!
on 9 June 2014
Very disappointed with this disc. The contrast test does not work for those tv's (in my case a Sony w905) that won't show reference white. This is a known problem and I wish I had looked online before wasting my money on this. Apparently one has to raise contrast until there is a slight change of hue to get the right contrast for those tv's that can't show reference white but this is not mentioned in the dvd and is difficult to do.
Wish I'd got the Spears and Munsil DVD now which takes into account the problem and gives you a clear solution.
This dvd encourages people to put their contrast at max which is going to look pants.
For £17 it was a complete waste of money.
on 14 May 2015
Perfect, be it pricy, for reassuring one self about the picture quality of the new large screen TV you have just bought. If you intend using it because of the existing poor display quality of your TV, then you probably are more in need of a new TV rather than this calibration disc. If you are complaining it is not as comprehensive as other calibration discs on the market, you obviously missed the "Disney" bit on the front of the disc. This disc is for edutainment, and helps non-expert people to get a better understanding of how a TV does its job, and possibly tweak the already neigh perfect screen display to personal taste.
on 4 May 2014
Highly professionally produced (as would be expected of Disney), with clear interactive instructions which makes it very easy to use. It still took probably a good hour to use if only to confirm certain limitations of a new Sony TV. No doubt I will use it again in a couple of months time once the TV has been used for a few hundred hours. Excellent value for money and worth the wait from the USA!
on 23 December 2013
This is a good basic calibration tool. Unless you want to be buying light meters and such this will give you a pretty good picture quality and explains a lot of the theory behind it. Has a good set of clips of disney movies so you can test your picture out and hear your surround sound in full glory. Admittedly some of the features are pretty useless to the layman, especially all the sound frequency stuff, but all in all a good package. The pixel shifter is another reason I bought this and is a good idea for anyone who owns a plasma tv. It can solve your image retention problems and worked for me!