(July 1, 2019) Here’s a bit of rather exciting news. The highly anticipated Spears and Munsil UHD HDR Benchmark Disc ($39.95) has finally launched. Years in the making and long-rumored, this is the reference-grade 4K UHD test disc that enthusiasts and pro calibrators have been asking for.
Born from the incredible success of both DVD and standard Blu-ray versions of the disc, Stacey Spears and Don Munsil have re-joined forces to unleash more features and patterns to dial-in and evaluate today’s high-test 4K displays. And while many of the disc’s offerings are crafted for professional calibrators, included material will also appeal to casual users hoping to squeeze more performance from their preferred TV. Nearly every pattern is encoded in multiple versions, with metadata and peak levels adjusted for a wide variety of HDR display technologies including 600, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, and 10,000 nits.
According to Stacey Spears: “Every pattern has been rethought with High Dynamic Range and Ultra HD in mind. We believe this disc completely changes the game for test and evaluation discs, by making use of all of the features and range that HDR and wide-gamut standards can offer.”
Don Munsil adds: “We build every pattern using our own tools, written from scratch in C++. If a pattern needs to be generated directly in a very specific color space and data format, we generate it in that color space and format; we’re not limited to what you can do with off-the-shelf graphics software. In a few cases, we’ve had to create our own format, because no existing file format could represent the pattern we needed to create.”
Owners will find many classic test patterns from past Spears and Munsil releases, while new material is meant to address both current and future video technologies (including 8K HDR). Owners can use these tools set up displays for optimal visual clarity while evaluating key performance parameters. According to included specs, the disc carries material with 10-bit color and Dolby Vision, HDR10, HDR10+, HLG, and SDR.
What’s even better? You can buy the disc right now and have it delivered to home in a matter of days. Click here for ordering information direct from Amazon.com.
AV NIRVANA has several evaluation copies on hand. Stay tuned for a review and how-to guide!