Spears & Munsil have been providing video enthusiasts, along with integrators calibration discs for several years, and Stacey Spears and Don Munsil’s latest calibration bundle is a three-disc set offer users a range of test and evaluation patterns that were shot and mastered in 8K, and the discs also provide audio tests for Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive audio testing. So today, we figured it would be worth looking into for this installment of CE Pro’s Mini Reviews.
Spears & Munseil Calibration Disk Package Mini Review
I’m not going to into the specific patterns and evaluation clips included in each of the three discs in this CE Pro Mini Review, but I will say the package provides more than enough material for users to setup and calibrate a display system minus the advanced measurement tools that experienced professionals such as Joel Silver and Jason Dustal would bring to a job site.
In my opinion the new 2023 package is a nice step up from the previous disc package due to several things that include more test patterns and the inclusion of a booklet that briefly explains how to use the materials on each disc.
Carrying a retail price of about $60 I think there’s a lot of value for integrators to purchase this bundle. I tried the discs with my home AV system, which includes A Digital Projection E-Vision 4000 projector, a Screen Innovations (SI) Zero Edge Pro matte white screen; a Panasonic DP-UB820 UltraHD disc player, and an Integra DRX-3.4 AV receiver that is driving a 7.4.2 speaker system.
I’d like to start by pointing out there is a time commitment to the process of using the Spears & Munsil disc set. The first disc includes the “baseline” fundamental test patterns for brightness, contrast, color and tint, sharpness, and framing. It also provides tests for AV sync with Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD, DTS:X and DTS-HD MA.
I went about using this disc package over the course of several days where I used a single disc over the course of each of the three days to ensure I could use test and evaluation patterns in a way in which I was comfortable. Once I used the disc and verified the performance of my results using the second and third discs, I am satisfied with the results I achieved with my system in using the three-disc set. Moreover, I am also certain that as I become more familiar with the patterns the less, I will have to refer to the included booklet to provide me with pattern explanations, which will save me time down the road.
Underscoring my confidence in the new Spears & Munsil package I am now confident I can retire the Disney Wow that I’ve used for years. This package provides everything, and more than any enthusiast will ever need to improve the performance of a display to maximize the value of a new projector or television. Joel Silver, Jason Dustal and one of the best AV dealers in the U.S. Robert Zohn of Value Electronics all state that even basic contrast and black level adjustments will do wonders to upgrade the video quality of a display and the Spears & Muscil disc package will do that and provide users the ability to improve color accuracy through the package’s inclusion of blue filter glasses (more than half of a video signal includes the color blue).
Concluding my thoughts in this CE Pro Mini Review on this new calibration disc set—There have been plenty of calibration discs to hit the market over the past 20 years. The new Spears & Munsil three-disc set is now the best of the lot. The Spears & Munsil 2023 bundle provides the simplicity that is the key to the Wow disc’s user friendliness, and it offers the volume of test patterns of the old Ovation calibration disc package for a fraction of the cost.
The three-disc calibration bundle is a must have for integrators and enthusiasts looking to improve the quality of their AV setups.
If you enjoyed this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our digital newsletters!