Designed as more of a system show-off than system set-up set, The Ultimate DVD Platinum is best viewed for the sheer pleasure of its aural and visual vignettes. You'll use it to configure your home theater, too, of course-... more »-disc 2 (not included on the Gold or Silver editions) is a reasonably thorough set-up and evaluation tool. But the heart of this set is the wealth of video and music included on the first disc. Each part of disc 1 showcases different features and capabilities of DVD-video, from screen formats and multi-angle viewing to multiple languages and surround-sound formats such as DTS, Dolby Digital, and Dolby Pro Logic. For demo material, the disc draws from a deep and exciting reserve of quality filmmaking and animation, including excerpts from classics (Chronos, Beyond the Mind's Eye) and lesser-known gems ("Liquefied," "Jackpot"), as well as documentaries ("Boeing 777 PTQ," "Great Barrier Reef") and music (Mickey Hart's "Indoscrub," Alan Parsons's "The Time Machine"). Highly useful is the ability to compare the quality and characteristics of the different surround formats in use today (provided your DVD player or surround receiver can decode them). If your DVD remote has an Audio button, you can even switch between Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1-channel soundtracks while you watch. Audiophiles will delight in both the prominence of surround-mixed music and the presence of several music-only tracks recorded by Mapleshade and WILDCHILD! Records at 96-kHz/24-bit resolution. (Listen through your DVD player's analog outputs here; again, you must have compatible hardware--in this case, 96-kHz/24-bit digital-to-analog converters--to appreciate this feature.) The audio tests on the set-up and diagnostic disc confuse more often than they enlighten, though some are quite useful. The video tests, however--which consist of Brightness, Contrast, Purity, Geometry, Convergence, Chroma, Hue, Clamp, and Sharpness--are indeed eye-openers, and a strip of blue cellophane is included to assist you in this area. --Michael Mikesell« less
"This is a mediocre "set-up" cd. The majority of the audio set-up utilities are not explained well either on the dvd itself or in the included text. There are minimal to no directions given on using the setup tools. The setup section is a waste of time. It does have some pretty cool audio demonstrations though, for DTS and Dolby Digital (5.1 & 2.0). It's a good comparison DVD for the 5.1 surround setup. You can definately determine the superior sound quality of DTS over DD. There are some interesting videos (i.e. "implosions")included as well, not anything you have to see more than once or twice though. One thing not mentioned in the stats on this title, is that it is a double disk set. Hope this helps!"
More for the professional
Robert Gallo | Colorado Springs, Colorado United States | 05/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I am a home theater design consultant and I frequently use "The Ultimate DVD Platinum" for calibrating my clients systems. I am writing this review due to the numerous things I've seen in other reviews here. To set the record straight, this DVD is more for the person who is familar with home theater. Although it can be useful to the novice, professionals will have an easier time navigating and using the calibration tools on disc 2 and the test material on disc 1 to their full advantage. I will note that I have encountered issues with both discs in Toshiba DVD players, but no other manufacturer's products. As to one review which stated that there was only one black bar in the "brightness" test pattern, but two in the demo, that was due to his TV not being able to display "pluge" or "blacker than black" signals, I have encountered this with a client who had a Toshiba HDTV. The blue filter supplied with disc 2 for proper color and tint alignment is useful only if the TV has adjustable red push, which most don't! If color and tint are set to the instructions on disc 2 skin tones will be unnaturally red. As for the DTS signals, I have never had an issue with them and I'm guessing that the people who've had problems may have purchased a bad pressing of the disc and should have returned it to where they aquired it from. All in all, the disc is very good and can show off what a DVD player and home theater are capable of if set up correctly, but again, this is more for the professional than the novice. For a proper calibration one should call a professional. After all, if you're willing to spend the money on the equipment, doesn't it make sense to spend a little more to have it set up properly?"
This disk is truly phenomenal...!
Robert Gallo | 03/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Review from SMR Forums....Topic: DVD Setup/Demo Disks Conf: Forum 1 - Miscellaneous A/V Discussion From: Larry- just purchased The Ultimate DVD - Platinum from Amazon ($24, including shipping). I've rented the old "Silver" version of the same disk, and have to say that they have done a really professional job getting the new release together.Actually, this is a two disk set. Disk 1 consists of the very best audio and video calibration/setup tracks I've ever seen. It begins with the phasing and levels of all your speakers and then goes through the PCM (i.e., stereo tracking), Dolby 5.1 and (real) DTS calibration. Then, it allows you to test and set up your tv/monitor settings. This is a very high level, highly detailed disk.Then, disk 2 consists of extremely well produced demos of just about every video and audio feature you can think of. However, it can drive you crazy the first time you use it, because it's not intuitive how to move from one screen (e.g., the initial copyright) to the next. Just press your next track button. (Hint - don't try to go backwards - you'll get lost.) Other than that little flaw, this disk is truly phenomenal. Well worth the investment.Larry"
A fun toy for someone new to DVD
Michael Denatale | Colorado | 05/27/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a neat DVD to play with, especially if you are new to DVD's and Dolby Digital surround. I thought the setup disk was pretty easy to use. Each test has a good description and explanation. I found it to be useful. I would have given a higher rating, but I experienced some technical problems with the setup disk. Anytime I would try to go into DTS audio setup it would kick me out for 'Parental Control Violation'. I never did figure it out, so I just used Dolby Digital 5.1.The demo disk is quite good. I really like being able to directly compare DTS, DD 5.1, and Pro Logic. The difference is quite amazing. If I could have rated the two disks separately I would have given this one 4 stars."
Ultimate DVD Platinum
John Wesley Hester | Selma, Alabama USA | 03/25/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I hope this review is published. I've written three previously without success (not on my part). I have experienced problems with the 2nd disc involving the dts version of the sound samples like the motorcycle, etc. I have NOT experienced any other problems with the 1st disc, any other part of the 2nd disc or any other dts audio segments. The problem is that the right-rear channel (at least on the disc I have) IS encoded--only it is encoded in silence. The Dolby Digital version of the same samples are fine. I have informed the company who authored the DVD without much response from them. The equipment I have used included all of the following: Pioneer VSX-D608 A/V Receiver (which I haven't had a bit of problem with for a year now), ProScan PS8680Z DVD Player (connected optically), JVC XV-D701 DVD Player (connected via analog) and a Panasonic DVD-A320U Player (connected via coaxial). If you have noticed similar problems with the dts sound samples on the 2nd disc please post a review. Thank You. P.S. I have not had a problem with any of the other 30 dts encoded discs I currently own."