Best Video Performance Evaluation Test Discs

Use a test disc to check your device's performance

Find out whether an HDTV, 4K UHD TV, Blu-ray/DVD player or video processor/scaler is delivering the performance that it claims to deliver with a good test disc.

Girl using touch screen television in living room
Robert Daly / Getty Images
01
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Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Disc 2nd Edition

What We Like
  • State of the art setup patterns.

  • Includes help for beginners.

  • Suitable for video enthusiasts and professionals alike.

What We Don't Like
  • Some sections are advanced.

  • Overkill for most users.

  • Might require special tools.

With tools for both the professional installer and average consumer, this disc features a variety of tests and video footage to check deinterlacing, scaling, noise reduction, color accuracy, and motion response of TVs that incorporate 120Hz and 240Hz screen refresh rates.

Also included are a series of tests that can evaluate 3D performance, speaker phase, frequency response, and A/V sync.

02
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Spears and Munsil High Definition Benchmark Test Disc (Blu-ray Edition)

What We Like
  • Excellent calibration patterns.

  • Instructions onscreen and printed.

  • Sets brightness, contrast and sharpness.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires an HDTV with HDMI or HD-component cables.

  • Explanations and examples are difficult to understand.

  • Learning curve for non-professionals.

This disc starts with scenes that contain complex shapes that test the limitations of your equipment. The disc also takes the user through a series of technical tests, giving the average consumer the ability to find out whether their HDTV, Blu-ray Disc player, or an external video processor/scaler is delivering good performance.

This test disc is out-of-print as of the release of the 2nd Edition, but it is still available through third-party sources.

03
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Disney WOW (World of Wonder) DVD and Blu-ray Test Discs

What We Like
  • User friendly.

  • Entertaining content.

  • Includes clips to show off the system.

What We Don't Like
  • Can require special tools.

  • Might not meet modern standards.

  • Some users report errors.

The Disney WOW discs provide an easy way to set up and test home theater systems. There is a "discovery" section that explains home theater basics for both novice and more advanced users, as well as a host of audio and video calibration tools to aid in getting out of a home theater system. There are also scaling, viewing angle, and grayscale tests to see if your DVD, Blu-ray Player, TV, or projector is as good as its specs say it is.

This test disc is out-of-print, but it is still available through third-party sources.