I've been using early versions of the Silicon Optix high definition discs to test HDTVs, Blu-ray and HD-DVD gear the last few weeks. The final version is out.

They're good for testing how a video processor handles jaggies, noise, and other factors.


The discs aren't complete testing suites, though. They don't give you any way of quantifying brightness, shadow detail, contrast and other things you can watch by seeing sets side by side, or by watching movies you know like the back of your hand cough*ChenAndHowardTheDuck*cough. And the standard-def version of this disc not only has more tests, but is useful for checking out the standard DVD video performance of a piece of HD gear.

And like I said earlier, these test discs can be used for HDTVs or HD disc players. By switching your disc player to output in a 1080i pattern, you can test your TV; putting it into 1080p tests the video processor in your player. Here's the full scorecard and instruction manual for using the disc: Download file


The discs go for $20 bucks, or $15 with the code below.

Enter the special promotion code HQV4GIZ1BR (Blu-ray) or HQV4GIZ1HD (HD DVD) to receive $5 off the HD HQV Benchmark DVD. In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be sent to the ELF Foundation, a nonprofit charity bringing music and movies through "Rooms of Magic" to children's hospitals across the country. For more information, visit www.elfsystems.org

HD HQV Benchmark [HQV]