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Digital Video Essentials or Avia??

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Digital Video Essentials or Avia??

Old 01-23-05, 08:08 PM
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Digital Video Essentials or Avia??

OK, I am in the market for a setup disc and I was wondering which is now deemed the best. I think Avia was preferred for a while and then the new Digital Video Essentials came out and maybe it pulled ahead. I am leaning toward Digital Video Essentials just on price alone - alot cheaper, so I would like your input. I did a search and these are mentioned in alot of threads but I did not see one specifically dealing with which is better and the specifics of why.

Thanks.
Old 01-23-05, 08:52 PM
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Great question....I was wondering the same thing since I am also in the market for one of these!!!
Old 01-24-05, 03:36 AM
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I have both. I recommend Avia -- much more user-friendly.

DVE has a bug with the LFE test, as well -- if I'm not mistaken.

If you decide to go with DVE, I'll sell you mine.
Old 01-24-05, 08:34 AM
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DVE all the way.
Old 01-24-05, 11:01 AM
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AVIA all the way. (seriously)
Old 01-24-05, 01:07 PM
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They both have their share of faults but Avia is much easier to use and navigate based on most user reports.

Avia doesn't support anything higher than DD 5.1 for audio calibration so if you have a 6.1 or 7.1 setup you'll need to look else where. It also won't calibrate DTS. Avia also has faulty greyscale patterns where too much red is in the chroma signal but this can be easily worked around. I believe the greyscale issue is fixed as on the Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune Up disc which was also made by Avia as well as adding greater audio support but that disc doesn't have the comprehensive test patterns that Avia has for service menu work.

DVE is a pain to navigate and has issues with the LFE although Joe Kane has said they're correct. DVE does have some nice test videos that Avia doesn't have.
Old 01-24-05, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by chipmac
Avia also has faulty greyscale patterns where too much red is in the chroma signal but this can be easily worked around. I believe the greyscale issue is fixed as on the Sound & Vision Home Theater Tune Up disc which was also made by Avia
I have not seen the Sound & Vision Tune up disc. Is this packaged with the Avia? When you say this can be worked around....what exactly does that mean. I am more interested in the video calibration than the audio calibration and a grayscale problem sounds like a bad choice for me.

Thanks!
Old 01-25-05, 04:05 AM
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No the S&V disc is a separate product and is pretty much a scaled back version of Avia but it does have some updated things like DTS support I think. If you can't find it at an online or B&M store I'm pretty sure you can order it from S&V's web site. As for the workaround that would depend on your display. On some brands you can simply turn your color and tint all the way down to give a greyscale image. On other brands of TVs if you're feeding the signal using component cables you can just disconnect the red cable and get a greyscale image. Actually unless you have the proper pro calibration equipment you'll be setting greyscale by eye anyway. At Hometheaterspot.com there is a tweak from a calibrator that explains how to make a greyscale comparator using a VHS cassette shell, a 6500k light and a kodak #18 sample card. I think the idea is to use this tool to compare the greyscale card to the greyscale on screen to help calibrate your greyscale by eye.
Old 01-25-05, 06:45 AM
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To interject what I have learned reading:

1 DVE is the newest and most techinical. It is difficult to use for beginners and boring as hell but very comprehensive and the debate over LFE can be worked around.

2 Avia is loved by most because it is pretty comprehensive and well written and entertaining. It is however dated and needs an update (there is one, but it is a 7 disc professional set that sales for $400).

3 S&V disc from the creaters of Avia. Minimal firepower. Dubbed a down and dirty basic setup tool not really a calibration disc.

Comments on those statements gladly accepted. I plan to get DVE (~$16) and a SPL (~$50) from Radio Shack and see what I can do. If DVE gets to complicated and boring, I may pick up Avia.
Old 01-25-05, 07:35 AM
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To me, calibrating a Home Theater isn't really "fun" or "exciting". You are there to perform maintenance on audio/video equipment. That is why I like DVE due to it being so comprehensive, as well as being much more up-to-date than AVIA. Many people that are calibrating their HTs nowadays have at least 6.1 if not 7.1, which negates AVIA pretty much. The LFE problem (and I believe there was a small video problem somewhere for grayscale) is negligable due to the rest of it being so well done and covering nearly everything. If LFE is a problem, then go pick p the AVIA disc and use that tool from that.

This is an excellent discussion on the pros and cons of DVE.

Last edited by steebo777; 01-25-05 at 07:41 AM.
Old 01-25-05, 05:59 PM
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I agree that calibrating HT is a job and not "exciting." For just that reason, I recommend Avia hands-down over DVE. (And yes, I own and have used both!) As an average user (not a pro, but went into service menus on my rptv to adjust overscan, linearity, etc.), Avia is much handier and MUCH easier to use and navigate!

Avia has the animated/flashing test patterns, which makes the settings much easier to zero in on than DVE's static patterns. Also, navigation on DVE is simply a mess. When I would drag it out about once every couple of months, I could not find the desired patterns and couldn't remember how I got to them a previous time. There is no reason why you shouldn't be able to find a desired test quickly and simply, and DVE gets MAJOR negative points for its arcane and convoluted layout. AVIA ismuch more user-friendly, period.


As for the audio, I liked AVIA's sequences and sweep patterns for testing the sub and crossover levels. I have 5.1, and am not concerned with 6.1. I also don't see gobs of 7.1 source material around, but whatever...

I had hoped that DVE would have improved on the original VE's horrendous navigation and layout, and bought it expecting that to be the case. It didn't, and there's no excuse. Between that and AVIA's easier-to-tune dynamic patterns, I always pull out AVIA when I want to tune things up. DVE is gathering dust...
Old 01-26-05, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by drmoze
I have 5.1, and am not concerned with 6.1. I also don't see gobs of 7.1 source material around, but whatever...
That's because there isn't any 7.1 material around
The extra channel is used for better imaging on 6.1 material (DD-EX and DTS-ES).
Old 01-26-05, 10:36 AM
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I guess from the feedback I will pick up the Avia.

Thanks all
Old 01-26-05, 01:23 PM
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I have both and I get much more out of Avia. DVE will work but Avia is better organized and easier to work with. Avia has excellent test patterns for video calibration.
Old 01-26-05, 10:07 PM
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DVE is getting unfairly ripped here.

Difficult navigation? What, forward and back, Title and Menu are too "complex"?

I haven't used Avia, and maybe it's easier, but by no means is DVE hard to use.
Old 01-26-05, 10:44 PM
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Is there somewhere that you can go to find directions on how to use Avia? I rented this and people clame that it is easy. I still cannot figure out how to use the color test patterns to get the colors set correctly. The disk talks about some blue filter.
Old 01-27-05, 04:10 AM
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First of all did you watch and listen to the introduction on how to use the tests for setting color and tint? They explain how to use the filters to filter out the colors on screen so that you make your adjustments until the flashing bars can't be seen. You can also click on the question mark for a text based explanation. If you don't have the filters you can still do it on a CRT based RPTV by opening up the TV and covering the CRTs you want filtered out. Some brand's service menus also have the option of turning off certain colors. Many times people use these methods for better accuracy because the filters don't block all of the color.
Old 01-27-05, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by chipmac
First of all did you watch and listen to the introduction on how to use the tests for setting color and tint? They explain how to use the filters to filter out the colors on screen so that you make your adjustments until the flashing bars can't be seen. You can also click on the question mark for a text based explanation. If you don't have the filters you can still do it on a CRT based RPTV by opening up the TV and covering the CRTs you want filtered out. Some brand's service menus also have the option of turning off certain colors. Many times people use these methods for better accuracy because the filters don't block all of the color.
Yes. But how does this work if you don't have a RPTV? I just have a 32" tv right now.
Old 01-27-05, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Feathers McGraw
DVE is getting unfairly ripped here.

Difficult navigation? What, forward and back, Title and Menu are too "complex"?

I haven't used Avia, and maybe it's easier, but by no means is DVE hard to use.
No, DVE is NOT as simple as forward, back, title and menu. Alas. It uses a strange set of subchapters and stuff. If you want to find, say, the overscan pattern on DVE, you simply cannot get there from the main menu and there is no way to easily find it without going through several levels of guessing. I think they even mention on ths disc (or case) that the DVD layout is not "standard." (Correct me if my memory is wrong here, as I have not even tried using DVe after the first few post-purchase attempts a long time ago.)

Every time I have used DVE (and VE) and AVIA, there is one clear difference: I can find what I'm looking for on AVIA pretty easily. On DVE, I wind up searching and guessing until I eventually find it or give up.
Old 01-27-05, 11:51 AM
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Big Worms if you can't cover the individual CRT, you can't turn off colors in the service menu or you don't have the filters then you can't set color or tint properly. At this point you're basically in the same boat as people that are using the THX tests that are on some DVDs because they don't have the filter either.
Old 01-27-05, 11:58 AM
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Thanks chipmac. I can add that to my long list of reasons I need to buy my new DLP.
Old 01-27-05, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by drmoze
No, DVE is NOT as simple as forward, back, title and menu. Alas. It uses a strange set of subchapters and stuff. If you want to find, say, the overscan pattern on DVE, you simply cannot get there from the main menu and there is no way to easily find it without going through several levels of guessing. I think they even mention on ths disc (or case) that the DVD layout is not "standard." (Correct me if my memory is wrong here, as I have not even tried using DVe after the first few post-purchase attempts a long time ago.)

Every time I have used DVE (and VE) and AVIA, there is one clear difference: I can find what I'm looking for on AVIA pretty easily. On DVE, I wind up searching and guessing until I eventually find it or give up.
Coincidently, I was using DVE to calibrate my overscan on my TV last night. I took me about 20 minutes to find the test pattern I needed. The menus and chapter layouts are not intuitive or clearly explained. The good news is that I found it and have a better idea on how to find specific stuff in the future. The better news is that I was able to correct the overscan problem on my TV.
Old 01-27-05, 01:53 PM
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Chente, that's about par for the course. Care to post your insights on how to find stuff on DVE? What did you set your overscan to? I have 4.5% all around on my rptv, but one station the other day had a bit cut off at the very bottom. (I think the display was being used all the way to the bottom.)
Old 01-27-05, 01:59 PM
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The first couple of times I used DVE, menu navigation was very confusing. About the 3rd time I used it things started to click and now I can get to the test patterns pretty easily. I can see that if someone just used it once to calibrate or had long periods between use that it would be frustrating. But once you figure it out the patterns are quick and easy to use. They certainly could have used a good human factors engineer to help with the menu layouts and navigation.
Old 01-27-05, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by drmoze
Chente, that's about par for the course. Care to post your insights on how to find stuff on DVE? What did you set your overscan to? I have 4.5% all around on my rptv, but one station the other day had a bit cut off at the very bottom. (I think the display was being used all the way to the bottom.)
I just looked at the table of contents to see what main section the should be in, go to that section and just chapter skip forward until I get to them.

I set my overscan to around 2.5% but I'll probably play around with it after I watch more stuff to see what kind of effect it has.

Last edited by chente; 01-28-05 at 01:06 PM.

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