Stacey Spears and Don Munsil, the acclaimed creators of the Spears & Munsil High Definition Benchmark series, are pleased to announce the release of the Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc. The New York Times and many leading publications in the industry have recommended previous versions of Benchmark. The Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc includes even more functions and patterns, and brings Spears & Munsil’s iconic precision and attention to detail to the calibration and evaluation of UHD 4K and 8K screens.
The Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc is the most comprehensive and precise program ever released for calibrating 4K UHD HDR projectors and televisions. It is now possible to compare all HDR (High Dynamic Range) solutions on the market in real time simply by pressing a button on your remote control. This is an important factor considering just how difficult it is for most displays to handle the high contrast and extensive color range of HDR.
The Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc contains:
- Calibration patterns to ensure optimal clarity.
- Patterns to evaluate motion, sharpness, color alignment and more.
- A demo video filmed in 8K.
- A demo video for comparative evaluations provided in SDR and HDR in HDR-10, HLG, HDR-10+ and Dolby Vision formats.
- A large selection of patterns for professional calibration.
- All HDR patterns are available in 600 nit, 1000 nit, 2000 nit, 4000 nit and 10 000 nit versions.
The Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc provides both professionals and enthusiasts with access to a multitude of test and demonstration materials designed to show what their display is actually doing, identify incorrect connections in the system, and find the best settings, not only for the current equipment, but also for future equipment that has not even been designed yet.
“Each pattern was redesigned with HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Ultra HD in mind.” declared co-creator Stacey Spears. “We believe that this disc changes the game completely for test and evaluation discs by using all the functions that HDR and wide color gamut standards have to offer.” Almost every pattern is encoded in several versions, with metadata and luminance levels set for a wide range of HDR display technologies.
Like the previous discs, the Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray uses patterns created from scratch using Spears & Munsil’s own software. “There is really no other way to create patterns that we can use as a basis,” said co-creator Don Munsil. “We create each pattern using our own equipment, developed from scratch in C++. If a pattern needs to be generated directly in a very specific color space and data format, we create it in this color space and format; we aren’t limited to what you can do with standard graphic software. Sometimes, we had to create our own format because no existing file format was able to represent the model we needed to create.”
The calibration disc includes new versions of some favorite patterns from previous versions, as well as many new patterns exclusive to Spears & Munsil. “We created the best all-in-one pattern to find which color space to display on your UHD player or decoder,” mentioned Spears. “The artifact problems caused by color conversion and video processing are still relevant for HDR and UHD, but HDR adds new, fascinating problems to the old ones. We completely rebuilt the color space evaluation model and put everything that an end-user or professional evaluator needs all in one place. All the models we create go through the same process and are refined again and again to make them clearer, simpler and more precise.”
As with the previous editions, the Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray disc features patterns suitable for professional calibrators and seasoned enthusiasts looking for a full suite of test patterns that can be used with spectroradiometers and colorimeters. “These patterns are tested by real industry professionals, multiple times over multiple iterations, before adding them to the disc,” said Spears. “These are the same patterns used regularly by the people that produce your displays, players and film content.”
High Dynamic Range (HDR) was developed to last. Instead of creating a standard based solely on the capabilities of current displays, the video standard organizations also designed HDR to meet the capabilities of future displays. Properly implemented, HDR content is compatible with current display technology, but thanks to the metadata and information related to the images, it will generate brighter, more dynamic and colorful images on future HDR screens.
For many years, content had to be restricted to the level of screens with the lowest common denominator, not the newest and most efficient consumer displays, which have long been able to produce a brighter image with a wider range of colors. Thanks to the new HDR standards, content can be intelligently resized to make use of all the color depth and dynamic range of the display, which means that the HDR content that you see today will look better on future HDR display technologies.
“HDR represents a new way to think about video,” declared Munsil, “with a completely different approach to transfer functions, or what we previously called “gamma”, which means that a lot of old models simply don’t work anymore. Video is now coded for screens with very high brightness levels and has to be remapped (reduced) by the display’s video processing to conform to its actual capabilities. It goes without saying that each HDR display reacts differently. Now, with the Spears & Munsil 4K UHD HDR Benchmark calibration Blu-ray, enthusiasts and professionals will be able to understand exactly how their display makes these important remapping decisions.”