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Which disc should I use to test, optimize, or show off my audio/video system?

Several DVDs can testing and optimizing video and audio playback very well, at the same time demonstrate special features of DVD:

* AVIA Guide to Home Theater, Ovation Software (extensive video and audio test patterns and setup tutorials)
* DVD Demystified demo disc (examples of almost every DVD feature, plus demo material)
* Ultimate DVD series, Henninger Interactive (examples of many DVD features, plus test and demo material)
* Video Essentials, Joe Kane Productions (the original system optimization disc, from the master)

Here are a few movies that work especially well for demonstrating DVD’s video and audio quality:

* The Fifth Element – Excellent video, especially in beginning desert scenes, with stellar audio as well.
* Gladiator – Stunning surround audio with brilliantly mixed orchestration.
* The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over – Outstanding 5.1-channel music (DTS only, Dolby Digital tracks are 2-channel).
* Dinosaur – Direct-to-DVD digital transfer gives sharp, clear images; good bass on footsteps and fights.
* Toy Story 2 – Perfect all-digital transfer results in sharp, rich images; sound effects are nicely staged.
* U-571 – Intense surround effects. Earthshaking bass makes a great subwoofer demo.
* Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Ultimate Edition) – Great video for shadows and reds; highly dimensional audio.
* O Brother, Where Art Thou – Beautiful color and incredible detail (check out facial stubble) with well-rendered shadows.

At the same time, you need a very good DVD player software, here I recomand DVD X Player.