Stacey Spears and Don Munsil, creators of the highly-respected Spears & Musil High Definition Benchmark and 2019's UHD HDR Benchmark video test discs, have just announced release of a major update to the latter, the Ultra HD Benchmark (2023 Edition).

Ultra HD benchmark hero 800

The new, comprehensive three-disc set directly replaces the now sold-out 2019 version, and includes approximately 5,000 individual encoded files, said to be up from approximately 1,200. These constitute custom test patterns and other resources developed entirely in-house by Spears & Munsil, which coded every pattern from scratch using C++ programming software and tested them extensively in the field with video professionals who use them for display evaluation and calibration.

The update takes the offering from a single 100 GB UHD Blu-ray disc to a pair of 100 GB discs plus a 66 GB disc, and allows expansion of the range of formats and encodings supported. They include HD and UHD resolutions and a variety of dynamic range options including SDR (encoded in both BT.2020 and Rec.709 color spaces), HDR10 (playable at multiple target peak luminance options as found in the earlier offering), HDR10+, and Dolby Vision.

S&M test pattern1 800

Updated versions of favorite patterns from previous editions are included along with many new ones. Among the highlights are a peak luminance test pattern for calibrations that provides a more accurate measurement than the traditional window pattern, a Pixel Aging pattern to help properly break-in new OLED TVs, and a small sample of 59.94p test patterns (the prior version had none).

Also new to this edition are audio test clips (beyond the basic tones previously provided for AV Sync). Formats include Dolby and DTS up to Dolby Atmos and DTS:X spatial audio from 5.1.2-channel up to 9.1.6-channel.

Enthusiasts (and reviewers!) who have relied heavily on the superb HDR video clip montage from the 2019 disc will be pleased to find an updated, edited version in the new disc set. According to company co-founder Stacey Spears, four shots were replaced with new content and some were removed to increase the length of others. The montage was also re-graded to fix some gamut clipping issues, and an Atmos audio soundtrack was added. The music is broken into two parts (listen for the changeover at the transition between the tulips and timepiece clips). As before the montage can be played in any of a variety of HDR types and peak nit targets: HDR10 (10K nits, 2K nits, 1K nits, 600 nits, "HDR Analyzer," SDR vs. HDR, Graded vs. Ungraded); HDR+ (10K nits); Dolby Vision (10K nits), SL-HDR2 (1K nits), HLG, and SDR/Rec.709 (hand-graded vs tone-mapped as in the 2019 version).

Finally, a new pop-up Help function has also been added to make the comprehensive offering easier to navigate and use.

The Spears & Munsil Ultra HD Benchmark carries a list price of $59.94 and is currently available here at the discounted price of $47.95.

Comments (2) Post a Comment
Mahendra Posted Sep 6, 2023 11:00 AM PST
Hello, I was trying to buy this disc through your website as it offers the discount. But, from within this website I navigate to the merchant's website, the price remains as $50.94. Could you help, please? Thank you
Rob Sabin, Editor Posted Sep 10, 2023 8:40 AM PST
I would guess that promotional discount during the product launch is no longer active.

Post a comment

Enter the numbers as they appear to the left