So you just laid out a couple thousand of your hard worked money and I am sure that you think you have an amazing high-def television. Hey, lets play a little game and see what it really can do. Well, only if you are up to it.
Test 1 - Constantine
"Hell wants him. Heaven won't take him. Earth needs him." This is a badass movie. Plus, the quick transitions from dark to unnaturally bright demons will not only scare the crap out of you, but also, test the contrast and light bleeding. CRTs and plasmas will usually do pretty good on this but those new LCD and DLP sets will struggle to keep up.
[more tests after the jump]
Test 2 - Pirates of the Caribbean
This movie proves that Disney still has some magic. The movie is kid friendly and just shines on a high-def TV. The movie has great scenes that feature a large variety of skin tones in different lighting situations. Take the part of the movie that has the would-be pirates lined up in the sunlight and set your color level to those different tones. Another great scene has the 'bad guys' all on the deck again in great lighting conditions for skin tones. If you have not seen this movie though, you do not need to feel bad if you pick up this flick with out a kid in tow.
Test 3 - Matrix Revolutions
If you are reading this, I know you have seen the final chapter in of this cult classic. It may not clear up the story as much as we would like but it is still a cool movie. This movie is also has the best stress test for digital TVs I have ever seen. The final battle between Agent Smith and Neo is in a dark city, during a rainstorm, and where they are moving very fast. Your HDTV will be pushed to the limits to display the deep blacks at the same time as the rain coming down while they are fighting at the super-human rate. If, and only you’re your set can display all of these features without pixelation and with inky blacks your money was well spent my friend.
Well, how did your TV do? I am sorry if after this your TV does not seem as great as it once did. But at least you know what the limits are. We will have to do this again next year with the new high-def DVDs and maybe the results will be different.
After all of this your TV needs a rest. Run out and grab the re-release of Toy Story and enjoy the Pixar classic. The movie was just released from the Disney vault and my buddy Nate swears by it. I have to agree with him, it is the best look picture I have ever seen on my HDTV. Sure, The Incredibles is, well, incredible, but Toy Story is simply a better picture.