What are color bars and how do you use them?




Does anyone know what color bars are for on a DVD? I have a Criterion DVD that has a color bar feature. What is it used for and how do you operate it? Can it make the blacks on the screen more deep and solid?

Also, sometimes when I’m watching a DVD, I’ll notice that during the scenes where it is really dark, I’ll see streaks or blurs in the pictures. Is this the fault of the DVD, or the mastering of the DVD? Or is it the fault of the DVD player? Will the color bar feature get rid of the “blur” or “streaking”?



WikiPedia has some pretty good articles on color bars. Basically they are used as a reference to set video gear up. Dark scenes take the most bandwidth to encode, and ‘noise’ and tiling usually show in them most prominently.