your reference dvd

so lets say you've got friends coming over that have never experienced a great home theater, which dvd do you reach for?
I go Blu-ray for that, if you are still using a DVD for this, you are behind the times!

I like X Man III as the scene when they show Xavier University has some amazing detail and colors, a great video demo.

For audio, I have people just watch a film, I am so over the explosion demos, let's face it, any good subwoofer can do an explosion, I am more impressed by the minute details that become clear with the new uncompressed codecs.
The Dark Knight.
Polar Express during the holidays!!!

James Taylor Live at The Beacon..
Music videos. Big explosions demos are lame. I like diana krall in paris for something subtle or plant page 2003 version of Kashmir with the full turkish orchestra. It is a shockingly cool performance.
I second the Concert DVD's. Eric Claptons guitar festival from 2004. Also his latest Cream concert from 2005. For movies, all the pixar movies look and sound great, especially Nemo and the Incredibles. The Lord of the Rings Series, especially the 3rd one will impress.
Depends on what you are shooting for...ear candy or eye candy. Music videos are cool, but nothing is as jaw-dropping as an action movie with great sound effects. For a person to experience those sort of things for the first time is quite memorable for them. If you've got Blu-Ray and a processor that can decode the new hi-def've got to show them an action movie that has a great screen image. It will be more impressive for a first-timer than a concert DVD every time.
I've seen Chicago-front row-center live, and the Chicago/EWF (Earth, Wind, & Fire) DVD played on my 110" screen with a rear projector and 7.1 sound, is BETTER than being there LIVE!

And I 2nd Zigonht's recommendation of James Taylor - Beacon Hill.

Good listening and Good L@@King too!
The theaters go for loud,but they can't compete for the quality of the sound.TBK had me on the edge of my seat,many turns.Thought it was going to end at several different times.I can see why that might have messed up Mr Ledger.
The series Planet Earth will take your breath away. They use
ultra high speed cameras to photograph.
As far as a music video,I think the Eagles Farewell Tour is great.
Movies - The Dark Night, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, Casino Royale, Incredibles, Cars, & Wall-E

Documentries - Planet Earth - Period!

Music - Calle 54, 1st Clapton Crossroads festival
i second planet earth, especially via blu ray. stunning, awe inspiring.
I received the new anamorphic DVD re-issue of "Baraka" for Christmas. This version is made from the 8k Ultradigital HD master used for the new Blu-ray disc. It was originally filmed in 2.21:1 70mm. Beautiful DVD transfer! I checked the real-time bit rate meter on my Sony DVP-C600D player (still going strong, baby!) during several scenes and it was practically maxed-out at 9 or 10 Mbps the whole time. They took full advantage of the format and used the least amount of compression possible for the DVD.. There is a scene of a large flock of white cranes taking flight from a huge glassy lake that is just clean as a whistle - no jaggies, no blurring, it's virtually high-def. The video on this disc is cleaner than the DVD issue of the Planet Earth series. It really shows how the format still has some good life left in it when care is taken in creating the disc with good source material. ;)

Baraka is in the same vein as Winged Migration, et al but is different and quite moving. If you haven't seen this 1992 film, it's worth checking out. Audio is great too with a choice of DD or DTS 24/96 5.1.

The Superbit version of the first Spiderman movie is also excellent for a demo. The skin-tones of the actors are very well saturated and film-like and the 1.85:1 aspect ratio really fills the screen for maximum impact on a front-projection system.
Another that's fun to watch:Allegro Non Troppo.The Italian version of Walt Disneys' Fantasia.Animation to classical music.
I don't have a Blu-Ray DVD Player yet. I am either going to shoot for a PS-3 (w/80 GB Hard Disk) or the $800.00 Denon. The new and forthcoming player from Oppo is also a prime candidate.

But in the meantime, for my reference movies??? For picture quality, I am going to put Casino Royale into my DVD Player, and for sound quality, then it's going to either be Die Hard I or The Specialist.

I will be getting a Blu-Ray Player this year (DEFINITELY).

Charles, you MUST go the Bluray route. If you can do 1080P, thats great but you must do the new audio codecs. WOW!
Lord of the Rings, Fellowship of the Rings disk two as they enter the Mines of Moria through the battle with the Balrog
Colors and near three dimensional quality of the image in 'The Phantom Of The Opera' is stunning.
How about "Fast and the Furious (#4)" when it comes out in a couple of months???

From what I saw in the preview on TV, there is going to be a lot of surreal action in THAT movie. And the soundtrack should be pheonominal (spelling??).



I WILL be going the Blu-Ray route definitely. The player in question is not going to be a Sony PS-3 as originally stated in my last post. It will be a Pioneer BDP-51FD instead (a GREAT player for the money...... High Quality Blu-Ray Picture, Build Quality and Wolfson DAC's for sound quality..... what's NOT to like about this player).

Lindsey Buckingham Live at Bass Hall on DVD
James Bond in Goldeneye has a great opening scene if you have a very large screen.
Sort of depends on what you want to demonstrate right? For me to show all around sound and its emotional impact I 2nd The Dark Knight. To scare folks with my sub Nothing beats the last hour of the Matrix-Revelations (aka Matrix 3)
I think for audio sound, when Terminator Salvation comes out November 23rd, the latest Star Trek on October 23rd, and Transformers 2(Rise Of The Fallen) on October 24th will all be #1,2 & 3 on the board. I saw all three at the theater and in my opinion they will all be at the top of the 3 dimensional audio none.....For bass levels, if done well, Terminator Salvation and Transformers 2 will be vibrating everything in your house and down the street....with a descent calibrated subwoofer.....With the fast moving space scenes in Star Trek to the actual Egyption pyramids in Transformers 2 to the huge mechanical battle droid in Terminator Salvation will for sure test your plasma/lcd/lcd(LED)'s video capabilites to the fullest......I can't wait......

When I wan to show off, I throw Planet Earth in. Looks awesome on the 60" Pioneer Elite - certain jaw dropping. For sound, I jut have them come upstairs into the sound room :)