Old movies on blu-ray... Is there ever a point?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by GQgeek, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    Going beyond that DVD and blu-ray do have a "digital" feel that IS a limitation. If your cinema screen looked like that you'd ask for a refund.
    Perhaps you've been watching on a television with bad blur/judder reduction settings? This can make film look like video. As with LK's complaint, what you're referring to is almost certainly a display problem, not a source problem.
    My experience with Blu Ray has been seeing store displays and I wasn't convinced. I think it's for people who will spend money on digital Monster cables.
    In-store displays are adjusted to maximum brightness and color saturation to attract the attention of the average consumer walking through a brightly lighted store. They look absolutely awful. Nothing to do with the source material, or the capabilities of the display for that matter, when properly adjusted. The difference between DVD and Blu-Ray is a huge, objective increase in picture resolution, easily noticeable on any large, modern television. It's not at all comparable to the audiophile idiots who claim to hear differences that aren't measurable with equipment far more sensitive than the human ear.
     


  2. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    I should note this was at a speciality store that sells high-end items such as McIntosh, etc.

    One would assume they would have the propriety to calibrate it to some degree.
     


  3. Bird's One View

    Bird's One View Senior member

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    I should note this was at a speciality store that sells high-end items such as McIntosh, etc. One would assume they would have the propriety to calibrate it to some degree.
    Most Mac users don't calibrate their screens properly either. EDIT : sorry, wrong apple. that is disappointing.
     


  4. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Perhaps you've been watching on a television with bad blur/judder reduction settings? As with LK's complaint, what you're referring to is almost certainly a display problem, not a source problem.

    In-store displays are adjusted to maximum brightness and color saturation to attract the attention of the average consumer walking through a brightly lighted store. They look absolutely awful. Nothing to do with the source material, or the capabilities of the display for that matter, when properly adjusted.

    The difference between DVDs and Blu-Ray is a huge, objective increase in picture resolution, easily noticeable on any large, modern television. It's not at all comparable to the audiophile idiots who claim to hear differences that aren't measurable with equipment far more sensitive than the human ear.


    I know it is better than DVD, I haven't cared enough to upgrade at this point but I see the difference. What I am telling you is that DVD&blue ray + LCDsPlasmas will invariably have some of that "digital" feel and that is a limitation. I don't want to get a betamax or anything, just sayin'
     


  5. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    My experience with Blu Ray has been seeing store displays and I wasn't convinced. I think it's for people who will spend money on digital Monster cables.

    People who are into home theater probably have the latest limited Bu-Ray edition of Armageddon.


    You can't complain about the quality of Bluerays if your only viewing experience comes from uncalibrated store displays, and at the same time assume that the quality is based on only what you saw. At the same time, your assumption regarding people who 'are into home theater' are also baseless. People who have purchased a home theater are not people who actually know anything about home theaters, which have two very distinct aspects: the technically side and and the content side, and people who tend to be well versed in one oft are ill-versed in the other.
     


  6. Asch

    Asch Senior member

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    Can you describe better what the "digital feel" you're referring to is?

    Current technology (displays, especially) certainly has its limitations, and watching a movie at home isn't at all equivalent to watching it in the theater. Just wondering what you specifically dislike about the picture you're getting.
     


  7. Bird's One View

    Bird's One View Senior member

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    DVD is plagued by compression artifacts. I imagine BD has these as well, although I haven't watched it enough to assess how badly.
     


  8. Fuuma

    Fuuma Franchouillard Modasse

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    Can you describe better what the "digital feel" you're referring to is?

    Current technology (displays, especially) certainly has its limitations, and watching a movie at home isn't at all equivalent to watching it in the theater. Just wondering what you specifically dislike about the picture you're getting.


    It's not awful or anything but even on good setups (I have friends who are studio engineers) there is this artificial feel that is like pornography; you recognize it when you see it. I'm, of course, comparing to theater to which I have a long and emotional connection to. On a great setup it might not be better but it is different and, just like I prefer something filmed using film, I favour the theater grain.
     


  9. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Digital has that sheen.
     


  10. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    Going beyond that DVD and blu-ray do have a "digital" feel that IS a limitation. If your cinema screen looked like that you'd ask for a refund. It's not bad at home but no panacea either. Isn't it part of the reason why GQeek wants to know how "old" films look anyway? Oh and have you guys noticed that people really into home theaters or audiophiles usually have awful taste in whatever they're watching/listening to?
    Many blu-rays have the grain that was present on the original film. You're much more likely to get this on BR than on DVD. You can't judge the format as a group. How much DNR, sharpening, and other effects are used can definitely affect the character of the movie. Less DNR will leave more grain and be more "film-like." Grain can look particularly bad on some LCDs, especially in dark scenes. A lot also depends on the source and the capabilities of your screen and what was done to the source, however.You can also get players/displays that support 24p, which gets you a bit closer to a film-like experience, though I'm not a huge fan of it because of the judder that's introduced. I spent yesterday looking at reviews of hundreds of discs and a good number of transfers have left the grain intact, and they mention that in the disc reviews as a quality of the transfer, but in some cases it really does need to be cleaned up, and this can affect the experience of the movie either positively or negatively. Good transfers take in to account what the original intention of the director was. Most important is how they treat the transfer and after looking at tons of disc review, it's clear that some studios are much more conscious of this than others.
    My experience with Blu Ray has been seeing store displays and I wasn't convinced. I think it's for people who will spend money on digital Monster cables. People who are into home theater probably have the latest limited Bu-Ray edition of Armageddon.
    You really can't judge according to what you see in stores. Go in to a high-end boutique and look at the calibrated systems there and you'll see a huge difference vs. what you've seen before.
    Or think 300 was one of the best movies of all time along with Shawshank redemption and Batman.
    PS, to both of you fuckers: My tastes in movies are relatively simple. I view them as entertainment, not art. Even so, I do have some standards. 300 was horrible and i'd never buy monster cables. I suppose there are movies I enjoy that cross the line into art, but I like them first and foremost because they are entertaining.
     


  11. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    Going beyond that DVD and blu-ray do have a "digital" feel that IS a limitation. If your cinema screen looked like that you'd ask for a refund.

    I partially disagree. One of the theaters near me runs everything digitally, with DLP projectors. I prefer it to anything else, as their digital system is mostly foolproof (theaters are running one projectionist for too many screens now, not replacing bulbs in a timely manner, etc.), no dust, no focus issues. In my fantasy theater where I've got unlimited restoration prints of the classics and the world's best projector and projectionist, sure, I might go with film. But in the real world, digital wins in the theater.

    Digital is different - personally, I think the Fincher movies referenced earlier look pretty bad because they're trying to mimic the feel of old film (Vertigo-era Kodachrome in particular for Zodiac). But it's not necessarily a limitation in the hands of someone willing to treat digital as digital.

    Absolutely, yes.
     


  12. milosz

    milosz Senior member

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    IMO, it's a kind of artificial sharpness. Contrast is boosted so that transitions between colors and differences in the amount of light stand out more.

    Not applicable to DVD/BR necessarily but in terms of shooting digital, film grain tends to have a pleasing randomness to it, where digital noise is uglier. I've not seen a movie shot in HD and converted to B&W but in still photography that tends to make the digital noise look better.
     


  13. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    I've wondered why studios have been so slow in releasing BD versions of important movies.
    Licensing and production fees for BD are pretty high --- high enough that many independent producers who don't print many copies have to think twice about it especially with download places like iTunes being much cheaper.
    IMO, it's a kind of artificial sharpness. Contrast is boosted so that transitions between colors and differences in the amount of light stand out more.
    This could be caused by the mastering too --- overzealous edge enhancement during the transfer for example is pretty widespread. It's analogous to early CDs when people were still learning to deal with the strengths and weaknesses of the format. Also, amen to the appalling tastes of most HT-philes. Being able to play Transformers at reference level is not worth $50K. --Andre
     


  14. Dakota rube

    Dakota rube Senior member

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    Can you describe better what the "digital feel" you're referring to is?

    It is a subjective thing, frankly.

    Watching a television program that was shot on film as opposed to one captured on videotape used to be an easy way to illustrate the difference, the softer, warmer feel of film.

    Others here have described it better than I am able.
     


  15. musicguy

    musicguy Senior member

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    What's worse are those higher hz sets (120 or 240). They look terrible!

    I also am not a big fan of HD video. I always end up looking at the way it looks rather than watching the movie.

    Case in point, I wanted to try out some HD video on my computer monitor when I first got it a few years ago and watched Transformers. I thought it was alright, but then after a few days I realized that I had watched a really crappy movie and was tricked into thinking it was good because it looked so clear.
     


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