Superbit: Worth it? (merged thread)

Discussion in 'DVD' started by paul:hillsdon, Mar 22, 2004.

  1. paul:hillsdon

    paul:hillsdon Stunt Coordinator

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    I wanted to know your guys opinions of Superbit DVDs. Are the new transfers better quality than previous versions? Does removing extras for more space, truly "up" the quality of the audio and video?

    I don't want to waste my hard earned cash on a DVD when I can buy it 10 bucks cheaper. Thanks all![​IMG]
     
  2. Patrick McCart

    Patrick McCart Lead Actor

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    Lawrence of Arabia: Superbit is worth it.

    Excellent video and audio...

    Here's a comparison between the 2-disc LE and the Superbit:

    [​IMG]

    Here's a great example of the excellent video quality:

    [​IMG]

    (Note: scaled slightly and with 10% compression... still a good reflection of the superior color and detail.)
     
  3. greg_t

    greg_t Screenwriter

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    It varies on a title by title basis. Some are worth upgrading to, others are not. As Patrick pointed out, Lawerence of Arabia Superbit is probably the best one. You can use the search function for more info than you ever wanted to know about the various superbit titles.
     
  4. Harminder

    Harminder Second Unit

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    I certainly think it's worth it. I'll buy a Superbit title over a normal release title usually, unless I hear bad stuff about the Superbit release.

    Heck, I'm waiting for Bad Boys 2 and Once Upon a Time In Mexico to eventually get a Superbit release. [​IMG]
     
  5. Tan Ng

    Tan Ng Stunt Coordinator

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    Superbit

    Yes it is worth it. Video is improved tremendously, DTS audio sound really good but I think Sony is so stupid not making DTS full bittrate because most Superbit occupied only 7GB and this is a DVD-9 so there is 2 GB free space that Sony wasted. Sony could have sold many copies of these Superbit if they made full bitrate DTS
     
  6. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    Lawrence is something of a special case, though, isn't it? As far as I'm aware, it's the only Superbit that actually sports an all-new telecine/colourist session, which explains the startling night-and-day difference between the look of the original LoA DVD release and the SB. Most — actually, all, I think — other Superbit discs just use the same transfer as the "regular" edition of the same film, but with a higher bitrate. The difference in video quality for most of them will thus be much more subtle than in the samples that Patrick posted above. I own exactly three Superbit discs:
    • Lawrence of Arabia, for reasons that I hope are by now obvious;Das Boot, because the original disc had some compression problems, so that any re-issue was appealing; andPanic Room, because it was (at the time) the only available DVD edition of the film.
    As this might suggest, I'm not completely sold on the SB concept in general. :)
     
  7. Tan Ng

    Tan Ng Stunt Coordinator

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    Doug

    You only owned 3 Superbit. You need to own more to appreciate Superbit like me

    Vertical Limits
    Fifth Elements
    Johnny Mmemonic
    Leon-the professional
    Das-Boot
    Mummy Returns-Region 2 japan
    Easy Rider-Region2 Japan
    Jumanji-Region2 Japan
     
  8. Sven Lorenz

    Sven Lorenz Supporting Actor

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    A friend of mine is a fan of Superbit DVDs so I am always able to borrow them before buying any of them.

    So IMHO Douglas is right - Lawrence (but because of the new transfer and not because it's a Superbit), Das Boot (because the first release sucked) and Panic Room (again because of the new transfer and not because it's a Superbit) are worth it - on every other Superbit I've seen the very minor improvement in picture quality does not make up for losing the extras.
     
  9. Matt Stone

    Matt Stone Lead Actor

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    Definitely take it on a case by case basis. The name Superbit does not necessarily guarantee that the disc will be "better" than a previous release. Judge it on the DVD's merits...not the name.
     
  10. Adam Barratt

    Adam Barratt Cinematographer

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    Superbit DVDs generally look, at best, only slightly better than their non-Superbit ancestors. This excludes titles which originally suffered from poor/restricted compression such as Das Boot as well as Lawrence of Arabia and Desperado for the reasons explained above: both were given new transfers for their Superbit releases.

    From what I can see, Superbit versions often (but not always) have slightly more fine detail resolution thanks to less video filtering, but unless you have a large display it may not be visible.

    Their DTS soundtracks are, in my opinion, a complete waste of time and space.

    Adam
     
  11. Tan Ng

    Tan Ng Stunt Coordinator

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    HDTV will show how good Superbit looks. DTS is never a waste of time and space
     
  12. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

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    I'd say it's title and display dependent. On a smaller display the quality improvement isn't probably worth it.
     
  13. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    The only one I have is Dracula and its very superior to the previous release IMHO.

    If the video and audio is better that its worth it IMHO.
    On my list to check out are Gattaca, Spiderman and Snatch.

    If you go to DVDfile and just type superbit in the review search itll give u quick a few superbit reviews
     
  14. Brett C

    Brett C Second Unit

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    I think they show improvements on certain titles, I only wish they used full bitrate for the DTS tracks on them.






    My DVD Collection
     
  15. Darren Haycock

    Darren Haycock Second Unit

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    Yeah, depends on the title... For instance, The Fifth Element. It was no question for me. The original release has absolutely no extras, so why not get the version that has slightly better video and DTS? Lawrence of Arabia, whole new transfer which I read was the only way to go. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, I went with the original because I wanted the commentary and other options. Right now, I'm trying to decide between The One and The One: Superbit. Pretty dumb movie, but really fun. But it's hard to decide, do I want DTS? Or do I want the commentary and other extras? Not always an easy decision, certainly not buying both...
     
  16. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Gotta agree with some of the sentiments here Exactly. Superbits seem better when compared to their older (crappier) versions, but compare them to new "non-superbit" titles and it doesn't seem like any big deal.

    It's all a matter of perspective, that's why I gotta agree with those saying to take it on a title-by-title basis.
     
  17. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

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    I think three factors make the difference appreciable:

    1. Quality and calibration of display
    2. Size of display
    3. Eyes and the ability to look and notice such detail

    I have a 61" ISF'd display and I am able to see finer detail, so Superbits are worthwhile to me. I admit the difference is usually not day and night; however, there is an improvement. If had to arbitrarily quantify it, I would say a 5-10% improvement. Of course, Das Boot and Lawrence would be greater because other factors are at play.

    I agree with Adam about the DTS track being a waste of space. I suspect if this were dropped and more bits were being utilized for the picture, the improvement might be an additional 5-10%.
     
  18. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Yes its worth it for both the audio and video.
     
  19. Douglas Bailey

    Douglas Bailey Second Unit

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    Unfortunately, the only one of these films that I'm really interested in (besides Das Boot, the SB disc of which I already own) is Léon, and frankly, after having purchased both the original DVD of The Professional and the Léon: The Professional disc of the longer cut, I don't feel much compulsion to investigate the Superbit.
     
  20. JeremySt

    JeremySt Screenwriter

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    The R3 edition of LEON has both theatrical and director's cut, and is supposed to have better video than the R1 Superbit, as it was sourced from a different master, and the DD 5.1 is supposed to have the corrected audio track.
     

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