The "safe" list: What it is, and isn't

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    The concept of the "safe" list came about during discussions over the past month or so with home theater aficionados (after the major DNR problems) seeking a simple way of not purchasing or pre-ordering a problematic disc.

    As I can find time to cull through discs, they'll be added to the list. There will be some movement from one level to another as discs are compared, and what I perceive to be the correct parameters are found, especially on the cusp between levels.

    As has been noted in the "safe" thread, Level One discs are not necessary perfect. They are based upon being viewed, and in many cases sampled, with nothing egregious showing up on screen.

    There are problems, inclusive of early releases that may not have been up to 2008 standards, which must also be re-visited with a more demanding eye.

    Many discs, especially from Universal and Paramount, will find their way onto the list as they appear for the first time on Blu-ray, with or without upgrades from their original HD orientation. This means that some of these masters can go back several years.

    While comments are welcome -- they seem to be coming fast and furious over at AVS -- keep in mind that the first couple of weeks will have a learning curve -- which in this case is neither virtual nor digital.

    As an example, Broken Arrow appeared problematic as having a soft image, but could otherwise look reasonably good. It ended up down one level, as it could not hit the minimum for Level One on an overall basis.

    Also, I would not be surprised if certain early releases that were well reviewed by me as well as others dropped a level with a new field of titles for comparison which did not exist two years ago.

    The bottom line is that for at least a couple of weeks, this will be a work in progress.

    RAH
     
  2. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    1st I'd like to thank HTF!
    2nd I'd like to thank RAH!

    I'm one of the ones that poked, pushed, prodded for the "Level List".
    I'd enjoyed RAH's end of '07 HD Discs review.
    Glad there's no level "zero". ;-)
    Would like too see a level four however, by greatly thinning the pack at level one to only include titles with minimum artifacts & no EE/DNR 'disturbances'.

    Thank you, Robert.

    No reply required.
     
  3. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Lead Actor

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    The autobahn to hell is paved with good intentions, and this seems like a well intentioned endeavor.
    The problem I see looming is with the relative nature and the movable goal posts. When an authority confers a mark of excellance on something, should that really be subject to review every six months? In relative terms, the Bd should always look better than the dvd- even Patton and GONY- so there is one relative parameter where 'bad' discs pass. I would respectfully suggest that rather trying to be all inclusive (title x is 'safe', title y is not) that grading be limited to specific problem areas (DNR, EE, etc) and using a 1-10 scale to try to assess the severity of that specific problem area. That would seem to me to be a better way for each individual to judge what his threshold is with his current gear. you could use older titles for reference controls, so that let's say a title from 2006 rates a 3 on the DNR scale and a title released next weeks rates a 2 or 4. Previous experience with the earlier title gives me a good idea what to expect with the new one.
    Just a suggestion
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    If only time was available.

    Giving specific ratings is not a possibility, as each disc is different in many ways.
     
  5. Paul Hillenbrand

    Paul Hillenbrand Screenwriter

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  6. Chris S

    Chris S Cinematographer

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    I'll second that!
     
  7. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    And likewise, a hearty thanks.

    I notice that the list is closed for renovation at this particular moment, and I sincerely hope that any criticism you might encounter, RAH, will not discourage you from carrying on with this most welcome feature. There's nothing quite so difficult as pleasing a large group of opinionated people.
     
  8. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    I think that the "level list" thread will always be "closed".
    At least I hope so! ;-)

    I think RAH started "this" thread for all the blood shed.
    Smart, huh?!?!?!
     
  9. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Now that the "Level List" is gone; the "Safe Set" is pretty bland.
    Maybe an "un-safe" roster would be more exciting.
     
  10. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    It looks to me that RHA specifically constructed his list to avoid that very idea. In its current implementation it may not be very scintillating, but it fits his personality well and seems to be in line with the 'if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all' approach he used before disasters like 'Gangs of New York', 'The Longest Day', and 'Patton' forced him to call the industry on the carpet so-to-speak. Now that we've been informed that our message has been heard, RAH can still provide us with 'safe list' without unnecessarily ruffling feathers. Frankly, I'm happy to have the list in any form. He doesn't owe any of us a list in the first place, let alone in a particular format.
     
  11. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Second Unit

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    Actually, RAH deleted the "safe list" and briefly explained his reasons for doing so in his sticky post. I don't know when it happened, but it must have been within the last few days.

    Sad times.
     
  12. Paul Arnette

    Paul Arnette Cinematographer

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    Sad indeed. Thanks for pointing that out, Bryan. I hadn't had occasion to look at the list recently. I wish I'd saved what was there. [​IMG]
     
  13. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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    Paul,
    I know that he was/is doing.
    Just if a title isn't on there, I don't know if its cause he doesn't like it or hasn't seen it.
    Get what I mean?

    EDitEDbyED:
    Well I asked for a list like the best of '07.
    So I should be happy with what I got!
     
  14. Vegas 1

    Vegas 1 Supporting Actor

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    I guess if one is on the fence about a certain BR disc, I would just rent it first and make my own decision to or not. That's what I have been doing with SDDVD for several years now.
    Regards,
    Al
     
  15. Rolando

    Rolando Screenwriter

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    Hi, did a search and I cannot seem to find the safe list. did I dream it or wasn't it posted here at HTF?
     
  16. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    It was withdrawn by the author.
     

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