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Buffy S4 scratched discs... NOT AGAIN!

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Scott Kimball, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Well-Known Member

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    Just got my set today from amazon.com. No floaters, discs in perfect shape. Funny, but I've not had this problem with any of the four Buffy sets nor with Angel S1 set. Guess I'm the lucky one.

    Oz is right, by the way. What is more important than this?



    [​IMG]
     
  2. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Well-Known Member

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    Bought at Costco today. All discs secure in digipack and no scratches to see, although the "Xander" disc has a white discoloration around part of the hub. It dosen't look like it enters into the data area of the disc and I haven't checked yet to see if playback is affected. (Had to watch "Hush" first, you understand)
     
  3. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    Dave, if it's stored progressive, it's flagged as FILM otherwise the disc won't play back correctly. Just go interlaced and you won't have to worry about it.
     
  4. Ken Stuart

    Ken Stuart Well-Known Member

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  5. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Well-Known Member

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    Ken, season 3 had a disc with three commentaries on four episodes. They probably went with three episodes to make room for the featurette.
     
  6. Stas T

    Stas T Well-Known Member

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    Never had a problem with scratched Buffys (Buffi?) till season 4; disc two was a floater, with two very noticeable scratches, but my Pioneer played all fours eps on the disc without a problem, so I'm not going to bother returning it.
     
  7. JohnX

    JohnX New Member

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    Des anybody know what the email address for Fox Home video's customer service is?

    It's not on the website and it could be worth our while to let them know about these quality issues.
     
  8. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    Jeff, the point is that it should not have been flagged for Film mode at all. In "Buffy's" case as is the case with most made discs of modern TV shows. "...The input to a DVD encoder (the instrumentation that is used to author a DVD) is almost always an interlaced digital master tape, even if the original material was shot on film. The video transfer is typically done at a different facility, and the output of the transfer is interlaced. Since the DVD encoding software doesn't even have access to a progressive master, it must rely on the same kinds of algorithms that a deinterlacer uses to put the proper fields together. Since there is essentially no requirement that it actually always put the proper fields together, other than compression efficiency, many encoders are conservative about using progressive frames. If the encoder cannot be sure that a frame is progressive, it will typically mark it interlaced, because the only real loss is a few bits of disc space.

    When the mastering engineers view the disc for quality control, they view it on an interlaced monitor. They don't necessarily care how well it deinterlaces, because that's not part of the DVD spec. Some mastering houses do pay attention to the flags produced by their encoder, and some do view the disc on progressive players just for quality control, but that's not at all required..."
    The ONLY way to watch these without annoying combs is to watch it in VIDEO mode. Also, the JVCs and the Malatas use a mediamatcs chip (along with other brands) and they have this strange quirk documeneted by DVD Benchmark.. "...The strange anomaly of this DVD player is that its interlaced output is based on the progressive settings. That means if you change the progressive mode on the player, it does affect the interlaced output. The MPEG decoder they are using has the ability to output an interlaced picture, but JVC does not appear to have implemented that correctly..."
    so simply playing "Buffy" in interlaced mode will NOT resolve the combing. You have to FORCE the player into VIDEO mode. Why these are flagged for Film is a mystery. Unless you have say a Panny with a Faroudja chip, you're gonna see combs. There are some players out there that do not let you even force VIDEO mode, therefore these people will always have problems watching these discs.
    They should have paid more attention.


    [​IMG] D
     
  9. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Well-Known Member

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    When I got season 3, one of the discs was loose and scratched up, but it played fine. Wasn't worth the drive to exchange it. (Season 4 is in the mail to me)

    Most of the time with loose discs, the loose ones don't get scratched up. Or, aren't scratched enough to cause any damage to playback.

    Don't your stores sell you those disc wipes to repair scratched discs anyway?
     
  10. Kevin Goodwin

    Kevin Goodwin Well-Known Member

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    Awww, crap. I just bought all 4 seasons. I suppose I'm going to have to open them all up & check for scratched discs, huh? My Best Buy only had one copy of seasons 1-3.
     
  11. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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  12. Howard Glenn

    Howard Glenn Well-Known Member

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    Went with a friend to pick-up the new set today. My set came with a loose Spike, and her set had a loose Oz...no scratches on either. This was exactly the same thing that happened with the last set..at least one loose disc, but luckily no damage. The hubs seem to work okay, assuming that each disc actually gets firmly placed onto the hub.

    I'm always curious to know how these thing are packaged.

    Howie
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    Howard, discs are placed on the trays by hand. Buffy Season 3 had a run of defective trays, that's why discs were popping off in record numbers
     
  14. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    Jeff, you are missing the point again. I know they are flagged as FILM, my point for the the umpteenth time is they should not be. Because they are not edited on film and the FX aren't generated that way. Reread this...", From the Benchmark site....Shot on Film, Edited as Video

    A fairly large amount of material these days is shot on film to get a film “look,” then transferred to video for editing and other post-production, as editing and post are much cheaper for video. Almost all episodic TV, music videos, and made-for-TV movies are done this way. This is a torture test for cadence-reading deinterlacers, as each scene will have the 3-2 cadence internally, but edits will more often than not break it, since the makers didn’t care about keeping the film cadence intact. In our test suite, we used More Tales of the City, which is a textbook example of this kind of material. However, you will find that most music videos and made-for-TV material will have the same problem. In addition, shows with lots of special effects have this problem all the time, because often the live action is shot on film and has a 3-2 pulldown pattern, but the effects are produced in a computer and have a 2-2 pulldown pattern. Overlaid titles like subtitles, show credits, dates and places (things that are shown at the bottom of the screen at the beginning of a scene like "New York City, 1856") also tend to work this way - the title generators used for TV are 2-2 coherent, and cause strange cadence glitches. We've seen problems like this on the X-Files, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many other TV shows on DVD. Even films are not immune: the new footage on the special edition of Star Trek the Motion Picture has 2-2 special effects that screw up the cadence (and the flags)..."
    Now, obviously the people at DVD Benchmark notice and comment on this. I have, and MANY other posters here have as well. If you are not seeing any "combs" than your player is obviously dropping into VIDEO mode at these points. And what's the use in that? I mean if your point is there will be less artifacting introduced, what is a "comb"? A mighty BIG looking artifact to me. Maybe you don't notice them or they don't bother you. The scene in "Bad Girls" season 3, where Buffy and Faith are dancing with the fast strobe light is an unwatchable mess in FILM mode, because the strobing was done in Post production. So, the player will have to revert to VIDEO mode for that. Once again, what's the point for the FILM flags? 3/2 pulldown will not work in that instance. Buffy is a modern show and has ALOT of cuts. In the avg. fight scene there are DOZENS! So who cares if the pic. looks a little better BETWEEN cuts and when there are no FX going on.
    I have some music Video comps. like U2 and Madonna and in the majority of the clips, they were shot on Film and edited on Video. The ones like U2 and Madonna where the player automatically goes to VIDEO mode look fine. NO combing.
    "Get a new player..." Want to buy it for me???
    It's hardly just my player, there are MANY models that will have these issues. ANY flag reading player will have these problems. That's why the above comments from DVD benchmark were written. At least my player DOES allow me to force VIDEO mode, some players don't.

    Anyways, the reason I first brought this up is because someone complained of horizontal noise while watching the opening credits. This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about. So the workaround is to force the player into VIDEO mode which will eliminate the combs. I answered his question as he thought his discs were defective. In my opinion, incorrectly flagging IS a mistake. But there would be no point in returning them. I was just trying to help him since I and many others have noticed this, so bby contradicting me with I feel is your inaccurate "opinion" is only going to confuse him and make him think that his individual set IS actually defective.

    Sheesh....



    D
     
  15. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Well-Known Member

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    David, I suggest you find and call the phone number for DVCC then, get a copy of the blue book or something and ask the compressionist. I'm sure he'll be happy to tell you exactly what I did.
     
  16. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    Tell me what? That they are doing something wrong? Something dumb. Something that looks BAD?!?!? Once again, you completely miss my point. "Buffy" has combs when watching in FILM mode. "Buffy" is flagged for Film although it was edited on VIDEO and FX are generated on VIDEO. Hence, unless player drops into VIDEO mode constantly, annoying combs are produced. And to properly enjoy these discs, they have to switch back and forth I think you just like to argue for the sake of it as you have not responded to or countered any of my points as to the real issues that exist with these discs, like the scene in "Bad Girls" I referred to. If you don't see any combing in this scene, either you are watching with an interlaced settup, or your player is dropping into VIDEO mode. MANY other people have noticed and complained about these problems. Do a search. DVD Benchmark (Experts) have noted these issues as well, and these people are SPECIFICALLY looking for these issues and how they relate to players.
    Who CARES what the compressionists did? Are they omnipotent? Obviously since these are watched on interlaced monitors, they don't see or even care about these issues. This is a JOB for them, not a labor of love.

    The end result is the same. These should not be flagged this way. They cause MAJOR issues on MANY players that MANY people see. Even the Panny players with the Famous Sage chips take a long time to go back into Film mode once they drop into VIDEO mode, so once again, what's the point in flagging these for FILM if they can't be played back in a straight FILM mode? To make it easier for the compressionist? Wow. Great way to make a product.

    D
     
  17. Dave F

    Dave F Well-Known Member

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    Dave has backed up his point quite well, and it corresponds with everything that I have also read.

    Stating that the player is at fault is just plain wrong. Progressive players have had to implement cadence reading to accomodate errors in flagging(True, the better the player, the better the adaptive reading, but that doesn't mean that a flag reading player is "buggy"). And the problem is not that it is progressive - it is that it is flagged incorrectly. It sounds as if you are thinking that for it to be progressive, it has to be flagged as 3-2 material.

    However, the incorrect flagging took place during original production, and I don't know if it can even be corrected at this point. As the benchmark page notes, a scene will be 3-2, but an edit or special effects will mess up the cadence.

    If Dave and I are incorrect, perhaps you could illuminate us and the authors of DVD Benchmark by pointing out where they are incorrect.

    Back on the topic of scratched discs: ThinPak-ThinPak-ThinPak. I doubt Fox would change packaging format in the middle of a series, but it would be the right thing to do.

    -Dave
     
  18. Dave Mack

    Dave Mack Well-Known Member

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    Thanx for the confimation, Dave

    Interesting... While looking on some other forums re: "Buffy" I stumbled across this post about Season 2...
    "...I bought the s2 set last summer, and there were definite problems with the video on some scenes in some of the episodes. The most obvious problems were in the season opener "When She Was Bad". It looks like they dropped every other line in the frame for a few seconds in certain scenes, sort of like watching it through mini blinds..."

    So, OBVIOUSLY this person is seeing the same phenomenon and wondering what the F is up. He's wondering if his specific disc is defective. Now most people who buy these discs are NOT going to be educated, informed as to these issues in relation to Prog. scan modes, cadences, flags etc... All they are gonna think either they have defective software or their new expensive "prog. scan" player and HDTV look like Sh#t and "Buffy" looks better on their old interlaced player and 480i set. And then they might heading back to Best Buy or wherever and raising a stink over why their new equipment behaves like this, especially when they were sold on how much BETTER and more Natural and SMOOTHER the picture would look with progressive scan.

    D
     
  19. Scott_F_S

    Scott_F_S Well-Known Member

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    So what does all this have to do with the original topic, scratched discs? Perhaps the thread should be retitled or something?
     
  20. Bleddyn Williams

    Bleddyn Williams Well-Known Member

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    I do agree that this thread needs a new title, but the whole coding thing deserves to be discussed. In fact, I was going to start a thread asking about it!

    I got my widescreen, progressive-capable set after finishing watching Season 2. So Season 3 was the first TV disc to actually be displayed progressively on my set.

    I was annoyed to see combing artifacts, and realised that I had to use filters to get rid of them. This introduced shimmering on a NTSC disc - a problem I'd never encountered before! The punchline was now I was progressive, my R2 discs improved a lot - unavoidable shimmering on PAL video sources could now be avoided. But now I'm using filters on homegrown product![​IMG]

    Yesterday, I wondered if switching my player to interlaced mode would help. To my disappointment, the same problems existed! I think I'll try a widescreen R2 set next!

    PS - I'm not at home, but I can't remember if the TV also needs to be told its getting an interlaced signal. If so, then I forgot this step, so my failure to remove the problem with interlacing is not necessarily so. I must take a look tonight.
     

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