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*** Official Warner Archive DVD Review Thread

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Ernest, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    A two-minute film could if it was poorly compressed. It isn't so much space that makes the difference - sometimes not even bit rate - but the software used for the process and the settings. I encode projects myself and have found there are many ways to foul things up at some stage in the game. No two encoders are exactly alike in dealing with the same source material.
     
  2. silentman74

    silentman74 Active Member

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    Hearing that all these discs are all mastered wrong has really turned me off from purchasing any titles. I have noticed in the past from watching movies from the Harold Lloyd collection, that a movie not mastered properly can ruin the viewing experience. I have an older Sony DVD player that plays all the Lloyd films without any interlace problems. If I play the same disc in a DVD player using HDMI, then the problem is evident. I can't even change any settings to help this. I don't want to purchase a non-progressive DVD player once my Sony stops working, so what could I do to improve this one the other player?

    I was thinking about using a s-video cable in addiction to the HDMI, so I play interlace DVD's. I don't know how this will effect the player. I know there is a setting that allows me to turn off HDMI. Can anyone suggest a way to improve interlace DVD's?
     
  3. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    All upscaling DVD or Blu-ray players I know of have setting that can be changed. You'll have to reference your manual, but there is a setting deep within the menus concerning video presentation. There are often settings for "auto", where the player determines if the source needs to be deinterlaced or not, and then there are "film" and "video" settings. My Sony Blu-ray player handles most things quite well with the "auto" setting, but my other two regular DVD players need to be set to "video" to avoid combing.
     
  4. Paul_Scott

    Paul_Scott Well-Known Member

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    Does anyone think the 'strobing' Chuck is describing could a CUE (chroma upsampling error). I don't hear much about this anymore, but I remember it was a problem with certain DVD players (or rather the settings on their processing chips/boards) about 5-6 years back. It looked similar to what you are describing. I also see something similar when I capture video from a dvd player via analog composite inputs to a Dazzle, and then output via firewire to imovie/quicktime. If that's the same kind of artifact, that is most definitely not cool.
    Funny enough of the four titles I was interested in- all have been covered so far (Grasshopper, Sweet November, Doc Savage, Mating Game). Thanks to all, as you just saved me a gob of dough I can put to better use.
    I'll try to return the favor if/when another studio implements a similar program [​IMG]
     
  5. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it looks exactly like that, but it is built into the video on the disc, not something due to the player. I've played the disc on 2 DVD players and a Blu-Ray as well as my DVD-ROM drive, and they all show that exact effect on these Warner Archive discs, though none as horrifically as on DREAM LOVER. I can't wait until someone else on here has some of these titles and confirm what I'm seeing and have posted screen captures of. DREAM LOVER should not have been released looking as it does (aside from the fact that the film is so disappointing) due to the faulty compression/encoding job done on it.

    I certainly don't want to keep anyone from buying fun titles like THE GRASSHOPPER and THE BABY MAKER. I just want to let people know what the discs are like. They are FAR from looking to be from VHS or some aged broadcast analog master tape, but they aren't exactly up to the standards of regular Warner catalog titles either. I'm glad I got all of my titles, save for DREAM LOVER. Just look at the capture below from that movie - what looks like bad JPEG compression is actually how the disc looks!

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Simon Howson

    Simon Howson Well-Known Member

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    I thought that was strictly a bug with MPEG2 decoder chips incorrectly decoding the stream? Or was it also related to buggy MPEG2 encoders?

    I accept that the actual video master of these won't be up to the usual new film element + 2K (or higher resolution) scan + digital clean up + down conversion from a 1080p master that we expect from regular Warner DVDs.

    What is unacceptable is the fact we are seeing compression artifacts because 120 minute films are being crammed into 4 GB (4.5 Mbps), or simply because the compression wasn't done carefully. Warner Archive should have a policy; any film over 110 minutes should be on a dual layer disc. The bitrate shouldn't average lower than 6 Mbps for the film itself. Sure this will increase their production costs for longer duration films, but hey, the discs are being sold at $20 each.

    If all the films were encoded at 6 Mbps average, then they could have a system where customers could order any 2 films on 1 dual layer DVD, provided that the total duration didn't exceed about 190 minutes. This would be more that sufficient for a lot of the Allied Artists westerns, and many of the RKO film noir that we are told are on the way. This would save materials, packaging, and postage costs.
     
  7. bgart13

    bgart13 Well-Known Member

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    So far, these caps and descriptions bring to mind the Legend Films dvds of the Paramount deal they got, ranging from really good to ...eh. Thanks for reviews thus far.
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Okay, I just cleaned this thread up a little because this thread existence is meant for people to post their reviews of various Warner Archive discs and not to debate the program itself or whether the dvds are too expensive. Therefore, let's restrict our comments to the dvd reviews as we have another thread available to discuss those other topics. Thank you.






    Crawdaddy
     
  9. Jobla

    Jobla Well-Known Member

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    Way to quiet the room, Robert! Seriously, guys, give us some more reviews! I'm sure some of you must have watched some titles yesterday. Mine won't arrive until Tuesday at the earliest.
     
  10. DeWilson

    DeWilson Well-Known Member

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    I guess it will depend on what has existing transfers and what do not.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens when they start offering titles that have NEVER been aired or TCM/TNT and/or had a video release/television syndication anytime in the last 30 odd years!
     
  11. Jobla

    Jobla Well-Known Member

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    I think that HEART BEAT comes pretty close to the above scenario. Ditto BRAINSTORM, ANGEL BABY, and possibly MY BLOOD RUNS COLD.
     
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Well-Known Member

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    Economically, it makes sense for the Studio to go from film to 1080p SR and 480p Digibeta at the same time rather than just going to digibeta. You can always come down from an SR master. That way they supposedly don't have to transfer it again if they ever want to go hi def. otoh, they've now found out that a film transferred at 4 or 6k looks a heck of a lot better downconverted to 1080p than a film transferred at 1080p (aka 2k), so maybe they will have to retransfer titles anyways in the future.
     
  13. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Well-Known Member

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    That red screenshot is completely unacceptable. Wow.
     
  14. Mike Kuhns

    Mike Kuhns Active Member

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    I have received and viewed my initial order of five titles from WB Archives. I have a 65" DLP Hi-def TV and played the DVD-Rs upconverted from a Sony blu-ray player.
    WESTBOUND, WICHITA, AL CAPONE, and THE GEORGE RAFT STORY were all widescreen; ALONG THE GREAT DIVIDE was not. WESTBOUND and WICHITA were in color. Picture Quality on all of them was very good---comparable to traditional DVD (pressed) releases for fifty year old films. Unless the studio undertakes expensive restoration efforts, as with films like GIGI and SOUTH PACIFIC which are appearing now on blu-ray, I cannot imagine we're going to see a better product. No doubt quality will vary throughout the catalog, but I'm certainly hooked.
    I am concerned about durability of the medium; but that never stopped me from taking a plunge before---VHS, laserdisc, etc. Time will tell. Naturally, I wouldn't object to a lower price, but I'm not waiting around for one. When I ordered the blu-rays of GIGI and SOUTH PACIFIC, I could have passed and waited a year or two and picked them up at a lower price, used or discounted, but I want them NOW. Tomorrow is promised to no one.
    WICHITA was quite a revelation. Aspect Ratio is 2.55x1. I taped it to VHS from TV many years ago, but the pan and scan was really only half a movie.
     
  15. angelad

    angelad Member

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    Its definitely going to look very interesting, I have a few oldie favourites from Warner, and been checking to see if those titles are going to be rereleased. A few of them will, a few probably won't for a while.
     
  16. GregoryMesh

    GregoryMesh Well-Known Member

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    DVD Drive-In posted their review of Hammer's Crescendo...
     
  17. Edward Weinman

    Edward Weinman Well-Known Member

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    ...well, I just finished watching "3 Sailors and a Girl"...all I can say is that it does not look like a standard DVD...more like a VHS tape. The sound is good but the picture is not; one or so too many distractions (some flickering, some edge enhancement...).

    I'm just sad that this type of presentation is how I am supposed to look forward to future films in this series. This film, for example, may not sell many copies but I feel it is a disservice to those who would want the best presentation possible.
     
  18. BillyFeldman

    BillyFeldman Well-Known Member

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    Got my eighteen titles today. First off, thanks Robert for the Warners number, which I've made note of.

    I've taken a quick gander at about twelve of the titles and they really run the gamut. The best of them so far is The Money Trap, which looks great in its anamorphic scope transfer. And Wichita looks equally good, which is a real treat. Sweet November looks ugly, smoggy, muddy, with no vibrance to its look at all. George Raft Story looks barely better than VHS. The Crowded Sky, ditto. The D.I. looks okay, as does Made In Paris. I'll report on others as I watch them.
     
  19. Chuck Pennington

    Chuck Pennington Well-Known Member

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    I didn't post much of a review for this one, but it did look quite soft and slightly fuzzy, like a dupe. Color was okay though, and the print seemed to be in good condition. I like that the original trailer was included. The compression and encoding didn't sport as many flaws as some of the other titles, but it was interlaced and lacked the fine definition of many other titles released to DVD from the same time period.

    I enjoyed the movie! I had never seen it before.
     
  20. Joseph Bolus

    Joseph Bolus Well-Known Member

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    I ordered this Friday afternoon of last week and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. It's really *shocking* to me that it wasn't released to DVD around the time of the "Sweet November" remake in 2001. Sandy Dennis is well known for her role in "The Out of Towners" opposite Jack Lemmon, but I thought she did a much better job in this movie.
     

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