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Warner Bros.: which titles "deserve" lossless audio?

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Bryan Beckman, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to be overly rancorous in addressing this, but the lamentable trend of Warner Bros. giving certain Blu-ray releases lossy DD5.1 audio instead of the lossless treatment continues to disappoint me. We've already gone through this with "Speed Racer", which either (a) didn't make enough money at the box office to "deserve" lossless audio, or (b) doesn't need lossless audio because it's a "kids movie," whatever that inexplicable logic means. (It reminds me of Disney's marketing MAR-ed live-action releases as being presented in "family friendly widescreen," as if thick black bars was a leading cause for broken homes in this country.)

    So now we have another announced release from Warners, "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," with Abigail Breslin, Stanley Tucci, et al. I never got around to seeing it in theaters, but it did pretty well with critics (79% on RT), and it looks like a nice rental. It had fairly modest box office, about $17M, but with a reported budget of only $10M, this is hardly the financial catastrophe for WB that "Speed Racer" was.

    Well, you can probably guess what's coming next . . . here's the back cover art for the Blu-ray release of "Kit Kittredge":

    Kit Kittredge: An American Girl

    No extras (granted, there may not have been the budget to produce any), and lossy DD5.1 audio. This is not exactly an unprofitable movie for Warners (at least, after DVD sales/rentals, it won't be), so what's going on? Is lossless audio somehow not "family friendly"? What decision rubric is being applied here? Apparently blockbuster family hits like "Harry Potter" get lossless. But something like "Iron Giant," if and when it comes to Blu-ray, probably won't.

    I just don't get it.
     
  2. Howard Tom

    Howard Tom Active Member

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    I think the issue here is may be which disc type is being used: single layer of 25 GB or dual-layer of 50 GB. A single layer Blu-Ray disc is cheaper and probably easier to produce than a dual-layer (and I seem to recall an issue with reliability of yields for DL discs early on), but has less capacity than an HD-DVD, which may explain why it sounds like some Universal BR reissues of HD-DVD titles actually required applying more DNR and/or compression to fit this time around. And this would mean less space available for a lossless audio track. I would assume non "A"-list releases would not go the dual-layer route but might also be sold for a bit less retail as a result?

    Howard
     
  3. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    As I recall, some of the early materials for Speed Racer promised lossless audio. The lesson should be obvious: Don't rely too much on initial PR releases.

    M.
     
  4. Rhoq

    Rhoq Well-Known Member

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    My answer to the title of this thread is "all of them". Even if the movie was a poor box office performer or an older catalog title with a mono soundtrack, all titles deserve to have lossless audio on Blu-ray. It just doesn't make sense why any studio would go not include lossless audio.

    Even the budget Blu-ray releases from Echo Bridge have lossless and they are on BD25s, too.
     
  5. Bryan Beckman

    Bryan Beckman Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the early press materials for "Speed Racer" featured the Dolby TrueHD logo, but the back cover art said Dolby Digital 5.1. (I'm crossing my fingers for the actual BD review, but I'm not getting my hopes up too high that the back cover spec is incorrect.) The site I linked to for "Kit Kittredge" features the back cover art, which is where I got my info. While they don't have perfect reliability, cover art specs are much less subject to change than early press releases.
     
  6. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    Hooray!!!
    I so glad someone else feels its not HiDef w/o HiDef sound.

    Man & I've gone even crazier than that; I'm now addicted to LPCM soundtracks! =-I
    (something I didn't EVEN care about at 1st, as I was OK w/lossless, now its uncompressed BABY!!!)
     
  7. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    "Crazy" is definitely the correct term. [​IMG]

    M.
     
  8. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    M,
    Have you heard the Stones in LPCM?!?!?!
    :-0 :-0 :-0
    :) :) :)

    Paint it Black, BABY!!!
    ;-)
     
  9. CraigF

    CraigF Well-Known Member

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    An HD movie is not HD unless the audio is too. As simple as that for me.

    Regardless of an individual's hearing ability...the common reason some use to say we don't really need it. Some people can't see too well either, but we don't have 480i "HD" video to accomodate them...

    Keep the standards high and let people grow into them.
     
  10. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    I don't actually remember which lossless format I selected on Shine a Light, and I don't care, because, you know, it's, like, lossless.

    M.
     
  11. Peter Neski

    Peter Neski Well-Known Member

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    Because then they can sell you another version in a year or two.....wait this
    isn't Fox ,that is somethime I would expect from them, not warners,who
    is the best of the studios even if they don't use Lossless right now
    They don't sell you Blue Rays without extras (when the standard dvd has extras)
    for forty dollars like Fox(or MGM),
    Or drive you crazy with Trailors and that loding cramp Disney does

    Maybe by the time Woodstock comes out it will have Lossless Audio
    It they still owned their music I would love some Lossless Music Tiles
    like the Doors,
     
  12. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    OK :-(
    Whatever... however... ;-)
    The Stone's LPCM is stereo! :)
    So, not all lossless is lossless, as this is a different mix!
    Enjoy.
     
  13. Joe_G

    Joe_G Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. The technology is there, the disc space is there, so there is no reason as to why WB can't make a lossless soundtrack mandatory on EVERY title, other than the fact that they're penny pinchers and really have no clue how to run their HV dept.. All of the other major studios ( Fox / MGM, Disney / BV, Sony, Universal, Lionsgate ) include at least one lossless track on every title. I believe Paramount is now doing this as well, but I'm not sure. There really shouldn't have to be a deciding factor as to what title to give lossless audio, especially the success of a film in it's theatrical run.

    This is the next gen format, an HD format for both video AND audio, and first and formost, the top priority of for each and every single title released, not only by WB, but every studio, should/needs to be presentation (video AND audio), with everything else like extras, a low priority.

    For the most part, every studio, with the exception of WB, has their act together, as far as the treatment of their blu-ray titles, especially in the A/V dept. (with the exception of the DNR'd releases that have been popping up on occasion, like Patton). It's really a shame that WB doesn't take advantage of the BD format and continues to give us lossy audio on BD's, which happens more frequent than we get lossless audio. Yeah, the audio may be at a higher bitrate, but lossy is lossy.
     
  14. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    all of them.
    there is no legitimate reason for every singe release from now on out to not include lossless.

    ...............................................

    also the kitt kitridge blu-ray has a srp of $35. this is way higher then the usual for warner.
    maybe because it includes another one of those digital copies.
     
  15. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Well-Known Member

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    Joe & Tony,
    Is the disc space there on a BD25?
    Thanks.
     
  16. CraigF

    CraigF Well-Known Member

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    Some people will argue that most people can't hear the diff, their gear isn't good enough, something is already "good enough", yada yada... Let's eliminate most of the opinions and apologies and quality of gear or physical faculties.

    This is the simple "principle": if a movie has sound, then it is not reproduced in HD until the sound is too.

    If a movie has HD video only, then it is not an HD movie. If it has HD sound only, then it is not an HD movie.

    Is that simple enough?

    Since when is the audio not part of a "talkie" movie? So I say to WB: please start putting HD MOVIES on all your BDs.
     
  17. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Well-Known Member

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    Give it a rest, Tony. I edited the thread title.

    Titles can only be edited by moderators. If you have a beef with a moderator action, take it up in private.

    M.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    The MSRP is $35 because that title was a theatrical release in June and July. That's no different than what studios have been pricing other newly released films that came out on BR within a year of their theatrical release. Actually, the MRSP of such titles had been $39.99 so it's a little cheaper in that regard.
     
  19. David Coleman

    David Coleman Well-Known Member

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    Here, here!!!
     
  20. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    Is it? ok i thought for some reason the srp has been around 29.99.
     

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