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Superbit: Worth it? (merged thread)

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105 replies to this topic

#1 of 106 OFFLINE   paul:hillsdon


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Posted March 22 2004 - 02:25 PM

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!Posted Image

#2 of 106 OFFLINE   Patrick McCart

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Posted March 22 2004 - 02:44 PM

Lawrence of Arabia: Superbit is worth it.

Excellent video and audio...

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

Posted Image

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

Posted Image

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

#3 of 106 OFFLINE   greg_t



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Posted March 22 2004 - 02:47 PM

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 of 106 OFFLINE   Harminder


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Posted March 22 2004 - 02:59 PM

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. Posted Image

#5 of 106 OFFLINE   Tan Ng

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Posted March 22 2004 - 04:50 PM

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 of 106 OFFLINE   Douglas Bailey

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Posted March 22 2004 - 05:16 PM

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; and
  • Panic 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. :-)
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    #7 of 106 OFFLINE   Tan Ng

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    Posted March 22 2004 - 05:30 PM

    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 <--- this one sound amazing and has 10Mb video bitrate which is maximum

    #8 of 106 OFFLINE   Sven Lorenz

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    Posted March 22 2004 - 08:30 PM

    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 of 106 OFFLINE   Matt Stone

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    Posted March 22 2004 - 08:41 PM

    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.
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    #10 of 106 OFFLINE   Adam Barratt

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    Posted March 22 2004 - 08:47 PM

    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 of 106 OFFLINE   Tan Ng

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    Posted March 22 2004 - 10:53 PM

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

    #12 of 106 OFFLINE   Lou Sytsma

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 12:25 AM

    I'd say it's title and display dependent. On a smaller display the quality improvement isn't probably worth it.
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    #13 of 106 OFFLINE   JonZ


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    Posted March 23 2004 - 12:34 AM

    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 of 106 OFFLINE   Brett C

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 01:45 AM

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

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    #15 of 106 OFFLINE   Darren Haycock

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 01:54 AM

    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...
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    #16 of 106 OFFLINE   MarkHastings


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    Posted March 23 2004 - 02:30 AM

    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 of 106 OFFLINE   Dave H

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 02:57 AM

    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 of 106 OFFLINE   Shane Martin

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 04:20 AM

    Yes its worth it for both the audio and video.

    #19 of 106 OFFLINE   Douglas Bailey

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    Posted March 23 2004 - 04:36 AM

    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.
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    #20 of 106 OFFLINE   JeremySt



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    Posted March 23 2004 - 05:25 AM

    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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