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House Of Flying Artifacts


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#1 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted June 18 2006 - 06:54 AM

had to go out to CC today to snag the second season of The Adventures Of Superman ($16.99!!!), and got a chance to see the Samsung with HOFD playing.
If you've read the numerous reviews and testimonials over on AVS, there isn't much I would add except to concur with everything I have seen so far, especially as relating to this title. At times the picture does a nice sense of depth to it, but it is only 'at times' and these seem to be fairly infrequent (i spent about 20 minutes chapter skipping thru it- twice). Overall the image had a digital look to it- similar to the HD feeds you usually see in the big box stores.
I didin't notice any intrusive EE, but the image of the film did not display that rock solid steadiness that I have come to expect and love with HD DVD.
And there is definitely some artifacting going on- If you have access to the title or go see the display, skip to about 42 minutes into the film. There is posterization visible in the sky at a couple points, and generally throughout the film, backgrounds are 'noisy'. I saw this on two different displays in two different stores so I feel confident this is actually the disc and not a display issue. At times, some of the images were 'nice' and had a bit of pop & dimensionality, but on the whole it was not even close to being as impressive as any of the HD titles I've seen, and especially not as impressive as the HD DVD demo disc. I can not imagine people seeing this and being compelled to lay down $1K for the player.

As to the player itself- again I would endorse everything I've already read.
The piano black finish is nicer than the Tosh (although it would be wasted in my rack set-up), the load times are faster, and yet the menu selections are far more sluggish (and for all the people complaining about the Tosh being nothing but a PC, I wonder how they will feel about seeing the hourglass pop up everytime they make a menu selection on the Samsung?).

The salesdrone came over while I was watching and the first thing I said was "So this is Blu-ray huh? It's pretty unimpressive"
"yeah, we've heard that alot"

#2 of 14 OFFLINE   Walter Kittel

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Posted June 18 2006 - 07:32 AM

It is a shame that Sony didn't do a better job with this title ( assuming that the reports I've read reflect the presentation. Not doubting you Paul; I just haven't experienced it first hand. ) Certainly one of the titles that I was looking forward to in an HD presentation, and a title that would have helped convince me to adopt Bd if it had been a slam dunk. Saw it theatrically several times and admired its visual aesthetic.

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Fidelity to the source should always be the goal for Blu-ray releases.

#3 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted June 18 2006 - 07:51 AM

I went back and read the reviews of it on AVS and it seems that over there people are saying it looked soft. I didn't see that. To me it was overwhlemingly noisy, which could have been film grain except that the compression didn't seem to be handling the grain well. It also looked intermittenly flat- although the colors seemed pumped most of the time.

a couple of the outdoor shots looked overly processed like Tess (another Sony title), but I can't say for certain if the (over)pumped up contrast was a result of the display(s)- which could be a possibility- or the actual master. The first display I saw it on presented a very noisy, mostly ugly picture. The second was less noisy, but still not film like.

Walter, if you have a CC by you you should be able to see it. The BB didn't even have a Bd set-up yet, but both CCs did.

I haven't seen the film, although I wouldn't mind it now (the parts I saw looked interesting). And I fully expected this to be a showpiece title, after friends raved about its visual attributes.

One thing I forgot to mention were the subtitles.
HERE was the real evidence that this was a HD source, as they looked just as crisp and as stable as the FBI warnings on the HD DVD discs. No combing, no jagged edges- Clean, Crisp, Clear and rock solid stable. It was also cool how the yellow had a thin stroke of black around it.
I'm looking forward to foreign films in HD now more than ever. Wonder what will be the first one to show up on HD DVD?

#4 of 14 OFFLINE   Kelly Grannell

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Posted June 18 2006 - 09:39 AM

This makes me worry. This title, Terminator, 5th Elements, these are the titles I would re-buy on BD and they are all bad as far as HD quality goes.

How will BD win? I haven't seen anything other than 5th Elements on BD at a high-end store near my place (display is ISF certified, lighting is controlled) and then I watched Van Helsing on HD DVD (another title I would re-buy on HD format). Where is the supposedly better PQ on BD?

Not only the player is twice the price, the PQ on BD is (to me, subjective, of course) only half as good as HD DVD. Moreso, HD DVD movies can be found in abundance at WalMart for only (approx) US$20 each!

#5 of 14 OFFLINE   Ryan-G

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Posted June 18 2006 - 11:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelly Grannell
This makes me worry. This title, Terminator, 5th Elements, these are the titles I would re-buy on BD and they are all bad as far as HD quality goes.

How will BD win? I haven't seen anything other than 5th Elements on BD at a high-end store near my place (display is ISF certified, lighting is controlled) and then I watched Van Helsing on HD DVD (another title I would re-buy on HD format). Where is the supposedly better PQ on BD?

Not only the player is twice the price, the PQ on BD is (to me, subjective, of course) only half as good as HD DVD. Moreso, HD DVD movies can be found in abundance at WalMart for only (approx) US$20 each!

While BR does still have time to improve, and I'm sure it can, the clock is ticking.

Computer adoption of one or the other is likely to start moving at a rapid pace in the next 12 months, especially given HD-DVD's price edge.

PS3 isn't on track to make a huge impact, in fact it's looking pretty weak.

HD-DVD has an advantage here, if they release sufficient players to the market they can obtain an important an early victory in the format war. Computer adoption one way or the other gives a side the college market, which is a huge advantage.

Releasing the titles in the reported state they're in was massive and critical error for Sony, one that will impact even PS3's sales which they absolutely couldn't afford. If people look at BR movies and can't see a difference compared to SD, they've got a problem.

Toshiba has an advantage now, MS can help them significantly in early 2007, Sony's in desperate need at this point. We'll have to wait and see what the other studios release, but this was a major mistake.

#6 of 14 OFFLINE   MichaelPR

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Posted June 18 2006 - 02:51 PM

the thread title made me laugh pretty hard...not anti blu ray just found it funny!
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#7 of 14 OFFLINE   Rob_HD

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Posted June 19 2006 - 02:55 AM

2 thumbs up for the title! Do you work in the porn industry? Posted Image (just kidding!)

#8 of 14 OFFLINE   Kelly Grannell

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Posted June 19 2006 - 02:57 AM

if he works for Porn industry he'll title it "House of Flying Artif_cks" Posted Image

#9 of 14 OFFLINE   Randy Korstick

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Posted June 19 2006 - 09:12 AM

Paul are you positive that what you are seeing are artifacts and not film grain? The reason I ask is that Hong Kong or Chinese films are always grainy and this film although digitally cleaned up was no exception so you be witnessing film grain and digital cleanup. It is a beautiful film and film grain is part of it. This was/is a common mistake in DVD and will be only worse I suspect in HD since film grain will be even more noticable.
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#10 of 14 OFFLINE   Paul_Scott

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Posted June 19 2006 - 09:37 AM

Randy, I have no familiarity with the film, so I don't know how it's supposed to look (in regards to the grain- there is other quite visible artifacting that is not grain related present also).
however
I got a chance earlier today to see The Fifth Element and I can tell you that disc shared many of the same characteristics as House.

at first glance they have a vividness that is eye catching- especially with TFE and its pop art colors, but if you sit down and look at it for any length of time longer than a minute, the flaws in the compression come more and more to the fore.
The grainy look I saw with both titles was not normal film grain.
If it was film grain at all, it was exacerbated by poor compression.
both images were 'harsh' and not natural looking at all- and certainly didn't look like film (as HD DVD looks).
No doubt about it in my mind after 2 different viewings of HOFD and one of TFE, these are seriously weak in relation to the competition.

The longer you watch these, the uglier they get

Both discs displayed macro blocking in areas of relatively flat color (the sky in HOTFD and a red backdrop in TFE). I slow mo'd thru it and the blocking is intrinisc to the disc. that right there makes it an also ran, as I have not seen that phenomenon once in the dozen or so HD titles I've viewed so far.

But I don't expect anyone to take my word for it (although the reviews at HighDefdigest seem very consistent to what I experienced). I would recommend everyone get out to BB or CC and see it for themselves.

#11 of 14 OFFLINE   Rob_HD

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Posted June 20 2006 - 08:12 PM

I found it interesting that the hardware review of the Samsung on AVS showed that it has the dreaded chroma bug. The reviewer seemed to feel it would manifest itself on hi def Mpeg2 material also...

#12 of 14 OFFLINE   Phil Menard

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Posted June 21 2006 - 08:16 AM

I have two Hong Kong SD DVDs of HoFD, and both have a lot of artifacts and compression problems. The first time it is really noticable is in the standing drums scene. I'm wondering if maybe Sony or whoever released this had an inferior master provided to them?

#13 of 14 OFFLINE   Yumbo

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Posted June 21 2006 - 11:14 AM

the DVD version was already ugly. Same master I guess.

#14 of 14 OFFLINE   RobertR

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Posted June 22 2006 - 02:04 PM

Finally saw this at Frys today on a large Samsung display. Everything said about it is true. Soft (no better than DVD), and FULL of artifacts.