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Superman Returns HD-DVD Review (some spoilers)


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#1 of 110 OFFLINE   Christopher a

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:33 PM

I normally don't post early reviews like this, but since there seems to be a total lack of reviews elsewhere on the net...and the quality of the disc is quite surprising, here goes.

First, the good. True-HD sound is phonomenal. Best I've heard, period.

Now, the not so good. Video quality terribly inconsistent. The most dissapointing part of the video seems to be the compression, which is noticebly poor. The scene where Sup's is hanging outside Lois' house and looking in on her and Richards conversation...look at the brown wall behind Richard. Movement all over the place. This is only one example..there are others. The really strange part is scences that I thought would look bad (like the the fake Krypton scene at the end) looked pretty great. The scence where Sup's gets beat up by Luthors henchman I thought looked really good. Good color and great contrast. Detail captures everything here too. But other scenes in the Daily Planet bathed in daylight don't look that great. ..very noisy.

If I could think of one way to describe it...if anyone has seen a movie that was shot digitally, but downconverted and projected on film, its close to that. When I saw "Once upon a Time in Mexico" on film I remember seeing the same type of grain and "unnatural" color. I can't totally blame it on the way the film was shot as I do think the poor compression job is most of the culprit. I'm just not happy with the fact that Warner decides to make this a single disc with extras, lossless soundtracks, and what the hell, lets throw in the 480p version on the other side of the disc for the hell of it(never was a fan of combos).

Don't get me wrong, some scenes do display great color and detail, but for a film this length and that has such a wide color palette, its pretty dissapointing.

If anyone has any questions please feel free to ask. (I am looking forward to the extras and will probably watch the documentary this weekend).

Chris

#2 of 110 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:42 PM

The movie looks phenominal to me in 1080i. One of the best HD discs I have seen thus far. I do not see what you are talking about. This dvd has me convinced Blu Ray has the power to be as good as the ref HDDVD's...
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#3 of 110 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:42 PM

If this turns out to be less than stellar PQ, count me out!
Hoorah, for TrueHD!!!
I saw 'funny stuff' with the presentation at IMAX.
Thanks for the early review.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#4 of 110 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:43 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Simon
The movie looks phenominal to me in 1080i. One of the best HD discs I have seen thus far. I do not see what you are talking about. This dvd has me convinced Blu Ray has the power to be as good as the ref HDDVD's...
Steven,
Your referring to the 50GB BD, not the 30GB HD DVD, correct?
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#5 of 110 OFFLINE   Steven Simon

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:44 PM

ED,
Don't worry... It looks absolutely amazing!!!


Oooops...... I missed that. I am playing the Blu Ray version.. Posted Image Sorry, not comparing apples to apples here.... Anyhow Blu Ray version Thumbs up!!!
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#6 of 110 OFFLINE   Christopher a

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Posted November 22 2006 - 12:59 PM

Steve, have you seen it in both HD and Blue-Ray? I was curious about picking up the Blue-Ray to see if it's any better.

I have to be honest here, Steve. I think when this disc comes out and people get a hold of it, you will be in the minority in terms of your love for the transfer. FWIW, I'm running the A1 directly to a Toshiba 62hm195 via Bettercable HDMI. ISF calibrated. While I feel my monitor is average at best and by no means reference, I do think that it's on par with what most people will be experiencing on these forums.

Also, the last 3 hd-dvd's I've purchased (M:I:3, Nacho Libre, King Kong) all represented the films as good or better than what I saw projected in the cinema. I cannot say the same for SR.

#7 of 110 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted November 22 2006 - 02:01 PM

Quote:
look at the brown wall behind Richard. Movement all over the place.
Maybe this is the same thing as Sam Posten experienced when he watched King Kong on HD DVD. He thought he saw some mosquito noise around a dinosaur's mouth - backs it up and it turns out it's actually a mosquito. In this case maybe Lois and Richard have a horrible cockroach infestation. Posted Image
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#8 of 110 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted November 22 2006 - 02:57 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed St. Clair
Steven,
Your referring to the 50GB BD, not the 30GB HD DVD, correct?
Disc capacity has no bearing at all on the PQ in this instance. They're the same VC-1 transfer.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#9 of 110 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 22 2006 - 03:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Pippel
Disc capacity has no bearing at all on the PQ in this instance. They're the same VC-1 transfer.
So a 5GB disc would look as good as a 50GB with all the features?
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#10 of 110 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted November 22 2006 - 03:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed St. Clair
So a 5GB disc would look as good as a 50GB with all the features?
They're the same transfer Ed.

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#11 of 110 OFFLINE   Chris Dugger

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Posted November 22 2006 - 04:53 PM

Just got back from presenting this at an outdoor theatre...

The HD-DVD of "Supes" looked incredible on a 20 foot diag screen....

So, if anyone is having issues.... set-up must be at fault....

This disc transfer is the same for the BD and HD discs.... 30 gigs.... both formats.

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#12 of 110 OFFLINE   Ed St. Clair

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Posted November 22 2006 - 05:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Pippel
They're the same transfer Ed.
I fully understand the BD & HD DVD are using the same codec.
You know for sure they are also using the same bit rate?
Thanks.
Movies are: "The Greatest Artform".
HD should be for EVERYONE!

#13 of 110 OFFLINE   Christopher a

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Posted November 22 2006 - 06:52 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Dugger
Just got back from presenting this at an outdoor theatre...

The HD-DVD of "Supes" looked incredible on a 20 foot diag screen....

So, if anyone is having issues.... set-up must be at fault....

This disc transfer is the same for the BD and HD discs.... 30 gigs.... both formats.

Dugger

Chris, can you provide some details about this outdoor theatre? Screen and projector used? Thanks!

Chris

#14 of 110 OFFLINE   dpippel

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Posted November 23 2006 - 01:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed St. Clair
I fully understand the BD & HD DVD are using the same codec.
You know for sure they are also using the same bit rate?
Thanks.
I didn't say codec, did I? Posted Image If Warner follows their past pattern with dual format releases on this title then the transfer is the same for both Blu-ray and HD-DVD releases.

Careful man, there's a beverage here!


#15 of 110 OFFLINE   Chris Dugger

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Posted November 23 2006 - 03:59 AM

The disc is 30 gigs on both the HD-DVD and the BD....

Same codec..... Only difference is the audio as the HD is TrueHD.

As for the Outdoor Theatre.....

I am displaying on a matte white custom screen. Projecting back about 15 to 20 feet using a Panamorph U85.

Projector used is a ViewSonic PJ862. This is an LCD pushing approx 3100 Lumens.

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#16 of 110 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted November 23 2006 - 11:59 AM

Here we go again. I swear, I don't remember opinions being this polarized during the release of SD titles, even back in the day. Perhaps my memory is faulty.

Maybe it has something to do with our national frame of mind. Hearing opinions on PQ for HD's (and not just on this forum), is like listening to a debate between a Democrat and a Republican...there's no common experience between them, and when the subject comes to George Bush, you can't believe that they're talking about the same person. Posted Image

#17 of 110 OFFLINE   David Wilkins

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Posted November 23 2006 - 11:58 AM

Here we go again. I swear, I don't remember opinions being this polarized during the release of SD titles, even back in the day. Perhaps my memory is faulty.

Maybe it has something to do with our national frame of mind. Hearing opinions on PQ for HD's (and not just on this forum), is like listening to a debate between a Democrat and a Republican...there's no common experience between them, and when the subject comes to George Bush, you can't believe that they're talking about the same person. Posted Image

#18 of 110 OFFLINE   Peter Loan

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Posted November 23 2006 - 11:51 PM

I work in DVD/HDDVD/BD. Warner absolutely uses the same transfer using the exact same bit rate for both BD and HDDVD. VC-1 compression for a feature length movie runs in the tens of thousands of dollars. They're not going to pay for that twice just to up the bit rate for the BD release.

#19 of 110 OFFLINE   Ron-P

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Posted November 24 2006 - 02:22 AM

TrueHD...I'm all over it come Tuesday. I was going to pass as everyone was saying DD+ only.
You have all the weapons you need...Now fight!


#20 of 110 ONLINE   Chuck Mayer

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Posted November 24 2006 - 04:24 AM

I want the TrueHD as well. That said, I'll check the PQ reviews before committing. But all else being close to even...I want True HD.
Hey buddy...did you just see a real bright light?


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