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It is much more "satisfying" purchasing movies in high-def.


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#1 of 29 Josh Pounds

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Posted December 07 2008 - 03:06 PM

I've noticed that it "feels" a lot better purchasing a movie in high-definition. It feels like I'm really, for the first time, owning an accurate presentation of the film. Lossless soundtracks, 1080p video which (in doing a comparison-from-memory of theatrical presentations) often times simply has more detail than movies on the silver screen.

It is a grand time to be a movie fan!

I no longer mind purchasing films I've purchased before on DVD. I don't much care for special features, so as long as the presentation of the film is good as far as I'm concerned it will be the LAST time I buy the movie.

#2 of 29 Travis Brashear

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Posted December 08 2008 - 12:11 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Pounds
I've noticed that it "feels" a lot better purchasing a movie in high-definition. It feels like I'm really, for the first time, owning an accurate presentation of the film. Lossless soundtracks, 1080p video which (in doing a comparison-from-memory of theatrical presentations) often times simply has more detail than movies on the silver screen.

It is a grand time to be a movie fan!

I agree wholeheartedly, but I must take issue with one of your quotes, which I've heard many others say, as well: how is it mathematically possible for a 1080p presentation to offer more detail than a release-week (i.e. undamaged) theatrical print, which has the equivalent of about 4,000 lines of resolution? I'll agree that, for the size of normal living room monitors, we likely can't move too many more steps up in home video resolution before we hit the cap of what the naked eye can discern (surely we'd never need more than 2000p, probably a few hundred less) but 1080p offering more detail than theatrical prints? That I don't follow...
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#3 of 29 Josh Pounds

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Posted December 08 2008 - 12:47 AM

Well, my comparisons have by no means been scientific and certainly not A/B comparisons...but...

I made it a point to make note of tiny, tiny details in the IMAX footage on the "Batman Begins" blu-ray. I looked for those details when I saw the film in the theater and they were there, but fuzzy at best.

Maybe I'm mistaking resolution for something else?

Actually, thinking about it, the differences I saw were probably due more to shoddy projection than anything else.

#4 of 29 Brendon

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Posted December 08 2008 - 01:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Brashear
how is it mathematically possible for a 1080p presentation to offer more detail than a release-week (i.e. undamaged) theatrical print, which has the equivalent of about 4,000 lines of resolution?

Short answer it isn't possible. However the resolution of 35mm film isn't the only variable - how well has the film been duplicated? Having seen opening weekend prints that are new, they've either been transported in kitty litter or the film itself is pristine and dirt from the master has been accurately transfered. Not to mention my local cinemas tendancy to run the projector bulbs dim, resulting in crushed blacks and a lack of detail in the remaining visible picture.

Whilst this is clearly a failing of certain cinemas/screens (either as a matter of policy, financial considerations or competance), it does contribute to my own feeling of "superior presentation at home via BluRay". The max resulotion of BluRay does not exceed that of pristine 35mm film but just about every variable that contributes to image quality can do.

YMMV of course!

#5 of 29 Hartwig Hanser

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Posted December 08 2008 - 11:32 PM

I agree with the OP, that a good BD seems to have more detail than an average theatrical presentation, at least those i saw. Reason: Often you watch a copy of a copy of a copy (and so on), i.e. several generations down the line. With each copying resolution is lost. My totally unscientific guess is that most movies I have seen in theatre had a resolution roughly equivalent of 720p ("semi-HD"). The most detailled movie picture I had seen for years was a digital presentation, which is 1080p, too. Perhaps our cinemas just suck...

#6 of 29 Zack Gibbs

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Posted December 09 2008 - 03:25 AM

In actuality it's been found that the average theatrical film print contains only about 800 relative "lines" of discernible resolution. You can claim that there's the equivalent of more "pixels" in a frame of film, but it's redundant.

If film really had 4x more visible resolution, then you wouldn't see HD being used to actually shoot major movies these days, because it would look extremely soft and blurry in comparison. But clearly that isn't the case.
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#7 of 29 Carlo Medina

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Posted December 09 2008 - 04:29 AM

I don't know about theater prints having 800 lines of res...since DVD has 480 and I've seen it blown up to 10' size and it's not pretty, I've seen theater prints up to 50-60' in Westwood, CA, and if it only had roughly 2x the lines of DVD it should be really ugly.

But I agree with the OP in the sense that theater prints are a mixed bag at best. I've had everything from audio dropouts to major picture flaws, not to mention wear and tear. Let's not even talk about the rudeness that prevails in many theaters today by moviegoers.

I think what I'm comfortable in saying is this: for screen sizes under 10' diagonal, a great BD transfer is at worst indistinguishable from, and at best superior to theatrical presentations.

I don't think projecting a 35mm film [even if it's the o-neg] onto a 10' screen and watching it from the recommended viewing distance will yield a discernably better picture than a great BD transfer. Let's keep in mind though that BDs can have subpar transfers as well.

#8 of 29 Dan M

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Posted December 09 2008 - 07:40 AM

My most recent movie going experiences have been less than stellar when it comes to presentation. The majority of the time it seems the image is simply out of focus. In fact I even complained to the management (to no avail) on occasion. How hard is it to re-focus a projector?

My local multiplex is less than 2 years old.

The last time I remember seeing a truly satisfying image at my local cinema was Transformers.

Blu Ray looks glorious compared to the images I see projected at the theater the majority of the time.... Sometimes even SD DVD looks better to my eyes.

And I'm watching a projected 110" 720p image at home.

#9 of 29 Russell G

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Posted December 10 2008 - 05:12 AM

I disagree. My first experience with Blu was last night with THE DARK KNIGHT. It looked great, yes, but not hugely improved over SD. I really can't see myself re-purchasing titles I already own, or splurging for the more expensive Blu discs for new titles.

#10 of 29 Brandon Conway

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Posted December 10 2008 - 06:36 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
I disagree. My first experience with Blu was last night with THE DARK KNIGHT. It looked great, yes, but not hugely improved over SD. I really can't see myself re-purchasing titles I already own, or splurging for the more expensive Blu discs for new titles.
That's what I said at first. But the more and more you watch HD, the more you notice SD's shortcomings when you go back to them.

"And now the reprimand, from an American critic. He reproaches me for using film as a sacred & lasting medium, like a painting or a book. He does not believe that filmmaking is an inferior art, but he believes, and quite rightly, that a reel goes quickly, that the public are looking above all for relaxation, that film is fragile and that it is pretentious to express the power of one's soul by such ephemeral and delicate means, that Charlie Chaplin's or Buster Keaton's first films can only be seen on very rare and badly spoiled prints. I add that the cinema is making daily progress and that eventually films that we consider marvelous today will soon be forgotten because of new dimensions & colour. This is true. But for 4 weeks this film [The Blood of a Poet] has been shown to audiences that have been so attentive, so eager & so warm, that I wonder after all there is not an anonymous public who are looking for more than relaxation in the cinema." - Jean Cocteau, 1932


#11 of 29 Lou Sytsma

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Posted December 10 2008 - 09:23 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
That's what I said at first. But the more and more you watch HD, the more you notice SD's shortcomings when you go back to them.

Very true. That is the surest way to notice the difference. Watch some HD content and then watch some SD. The difference is readily apparent.
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#12 of 29 Vern Dias

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Posted December 10 2008 - 03:19 PM

Quote:
My first experience with Blu was last night with THE DARK KNIGHT. It looked great, yes, but not hugely improved over SD.
Then you, most likely, weren't judging the quality of the BD disk itself. You were most likely judging the sub HD standard viewing environment you may be using.

Three questions you need to answer:

Were you viewing on a 1080 set or projector?

If you were using an lcd or plasma, was the display set up for dot by dot or pixel perfect mode?

Were you viewing from no more than 1.7x the width of the display?

If the answer to any one or more of these questions is no, then you weren't actually seeing the full capabilities of BD.

Rather, you are basing your decision on the capabilities of your current viewing environment.

Vern

#13 of 29 Russell G

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Posted December 10 2008 - 03:24 PM

No no, I was watching it on a properly set up LCD, with the room lighting to match the set up, did all of that.

Don't get me wrong, it looked very nice, and yes, I'm sure if I did a side by side comparison, it would be the better over the SD. The only thing that stood out picture wise was the details in the black levels (which, with Batman, is a very good thing). When it was all over though, it was a really good movie that really, I would of enjoyed just as much as if it was on SD, or even DIVX. I watch films for the stories, not to oogle picture quality. I appreciate great picture and sound, don;t get me wrong, but it's not a deal breaker for me.

So really, aside from the tent peg films, or films that are done digitally (Wall-E, SPEED RACER), I really can't see myself stopping from buying SD discs until Blu gets down to the same price point (I average $7-$13 per title on SD, Canadian money). I guess I'm a quantity over quality guy.

#14 of 29 TravisR

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Posted December 10 2008 - 03:34 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
Don't get me wrong, it looked very nice, and yes, I'm sure if I did a side by side comparison, it would be the better over the SD. The only thing that stood out picture wise was the details in the black levels (which, with Batman, is a very good thing).
One thing that may impress you more is if you watch a movie that you're very familiar with. I know when I saw Halloween (which I've probably seen at least 100 times over the years on TV, VHS, LD, DVD), I was blown away by the detail, sharpness, etc. but when I saw There Will Be Blood (which I saw twice in the theater and once on DVD), it looked par for the HD course. That being said, I'm reasonably sure that There Will Be Blood is the superior disc.

#15 of 29 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted December 15 2008 - 10:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
No no, I was watching it on a properly set up LCD, with the room lighting to match the set up, did all of that.

But what is the viewing angle (or screen size to viewing distance ratio) involved though?

If you only have a <=50" LCD, then you'd have to sit quite close to fall w/in the ~1.7x ratio that Vern mentioned. That's why a lot of folks are quite happy w/ a 720p 50" plasma like the Panny 50PX80 that can be had for well under $1K during this holiday season.

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#16 of 29 Russell G

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Posted December 16 2008 - 04:32 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Man-Fai Wong
But what is the viewing angle (or screen size to viewing distance ratio) involved though?

If you only have a <=50" LCD, then you'd have to sit quite close to fall w/in the ~1.7x ratio that Vern mentioned. That's why a lot of folks are quite happy w/ a 720p 50" plasma like the Panny 50PX80 that can be had for well under $1K during this holiday season.

_Man_

I've already explained myself. I'm allowed to have a difference of opinion without being challenged. I never said TDK looked bad, I just said I didn't see BLU enhancing my enjoyment of the movie. WALL-E looked amazing on the same set up in BLU, but again, the story was fantastic and I can't see not enjoying it in SD either, though I am glad to have gotten the blu ray.

#17 of 29 Carlo Medina

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Posted December 16 2008 - 05:20 AM

Russell, your experiences are certainly your own, and none of us can know what you see through your eyes.

Without knowing your equipment, viewing conditions and set-up--you've given us screen size, pixel count and viewing distance but there's dozens of other variables that can factor in to the experience--it's impossible for us to see what you see.

I will say that 11-12' from a 52" 720p screen is a pretty far viewing distance so I guess it's not surprising the *you* don't see much of a difference. But it's another thing to characterize the BD experience as a whole as underwhelming based on your experience alone. You even say you'd have been as happy to watch TDK on SD or DivX!

I can definitively say that at 11' on my 60" Sony SXRD 60A3000 via PS3, calibrated, the BD difference is not marginal. Even friends I have invited over who have similar sized HD sets but only watch HD cable marvel at the difference, and they're at least comparing it to 1080i HD cable. With DVD it's not even close.

So yes, on your setup, at your distances, it's apparently not worth it. But for those who are reading and are trying to decide "is the BD experience worth it for me to upgrade?" I would say that your experience is not necessarily the norm. Most people will be sitting less than 11-12' away, and 50"-60" 1080p sets are not that expensive anymore.

#18 of 29 Russell G

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Posted December 16 2008 - 05:47 AM

Carlo, I haven't actually listed any specs. They were all presumed upon me. You can be assured that my viewing set up is optimal, and always has been.

This thread is called "It is much more "satisfying" purchasing movies in high-def"

I disagreed in that, based on the cost etc, it wasn't a huge revelation as far as watching a movie goes, and I'm sure I'd enjoy it regardless of it being SD or Blu. That's all. I'm in complete agreement that yes, it does look better then SD. WALL-E looked amazing and impressive, as I thought it would being a digital based film.

If this was
"is the BD experience worth it for me to upgrade?", then I would say, yup, it's worth it to upgrade if you got to get a new player since it is a superior format and the market is leaning that way. That said, some SD discs look worse on my blu ray player then they do upconverted on my SD player (which is on the same set up). Not sure why, and the layer change on SD discs on the Blu player are crap with the pausing. Maybe a firmware update helps, but I don't have this player hooked up for Blu Live or whatever it is.

*sorry about the "BOLD" font, I pasted the thread title and it wont let me adjust it, no matter how I try. :S


#19 of 29 ManW_TheUncool

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Posted December 16 2008 - 07:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell G
I've already explained myself. I'm allowed to have a difference of opinion without being challenged. I never said TDK looked bad, I just said I didn't see BLU enhancing my enjoyment of the movie. WALL-E looked amazing on the same set up in BLU, but again, the story was fantastic and I can't see not enjoying it in SD either, though I am glad to have gotten the blu ray.

My apologies if I sounded like I was challenging your opinion. That was not my intent at all. I was just following up on what Vern was trying to assess regarding your "first experience with Blu" since you did not actually mention what your viewing angle or screen-size-to-viewing-distance ratio was, which as we alluded is indeed an important factor in this equation.

FWIW, some DVDs still do look excellent on my current 53" RPTV setup from ~9.5ft away (and make me wonder if I need to upgrade those titles to Blu), but in my experience so far, most title upgrades I've done have yielded substantial improvement in PQ (and also noticeable improvement in AQ as well). But yes, I agree that a good movie on a good quality DVD can still be very enjoyable on this setup -- and yes, I still do buy DVDs at bargain prices on occasion, especially those that are not likely to come to Blu anytime soon (or is not likely to benefit much from it).

_Man_
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#20 of 29 Mark Kalzer

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Posted December 16 2008 - 01:24 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan M
My most recent movie going experiences have been less than stellar when it comes to presentation. The majority of the time it seems the image is simply out of focus. In fact I even complained to the management (to no avail) on occasion. How hard is it to re-focus a projector?

My local multiplex is less than 2 years old.

The last time I remember seeing a truly satisfying image at my local cinema was Transformers.

Blu Ray looks glorious compared to the images I see projected at the theater the majority of the time.... Sometimes even SD DVD looks better to my eyes.

And I'm watching a projected 110" 720p image at home.


Sadly commercial cinema has really killed the potential of 35 mm celluloid. What very well still is a superior format is being run down by over duplicated prints and careless quality control at the projection end. Digital projection has become the 'solution' to these problems in lieu of addressing them directly. But to see a quality 35 mm print, projected with maximum care is a real treat. You have to go to arthouse cinemas with indie or festival fare to experience the true nature of 35 mm. Foreign films too since fewer prints are generated with subtitles and they are closer to the original master.

Blu-Ray is amazing, and in many ways superior to commercial cinema. It does not have to be this way though.
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