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What can we do about Warner Bros?


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#1 of 169 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted February 15 2009 - 06:25 AM

Okay guys, seriously, enough is enough surely? Week after week I'm reading reviews of new BD releases and week after week Warner Bros is delivering the most disappointing discs, certainly on catalogue titles.

There are four gripes (two of them major) that I have:

1. Their discs don't default to the HD audio track and, because there's no menu (another issue!), it's necessary to fiddle with the remote (audio settings) after the movie starts. Distracting and unnecessary.

2. Many of their catalogue titles seem to be plagued by redundant DNR and edge enhancement, their forthcoming release of The Pelican Brief being the latest example.

3. Extra features on catalogue titles seem to be non-existant (although this is a personal gripe and I guess their early DVD titles were no different)

4. The paper they use for their covers is recycled rubbish and cripples under the plastic over as soon as you take off the shrink wrap (at least on the titles I have!). Again a fairly minor thing but something else that sets Warners a step below the rest.

And that's before you consider individual glitches like the pixelisation on The Matrix Revolutions which, AFAIK, is yet to be addressed.

It's getting so bad that my heart sinks when a WB title is announced and I have to think twice - three times! - before buying it. It's gutwrenching that they also own the New Line catalogue (New Line DVDs were absolutely sublime!)

Warner Bros. used to be so great. They used to come here and chat. They used to listen to feedback. They used to take pride in their product (give or take those wretched DVD snapper cases!). What happened?

As the premier home theater forum on the internet, isn't there something that we can do? Or at least get our "issues" noted?

#2 of 169 ONLINE   MatthewA

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Posted February 15 2009 - 06:41 AM

The guy in charge of common sense was laid off. Didn't you hear? It's the economy, man.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I will not support anything your company produces until then.


#3 of 169 OFFLINE   Jeff Whitford

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Posted February 15 2009 - 07:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
1. Their discs don't default to the HD audio track and, because there's no menu (another issue!), it's necessary to fiddle with the remote after the movie starts. Distracting and unnecessary.
I couldnt agree more
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#4 of 169 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted February 15 2009 - 07:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
2. Their catalogue titles seem to be plagued by redundant DNR and edge enhancement, their forthcoming release of The Pelican Brief being the latest example.
Are you basing this on early reviews, or have you seen the disc yourself?

In my own experience, while Warner titles have certainly not been exempt from DNR and EE, they are certainly not the worst offender. I have many more problematic Paramount titles than Warner titles. Moreover, many Warner catalogue titles boast exceptional transfers, including, off the top of my head: How the West Was Won, Casablanca, Interview with the Vampire, JFK, Bonnie and Clyde.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
3. Extra features on catalogue titles seem to be non-existant (although this is a personal gripe and I guess their early DVD titles were no different)
All of the titles I listed above have extras. I agree that many catalogue titles do not, but it's certainly not a consistent policy, and you can find the same situation with other studios' catalogue releases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
And that's before you consider individual glitches like the pixelisation on The Matrix Revolutions which, AFAIK, is yet to be addressed.
Individual glitches will always be a problem. Sometimes they get fixed (as Sony did with Starship Troopers and Warner did with Full Metal Jacket), and sometimes they don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
As the premier home theater forum on the internet, isn't there something that we can do? Or at least get our "issues" noted?
Those of us who attended the HTF 2008 L.A. meet last October and visited Warner have every reason to believe that key issues (such as concerns about DNR and EE) have been heard, although that may have been too late to fix titles already in the pipeline (and the pipeline is longer than many people realize). As for catalogue titles, the commitment to them is assured as long as George Feltenstein remains at Warner. However, as noted, this economy puts limitations on what companies can do.

I do agree that TrueHD should be the audio default.
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#5 of 169 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted February 15 2009 - 07:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Reuben
I do agree that TrueHD should be the audio default.

Was this also addressed at the HTF 2008 L.A. meet?

#6 of 169 OFFLINE   Ronald Epstein

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Posted February 15 2009 - 07:30 AM

If it wasn't I can assure you that someone from Warner Bros.
will have gotten the point of your post by tomorrow morning.

They read this board daily.

You know, with all the studios we deal with, I think Warner is
the most quality control conscious of them all. If what you desire
is not on their discs there is a valid internal reason why. I know
the studio constantly strives to perfect all their releases and there
are sometimes very valid reasons why some features get snubbed.

Quite frankly, there are worse studios out there.

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#7 of 169 OFFLINE   Brandon Conway

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Posted February 15 2009 - 07:44 AM

1. I honestly don't know why they still have both the lossy and lossless 5.1 tracks on their discs since someone with a lossy setup gets the lossy core of the TrueHD if playing that back. But, in the long run, it takes all of five seconds to bring up the pop-up menu and change the audio, and then hit chapter skip back to restart the film. Why some people are so picky about this "terrible inconvenience" is beyond me.

2. Title by title issue that seems overblown, IMO.

3. They carry everything over from previous DVDs and many have great bonus content. Non-issue.

4. I've never had this effect me.

"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


#8 of 169 OFFLINE   john a hunter

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Posted February 15 2009 - 08:27 AM

I very much applaud Warners for not having those stupid menus so that, magically,the film(which is why you bought the disc in the first place)starts automatically.
If the lossless track is not the automatic selection(and it should be), then you can always use the audio button on the remote to bring it up as an alternative to the menu.
What I can't stand from Warners are those inane graphics over the overture,intermission, etc on roadshow films such as HTWWW.They destoy the way the film was presented theatrically and there is no excuse for this.Please Warners-stop.

#9 of 169 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted February 15 2009 - 08:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Conway
1. I honestly don't know why they still have both the lossy and lossless 5.1 tracks on their discs since someone with a lossy setup gets the lossy core of the TrueHD if playing that back.
In fact, the lossy track is always there with TrueHD on Blu-ray. Because TrueHD is an optional, not a mandatory, audio format for Blu-ray, TrueHD on Blu-ray cannot provide a "core" that the player can extract for output via S/PDIF, because the content provider can't assume that every player will be capable of even processing a TrueHD track. Therefore, a separate DD track is included, although it is often "hidden", because DD is a mandatory format.

Warner just takes that hidden track and lists it on the menu. But including it isn't a matter of choice.

(Hat tip to Adam Barratt for teaching me how this works. Posted Image )
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#10 of 169 OFFLINE   TravisR

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Posted February 15 2009 - 08:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Quite frankly, there are worse studios out there.
Most definitely. I wish more studios were like Warners.

Almost any other studio name deserves to be in the title of this thread than WB.

#11 of 169 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted February 15 2009 - 08:57 AM

I like the movie starting right up.

unlike fox and others were you have to sit through the fbi warnings
and trailers for other movies.

As the movie starts I just press the audio button on the remote and it changes to the trueHD track.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
Okay guys, seriously, enough is enough surely? Week after week I'm reading reviews of new BD releases and week after week Warner Bros is delivering the most disappointing discs, certainly on catalogue titles.

There are four gripes (two of them major) that I have:

1. Their discs don't default to the HD audio track and, because there's no menu (another issue!), it's necessary to fiddle with the remote after the movie starts. Distracting and unnecessary.

I would like a trueHD default


4. The paper they use for their covers is recycled rubbish and cripples under the plastic over as soon as you take off the shrink wrap (at least on the titles I have!). Again a fairly minor thing but something else that sets Warners a step below the rest.

Paper, what?

do you take the paper out?
This one doesn't make sense to me, sounds like you're complaining about them using recycled product.
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#12 of 169 OFFLINE   Yumbo

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Posted February 15 2009 - 09:20 AM

Universal HD DVDs default to TrueHD, why can't Warner BRDs?

#13 of 169 OFFLINE   Gekkou

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Posted February 15 2009 - 09:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yumbo
Universal HD DVDs default to TrueHD, why can't Warner BRDs?
Paramount's post-format war BDs all default to TrueHD as well. It doesn't bother me that much to have to change the audio and go back to the beginning but it is a minor niggle that could be streamlined. The lack of a main menu would be a non-issue for me if that were fixed.

#14 of 169 OFFLINE   Chris S

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Posted February 15 2009 - 10:19 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross

4. The paper they use for their covers is recycled rubbish and cripples under the plastic over as soon as you take off the shrink wrap (at least on the titles I have!). Again a fairly minor thing but something else that sets Warners a step below the rest.


I've heard this complaint a couple different times about various releases, not just Warner Bros., but I've yet to have an issue with covers. I'm fairly picky when it comes to the retail shelf so that may play a part as well. As crazy as it sounds (or sane given this audience) I do thoroughly inspect each individual case before taking it up to the counter. But when ordering online this is obviously not possible. I suppose simple dumb luck plays the part in this instance.
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#15 of 169 OFFLINE   Geoff_D

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Posted February 15 2009 - 10:28 AM

Warners are one of my favourite studios for home video product. They're not perfect, but the foibles that you've listed are mere nitpicks, John. And yeah, New Line DVDs were indeed absolutely sublime. But their Blu-rays are not...

#16 of 169 OFFLINE   Mr. Film

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Posted February 15 2009 - 11:00 AM

They have great movie but their Blu Ray quality is lacking. But theirs really nothing we can do.Posted Image
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#17 of 169 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted February 15 2009 - 12:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_D
They're not perfect, but the foibles that you've listed are mere nitpicks, John.

I'm sorry, but having to perform a fundimental task such as setting the audio track AFTER the movie has started is not something you have to do in cinemas, and it's not something you have to do on DVD, and it's not something you have to do on any other studio's blu-rays (at least from my experience).

To be forced to interrupt the movie - causing (I might add) a momentary drop out of sound - is NOT a foible and is NOT a mere nitpick!

If a movie soundtrack dropped out for 2 seconds I bet everybody here would be screaming for a recall. Yet WB forces us to create our own drop-out and that's apparently fine.

This is not progress, it's a backward step. All they have to do is default to the best audio track on the disc. Is that asking too much?

#18 of 169 OFFLINE   Yumbo

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Posted February 15 2009 - 12:10 PM

Exactly!

#19 of 169 OFFLINE   John H Ross

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Posted February 15 2009 - 12:18 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by john a hunter
I very much applaud Warners for not having those stupid menus so that, magically,the film(which is why you bought the disc in the first place)starts automatically.
If the lossless track is not the automatic selection(and it should be), then you can always use the audio button on the remote to bring it up as an alternative to the menu.

Oh I'd be fine with the movie starting automatically if there was no need to change settings before the movie started. But on Warner Bros titles there IS a reason to change settings.

And again, it's not just the inconvenience/distraction of changing the audio that bothers me, it's the fact that the sound drops out for 1-2 seconds while the track changes (which happens regardless of whether you change audio via the pop-up menu or via the Audio button). That's not a good way to experience the start of a movie!

Nor, when you come to think of it, is backing up and starting the movie twice!

If Warners DOES read this thread, and can do something about it, then I for one would be delighted.

#20 of 169 OFFLINE   TonyD

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Posted February 15 2009 - 12:26 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by John H Ross
Oh I'd be fine with the movie starting automatically if there was no need to change settings before the movie started. But on Warner Bros titles there IS a reason to change settings.

And again, it's not just the inconvenience/distraction of changing the audio that bothers me, it's the fact that the sound drops out for 1-2 seconds while the track changes (which happens regardless of whether you change audio via the pop-up menu or via the Audio button). That's not a good way to experience the start of a movie!

Nor, when you come to think of it, is backing up and starting the movie twice!

If Warners DOES read this thread, and can do something about it, then I for one would be delighted.

I agree on these points.

the movie starting is fine but allow for true hd to be default.
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