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Why Can't We Get Standard Def TV series on Blu-ray?


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#81 of 92 KMR

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Posted February 07 2014 - 11:50 AM

What would prevent a producer from going to an MPEG-2 source and using that for the basis of the Blu-ray upscale? I would hazard a guess that the majority of SD Blu-ray titles are not harvested from the original source. Too expensive.

 

Upscaling from the MPEG-2 would be cheap and lazy in the extreme.  It should NOT be too expensive to do the upscale from the original DIGITAL source; that would be the proper way to do it.  Well, it might be too expensive for an ultra-cheapskate operation.  (Note, I am not talking about redigitizing from the original ANALOG tape--although it's quite possible that newer technologies/processes might allow for a better digitization.  I'm talking about taking the original uncompressed digital transfer, and upscaling THAT file to HD.)



#82 of 92 CraigF

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Posted February 07 2014 - 12:21 PM

Based on my own viewing experience, I would say that it's very hard to imagine that most upscaled-SD on movie discs, where most of us probably experience it, is not just upscaled MPEG2. Otherwise I would not be able to do better than they did. And I don't think I should be able to anyway...but it's pretty undeniable with whatever they're doing, and I don't pretend to actually know.

 

To the person who asked, I upscale DVDs with ABT hardware. Best I've found in general for DVD, and I have plenty of newer and other options. Sometimes older is better...and newer just means cheaper. Sometimes.

 

Edit: even more OT, but have you noticed that very often the docs on BDs show clips from the movie that look noticeably better than the same scenes in the movie do? Just recently I remarked on this, and the doc was in MPEG2 vs the AVC of the movie. A much higher MPEG2 bitrate though, which shows the oft-maligned MPEG2 can be very decent when given room to breathe.



#83 of 92 jcroy

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Posted February 07 2014 - 12:41 PM

To the person who asked, I upscale DVDs with ABT hardware. Best I've found in general for DVD, and I have plenty of newer and other options. Sometimes older is better...and newer just means cheaper. Sometimes.

 

Are you referring to the ABT2010 chip?

 

http://www.sequoia.c...duct.php?id=431



#84 of 92 Worth

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Posted February 07 2014 - 01:21 PM

Have you noticed that very often the docs on BDs show clips from the movie that look noticeably better than the same scenes in the movie do? Just recently I remarked on this, and the doc was in MPEG2 vs the AVC of the movie. A much higher MPEG2 bitrate though, which shows the oft-maligned MPEG2 can be very decent when given room to breathe.

 

I think that probably has more to do with the fact that the clips used in documentaries haven't been extensively digitally manipulated the way the main feature often has.


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#85 of 92 CraigF

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Posted February 07 2014 - 05:58 PM

I think that probably has more to do with the fact that the clips used in documentaries haven't been extensively digitally manipulated the way the main feature often has.

Very well could be, though I'm not talking the uncolor-corrected and otherwise-rough stuff you often see in docs. These MPEG-2 clips looked really good, the last time I saw this "anomaly". It's one of those little things that has bugged me for years, every time I see it. :)

 

 

Are you referring to the ABT2010 chip?

 

http://www.sequoia.c...duct.php?id=431

Yes. You have probably seen the Specifications page if you know the chip. I wonder if it's the PReP feature that's doing some of the magic for me with DVDs, compared to the visual appeal of the upscales I see on BDs. Works well with Region 2 (e.g.) DVDs too, so not just a 480 thing.



#86 of 92 Bobby Henderson

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Posted February 07 2014 - 08:49 PM

I'll echo what others have said about market demand. I just don't think it would be there. It's difficult enough as it is to sell series TV box sets on Blu-ray in high definition. Some box sets do sell, but many others don't move so many copies. I think a TV series box set in SD resolution on Blu-ray probably wouldn't sell well at all. And there would probably be lots of returns to stores from customers not realizing the show wasn't high def.

 

Streaming services are another factor in this. I don't know how many older SD resolution TV series are carried on services like Netflix or Amazon prime. But I would be more comfortable watching an older TV series via a streaming service so the material wasn't using up some valuable space on my shelf. I've become very particular about what I buy on Blu-ray. I'm not making the same blind buying or compulsive buying mistakes I did with DVD and end up with a bunch of discs watched only once or twice. I'm only buying stuff on Blu-ray I know I'm going to watch repeatedly.



#87 of 92 bigshot

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Posted February 07 2014 - 11:03 PM

I bought All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Bob Newhart Show and Mary Tyler Moore show even though they were originally made in SD. These are among the greatest sitcoms ever made. It would be more convenient for me to have a whole season on a single disk, but I imagine the cost of replicating the DVDs in a box set is the least costly part of it.



#88 of 92 Persianimmortal

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Posted February 07 2014 - 11:31 PM

One idea if space is the major driver for wanting SD TV series on blu is to rip your DVD collections to a single hard drive. For example, a 15 disc collection of shows equals only around 130GB of space maximum at 8.7GB per DVD. A cheap 1TB drive would hold 114 DVDs worth of shows, then you can stream or connect the drive via USB to your TV. If you want to get fancy, you can even upscale the image during ripping so there's no real-time scaling involved during playback.



#89 of 92 Rob_Ray

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Posted February 08 2014 - 06:31 AM

I bought All in the Family, Sanford and Son, Bob Newhart Show and Mary Tyler Moore show even though they were originally made in SD. These are among the greatest sitcoms ever made. It would be more convenient for me to have a whole season on a single disk, but I imagine the cost of replicating the DVDs in a box set is the least costly part of it.

The Bob Newhart and Mary Tyler Moore shows were shot on 35mm film and could look spectacular when transferred in HD.


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#90 of 92 jcroy

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Posted February 08 2014 - 07:08 AM

If you want to get fancy, you can even upscale the image during ripping so there's no real-time scaling involved during playback.

 

In my experience, upscaling an SD resolution tv episode  to 1080p by reencoding, takes at least an hour or more per episode.  Unless one has several Crays in the basement, it is a very slow tedious process for very little in return.  The final reencode picture quality wasn't really much better than a lazy realtime upscaling done by a tv or computer.

 

If one wants somewhat "better" reencode quality, it will take many more hours per tv episode.  In practice, the picture quality "improvement" was largely marginal at best. In the end, one is largely still "polishing a turd".

 

Easier to just use the tv or computer to do the real time upscaling.  (Unless one is very patient and has all the time in the world to do reencoding).



#91 of 92 schan1269

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Posted February 08 2014 - 07:28 AM

Or find a used Hitachi/Fujitsu ALiS.

What those do with 480 is fabulous. My two Hitachi will never exit my house till they crap out. I still watch 60% in DVD. Mainly from many of the film/TV I buy is only on DVD.

#92 of 92 Brenty

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Posted February 21 2014 - 02:49 AM

Theoretically, I'm in favour of putting swathes of SD content on BD, for the gains in storage capacity & audio quality, as well as the possibly marginal gain in video quality. However, a lot of the preceding arguments for this ignore the fundamental point that the studios can't be counted on to do it the right way - quite the opposite, in fact.

 

The studios aren't run by audio/videophiles who want to put out the best quality product possible; they mainly just want to shift as many units as they can & as cheaply as they can. Naturally, they'll simply transfer the same old SD tape masters to BD, with no rescanning & likely, especially with TV shows, no audio upgrade. What's more, as has already happened with at least the Bee Gees BD, they'll arbitrarily crop 4:3 ratio material to 16:9 - you can count on it.

 

If you take a look at the German Amazon site, you'll see that reviewers are kicking up a stink about the fact that seven Blu-rays have been released of Hugo van Lawick's beautiful wildlife documentaries, but they're all in SD, from ageing tape masters & with lossy audio. All of his documentaries were originally shot on 35mm film &, with the right amount of care, could look as good as more recent releases, such as Planet Earth. None of these BDs are flagged as only containing SD material, but they are being sold at full price - very naughty. This sort of practice would, I'm sure, become only more commonplace.

 

The aforementioned Bee Gees BD was one of four such discs released by Eagle Rock Entertainment last summer: Bee Gees - One Night Only, Scorpions - Moment of Glory, Rolling Stones - Stones in Exile & Pink Floyd Classic Albums: The Making of Dark Side of the Moon.

 

Does anyone know of any other non-public domain SD BDs?






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