A few words about…™ It’s a Wonderful Life — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

While I hate to be the naysayer, I don't like what I'm seeing, viewed both in projection, as well as on a Sony OLED with Dolby Vision. 4 Stars

Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life, has received a 4k make-over from the OCN, and with the help of Dolby Vision, at least to my eye, results are mixed.

On the plus side, we gain a far more stable image, that’s also more highly resolved, with gorgeous grain structure.

But I wonder, if like some films, this one isn’t suited to HDR, as what I’m seeing looks neither like original prints, nor what one might surmise an original presentation might look like.

The gray scale no longer has a proper look to it, with blacks overriding the image, and shadow detail, that was in the earlier Blu-ray, lost.

While I hate to be the naysayer, I don’t like what I’m seeing, viewed both in projection, as well as on a Sony OLED with Dolby Vision.

Along with the new 4k, one gets a godawful colorized version.

Image – 3 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5

Pass / Fail – Fail

Upgrade from Blu-ray – I don’t have the answer for this one.

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

editor,member

288 Comments

  1. David Weicker

    I’m hoping someone will review/compare the new Blu-Ray (sold as a separate SKU) to the prior Blu-Ray.

    I have the new Blu and the old. I’m absolutely slammed so there’s no way I can get to it any kind of soon but if no one has compared the two by Thanksgiving, send me a PM to remind me and I’ll try to make time for a quick look.

  2. Colin Jacobson

    I'm with you. I felt very pleased with the 4K disc…

    Don’t get me wrong. Black level and shadow detail aside the new 4k is beautifully rendered.

    But I’m unable to overlook the lack of shadow detail, for this film photographed by Joseph Biroc, and Joseph Walker.

  3. Robert Harris

    Don’t get me wrong. Black level and shadow detail aside the new 4k is beautifully rendered.

    But I’m unable to overlook the lack of shadow detail, for this film photographed by Joseph Biroc, and Joseph Walker.

    Just crank up the brightness, man! 😉

  4. Robert Harris

    Don’t get me wrong. Black level and shadow detail aside the new 4k is beautifully rendered.

    But I’m unable to overlook the lack of shadow detail, for this film photographed by Joseph Biroc, and Joseph Walker.

    Curious. Have you seen the iTunes 4K version to compare?

  5. My 4K display doesn't have Dolby Vision (just plain HDR support) and it doesn't seem to be crushed. (It's not the most advanced one as it's a late 2015 model)

    Also seconding the absurdity of Paramount including the colorized version instead of the original on the Blu-ray.

  6. Using the comparisons on Caps-a-holic, I tried adjusting the image in Photoshop. The shadow detail seems to still be there if you adjust the brightness and gamma on your TV and/or player.
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?d1=13510&d2=13511&s1=135826&s2=135837&x=468&y=252&i=2&a=1&go=1&l=1
    View attachment 64734
    The whole image with cropped area.

    View attachment 64735
    The blu ray screenshot central portion.

    View attachment 64736
    The original 4k screenshot central portion.

    View attachment 64737
    Adjusting the 4k screenshot using gamma and levels in Photoshop.

  7. Acknowledged, but the concept of media is that it will be mastered, and presented without special setups. Doubtful that the entire film will track with a single adjustment.

    Somehow, I’m thinking that the Paramount master is probably correct, and that something occurred on the back end.

  8. I shouldn't even be posting here, as I don't have (as yet) a 4K TV or player, & I don't know how much I trust 4K caps, but the caps over at caps-a-holic do look remarkably flat, too flat. I'd like to see what they look like on a waveform monitor.

  9. Robert Harris

    Have you compared with the earlier Blu-ray?

    The 4K version was available several months ago as a download to my Kaleidescape system. I could never get it to look as I thought it should. It was definitely sharper than the bluray but many scenes looked too dark compared to the bluray and I found myself preferring the bluray overall. I had hoped the 4K disc would have been corrected but apparently it hasn’t so I guess I won’t be purchasing it. Thanks Mr. Harris for letting me know I’m not the only one disappointed.

  10. The point should be made, that while I generally suggest against using previous video product as reference, the Blu-ray is far more accurate to gray scale than the new 4k.

    My reference are ORIGINAL prints, both 16, as well as 35mm, which offer the entire gray scale.

    If not some sort of finalization error, this problem could simply come down to forcing HDR upon a film not designed for it.

    There is a perception, that HDR is part and parcel to 4k.

    The two are totally separate.

  11. I'm curious if the new Blu-ray from the same 4K master, but in BT.709 / SDR, has the same issue (which would mean it's an issue with the master, not HDR), or if REC.2020 / HDR strikes its ugly head again. I'm torn on every 4K UHD release between the higher resolution offered vs. wrong/un-"calibrateable" colors and un-necessary at times HDR "bling" compared to an equivalent Blu-ray from same master. With each release it's becoming a research project as to which version to buy.

    Someone stated earlier to change the brightness, but you should never do this on an HDR display. The only thing you should ever touch to calibrate is the white balance. All else, you are at the mercy of what your display can do, and how it does it. Not a single display can properly show REC.2020 colorspace (or be calibrated for it) or the proper nits in the master. These 4K UHD discs should look better in years to come, as technology catches up.

  12. Robert Harris

    The point should be made, that while I generally suggest against using previous video product as reference, the Blu-ray is far more accurate to gray scale than the new 4k.

    My reference are ORIGINAL prints, both 16, as well as 35mm, which offer the entire gray scale.

    If not some sort of finalization error, this problem could simply come down to forcing HDR upon a film not designed for it.

    There is a perception, that HDR is part and parcel to 4k.

    The two are totally separate.

    Nobody forbids to use only the lower 100 nits of the HDR range in mastering. That would mean we could get the added resolution and the bigger color space without questionable grading decisions.

    It is a shame as textures and detail seem to show a lot of improvement and as you say most people won't be able to adjust the picture to show the level of shadow detail that was present in previous versions.

  13. OliverK

    Nobody forbids to use only the lower 100 nits of the HDR range in mastering. That would mean we could get the added resolution and the bigger color space without questionable grading decisions.

    It is a shame as textures and detail seem to show a lot of improvement and as you say most people won't be able to adjust the picture to show the level of shadow detail that was present in previous versions.

    In an ideal world, we would have 4K SDR discs, until technology catches up to properly display the REC.2020 colorspace and the nits in the 4K UHD discs. Right now, every display is different and shows things differently – colors are different as they cannot be calibrated, EOTF curves are different, and max nits and rolloffs are different. That said, it makes sense to get 4k UHD now as they will just look better and better as tech catches up.

    To your point however, marketing 4K without HDR was not something that was deemed lucrative. Especially on average sized displays. So HDR is not restrained, but rather pushed. At times it's fine – Apocalypse Now, The Shining, 2001, and others, but most often it gets in the way. Especially on older films, where restraint is needed. Wizard of OZ is an exception of things done right as well.

  14. RickardL

    So, is there an accompanying 2K blu-ray with this set? How does that look re black level/gray scale?

    Yes, but it's a separate purchase. Because the they included the colorized version with the 4K, the new Blu-ray is a separate 2 disc set.

  15. ghostwind

    In an ideal world, we would have 4K SDR discs, until technology catches up to properly display the REC.2020 colorspace and the nits in the 4K UHD discs. Right now, every display is different and shows things differently – colors are different as they cannot be calibrated, EOTF curves are different, and max nits and rolloffs are different. That said, it makes sense to get 4k UHD now as they will just look better and better as tech catches up.

    To your point however, marketing 4K without HDR was not something that was deemed lucrative. Especially on average sized displays. So HDR is not restrained, but rather pushed. At times it's fine – Apocalypse Now, The Shining, 2001, and others, but most often it gets in the way. Especially on older films, where restraint is needed. Wizard of OZ is an exception of things done right as well.

    I have no problem with the concept of HDR being a part of every 4k product, as long as it's handled properly. There's nothing wrong with considering HDR as akin to waving a bit of vermouth over a martini.

  16. Robert Harris

    I have no problem with the concept of HDR being a part of every 4k product, as long as it's handled properly. There's nothing wrong with considering HDR as akin to waving a bit of vermouth over a martini.

    I agree, and this is the ideal to strive for. There are some scenes in the 4K UHD of "Schindler's List" where the whites are so bright (shirt colors, chrome on car, etc.), that it looks tacky unfortunately – it stands out too much and draws attention. And I'm on an OLED, which can do way lower nits than an LCD! I can't imagine how it would look on a display capable of even more nits! And all the into screens, the FBI warnings, the menus, are so damn bright, that when viewing them in a dark room, it's nuts! It's as if HDR was meant for daytime, bright room viewing.

  17. Robert Crawford

    I still say that most people are going to be happy with this 4K release. Furthermore, I do wonder how many people that posted in this thread except a few people would've noticed the issue pointed out by RAH?

    Robert,

    I generally agree with you. But what might be the problem with presenting a foolproof product, that is actually correct, and plays back without a thought?

    I’m returning to what I said years ago, which is to simply put out a product that functions. It should not matter that the viewer has no idea what a 1946 black & white film should look like.

    Any dolt can look at HD eye candy, and exclaim “Pretty!”

    But pretty can also be correct.

    Earlier today I was considering going into my player/panel settings, and turning off Dolby Vision, to see if that made a difference. But then decided that the average viewer won’t be going there. Something either plays back properly, or it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’re not returning to days of yore, when HDR was the Wild West.

  18. Still waiting for confirmation, but the UK 4K release sounds like it may be bundled with the new B&W 2D copy. It still up in the air
    if this is true and true (B&W and New Disc) and then of course the analysis of hte 2D results.
    If the 2D is drastically better than the old item, I may just buy the US 2D and make my own NEW BUNDLE.

  19. Robert Harris

    Robert,

    I generally agree with you. But what might be the problem with presenting a foolproof product, that is actually correct, and plays back without a thought?

    I’m returning to what I said years ago, which is to simply put out a product that functions. It should not matter that the viewer has no idea what a 1946 black & white film should look like.

    Any dolt can look at HD eye candy, and exclaim “Pretty!”

    But pretty can also be correct.

    Earlier today I was considering going into my player/panel settings, and turning off Dolby Vision, to see if that made a difference. But then decided that the average viewer won’t be going there. Something either plays back properly, or it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’re not returning to days of yore, when HDR was the Wild West.

    I generally agree with you, and I understand and appreciate your misgivings about this 4k presentation. That being said, most of us are dolts and that's a simple fact. You're right to talk about what's wrong with "It's a Wonderful Life", but, people including myself are still going to enjoy this 4K presentation even with its warts. Yes, pretty can also be correct and that's the way it should be, but, not always the case.

  20. Robert Crawford

    I generally agree with you, and I understand and appreciate your misgivings about this 4k presentation. That being said, most of us are dolts and that's a simple fact. You're right to talk about what's wrong with "It's a Wonderful Life", but, people including myself are still going to enjoy this 4K presentation even with its warts. Yes, pretty can also be correct and that's the way it should be, but, not always the case.

    Most HTF readers fall well outside the “dolt” category. Yes, one can still enjoy something that’s wrong, but the alternative is to enjoy something, as it should appear.

    Was it early HD that was promoted as “the look and sound of perfect?”

  21. Robert Harris

    Most HTF readers fall well outside the “dolt” category. Yes, one can still enjoy something that’s wrong, but the alternative is to enjoy something, as it should appear.

    Was it early HD that was promoted as “the look and sound of perfect?”

    Well, I consider myself a dolt because I watched this movie in 4K/Dolby Vision a couple of times and I never noticed the issue you made known in this thread. Perhaps, I was looking at the video presentation from a different prism in which I'm not looking for imperfections, but, whether it looks good to me on my display. The issue you noted then stand out to me.

  22. Robert Crawford

    Well, I consider myself a dolt because I watched this movie in 4K/Dolby Vision a couple of times and I never noticed the issue you made known in this thread. Perhaps, I was looking at the video presentation from a different prism in which I'm not looking for imperfections, but, whether it looks good on my display. The issue you noted then stand out to me.

    There’s always the possibility that your player and display are playing more nicely together than mine.

    I initially examined the disc on a projector, which while it can now better handle HDR, is still low on nits. Second shot was a Sony OLED. Similar results.

  23. Robert Harris

    There’s always the possibility that your player and display are playing more nicely together than mine.

    I initially examined the disc on a projector, which while it can now better handle HDR, is still low on nits. Second shot was a Sony OLED. Similar results.

    And this has me wondering what it would look like on a LCD display with black levels that aren't quite as deep and the added nits—not enough to buy it, mind you. Maybe someone else can chime in.

    This is just a matter of curiosity for me as I agree with RAH that we should be looking for correct as much as possible.

  24. DavidJ

    And this has me wondering what it would look like on a LCD display with black levels that aren't quite as deep and the added nits—not enough to buy it, mind you. Maybe someone else can chime in.

    This is just a matter of curiosity for me as I agree with RAH that we should be looking for correct as much as possible.

    The ability of a display to reproduce richer black levels should not negate a full gray scale, with proper shadow detail.

  25. Yes, I do understand that. Just wondering if it would look better to the average consumer and reviewers like the one you linked to. And I should add it doesn't really matter. I'm just curious.

  26. ghostwind

    In an ideal world, we would have 4K SDR discs, until technology catches up to properly display the REC.2020 colorspace and the nits in the 4K UHD discs. Right now, every display is different and shows things differently – colors are different as they cannot be calibrated, EOTF curves are different, and max nits and rolloffs are different. That said, it makes sense to get 4k UHD now as they will just look better and better as tech catches up.

    To your point however, marketing 4K without HDR was not something that was deemed lucrative. Especially on average sized displays. So HDR is not restrained, but rather pushed. At times it's fine – Apocalypse Now, The Shining, 2001, and others, but most often it gets in the way. Especially on older films, where restraint is needed. Wizard of OZ is an exception of things done right as well.

    I agree that we cannot deal in absolutes with a technology that assumes we have 4000+ nits displays and that will be an issue for a long time to come, It also causes lots of problems with projectors that very rarely go above 100 nits on screen. Apart from added resolution and a bigger color space (does not apply in this case) a movie in HDR should give us at least the same but often more shadow detail in addition to the added highlights and in the case of a catalog title I would strongly suggest that we should strive for the same shadow detail that was intended for the SDR version. Apparently somebody got the first part wrong and reduced shadow detail this time around.

  27. DavidJ

    Yes, I do understand that. Just wondering if it would look better to the average consumer and reviewers like the one you linked to. And I should add it doesn't really matter. I'm just curious.

    I don't have the answer. The reviewer to whom I linked was just doing a puff piece, not seemingly "reviewing" anything.

    The average consumer shouldn't have to consider whether something is correct. It simply should be.

  28. Robert Crawford

    Well, I consider myself a dolt because I watched this movie in 4K/Dolby Vision a couple of times and I never noticed the issue you made known in this thread. Perhaps, I was looking at the video presentation from a different prism in which I'm not looking for imperfections, but, whether it looks good to me on my display. The issue you noted then stand out to me.

    Don’t take this personally but the imperfections are not something you have to look for. As soon as that early scene started where the kids come into the dark soda fountain I knew something wasn’t right. A couple other scenes looked ok but then came the dance in the dark gymnasium. I honestly couldn’t continue watching and switched to the older bluray. I even had the tech people at Kaleidescape double check the 4K to make sure they hadn’t tampered with it but assured me that was the master they received from Paramount. I haven’t had this issue with any other 4K’s to date.

  29. Gary16

    Don’t take this personally but the imperfections are not something you have to look for. As soon as that early scene started where the kids come into the dark soda fountain I knew something wasn’t right. A couple other scenes looked ok but then came the dance in the dark gymnasium. I honestly couldn’t continue watching and switched to the older bluray. I even had the tech people at Kaleidescape double check the 4K to make sure they hadn’t tampered with it but assured me that was the master they received from Paramount. I haven’t had this issue with any other 4K’s to date.

    What can I say I didn’t see it. I guess I’m just a dolt.

  30. DavidJ

    Yes, I do understand that. Just wondering if it would look better to the average consumer and reviewers like the one you linked to. And I should add it doesn't really matter. I'm just curious.

    Without reading the linked review you can bet that enough people will claim something like "inkier blacks" and be happy with it.

  31. I’ve never owned this film on Blu-Ray in any version and was hoping to buy the new version (on Blu, not 4K). So, hearing all this, should I buy a) the new one, b) the old one or c) none of the above?

  32. Mark VH

    I’ve never owned this film on Blu-Ray in any version and was hoping to buy the new version (on Blu, not 4K). So, hearing all this, should I buy a) the new one, b) the old one or c) none of the above?

    Please stand by. Need to see the new standard issue Blu-ray.

    Not the old one.

  33. Wow on all of this. I held back purchasing due to Paramount's crazy release pattern of including a wasted color version.

    Hoping that Paramount corrects their error and comes to their senses with regard to the colorized version being forced fed…

  34. Robert Harris

    Robert,

    I generally agree with you. But what might be the problem with presenting a foolproof product, that is actually correct, and plays back without a thought?

    I’m returning to what I said years ago, which is to simply put out a product that functions. It should not matter that the viewer has no idea what a 1946 black & white film should look like.

    Any dolt can look at HD eye candy, and exclaim “Pretty!”

    But pretty can also be correct.

    Earlier today I was considering going into my player/panel settings, and turning off Dolby Vision, to see if that made a difference. But then decided that the average viewer won’t be going there. Something either plays back properly, or it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’re not returning to days of yore, when HDR was the Wild West.

    When I watched "IAWL", I had some issues where the image would go too dark at times.

    It was the kind of dim look like I left the player in still frame and my TV's "screen saver" function dimmed the image to prevent burn-in.

    I could repeat the scenes and not have it happen, so I chalked it up to quirks of my player vs. an issue with the image itself.

    Now… I dunno. I've watched… 100? 200? 4K discs and never had one where the screen randomly varied from good brightness to oddly dim in this way.

    Again, when I saw scenes that were too dark, I was able to "rewind" and try again and they'd look fine.

    Odd!

  35. I think the key to home video is that you shouldn't notice anything that isn't part of the film. You shouldn't have a shot come up and think "is this a little too dark?" or "why does the film grain look frozen?" Or having to adjust your settings for a single title.

    (Obviously, within reason since there's optical dupes, effect shots, or even quirks that happened when the film went through the camera.)

  36. Colin Jacobson

    That was a joke. When someone uses the ":D" emoji, they are joking!!!

    I was replying to Trancas’ post, where he mentioned adjusting brightness and gamma. And believe it or not, people do make these changes on displays, even calibration “experts”, when the reality is it causes problems.

  37. ghostwind

    I was replying to Trancas’ post, where he mentioned adjusting brightness and gamma. And believe it or not, people do make these changes on displays, even calibration “experts”, when the reality is it causes problems.

    What problems? These are numerical changes…..Gamma's too high for this movie so you set it to -1, then set it back to zero for another film. The setup you had during the day is way too bright for night time so you set the brightness lower. Write down setting that made the majority of discs look great and return your TV to these setting after watching a problem disc that needs to be boosted, toned down or hue adjusted. Are you implying that the settings on the TV, as it leaves the manufacturer, are perfect – shouldn't be altered?

  38. Robert Harris

    I wanted to see what others were saying about this release, so I found the site below, and learned everything that I'd never known about nitrate stock, and the "silver" screen.

    If one ever ponders where facts come from, go here, and learn all about it.

    https://www.heraldextra.com/enterta…cle_06b71051-6593-5549-9756-f220de1f5c14.html

    This is very unusual. What is the Herald trying to hide!

    "Unavailable due to legal reasons
    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time".

  39. This thread is a shining example of what I love about HTF. Such an interesting and entertaining read. There’s so much at play here, from personal perspective to possible hardware combinations. I might be compelled to buy it just to go for the experiential/comparative ride. My only frame of reference will be the old Blu-Ray.

  40. Douglas R

    This is very unusual. What is the Herald trying to hide!

    "Unavailable due to legal reasons
    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time".

    With assertions such as the following, questionable to even dolts like me, is it any wonder that the reach of this article has been blocked in sensible territories such as the EU:

    In the past, films were made with nitrate, which is comprised of silver. That is how the term “Silver Screen” came to be. But over time it deteriorates. New technology has a way of restoring old films for new generations of viewers. Instead of using sprockets and pins, the technical team used gentle rollers to scan the images. And in the case of this film, many scenes and especially the final reel from the master, were completely deteriorated. So by taking two additional rolls of the film, they managed to restore this magnificent film to look even better than it did when it was first released in 1946!
  41. Robert Harris

    Earlier today I was considering going into my player/panel settings, and turning off Dolby Vision, to see if that made a difference. But then decided that the average viewer won’t be going there. Something either plays back properly, or it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’re not returning to days of yore, when HDR was the Wild West.

    While I agree, with you. I do think it's ok to turn off HDR if that is one's choice. For example, while I didn't have a problem with IAWL other than noticing it was a bit on the darker side, there was another movie where the HDR was problematic for me simply because one scene was so bright that it was beyond my projector's HDR capabilities to show detail and the facial features were white blobs. For that film alone I was able to turn off HDR and the movie was fine without it. So if a viewer deems it necessary to disable HDR, because he feels that the HDR pass goes overboard, or because his equipment is unable to get an acceptable result, then he may do that.

  42. Robert Harris

    Earlier today I was considering going into my player/panel settings, and turning off Dolby Vision, to see if that made a difference. But then decided that the average viewer won’t be going there. Something either plays back properly, or it doesn’t. Hopefully, we’re not returning to days of yore, when HDR was the Wild West.

    I'm not sure why most people with 4K setup feel the need to have HDR implemented at all times as if it was mandatory. It is an option, not a requirement.

    So many of my discs I watch without HDR, because with it turned on the blacks are crushed and the movie looks terrible.

  43. Trancas

    What problems? These are numerical changes…..Gamma's too high for this movie so you set it to -1, then set it back to zero for another film. The setup you had during the day is way too bright for night time so you set the brightness lower. Write down setting that made the majority of discs look great and return your TV to these setting after watching a problem disc that needs to be boosted, toned down or hue adjusted. Are you implying that the settings on the TV, as it leaves the manufacturer, are perfect – shouldn't be altered?

    I mean of course you can do whatever changes your display will allow, but realize they are completely subjective. There is a lot of stuff out there to read about this, but Steve from Light Illusion, has one of the better articles IMHO if you're interested. I don't want to get this thread off topic, but I'll just put the link here for those interested: https://www.lightillusion.com/hdr_calibration.html

  44. Bryan^H

    I'm not sure why most people with 4K setup feel the need to have HDR implemented at all times as if it was mandatory. It is an option, not a requirement.

    So many of my discs I watch without HDR, because with it turned on the blacks are crushed and the movie looks terrible.

    When the disc is authored in HDR you are relying on the player or display device to convert from HDR -> SDR, which is hardly ideal. The conversions are never very good and the colors from REC.2020 to REC.709 suffer as well. I *wish* HDR was an option that could be easily turned on or off, but that's not the case. Would be nice if the disc had 2 layers and played 4K SDR when SDR was chosen and 4K HDR when HDR was chosen. But that's not the case.

    Anyhow, I'm really curious about the new Blu-ray. I may just get it and see for myself.

  45. ghostwind

    I was replying to Trancas’ post, where he mentioned adjusting brightness and gamma. And believe it or not, people do make these changes on displays, even calibration “experts”, when the reality is it causes problems.

    Sorry – I thought your comment went back to my reply to RAH!

  46. Adam Lenhardt

    Sounds like a player or display problem, not an HDR problem.

    Nope.
    Tried on multiple displays, and playback hardware-same results.
    Have you seen the HDR on "Unforgiven", or "Pet Semetary" (1989)? Try with and without HDR, and tell me what you think.

  47. ghostwind

    When the disc is authored in HDR you are relying on the player or display device to convert from HDR -> SDR, which is hardly ideal. The conversions are never very good and the colors from REC.2020 to REC.709 suffer as well. I *wish* HDR was an option that could be easily turned on or off, but that's not the case.

    With The Panasonic UB9000 I am having no problems whatsoever with HDR off. Beautiful picture conversion.

  48. I have to say the darkness in the captures posted so far does give me pause. Finding the thread here at least convinced me I wasn't just seeing something from UHD captures posted online and then viewing on a non HDR monitor.
    As someone who is still not 4K capable but actively keeps up with the technology and has been merely waiting to jump on when prices come down a bit/panels get better I was intending on purchasing this release day one and at least enjoying the remastered BD disc. Then it transpired that one could not do this. Then I found the UK release supposedly will have both so I was going to wait for that and now I see this.

    IAWL is one of those titles where I already hated the older BD master so much that I yearly pull out the best video version pre-4K and watch it as it is a perfect representation of the prints that still play in arthouses as it's from the same source right down to some of the same damage marks. (I think it's a fine grain source of some type IIRC) Within the Laserdisc parameters the old Criterion CAV boxset LD release is prefect and has none of the contrast or brightness issues of the later Republic releases nor do I have to deal with the noise reduction or smooth look of the 2006 DVD/Blu-ray release. (Of course it probably helps that i have a great player and hdcrt combo to make LDs shine-and they can even look pretty good on my plasma.) Audiowise the best release is the later Republic discs as they have a digital audio track.

    I was astonished Paramount were going back to the negative to do this work as there hasn't really been anything done in regards to the film it seems for years. I had gotten so desperate for other versions I went and tracked down all three Republic LD releases just to check them.
    Robert, do your references look like the prints that have played in theaters for the past few decades? That's the only version I've seen on the big screen. It seems most of the other video releases were based from those prints and that this 4K version was the first to use the negative as a source. I will agree it does seem like the grayscale is off on this new version but I have never gotten to see any original elements personally.

  49. Spencer Draper

    I have to say the darkness in the captures posted so far does give me pause. Finding the thread here at least convinced me I wasn't just seeing something from UHD captures posted online and then viewing on a non HDR monitor.
    As someone who is still not 4K capable but actively keeps up with the technology and has been merely waiting to jump on when prices come down a bit/panels get better I was intending on purchasing this release day one and at least enjoying the remastered BD disc. Then it transpired that one could not do this. Then I found the UK release supposedly will have both so I was going to wait for that and now I see this.

    IAWL is one of those titles where I already hated the older BD master so much that I yearly pull out the best video version pre-4K and watch it as it is a perfect representation of the prints that still play in arthouses as it's from the same source right down to some of the same damage marks. (I think it's a fine grain source of some type IIRC) Within the Laserdisc parameters the old Criterion CAV boxset LD release is prefect and has none of the contrast or brightness issues of the later Republic releases nor do I have to deal with the noise reduction or smooth look of the 2006 DVD/Blu-ray release. (Of course it probably helps that i have a great player and hdcrt combo to make LDs shine-and they can even look pretty good on my plasma.) Audiowise the best release is the later Republic discs as they have a digital audio track.

    I was astonished Paramount were going back to the negative to do this work as there hasn't really been anything done in regards to the film it seems for years. I had gotten so desperate for other versions I went and tracked down all three Republic LD releases just to check them.
    Robert, do your references look like the prints that have played in theaters for the past few decades? That's the only version I've seen on the big screen. It seems most of the other video releases were based from those prints and that this 4K version was the first to use the negative as a source. I will agree it does seem like the grayscale is off on this new version but I have never gotten to see any original elements personally.

    My 16mm prints came directly from, as I recall, NTA. They were beautifully produced, and derived from a Neg that came from a 35 fine grain. Full gray scale.

    My 35 was derived from the new printing element produced, again as I recall, by UCLA. The print is magnificent, and again, with a full gray scale, and highly resolved image.

    The new 4k, is to my eye, taken from a gorgeous image harvest, with meticulous grain structure and perfect stability. It only falls below perfection in terms of the missing shadow detail.

    I would bet that the pre-HDR master is glorious.

  50. Robert Crawford

    Silly me, I have some of those discs including that one. I think I forgot about Shout's 4K releases is because I was thinking of feature films and not nature or science documentaries.

    A comparison of their NDR vs HDR variants can be quite instructive. Before projection was more properly set up for tone mapping, the NDR was my go to. Now that hardware and software are playing more nicely together, the HDR is quite interesting.

    Obviously they’re able to give viewers the choice, as the films run only about 40 minutes, but I salute their decision to do so.

  51. Robert Crawford

    […]I do wonder how many people that posted in this thread except a few people would've noticed the issue pointed out by RAH?

    I saw the 4K of "It's a Wonderful Life" before RAH's review was posted and was very disappointed in what my eyes had seen.

    On a technical basis, I would not have been able to articulate the issues I was seeing,
    except to say that it simply did not look right.

    I hope that Paramount can rectify this transfer and disc;
    otherwise, the efforts of archivists Andrea Kalas and Laura Thornburg will have been all for naught.:(

  52. Bryan^H

    Nope.
    Tried on multiple displays, and playback hardware-same results.
    Have you seen the HDR on "Unforgiven", or "Pet Semetary" (1989)? Try with and without HDR, and tell me what you think.

    I haven’t watched my Unforgiven disk yet but I’m interested to see how it looks so I’ll move it up in the queue a bit.

  53. I thought it looked pretty good. There's a documentary about the restoration which is actually in 4k and they say they were mostly able to use the original nitrate negative. I was very impressed with the bonus material. We get a brand-new making of documentary in 4k! Also, we get a home movie of the wrap party from 1946 in 4k!

  54. warnerbro

    I thought it looked pretty good.[…]

    How would you stack it up against the 2K discs from Warner Archives?
    IMHO, "It's a Wonderful Life" in 4K didn't even come close to that standard.

  55. ghostwind

    I'm curious if the new Blu-ray from the same 4K master, but in BT.709 / SDR, has the same issue (which would mean it's an issue with the master, not HDR), or if REC.2020 / HDR strikes its ugly head again. I'm torn on every 4K UHD release between the higher resolution offered vs. wrong/un-"calibrateable" colors and un-necessary at times HDR "bling" compared to an equivalent Blu-ray from same master. With each release it's becoming a research project as to which version to buy.

    Someone stated earlier to change the brightness, but you should never do this on an HDR display. The only thing you should ever touch to calibrate is the white balance. All else, you are at the mercy of what your display can do, and how it does it. Not a single display can properly show REC.2020 colorspace (or be calibrated for it) or the proper nits in the master. These 4K UHD discs should look better in years to come, as technology catches up.

    These UHD BD discs really just contain P3/DCI within a 2020 container, right? Many displays are getting well over 90% P3/DCI coverage, so I'm not sure getting full 2020 matters at all here. 2020 will serve more importance once we get native content with it.

    I agree though, with HDR you really cannot think in terms of a standard like 709. It does require some "letting go" and just enjoy the ride if you can.

    The problem with many of these "remastered" Blu-rays that accompany the UHD BD is, they appear to be cheap and easy HDR to SDR conversions. This can include shadow detail crushed, odd colors, highlights blown out, etc. The encoding is rather poor on some of them too. I've found the UHD BD to be far superior each time.

    I can only count on Arrow for high quality remastered BD these days.

  56. Douglas R
    Robert Harris

    I wanted to see what others were saying about this release, so I found the site below, and learned everything that I'd never known about nitrate stock, and the "silver" screen.

    If one ever ponders where facts come from, go here, and learn all about it.

    https://www.heraldextra.com/enterta…cle_06b71051-6593-5549-9756-f220de1f5c14.html

    This is very unusual. What is the Herald trying to hide!

    "Unavailable due to legal reasons
    We recognize you are attempting to access this website from a country belonging to the European Economic Area (EEA) including the EU which enforces the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and therefore access cannot be granted at this time".

    Ever since the botched roll-out of GDPR with all its attendant misinformation, we in the EU have been blocked from accessing numerous sites for no good reason whatsoever. Easy to get around it with proxy sites like HideMyAss and HideMe, or even look up a site's last Internet Archive save.

    Very informative article, by the way. 😉

  57. Brent Reid

    Ever since the botched roll-out of GDPR with all its attendant misinformation, we in the EU have been blocked from accessing numerous sites for no good reason whatsoever. Easy to get around it with proxy sites like HideMyAss and HideMe, or even look up a site's last Internet Archive save.

    Very informative article, by the way. 😉

    One must fully understand, and decode the information, before the truth comes to the fore.

    it is the silver screen, made silver by the off-gassing of the explosive nitrous-silver-oxide film stock, that creates the 4k roller scan of the OCN, and combines it with the equally combustible dueling masters.

    A simple process, really. Once it’s understood.

  58. Dave H

    These UHD BD discs really just contain P3/DCI within a 2020 container, right? Many displays are getting well over 90% P3/DCI coverage, so I'm not sure getting full 2020 matters at all here. 2020 will serve more importance once we get native content with it.

    I agree though, with HDR you really cannot think in terms of a standard like 709. It does require some "letting go" and just enjoy the ride if you can.

    The problem with many of these "remastered" Blu-rays that accompany the UHD BD is, they appear to be cheap and easy HDR to SDR conversions. This can include shadow detail crushed, odd colors, highlights blown out, etc. The encoding is rather poor on some of them too. I've found the UHD BD to be far superior each time.

    I can only count on Arrow for high quality remastered BD these days.

    It matters in terms of the inability to calibrate a display to a standard. Black levels, white levels, and of course colors can be all over the place. It's all subjective. While one release may look good to someone with a certain display, it may look awful to another on another display. So without any consistency, it's hard to know or gauge how good a transfer really is. That's why standards are nice – like BT.709. You know that even a $500 TV can display BT.709 @ 100nits properly just like a $3000 TV can when both are calibrated to that standard.

    So yeah, not to belabor the point, but for sure HDR requires a lot of "letting go" as you say 🙂

    In terms of remastered Blu-rays as you say, again, it's a case-by-case evalutation. And it's quite time consuming and bothersome to have to think about all this, research it, etc. As videophiles we deserve better. When a 4K UHD tittle comes out that I want to own, because I love the film, I don't feel like doubting it, reading 10 different reviews, testing it against a known quantity (BT.709 Blu-ray), etc. With a Blu-ray, I know what I'm getting. If there are issues, it's because of the disc, not my display's inability to handle the standard. With UHD/HDR, I'm lost. Life is like a box of chocolates with UHD/HDR, you never know what you're gonna get! 🙂

    When Mr. Harris and Mr. Crawford disagree on this title, it can be due to different display devices and how they handle the EOFT curve, the black levels, brightness, etc. It's hard to know as there are so many variables in play. And that's troubling for me.

    I'm going to pick up the new Blu-ray today, and check it out against the 2009 Blu-ray and the new 4K tonight and report back. It's money spent for me to do this, and yeah, a lot of time consumed as well. Standards please!!!

  59. ghostwind

    It matters in terms of the inability to calibrate a display to a standard. Black levels, white levels, and of course colors can be all over the place. It's all subjective. While one release may look good to someone with a certain display, it may look awful to another on another display. So without any consistency, it's hard to know or gauge how good a transfer really is. That's why standards are nice – like BT.709. You know that even a $500 TV can display BT.709 @ 100nits properly just like a $3000 TV can when both are calibrated to that standard.

    So yeah, not to belabor the point, but for sure HDR requires a lot of "letting go" as you say 🙂

    In terms of remastered Blu-rays as you say, again, it's a case-by-case evalutation. And it's quite time consuming and bothersome to have to think about all this, research it, etc. As videophiles we deserve better. When a 4K UHD tittle comes out that I want to own, because I love the film, I don't feel like doubting it, reading 10 different reviews, testing it against a known quantity (BT.709 Blu-ray), etc. With a Blu-ray, I know what I'm getting. If there are issues, it's because of the disc, not my display's inability to handle the standard. With UHD/HDR, I'm lost. Life is like a box of chocolates with UHD/HDR, you never know what you're gonna get! 🙂

    When Mr. Harris and Mr. Crawford disagree on this title, it can be due to different display devices and how they handle the EOFT curve, the black levels, brightness, etc. It's hard to know as there are so many variables in play. And that's troubling for me.

    I'm going to pick up the new Blu-ray today, and check it out against the 2009 Blu-ray and the new 4K tonight and report back. It's money spent for me to do this, and yeah, a lot of time consumed as well. Standards please!!!

    I look forward to reading your remarks! I have no pleasure from projecting most HDR 4K discs on my set-up – even with the HDR turned off, many are mastered way too dark for me. Difficult to know from reviews what other people are seeing. Blu-ray.com has posted their reviews of the 4K disc and the remastered blu ray. There the reviewer says that the picture quality on the 4K disc is perfect – but then the same reviewer writes on the blu-ray disc review that "some may even find its less aggressively sharp and more contained grayscale tones better to their liking compared to the UHD". From what I've read and seen, I'll have to go with the remastered blu-ray – which in itself sounds like a worthy upgrade from the previous one.

  60. titch

    I have no pleasure from projecting most HDR 4K discs on my set-up – even with the HDR turned off, many are mastered way too dark for me.

    It is a problem. HDR can be one of the most amazing features currently in the home theater hobby. But it can also ruin films, and crush the life out of dark content. The sad thing is I know what the mastering of many of these movies is going for…more realism as to how the human eye perceives things. But many time this process unfortunately makes scenes look unnatural. Which is the exact opposite the desired effect.

    HDR implemented with care, and being correct is beautiful.

  61. Robert Harris

    One must fully understand, and decode the information, before the truth comes to the fore.

    it is the silver screen, made silver by the off-gassing of the explosive nitrous-silver-oxide film stock, that creates the 4k roller scan of the OCN, and combines it with the equally combustible dueling masters.

    A simple process, really. Once it’s understood.

    From an audience perspective, one would be aware of the highly artistic asbestos fire curtains – mainstays of the nitrate era.

    Those same rollers, used to extract an image during the data harvest process, were used (once fully loaded with excess silver nitrate data) to imbibe that silver nitrate to the mordant layer on the reflecting side of the screen, thereby creating the silver coating on said screen.

    unfortunately, the silver nitrate coated screens were extremely flammable. Hence the need for the asbestos curtain.

    😆 😆 😆 Very droll!

  62. ghostwind

    It matters in terms of the inability to calibrate a display to a standard. Black levels, white levels, and of course colors can be all over the place. It's all subjective. While one release may look good to someone with a certain display, it may look awful to another on another display. So without any consistency, it's hard to know or gauge how good a transfer really is. That's why standards are nice – like BT.709. You know that even a $500 TV can display BT.709 @ 100nits properly just like a $3000 TV can when both are calibrated to that standard.

    So yeah, not to belabor the point, but for sure HDR requires a lot of "letting go" as you say 🙂

    In terms of remastered Blu-rays as you say, again, it's a case-by-case evalutation. And it's quite time consuming and bothersome to have to think about all this, research it, etc. As videophiles we deserve better. When a 4K UHD tittle comes out that I want to own, because I love the film, I don't feel like doubting it, reading 10 different reviews, testing it against a known quantity (BT.709 Blu-ray), etc. With a Blu-ray, I know what I'm getting. If there are issues, it's because of the disc, not my display's inability to handle the standard. With UHD/HDR, I'm lost. Life is like a box of chocolates with UHD/HDR, you never know what you're gonna get! 🙂

    When Mr. Harris and Mr. Crawford disagree on this title, it can be due to different display devices and how they handle the EOFT curve, the black levels, brightness, etc. It's hard to know as there are so many variables in play. And that's troubling for me.

    I'm going to pick up the new Blu-ray today, and check it out against the 2009 Blu-ray and the new 4K tonight and report back. It's money spent for me to do this, and yeah, a lot of time consumed as well. Standards please!!!

    I agree. Honestly, it's still hard to believe they rolled out the new format in the way they did.

  63. ghostwind

    It matters in terms of the inability to calibrate a display to a standard. Black levels, white levels, and of course colors can be all over the place. It's all subjective. While one release may look good to someone with a certain display, it may look awful to another on another display. So without any consistency, it's hard to know or gauge how good a transfer really is. That's why standards are nice – like BT.709. You know that even a $500 TV can display BT.709 @ 100nits properly just like a $3000 TV can when both are calibrated to that standard.

    So yeah, not to belabor the point, but for sure HDR requires a lot of "letting go" as you say 🙂

    In terms of remastered Blu-rays as you say, again, it's a case-by-case evalutation. And it's quite time consuming and bothersome to have to think about all this, research it, etc. As videophiles we deserve better. When a 4K UHD tittle comes out that I want to own, because I love the film, I don't feel like doubting it, reading 10 different reviews, testing it against a known quantity (BT.709 Blu-ray), etc. With a Blu-ray, I know what I'm getting. If there are issues, it's because of the disc, not my display's inability to handle the standard. With UHD/HDR, I'm lost. Life is like a box of chocolates with UHD/HDR, you never know what you're gonna get! 🙂

    When Mr. Harris and Mr. Crawford disagree on this title, it can be due to different display devices and how they handle the EOFT curve, the black levels, brightness, etc. It's hard to know as there are so many variables in play. And that's troubling for me.

    I'm going to pick up the new Blu-ray today, and check it out against the 2009 Blu-ray and the new 4K tonight and report back. It's money spent for me to do this, and yeah, a lot of time consumed as well. Standards please!!!

    I agree. Honestly, it's still hard to believe they rolled out the new format in the way they did.

  64. Dave H

    I agree. I have always been such stickler for video standards and good calibration. Honestly, it's still hard to believe they rolled out the new format in the way they did. What might have helped: two layers for each UHD BD; 4K SDR layer (retaining standards!) and 4K HDR layer but requiring every display to have dynamic tone mapping to take in account the nits of each display capability (as part of the spec). At least this would have been a step in a better direction, sigh.

    The only problem with this approach is that it would only work with shorter films, and I suspect this is how Shout! Factory has handled its short documentary titles. I'm pretty sure there isn't a feature length title out there that uses less than a BD-66 and in some cases a BD-100 triple layer disc to deal with the mass amounts of data involved, even after compression. 4K is a bit of a data hog, if you'll pardon the pun.

  65. Stephen_J_H

    The only problem with this approach is that it would only work with shorter films, and I suspect this is how Shout! Factory has handled its short documentary titles. I'm pretty sure there isn't a feature length title out there that uses less than a BD-66 and in some cases a BD-100 triple layer disc to deal with the mass amounts of data involved, even after compression. 4K is a bit of a data hog, if you'll pardon the pun.

    Good point and they surely wouldn't have wanted to release two actual different UHD discs.

  66. Dave H

    Good point and they surely wouldn't have wanted to release two actual different UHD discs.

    Of course, if they eventually adopt the quad layer disc, this may be possible for some titles. It's a question of whether there will be sufficient demand for it.

  67. While I understand all the frustration about UHD with HDR I also have to say that it has provided me with some of the best looking pictures I have seen on my projection setup.

    The key is to select a setup with some added headroom that will allow for average brightness levels that are more or less identical between SDR and HDR content, maybe a bit less if there is not that much headroom for HDR in the first place. Once that has been achieved the highlights provide the icing on the cake and to have some icing to speak of one would need an at least 50% higher light output in HDR in my experience with about twice as much being a very good tradeoff between sacrificing blacker blacks and adding some nice HDR dynamics to the picture.

    This will take care of both added dimensionality with HDR and also with the often voiced criticism that HDR is too dark on projectors.
    OK, back now to our regular program and the wait for feedbadck about the remastered Blu-ray, Hopefully it will have very similar detail and textures as the UHD version but better shadow delineation.

  68. Memo to self: stop buying sight-unseen on classic film 4Ks…wait for RAH’s recommendation/reviews. Still shrink wrapped. Debating whether I should return it…

  69. Robert Harris

    My 16mm prints came directly from, as I recall, NTA. They were beautifully produced, and derived from a Neg that came from a 35 fine grain. Full gray scale.

    My 35 was derived from the new printing element produced, again as I recall, by UCLA. The print is magnificent, and again, with a full gray scale, and highly resolved image.

    The new 4k, is to my eye, taken from a gorgeous image harvest, with meticulous grain structure and perfect stability. It only falls below perfection in terms of the missing shadow detail.

    I would bet that the pre-HDR master is glorious.

    I owned one of the most beautiful 16mm prints ever on Wonderful Life. And in the late 1970s when I used to do a Christmas movie marathon, all 35mm save for Wonderful Life, one year, and don't ask me details, a nitrate print was on its way back to the Library of Congress and made a stop at the screening room we were using – we ran it – it was, in a word, the most beautiful black-and-white image I have ever seen. No home video release has come within a country mile of it, I'm afraid. Any reports on the new Blu?

  70. haineshisway

    I owned one of the most beautiful 16mm prints ever on Wonderful Life. And in the late 1970s when I used to do a Christmas movie marathon, all 35mm save for Wonderful Life, one year, and don't ask me details, a nitrate print was on its way back to the Library of Congress and made a stop at the screening room we were using – we ran it – it was, in a word, the most beautiful black-and-white image I have ever seen. No home video release has come within a country mile of it, I'm afraid. Any reports on the new Blu?

    Those words "the most beautiful black-and-white image I have ever seen" recall a 35mm screening of a British Film Institute print of Wonderful Life which I saw; also in the late 1970s. I thought at the time that it was stunning in its clarity and I've never seen the film as good as that before or since.

    I have the UK 4K version which comes not with a colorised addition but with a standard Blu-ray disc. Both versions display deeper blacks, in comparison to the previous Blu-ray.

  71. OliverK

    While I understand all the frustration about UHD with HDR I also have to say that it has provided me with some of the best looking pictures I have seen on my projection setup.

    The key is to select a setup with some added headroom that will allow for average brightness levels that are more or less identical between SDR and HDR content, maybe a bit less if there is not that much headroom for HDR in the first place. Once that has been achieved the highlights provide the icing on the cake and to have some icing to speak of one would need an at least 50% higher light output in HDR in my experience with about twice as much being a very good tradeoff between sacrificing blacker blacks and adding some nice HDR dynamics to the picture.

    This will take care of both added dimensionality with HDR and also with the often voiced criticism that HDR is too dark on projectors.
    OK, back now to our regular program and the wait for feedback about the remastered Blu-ray, Hopefully it will have very similar detail and textures as the UHD version but better shadow delineation.

    I'm using a newer JVC FP paired with the Panasonic 820 and generally have gotten very nice results with the tone mapping. I am curious to explore dynamic tone mapping at some point.

  72. haineshisway

    I owned one of the most beautiful 16mm prints ever on Wonderful Life. And in the late 1970s when I used to do a Christmas movie marathon, all 35mm save for Wonderful Life, one year, and don't ask me details, a nitrate print was on its way back to the Library of Congress and made a stop at the screening room we were using – we ran it – it was, in a word, the most beautiful black-and-white image I have ever seen. No home video release has come within a country mile of it, I'm afraid. Any reports on the new Blu?

    Amen!

  73. How is the framing? The screencaps show quite a bit missing from the top. That concerns me with the scene with Harry's Homecoming in the newspaper. It shows SNOW TONIGHT at the top right of the frame, and a character refers to it. Now, it is probably gone. Did the old version show too much?

  74. Just received it and did a quick a/b comparison to the 2009 Blu-ray release. The 4K disc is much darker than I expected and looks like it was shot with minimal lighting. I know my tv and player settings are fine and other 4K titles I have look good so I don't know what to say.

  75. atcolomb

    Just received it and did a quick a/b comparison to the 2009 Blu-ray release. The 4K disc is much darker than I expected and looks like it was shot with minimal lighting. I know my tv and player settings are fine and other 4K titles I have look good so I don't know what to say.

    Just say you agree with most of us.

  76. ghostwind

    I'm going to pick up the new Blu-ray today, and check it out against the 2009 Blu-ray and the new 4K tonight and report back. It's money spent for me to do this, and yeah, a lot of time consumed as well. Standards please!!!

    OK, so here are my findings after evaluating all 3 above mentioned discs earlier this evening and going back and forth many times to be sure all settings were correct, identical frames were matched, etc. I have two Panasonic UB820 players connected to separate HDMI inputs on a LG 65C8 OLED display, so switching inputs back and forth made things easy to compare. My display is properly profiled and calibrated with LightSpace for REC.709 @ 100nits (Blu-ray), but for 4K/UHD/REC.2020 the only parameter I can calibrate (or rather the only parameter anyone SHOULD calibrate as I mentioned earlier) is the white balance/grayscale. So here goes!

    1. The new Blu-ray is (as expected) a major improvement over the 2009 one. It has better detail, looks more like film, grain is visible, doesn't have that ugly DNR and EE applied to it that the 2009 version did, etc. It also has better shadow detail than the 2009 version. Also, the opening titles are not windowboxed in the new version. So clear winner here.

    2. The 4K UHD/HDR is a different story, and my findings don't match Mr. Harris', which surprised me. Let me explain. I found just the opposite, that the 4K actually has better shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray, hands down. It actually matches pretty closely the new Blu-ray, but of course is better in the detail department as expected. I first watched it with Dolby Vision enabled and then disabled Dolby Vision on the Panasonic UB820 to force it to use the HDR10 mode (the mandatory backup HDR included on all 4K discs for displays that don't support Dolby Vision). With Dolby Vision, the image on my display was a bit too bright, the blacks too lifted, and the HDR10 image was closer to the Blu-ray and closer to what I would prefer.

    3. So what does this mean? Who can say? This is the nature of 4K UHD discs unfortunately. On some displays they look one way, and on others another. It's hard to have a conclusive opinion, other than to say that on X set it looks a certain way and on Y set another. And even among sets there can be small variations. I know Mr. Harris said he looked at it on a projector and a Sony OLED. I wonder what display Mr. Crawford has. Maybe an LG? Curious to know actually.

    I have no prints and no idea what it "should" look like. The only thing I can say for certain, and with 100% confidence, is that the new Blu-ray is a lot better than the old, and it has better shadow detail. It looks really, really good. The 4K looks even better in HDR10 mode, on my display, where only the grayscale/white balance is calibrated.

  77. ghostwind

    OK, so here are my findings after evaluating all 3 above mentioned discs earlier this evening and going back and forth many times to be sure all settings were correct, identical frames were matched, etc. I have two Panasonic UB820 players connected to separate HDMI inputs on a LG 65C8 OLED display, so switching inputs back and forth made things easy to compare. My display is properly profiled and calibrated with LightSpace for REC.709 @ 100nits (Blu-ray), but for 4K/UHD/REC.2020 the only parameter I can calibrate (or rather the only parameter anyone SHOULD calibrate as I mentioned earlier) is the white balance/grayscale. So here goes!

    1. The new Blu-ray is (as expected) a major improvement over the 2009 one. It has better detail, looks more like film, grain is visible, doesn't have that ugly DNR and EE applied to it that the 2009 version did, etc. It also has better shadow detail than the 2009 version. Also, the opening titles are not windowboxed in the new version. So clear winner here.

    2. The 4K UHD/HDR is a different story, and my findings don't match Mr. Harris', which surprised me. Let me explain. I found just the opposite, that the 4K actually has better shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray, hands down. It actually matches pretty closely the new Blu-ray, but of course is better in the detail department as expected. I first watched it with Dolby Vision enabled and then disabled Dolby Vision on the Panasonic UB820 to force it to use the HDR10 mode (the mandatory backup HDR included on all 4K discs for displays that don't support Dolby Vision). With Dolby Vision, the image on my display was a bit too bright, the blacks too lifted, and the HDR10 image was closer to the Blu-ray and closer to what I would prefer.

    3. So what does this mean? Who can say? This is the nature of 4K UHD discs unfortunately. On some displays they look one way, and on others another. It's hard to have a conclusive opinion, other than to say that on X set it looks a certain way and on Y set another. And even among sets there can be small variations. I know Mr. Harris said he looked at it on a projector and a Sony OLED. I wonder what display Mr. Crawford has. Maybe an LG? Curious to know actually.

    I have no prints and no idea what it "should" look like. The only thing I can say for certain, and with 100% confidence, is that the new Blu-ray is a lot better than the old, and it has better shadow detail. It looks really, really good. The 4K looks even better in HDR10 mode, on my display, where only the grayscale/white balance is calibrated.

    I’m one of the people who had the 4K from a download saved to my Kaleidescape Strato 4K player a couple of months ago and totally agree with Mr. Harris’s results. I’m using a new JVC RS4500 laser projector which has given me great results on every 4K I’ve played except IAWL.

  78. ghostwind

    OK, so here are my findings after evaluating all 3 above mentioned discs earlier this evening and going back and forth many times to be sure all settings were correct, identical frames were matched, etc. I have two Panasonic UB820 players connected to separate HDMI inputs on a LG 65C8 OLED display, so switching inputs back and forth made things easy to compare. My display is properly profiled and calibrated with LightSpace for REC.709 @ 100nits (Blu-ray), but for 4K/UHD/REC.2020 the only parameter I can calibrate (or rather the only parameter anyone SHOULD calibrate as I mentioned earlier) is the white balance/grayscale. So here goes!

    1. The new Blu-ray is (as expected) a major improvement over the 2009 one. It has better detail, looks more like film, grain is visible, doesn't have that ugly DNR and EE applied to it that the 2009 version did, etc. It also has better shadow detail than the 2009 version. Also, the opening titles are not windowboxed in the new version. So clear winner here.

    2. The 4K UHD/HDR is a different story, and my findings don't match Mr. Harris', which surprised me. Let me explain. I found just the opposite, that the 4K actually has better shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray, hands down. It actually matches pretty closely the new Blu-ray, but of course is better in the detail department as expected. I first watched it with Dolby Vision enabled and then disabled Dolby Vision on the Panasonic UB820 to force it to use the HDR10 mode (the mandatory backup HDR included on all 4K discs for displays that don't support Dolby Vision). With Dolby Vision, the image on my display was a bit too bright, the blacks too lifted, and the HDR10 image was closer to the Blu-ray and closer to what I would prefer.

    3. So what does this mean? Who can say? This is the nature of 4K UHD discs unfortunately. On some displays they look one way, and on others another. It's hard to have a conclusive opinion, other than to say that on X set it looks a certain way and on Y set another. And even among sets there can be small variations. I know Mr. Harris said he looked at it on a projector and a Sony OLED. I wonder what display Mr. Crawford has. Maybe an LG? Curious to know actually.

    I have no prints and no idea what it "should" look like. The only thing I can say for certain, and with 100% confidence, is that the new Blu-ray is a lot better than the old, and it has better shadow detail. It looks really, really good. The 4K looks even better in HDR10 mode, on my display, where only the grayscale/white balance is calibrated.

    Thank you for making the effort to report.

    I’ll have to find some time, and try de-coupling Dolby Vision. Probably need a wrench…

  79. I just went to Amazon looking for the new Blu – and I have no idea which one it's supposed to be because Amazon is, well, the "R" word. First off, the 4K says that the Blu-ray is included but in this thread everyone says it isn't. Which is it? Included or not? Can someone link me specifically to the solo NEW Blu-ray on Amazon.

  80. haineshisway

    I just went to Amazon looking for the new Blu – and I have no idea which one it's supposed to be because Amazon is, well, the "R" word. First off, the 4K says that the Blu-ray is included but in this thread everyone says it isn't. Which is it? Included or not? Can someone link me specifically to the solo NEW Blu-ray on Amazon.

    Here you go Bruce.

    https://www.amazon.com/Wonderful-Li…_title_1?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1573036099&sr=1-1

  81. haineshisway

    I just went to Amazon looking for the new Blu – and I have no idea which one it's supposed to be because Amazon is, well, the "R" word. First off, the 4K says that the Blu-ray is included but in this thread everyone says it isn't. Which is it? Included or not? Can someone link me specifically to the solo NEW Blu-ray on Amazon.

    The 4k does include the Blu-ray. It’s the original three-strip version.

  82. ghostwind

    OK, so here are my findings after evaluating all 3 above mentioned discs earlier this evening and going back and forth many times to be sure all settings were correct, identical frames were matched, etc. I have two Panasonic UB820 players connected to separate HDMI inputs on a LG 65C8 OLED display, so switching inputs back and forth made things easy to compare. My display is properly profiled and calibrated with LightSpace for REC.709 @ 100nits (Blu-ray), but for 4K/UHD/REC.2020 the only parameter I can calibrate (or rather the only parameter anyone SHOULD calibrate as I mentioned earlier) is the white balance/grayscale. So here goes!

    1. The new Blu-ray is (as expected) a major improvement over the 2009 one. It has better detail, looks more like film, grain is visible, doesn't have that ugly DNR and EE applied to it that the 2009 version did, etc. It also has better shadow detail than the 2009 version. Also, the opening titles are not windowboxed in the new version. So clear winner here.

    2. The 4K UHD/HDR is a different story, and my findings don't match Mr. Harris', which surprised me. Let me explain. I found just the opposite, that the 4K actually has better shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray, hands down. It actually matches pretty closely the new Blu-ray, but of course is better in the detail department as expected. I first watched it with Dolby Vision enabled and then disabled Dolby Vision on the Panasonic UB820 to force it to use the HDR10 mode (the mandatory backup HDR included on all 4K discs for displays that don't support Dolby Vision). With Dolby Vision, the image on my display was a bit too bright, the blacks too lifted, and the HDR10 image was closer to the Blu-ray and closer to what I would prefer.

    3. So what does this mean? Who can say? This is the nature of 4K UHD discs unfortunately. On some displays they look one way, and on others another. It's hard to have a conclusive opinion, other than to say that on X set it looks a certain way and on Y set another. And even among sets there can be small variations. I know Mr. Harris said he looked at it on a projector and a Sony OLED. I wonder what display Mr. Crawford has. Maybe an LG? Curious to know actually.

    I have no prints and no idea what it "should" look like. The only thing I can say for certain, and with 100% confidence, is that the new Blu-ray is a lot better than the old, and it has better shadow detail. It looks really, really good. The 4K looks even better in HDR10 mode, on my display, where only the grayscale/white balance is calibrated.

    Thanks for the report, can you tell us if the colorized Blu-ray that comes with the 4k set looks like the new Blu-ray that is separately sold if you take all color out of it?

  83. This probably doesn’t shed much light

    but per avsforum the Sony oleds use UHD player chips for Dolby vision processing

    All LG oleds and the 2019 Panasonic oleds use a superior chipset in the TV for Dolby vision decoding ( and experts say that method is much superior)

  84. OliverK

    Thanks for the report, can you tell us if the colorized Blu-ray that comes with the 4k set looks like the new Blu-ray that is separately sold if you take all color out of it?

    I can say with 100% certainty that it actually looks better. I first set my saturation to 0, and it looked the same. Then I realized my mistake. So I set the saturation to -100 and of course now it looks 11x better!

  85. Robert Crawford

    Why would the 2009 colorized Blu-ray without color look like the new Blu-ray that’s derived from a recently done 4K source?

    I have a feeling he misread or misunderstood the question, since his response doesn't make any sense in light of his positive impressions of both new Blu-Ray's back in post #113.

  86. LeoA

    I have a feeling he misread or misunderstood the question, since his response doesn't make any sense in light of his positive impressions of both new Blu-Ray's back in post #113.

    Perhaps! I thought the question was in jest! So my reply was the same! I didn't even bother to put the color Blu-rays in the player. In fact, now that I have the 4K and the new Blu-ray, I will put the new Blu-ray with the 4K and throw out both color discs.

  87. I had a feeling you perhaps were kidding around when you said how "it looks 11x better!", but figured if Robert was taking it seriously, that you must've just been emphasizing how much better it looks. 🙂

  88. LeoA

    I had a feeling you perhaps were kidding around when you said how "it looks 11x better!", but figured if Robert was taking it seriously, that you must've just been emphasizing how much better it looks. 🙂

    Ha. Yeah, not sure if OliverK's question was serious or not now. If it was, I believe the color Blu-ray with the 4K is the same as the 2009 color Blu-ray.

  89. LeoA

    I had a feeling you perhaps were kidding around when you said how "it looks 11x better!", but figured if Robert was taking it seriously, that you must've just been emphasizing how much better it looks. 🙂

    I was responding to this post:

    OliverK

    Thanks for the report, can you tell us if the colorized Blu-ray that comes with the 4k set looks like the new Blu-ray that is separately sold if you take all color out of it?

  90. Received this message from:

    old mole, Today at 4:40 AM

    2 more glowing reviews of Wonderful Life: see Blu-ray.com and Hi Def Digest. Both praise the restoration work and give the video a 5/5 and 4.5/5. I agree with their reviews.

    _____________________

    The other reviewers obviously have equipment that's more properly set up than mine. I'll defer to their comments, and agree that the new 4k is perfect, or at least nearly so.

  91. ghostwind

    Perhaps! I thought the question was in jest! So my reply was the same! I didn't even bother to put the color Blu-rays in the player. In fact, now that I have the 4K and the new Blu-ray, I will put the new Blu-ray with the 4K and throw out both color discs.

    Sorry about that, I thought the colorized version was also based on the new master. Hey, at least everybody could have a few laughs 🙂

  92. Robert Harris

    Received this message from:

    old mole, Today at 4:40 AM

    2 more glowing reviews of Wonderful Life: see Blu-ray.com and Hi Def Digest. Both praise the restoration work and give the video a 5/5 and 4.5/5. I agree with their reviews.

    _____________________

    The other reviewers obviously have equipment that's more properly set up than mine. I'll defer to their comments, and agree that the new 4k is perfect, or at least nearly so.

    I do wish all reviewers would start to add a note to their reviews about the equipment they are using for their evaluation, because for 4K UHD discs, it’s not enough anymore to just say “ISF calibrated”, like it used to be for BT.601 or BT.709 (DVD and Blu-ray). Things are a lot more complicated, as we can see in this thread, and it would help. Sometimes even a different firmware for a display device can cause issues with certain titles, so it’s unfortunate but the new reality.

  93. Robert Harris

    The 4k does include the Blu-ray. It’s the original three-strip version.

    I have a feeling someone years from now will read this thread and not get the joke.

    Serves them right for not being here now. 🙂

  94. moviebuff75

    So, the transfer is fine and nothing is wrong?

    Absolutely not! It may be hardware specific. And if I’m having a problem, there’s a problem.

    This is not about the master. I have a BD on its way in, which I’m betting will be gorgeous.

    It’s what occurred thereafter.

  95. That's what I suspected. I remember this, or rather the reverse where they were too bright and had to be recalled, happened to a bunch of Disney Blu-rays a few years ago, back when they still released catalog titles in stores themselves.

  96. That's what I suspected. I remember this, or rather the reverse where they were too bright and had to be recalled, happened to a bunch of Disney Blu-rays a few years ago, back when they still released catalog titles in stores themselves.

  97. Well, if there is a problem, Paramount should absolutely look into what went wrong, and correct it. I am holding off buying, but I would like to hear something before the holidays are over. My contact restored the film
    I haven't told her yet.

  98. moviebuff75

    Well, if there is a problem, Paramount should absolutely look into what went wrong, and correct it. I am holding off buying, but I would like to hear something before the holidays are over. My contact restored the film
    I haven't told her yet.

    You should tell her.

  99. Dave H

    I'm using a relatively newer JVC FP paired with the Panasonic 820 and generally have gotten very nice results with the tone mapping (no issues with darkness, clipping, etc.). I am curious to explore a dynamic tone mapping solution at some point down the road.

    Those JVC units can be very nice, I have been very impressed with the second to last generation and its software upgrades over time and the current generation is even better, it is just that black level went up with the 4k panels.

  100. OliverK

    Those JVC units can be very nice, I have been very impressed with the second to last generation and its software upgrades over time and the current generation is even better, it is just that black level went up with the 4k panels.

    I don't have this disc but with my JVC N7 and dynamic tone mapping via Lumagen Radiance Pro HDR mapping issues are 99.9% a thing of the past. One needs either a HDR10 reference monitor or good dynamic tone mapping to see if the lack of shadow detail is in the master or only a display chain issue.

  101. Robert Harris

    Absolutely not! It may be hardware specific. And if I’m having a problem, there’s a problem.

    This is not about the master. I have a BD on its way in, which I’m betting will be gorgeous.

    It’s what occurred thereafter.

    Curious to hear your thoughts once you look at the new BD.

  102. Michel_Hafner

    I don't have this disc but with my JVC N7 and dynamic tone mapping via Lumagen Radiance Pro HDR mapping issues are 99.9% a thing of the past. One needs either a HDR10 reference monitor or good dynamic tone mapping to see if the lack of shadow detail is in the master or only a display chain issue.

    I use a similar setup with a Radiance and an NX9 and I have been very happy with it for some time now, The key for me is to have a reasonably bright picture to properly differentiate SDR from HDR content.

    As for the shadow detail on IAWL the UHD version is also a lot darker in the screencaps on caps-a-holic when compared to the old Blu-ray and usually the caps-a-holic UHD caps do not have this issue.

  103. noel aguirre

    Would the HD file in iTunes be updated to the new Blu-ray remastering? Or would that have been when the 4K was first sold in iTunes?

    iTunes uses the 4K master as the basis for everything – 4K, HD and SD.

  104. OliverK

    I use a similar setup with a Radiance and an NX9 and I have been very happy with it for some time now, The key for me is to have a reasonably bright picture to properly differentiate SDR from HDR content.

    As for the shadow detail on IAWL the UHD version is also a lot darker in the screencaps on caps-a-holic when compared to the old Blu-ray and usually the caps-a-holic UHD caps do not have this issue.

    The caps-o-holic site is good to spot only if the 4K has real improvement in detail compared to BD, not for checking colors, brightness, contrast levels, etc., as they are converted to SDR and you are then also looking at them on an SDR computer monitor.

  105. ghostwind

    The caps-o-holic site is good to spot only if the 4K has real improvement in detail compared to BD, not for checking colors, brightness, contrast levels, etc., as they are converted to SDR and you are then also looking at them on an SDR computer monitor.

    I indeed like to use it mainly to check for improvements in detail and textures. It is often quite sobering how small the improvements are for the UHD version of a movie. As for the SDR conversion they do not even use the same target nits, I think I have seen 100, 150 and 200 nits so those values are all over the place.

  106. Robert Harris

    After speaking with Kevin Miller, rechecked flat panel system, which seems to be reading disc correctly. Still major problems with shadow detail.

    Did you try turning off Dolby Vision in the Panasonic 9000 menu and then seeing how it compares to the HDR10?

  107. Whatever happened to, I don't know, putting in a disc and having it play without having to turn off this or turn on that or change this or change that. And all this other technical gobbledygook I'm reading here that gives me a headache, like "with my JVC N7 and dynamic tone mapping via Lumagen Radiance Pro HDR mapping issues are 99.9% a thing of the past. One needs either a HDR10 reference monitor or good dynamic tone mapping to see if the lack of shadow detail is in the master or only a display chain issue."

  108. haineshisway

    Whatever happened to, I don't know, putting in a disc and having it play without having to turn off this or turn on that or change this or change that. And all this other technical gobbledygook I'm reading here that gives me a headache, like "with my JVC N7 and dynamic tone mapping via Lumagen Radiance Pro HDR mapping issues are 99.9% a thing of the past. One needs either a HDR10 reference monitor or good dynamic tone mapping to see if the lack of shadow detail is in the master or only a display chain issue."

    Oh, good! I thought it was just my 63-year-old eyes that were glazing over. I have an Oppo 203, a 55" Panasonic Plasma 3D set and a halfway decent sound system. And I just insert the disc, press play and let the picture and sound fall where they may. And most of the time my blurays look and sound spectacular and my DVDs look nearly as good thanks to the Oppo's uprezzing.

    The new IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE remastered blu ray looks and sounds fine on my set. Certainly a far cry from the old Kartes VHS tape I bought in 1981.

  109. haineshisway

    Whatever happened to, I don't know, putting in a disc and having it play without having to turn off this or turn on that or change this or change that. And all this other technical gobbledygook I'm reading here that gives me a headache, like "with my JVC N7 and dynamic tone mapping via Lumagen Radiance Pro HDR mapping issues are 99.9% a thing of the past. One needs either a HDR10 reference monitor or good dynamic tone mapping to see if the lack of shadow detail is in the master or only a display chain issue."

    Dagnabbit. All technology gets too complex with innovation. I remember the only "technical" adjustment needed on my first TV was twisting the "horizontal hold" knob on the back. And let's not forget that phones would just make voice calls. Ah, simplicity. :rolling-smiley:

  110. RichMurphy

    Dagnabbit. All technology gets too complex with innovation. I remember the only "technical" adjustment needed on my first TV was twisting the "horizontal hold" knob on the back. And let's not forget that phones would just make voice calls. Ah, simplicity. :rolling-smiley:

    yes, skew is out of alignment

  111. Robert Harris

    I’m running on an Oppo, which runs DV.

    Oh! I remember reading a thread about the 9000 that you wrote and I just assumed that’s what you were using. It’s easy to turn off DV on the Panasonic. Not possible on the Oppo?

  112. Rob_Ray

    Oh, good! I thought it was just my 63-year-old eyes that were glazing over. I have an Oppo 203, a 55" Panasonic Plasma 3D set and a halfway decent sound system. And I just insert the disc, press play and let the picture and sound fall where they may. And most of the time my blurays look and sound spectacular and my DVDs look nearly as good thanks to the Oppo's uprezzing.

    The new IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE remastered blu ray looks and sounds fine on my set. Certainly a far cry from the old Kartes VHS tape I bought in 1981.

    Dear gawd 4 k release seem to be a mess.
    I’ll stick with a Blu-ray and an upscaled Blu-ray 4K watch and iTunes freebie.
    So sorry you all have deal with this 4K format MESS!

  113. noel aguirre

    Dear gawd 4 k release seem to be a mess.
    I’ll stick with a Blu-ray and an upscaled Blu-ray 4K watch and iTunes freebie.
    So sorry you all have deal with this 4K format MESS!

    It's is a mess, but I like to think we are the type of people that sort of embrace the bleeding edge, because even with its pitfalls and growing pains, when it works, it's better than anything out there in terms of image quality. Most of my films are Blu-rays, and my system is perfectly calibrated to that standard, so it's pretty much "plug and play", and I don't have to think or doubt things. But for the films I love, I absolutely buy and try the 4K UHD versions, even if it's more "plug and pray" 🙂 Like I said earlier, these discs will only look better and better as display technology catches up to the 4K UHD standard. So at the very least, they are a good investment. I think the different standards, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, complicate things needlessly, but I also remember the Blu-ray HD-DVD days too. In any case, there has never been a better time for videophiles, even if it means some extra work at times.

  114. noel aguirre

    Dear gawd 4 k release seem to be a mess.
    I’ll stick with a Blu-ray and an upscaled Blu-ray 4K watch and iTunes freebie.
    So sorry you all have deal with this 4K format MESS!

    It's mess for some people, but, on my OLED it looks beautiful.

  115. Robert Crawford

    It's mess for some people, but, on my LGOLED it looks beautiful.

    As I mentioned, via my Sony 4K player and my LG OLED, I thought it looked great but I did have spotty instances of a too dark image.

    It wasn't repeatable – the scenes that looked too dark later looked fine if I stopped and played them again.

    I chalked it up to my player but I guess it's something funky with the disc itself. Weird that it'd come and go like that and not repeat even if I played the same scenes!

  116. ghostwind

    It's is a mess, but I like to think we are the type of people that sort of embrace the bleeding edge, because even with its pitfalls and growing pains, when it works, it's better than anything out there in terms of image quality. Most of my films are Blu-rays, and my system is perfectly calibrated to that standard, so it's pretty much "plug and play", and I don't have to think or doubt things. But for the films I love, I absolutely buy and try the 4K UHD versions, even if it's more "plug and pray" 🙂 Like I said earlier, these discs will only look better and better as display technology catches up to the 4K UHD standard. So at the very least, they are a good investment. I think the different standards, HDR10, HDR10+, Dolby Vision, complicate things needlessly, but I also remember the Blu-ray HD-DVD days too. In any case, there has never been a better time for videophiles, even if it means some extra work at times.

    And not to forget: Those new masters for the UHD releases can lead to very good looking new Blu-rays, too so even people who want to stay with Blu-ray can enjoy improved picture quality, like for example with the new Blu-ray of Léon: The Professional:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=744&y=277&d1=6748&d2=6749&s1=63739&s2=63756&l=0&i=4&go=1

    Unfortunately Blu-rays based on new masters used for UHD releases seem to be more rare than they should be, hopefully with time this will improve.

  117. OliverK

    And not to forget: Those new masters for the UHD releases can lead to very good looking new Blu-rays, too so even people who want to stay with Blu-ray can enjoy improved picture quality, like for example with the new Blu-ray of Léon: The Professional:
    https://caps-a-holic.com/c.php?a=1&x=744&y=277&d1=6748&d2=6749&s1=63739&s2=63756&l=0&i=4&go=1

    Unfortunately Blu-rays based on new masters used for UHD releases seem to be more rare than they should be, hopefully with time this will improve.

    Yes, I'm always hoping for a new and good/proper Blu-ray to be included with a new 4K UHD disc. Especially if it's a remaster, restoration, etc.

  118. I think we're fortunate to even have UHD BD. Remember back in 2014 and even as late as earlier 2015, there were a lot of people (some of whom in the industry) that doubted the format would actually happen.

  119. Dave H

    I think we're fortunate to even have UHD BD. Remember back in 2014 and even as late as earlier 2015, there were a lot of people (some of whom in the industry) that doubted the format would actually happen.

    Several aspects of the UHD Blu-ray format have been handled very badly, like the complete lack of support for projectors when UHD Blu-ray first came to market and adding to that the complete and utter chaos of different HDR formats. There had been predictions that this would happen and indeed these issues came true.

    Still I have to say that many UHD 4k discs have given me a picture quality that previously was not attainable with even a very good Blu-ray so I guess I consider myself very lucky to be able to watch movies at home in this kind of quality.

  120. I took a look at the colorized BluRay – the last 9 minutes of the film (starting when George returns to the bridge) are still disfigured by a scratch running down the right side of the image. This scratch has been removed in the 4k version.

  121. Mark Stenroos

    I took a look at the colorized BluRay – the last 9 minutes of the film (starting when George returns to the bridge) are still disfigured by a scratch running down the right side of the image. This scratch has been removed in the 4k version.

    Yes, the colorized version is based on the previous master and is the exact same disc included in the 2009 release.

  122. Josh Steinberg

    Yes, the colorized version is based on the previous master and is the exact same disc included in the 2009 release.

    Yes. I mentioned it as some earlier posts in this thread remarked that doing a good, cleaned-up UHD version can often mean an improvement in the standard BluRay version.

    That certainly is not the case here. Same-old, same-old.

  123. Mark Stenroos

    Yes. I mentioned it as some earlier posts in this thread remarked that doing a good, cleaned-up UHD version can often mean an improvement in the standard BluRay version.

    That certainly is not the case here. Same-old, same-old.

    There is a new B&W Blu-ray available separately from the 4K which includes said improvements.

  124. Josh Steinberg

    There is a new B&W Blu-ray available separately from the 4K which includes said improvements.

    Sadly (and frustratingly), Paramount did not include that w/ the 4K instead of the colorized.

    Would make this upgrade exercise less painful/befuddling if they did me thinks…

    _Man_

  125. ManW_TheUncool

    Sadly (and frustratingly), Paramount did not include that w/ the 4K instead of the colorized.

    Would make this upgrade exercise less painful/befuddling if they did me thinks…

    _Man_

    Agreed. Bean counters probably limited them to two discs, and marketers probably wanted the package to say that it came with B&W and color in the same set. But it was still a poor decision.

  126. Considering the issues, this lack of inclusion of the remastered/restored BD and Amazon’s current B2G1 deal, I’m just about ready to just go w/ the new BD (w/ fingers crossed) and worry about the 4K much later when I finally have a good 4K FP setup (that I feel confident enough for long haul) — maybe in a couple years…

    _Man_

  127. ManW_TheUncool

    Sadly (and frustratingly), Paramount did not include that w/ the 4K instead of the colorized.

    Would make this upgrade exercise less painful/befuddling if they did me thinks…

    _Man_

    Order it from UK Amazon. It includes the remastered B/W blu ray in addition to the 4k disc. Both are region-free.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wonderful-…Wonderful+Life+4k&qid=1573270837&s=dvd&sr=1-1

  128. ManW_TheUncool

    Considering the issues, this lack of inclusion of the remastered/restored BD and Amazon’s current B2G1 deal, I’m just about ready to just go w/ the new BD (w/ fingers crossed) and worry about the 4K much later when I finally have a good 4K FP setup (that I feel confident enough for long haul) — maybe in a couple years…

    _Man_

    If you’re in the US and an AppleTV user, the digital code included with the new Blu-ray redeems in 4K on iTunes. So I have the new BD disc and a 4K version in my digital library. I’m good.

  129. Josh Steinberg

    If you’re in the US and an AppleTV user, the digital code included with the new Blu-ray redeems in 4K on iTunes. So I have the new BD disc and a 4K version in my digital library. I’m good.

    The 4k version is free in this case but its usefulness may depend on what you think about film grain as it is possible that it will be reduced significantly. Saw this a few days ago with my itunes UHD version of The Big Lebowski – very disappointing. It might be that IAWL is different as the grain reduction does not seem to affect all titles in the same way but when it happens it seems to happen even at maximum bandwidth, at least it was like that for The Big Lebowski.

  130. OliverK

    The 4k version is free in this case but its usefulness may depend on what you think about film grain as it is possible that it will be reduced significantly. Saw this a few days ago with my itunes UHD version of The Big Lebowski – very disappointing. It might be that IAWL is different as the grain reduction does not seem to affect all titles in the same way but when it happens it seems to happen even at maximum bandwidth, at least it was like that for The Big Lebowski.

    Also, I think the apparent film grain reduction is dependent on HT equipment and an individual's awareness of it. The iTunes 4K digital has been out there for a year and nobody said a word about film grain reduction until this thread.

  131. Robert Crawford

    Also, I think the apparent film grain reduction is dependent on HT equipment and an individual's awareness of it. The iTunes 4K digital has been out there for a year and nobody said a word about film grain reduction until this thread.

    I wanted to bring it up as this seems to have a very noticable grain structure in the UHD version, more than most other movies. If nobody brought it up before it is probably a non-issue for most people and we should also not forget that the previous Blu-ray did not excel in this regard either.

  132. OliverK

    I wanted to bring it up as this seems to have a very noticable grain structure in the UHD version, more than most other movies. If nobody brought it up before it is probably a non-issue for most people and we should also not forget that the previous Blu-ray did not excel in this regard either.

    The new Blu is very nice in this aspect. Looks as I said before "filmic". The old one was DNR'd on delivery 😉

  133. Still more questions than answers from these quarters. Is the film grain, which I personally find quite lovely, affected by HDR?

    As in, contrast affects perceived sharpness.

    I’d love to see the film in 4k au naturale.

    As in, MOHDR.

  134. Robert Harris

    Still more questions than answers from these quarters. Is the film grain, which I personally find quite lovely, affected by HDR?

    As in, contrast affects perceived sharpness.

    I’d love to see the film in 4k au naturale.

    As in, MOHDR.

    Possibly, it depends, who knows? In theory, HDR's higher contrast ratio should also affect the grain seen. Without having a 4K NOHDR to compare with, it's impossible to know what's in the 4K master and what's in the HDR grading. HDR should stand for High Degree of Research 🙂

  135. Trancas

    Order it from UK Amazon. It includes the remastered B/W blu ray in addition to the 4k disc. Both are region-free.
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Wonderful-Life-Remastered-Blu-ray-Region/dp/B07YBNJF43/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=It's+a+Wonderful+Life+4k&qid=1573270837&s=dvd&sr=1-1

    Thanks for the heads-up on that.

    Given the UK asking price, my situation and the current Amazon US deal though, it probably still makes more sense for me to go w/ the new BD-only version (which comes w/ streaming code) for now and then add the 4K later.

    Josh Steinberg

    If you’re in the US and an AppleTV user, the digital code included with the new Blu-ray redeems in 4K on iTunes. So I have the new BD disc and a 4K version in my digital library. I’m good.

    That’s great to know… though I don’t have AppleTV. Is AppleTV really still granting free 4K upgrades to all regular streaming codes like a while back (I recall reading in that other dedicated thread)?

    IF yes, that may convince me to add AppleTV to my setup — maybe whenever they release whatever next hardware version. Currently, I only have a Roku Premiere+ that serves the family very well… though most of our streaming in the HT are for other content we don’t have on disc (since the disc usually offers noticeably better quality)…

    Thanks again, y’all…

    _Man_

  136. I've watched the first thirty minutes, and frankly I don't know WHAT to think. It looks devoid of grain to my eyes, especially in the opticals, which have always had grain. The contrast seems fine and it's not too dark or anything, but I was expecting a revelation and thus far that I haven't gotten.

  137. haineshisway

    I've watched the first thirty minutes, and frankly I don't know WHAT to think. It looks devoid of grain to my eyes, especially in the opticals, which have always had grain. The contrast seems fine and it's not too dark or anything, but I was expecting a revelation and thus far that I haven't gotten.

    4k or 1920 x 1080 Blu?

  138. haineshisway

    I've watched the first thirty minutes, and frankly I don't know WHAT to think. It looks devoid of grain to my eyes, especially in the opticals, which have always had grain. The contrast seems fine and it's not too dark or anything, but I was expecting a revelation and thus far that I haven't gotten.

    Almost sounds as if you got the old disc.

  139. I got the one someone linked to here and the copyright is 2019. I'm just telling you what I'm seeing and I'm not a grain freak. But there are a bunch of opticals in the first thirty minutes of this film including, I believe, two optical blow-ups – but either the grain is so fine that I simply am not seeing it (I'm sure there is SOME there) – I'll continue and I'm trying to find the last Blu-ray, which I have in the garage somewhere.

  140. haineshisway

    I got the one someone linked to here and the copyright is 2019. I'm just telling you what I'm seeing and I'm not a grain freak. But there are a bunch of opticals in the first thirty minutes of this film including, I believe, two optical blow-ups – but either the grain is so fine that I simply am not seeing it (I'm sure there is SOME there) – I'll continue and I'm trying to find the last Blu-ray, which I have in the garage somewhere.

    Don’t waste your time in the garage

  141. FWIW–and it ain't much–I went ahead and sprung for the 4k of IaWL.

    In my personal situation, I am all 4k–except for my display. I am playing the disc on an Oppo 203. Processing through a Denon X3600h. But viewing on a Panasonic plasma (P55ST50).

    To me, the image looks fine (but I have a less-than-critical eye for such things). Grain is readily apparent (appropriately so) and I don't believe I'm losing much by way of details in the darker shots.

  142. I know Paramount said in the press release that the regular Black & White Blu-ray would be of the new restoration, but I don’t believe anyone has verified that yet. Bruce’s post makes it sound like maybe it’s actually not.

  143. Mark-P

    I know Paramount said in the press release that the regular Black & White Blu-ray would be of the new restoration, but I don’t believe anyone has verified that yet. Bruce’s post makes it sound like maybe it’s actually not.

    See my posts in this thread. I’ve verified it and disagree with his findings.

  144. Really? Go to the optical blow-up shot where the young George goes to see his father at the bank. The shot is an optical zoom into the sign. Tell me what you see – if you don't see overt grain on an optical blow-up then something is screwy somewhere. I'm just telling you what my eye sees. There is a sticker on the package that says newly restored, the copyright is 2019. Of course the previous Blu also said newly restored. If everyone thinks there's grain galore on the Blu then I suppose my eyes are deceiving me.

  145. haineshisway

    Really? Go to the optical blow-up shot where the young George goes to see his father at the bank. The shot is an optical zoom into the sign. Tell me what you see – if you don't see overt grain on an optical blow-up then something is screwy somewhere. I'm just telling you what my eye sees. There is a sticker on the package that says newly restored, the copyright is 2019. Of course the previous Blu also said newly restored. If everyone thinks there's grain galore on the Blu then I suppose my eyes are deceiving me.

    If you’re not seeing it, it’s been reduced. How’s the luggage freeze frame?

    and it’s it a 25 or 50?

  146. haineshisway

    Really? Go to the optical blow-up shot where the young George goes to see his father at the bank. The shot is an optical zoom into the sign. Tell me what you see – if you don't see overt grain on an optical blow-up then something is screwy somewhere. I'm just telling you what my eye sees. There is a sticker on the package that says newly restored, the copyright is 2019. Of course the previous Blu also said newly restored. If everyone thinks there's grain galore on the Blu then I suppose my eyes are deceiving me.

    In my evaluation post I said the following:

    “The new Blu-ray is (as expected) a major improvement over the 2009 one. It has better detail, looks more like film, grain is visible, doesn't have that ugly DNR and EE applied to it that the 2009 version did, etc. It also has better shadow detail than the 2009 version. Also, the opening titles are not windowboxed in the new version. So clear winner here.”

    I stand by this 100%. I also stated that I don’t have a print or know what it “should” look like (though we would be comparing physical film to scanned film/video which is never identical), but that it looks a lot better than the 2009 Blu-ray. And there is visible grain, though I cannot say what’s the right amount. I cannot agree that it’s “devoid” of grain however – it isn’t. That was the case for sure on the DNR’d 2009 Blu-ray, but not here. Perhaps you are correct and there should be more grain – I can’t say or quantify it.

    Grain is more visible on the 4K disc, but I think that’s to be expected given the higher resolution and the HDR grade with a bit more contrast.

    What is your set up?

  147. You know, it doesn't matter what my set up is. What matters is that I watch movies and the ones with great transfers look great and the ones that don't don't. So, for example, if I watch a black-and-white transfer that has proper fine grain, I see it. Easily. Don't have to look for it, it's there. For me, the tell-tale signs are always the opticals, which should be grainier than the other footage – ESPECIALLY optical blow-ups of shots. Those should always have more grain and not pretty-looking grain either. This does not. I'm glad you see what you see. And I know what I am not seeing. It doesn't look bad, the contrast is nice, it's reasonably sharp, and it looks nothing like either my 16mm print or the phenomenal Library of Congress 35mm nitrate I ran.

    I don't have 4K so I can't get into what that looks like.

  148. Wow, I never expected this 4K or even the Blu-ray release to be so divisive in regard to quality-related issues. I guess it just goes to show you that diverse opinions are always possible even with black and white movies. I don't question those that see issues or defects with their discs, however, I don't question those like myself that are very happy with this recent disc release.

  149. haineshisway

    You know, it doesn't matter what my set up is. What matters is that I watch movies and the ones with great transfers look great and the ones that don't don't. So, for example, if I watch a black-and-white transfer that has proper fine grain, I see it. Easily. Don't have to look for it, it's there. For me, the tell-tale signs are always the opticals, which should be grainier than the other footage – ESPECIALLY optical blow-ups of shots. Those should always have more grain and not pretty-looking grain either. This does not. I'm glad you see what you see. And I know what I am not seeing. It doesn't look bad, the contrast is nice, it's reasonably sharp, and it looks nothing like either my 16mm print or the phenomenal Library of Congress 35mm nitrate I ran.

    I don't have 4K so I can't get into what that looks like.

    Field enlargements, cut-in printer functions, and replacement dupes are generally massaged these days to make them appear more transparent to the attributes of the main footage.

  150. I have to agree with hainshisway: great transfers look great on any set up (Lawrence Of Arabia, Spartacus, Cat Ballou & happily a great many others, including, I'm sure, The Bad & The Beautiful). Not this transfer (I haven't seen it), but on other troubled transfers discussed here over the years, people are told to get their monitors professionally calibrated, & then you just know there's something a bit off.:)

  151. Robert Harris

    Field enlargements, cut-in printer functions, and replacement dupes are generally massaged these days to make them appear more transparent to the attributes of the main footage.

    I understand that. I think you said the Blu is on its way to you, so I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts. Maybe I'm just crazy – always a possibility.

  152. Billy Batson

    I have to agree with hainshisway: great transfers look great on any set up (Lawrence Of Arabia, Spartacus, Cat Ballou & happily a great many others, including, I'm sure, The Bad & The Beautiful). Not this transfer (I haven't seen it), but on other troubled transfers discussed here over the years, people are told to get their monitors professionally calibrated, & then you just know there's something a bit off.:)

    I was asking the setup, because for 4K HDR is absolutely matters. And it also matters when splitting hairs IMHO over a 1080p Blu-ray's fine grain or lack of "true" grain strength compared to a 16mm print or a 35mm nitrate. Is one looking on a 10ft screen via a projector? A 55" OLED? It matters, even with the great transfers when nitpicking, as I don't think this is a troubled transfer, but people looking at it with different expectations based on prior experiences with this film. If this was a truly problematic transfer, like others (see 2009 version), I believe everyone would be complaining/unhappy for the most part. That's not the case. Anyway, I could be wrong as I've said in how much grain there should be. But that's missing the point IMHO. A 4K UHD or a Blu-ray will never look like a print. It can get close, but it won't. This one gets very close IMHO.

  153. haineshisway

    I understand that. I think you said the Blu is on its way to you, so I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts. Maybe I'm just crazy – always a possibility.

    I know that You know. I was making note for others.

  154. ghostwind

    I was asking the setup, because for 4K HDR is absolutely matters. And it also matters when splitting hairs IMHO over a 1080p Blu-ray's fine grain or lack of "true" grain strength compared to a 16mm print or a 35mm nitrate. Is one looking on a 10ft screen via a projector? A 55" OLED? It matters, even with the great transfers when nitpicking, as I don't think this is a troubled transfer, but people looking at it with different expectations based on prior experiences with this film. If this was a truly problematic transfer, like others (see 2009 version), I believe everyone would be complaining/unhappy for the most part. That's not the case. Anyway, I could be wrong as I've said in how much grain there should be. But that's missing the point IMHO. A 4K UHD or a Blu-ray will never look like a print. It can get close, but it won't. This one gets very close IMHO.

    Ive not yet seen the Blu, but the grain structure on the 4k, at least as played back via Oppo to Sony OLED, appears more coarse than the nominal film from the era on normally exposed and processed Kodak stock.

    Again, i have more questions than answers here.

  155. Robert Harris

    Ive not yet seen the Blu, but the grain structure on the 4k, at least as played back via Oppo to Sony OLED, appears more coarse than the nominal film from the era on normally exposed and processed Kodak stock.

    Again, i have more questions than answers here.

    That can be due to he HDR as we discussed a few posts/pages back, but yeah, hard to say with certainty. When you get the Blu-ray, I'm curious to your thoughts, as that should provide some answers as it pertains to the master.

  156. ghostwind

    That can be due to he HDR as we discussed a few posts/pages back, but yeah, hard to say with certainty. When you get the Blu-ray, I'm curious to your thoughts, as that should provide some answers as it pertains to the master.

    One can create a beautiful master, and then take it in multiple directions.

  157. haineshisway

    I understand that. I think you said the Blu is on its way to you, so I'll look forward to hearing your thoughts. Maybe I'm just crazy – always a possibility.

    Bruce, I don't think you're crazy, as I feel the same way. I got the Blu on Saturday, and so far I've only had time to sample it, but it looks nothing like the 35mm print I saw (which may have been nitrate) at Columbia University's School of International Affairs. Frank Capra was there and it was apparently his own personal print. I've never liked this film all that much, but seeing Mr. Capra's print was a total revelation, and made me realize this was his best film. Everything was in it, the humor, the sloppy sentimentality, but most of all his visual sense, which transformed everything.

    Before I continue, I should say that if I hadn't seen that print, I probably would have found this Blu "beautiful". The contrast is good, the black are rich, and as in Mr. Harris' take on the first Blu-Ray iteration of PATTON, it's "as clean as a baby's bottom."

    But it doesn't look like film. It's not just that there isn't any grain. Everything looks electronic and processed. Now, please don't misunderstand me. This isn't smeary or flat. As I noted, above, the contrast is fine. But no, it doesn't have the glow of Capra's print, which I found almost transcendent, and took it out of the realm of everyday life, while somehow keeping that sense of being in the moment alive. And the blacks, while decent, aren't rich and almost alive, as in the scene on the bridge. I can't explain this on a technical level, but everything in the Blu, while perfect balanced in terms of the whites and blacks, seemed embossed in amber, not alive somehow. And what Mr. Harris calls the printer functions, like the one in the beginning where the houses in the town are superimposed over the stars, or the scene after that where the image, from the angel's point of view, foes from grey to sharp focus, looks really weird. It's not just that there's not a speck of grain to be seen; but it seems as if the life and filmic quality has been drained out of it as well. IT looks frozen and a shadow of its former self.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. I haven't seen it all the way through yet, but I did watch the first 25 minutes, and then sampled the scenes I remembered being especially striking upon seeing Mr. Capra's print, and they're not at all the same. Now this is the Blu-Ray I'm looking at, the one that was released a few weeks ago, not the 4k, which I do not have the equipment for. And again, I'm not criticizing anyone for liking this who hasn't seen it in 35mm. But I have, and this Blu doesn't at all resemble what I saw.

  158. No matter how deep this plot 'thickens' one has a choice to make.. Purchase the disc or not … Having never seen the film except on a TV broadcast I'm inclined to purchase the 4k UHD UK version with the B&W blu ray. To me Blu ray is only an approximation of what I've seen or recall from years ago. Sometimes I'm very pleased, other times disappointed. Nothing one can do…

  159. lark144

    Bruce, I don't think you're crazy, as I feel the same way. I got the Blu on Saturday, and so far I've only had time to sample it, but it looks nothing like the 35mm print I saw (which may have been nitrate) at Columbia University's School of International Affairs. Frank Capra was there and it was apparently his own personal print. I've never liked this film all that much, but seeing Mr. Capra's print was a total revelation, and made me realize this was his best film. Everything was in it, the humor, the sloppy sentimentality, but most of all his visual sense, which transformed everything.

    Before I continue, I should say that if I hadn't seen that print, I probably would have found this Blu "beautiful". The contrast is good, the black are decent, and as in Mr. Harris' take on the first Blu-Ray iteration of PATTON, it's "as clean as a baby's bottom."

    But it doesn't look like film. It's not just that there isn't any grain. Everything looks electronic and processed. Now, please don't misunderstand me. This isn't smeary or flat. As I noted, above, the contrast is fine. But no, it doesn't have the glow of Capra's print, which I found almost transcendent, and took it out of the realm of everyday life, while somehow keeping that sense of being in the moment alive. And the blacks, while decent, aren't rich and almost alive, as in the scene on the bridge.

    Every aspect of every image seemed to breathe along with the characters in Mr. Capra's print. I can't explain this on a technical level, but everything in the Blu, while balanced in terms of the whites and blacks, seemed embossed in amber, not real somehow. And what Mr. Harris calls the printer functions, like the one in the beginning where the houses in the town are superimposed over the stars, or the scene after that where the image, from the angel's point of view, turns from grey to sharp focus, looks really weird. It's not just that there's not a speck of grain to be seen; but it seems as if the life and filmic quality has been drained out of it as well. It looks frozen and a shadow of its former self.

    Anyway, that's my take on it. I haven't seen it all the way through yet, but I did watch the first 25 minutes, and then sampled the scenes I remembered being especially striking upon seeing Mr. Capra's print, and they're not at all the same. Now this is the Blu-Ray I'm looking at, the one that was released a few weeks ago, not the 4k, which I do not have the equipment for. And again, I'm not criticizing anyone for liking this who hasn't seen it in 35mm. But I have, and this Blu doesn't at all resemble what I saw.

    Alas, my only experience of a 35mm print of IAWL was the cut re-issue print distributed by RKO in the '50s and shown at the Carnegie Hall Cinema in the '70s. Although cut, it was glorious to behold, and made it all the more regrettable that it was not the complete version.

  160. Again, I'm not saying the Blu-Ray looks awful. Not at all. It looks quite nice and I think almost everyone will be happy with it. I'm glad I bought it as it's the best representation, both visually and narratively, of Frank Capra's masterpiece, that we're likely to get. In general, it looks beautiful, but beautiful in a kind of electronic way; not organic, which is what I was hoping for. When I say it looks processed to me, I'm not talking about any irregularities such as smearing or edge enhancement. Nothing like that is noticeable. It appears to be organic, but by comparison to the print that I saw, which was probably the most beautiful black and white images that I've ever seen, the Blu-Ray falls short. The whites in the family scenes don't glow the way that print did. While the depth of field in the Blu-Ray is fine, it doesn't appear three-dimensional, creating a magical world that seems one could walk right into, as Mr. Capra's print did. In the scene on the bridge, the blacks don't come alive and seem to caress Jimmy Stewart the way they did in that print. Also, I couldn't find any grain at all in the Blu-Ray, which added to the sensation of it not being filmic. While the Blu-ray is perfectly serviceable. It's just not a work of art in itself, the way Mr. Capra's print of the film was, which is something I will never forget. The reason I'm making these comparisons is that many reviews and also the promotional materials from Paramount led me to believe I would be seeing something similar to an original nitrate print, which is simply not the case. I didn't buy the first Blu-Ray so I can't compare the two.

  161. lark144

    Again, I'm not saying the Blu-Ray looks awful. Not at all. It looks quite nice and I think almost everyone will be happy with it. I'm glad I bought it as it's the best representation, both visually and narratively, of Frank Capra's masterpiece, that we're likely to get. In general, it looks beautiful, but beautiful in a kind of electronic way; not organic, which is what I was hoping for. When I say it looks processed to me, I'm not talking about any irregularities such as smearing or edge enhancement. Nothing like that is noticeable. It appears to be organic, but by comparison to the print that I saw, which was probably the most beautiful black and white images that I've ever seen, the Blu-Ray falls short. The whites in the family scenes don't glow the way that print did. While the depth of field in the Blu-Ray is fine, it doesn't appear three-dimensional, creating a magical world that seems one could walk right into, as Mr. Capra's print did. In the scene on the bridge, the blacks don't come alive and seem to caress Jimmy Stewart the way they did in that print. Also, I couldn't find any grain at all in the Blu-Ray, which added to the sensation of it not being filmic. While the Blu-ray is perfectly serviceable. It's just not a work of art in itself, the way Mr. Capra's print of the film was, which is something I will never forget. The reason I'm making these comparisons is that many reviews and also the promotional materials from Paramount led me to believe I would be seeing something similar to an original nitrate print, which is simply not the case. I didn't buy the first Blu-Ray so I can't compare the two.

    I suggest you compare it to any number of different Warner Archive blu-rays of the same era, derived from OCNs.

    This, as a presumably newer transfer, should look every bit as good, or better.

    It ain’t brain surgery.

  162. Robert Harris

    I suggest you compare it to any number of different Warner Archive blu-rays of the same era, derived from OCNs.

    This, as a presumably newer transfer, should look every bit as good, or better.

    It ain’t brain surgery.

    OK, Mr. Harris. Maybe I was being a little too positive. Maybe I was under the impression this was IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE's Blu-ray's Bar Mitzvah & I was the rabbi and had to say something nice. The new IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE Blu-Ray is not the worst I've ever seen. On the other hand, It doesn't look every bit as good or better, than say, THE LETTER. In fact, it looks downright disappointing in comparison. The only Warner Blu-Ray of a film from the same era I would compare this new Blu-Ray to would be the first version of CASABLANCA, the one without much grain and an overly smooth appearance. And unfortunately, I must give the edge to that first issue of CASABLANCA, as at least that had some smattering of grain, and looked a little bit filmic, which this new Blu-Ray of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, supposedly derived from a new 4K scan of the original negative, does not.

  163. ghostwind

    I was asking the setup, because for 4K HDR is absolutely matters. And it also matters when splitting hairs IMHO over a 1080p Blu-ray's fine grain or lack of "true" grain strength compared to a 16mm print or a 35mm nitrate. Is one looking on a 10ft screen via a projector? A 55" OLED? It matters, even with the great transfers when nitpicking, as I don't think this is a troubled transfer, but people looking at it with different expectations based on prior experiences with this film. If this was a truly problematic transfer, like others (see 2009 version), I believe everyone would be complaining/unhappy for the most part. That's not the case. Anyway, I could be wrong as I've said in how much grain there should be. But that's missing the point IMHO. A 4K UHD or a Blu-ray will never look like a print. It can get close, but it won't. This one gets very close IMHO.

    I've been pretty clear that I don't do 4K at this time. I'm only talking about the Blu-ray and I don't play these set-up games because they're BS. I have a great 55-inch TV on which great black-and-white transfers look, well, great. As I said, I'm glad you like it. I'm glad others like it. Some of us clearly have problems with at least the Blu-ray iteration, and Mr. Harris clearly has problems with the 4K disc. How much grain there is and how it looks is exactly the point, for me. I have many Blu-ray transfers that actually look as good or better than a print and actually resemble what film looks like. Maybe the 4K iteration here is better – but you're not going to change my mind about what the Blu-ray looks like to ME.

  164. haineshisway

    I've been pretty clear that I don't do 4K at this time. I'm only talking about the Blu-ray and I don't play these set-up games because they're BS. I have a great 55-inch TV on which great black-and-white transfers look, well, great. As I said, I'm glad you like it. I'm glad others like it. Some of us clearly have problems with at least the Blu-ray iteration, and Mr. Harris clearly has problems with the 4K disc. How much grain there is and how it looks is exactly the point, for me. I have many Blu-ray transfers that actually look as good or better than a print and actually resemble what film looks like. Maybe the 4K iteration here is better – but you're not going to change my mind about what the Blu-ray looks like to ME.

    The Blu-Ray looks so degrained and otherwise digitally prettied-up to me, I'm wondering whether they just re-released a slightly cleaned up version of the same HD master from a few years back. The box simply says "Newly Remastered." Nothing about it being taken from a 4k scan of the original negative.

  165. Can I please get a clear description of what everyone is concerned about, so I can let my contact know? I don't want to come across as ungrateful or complaining. I want to make sure she knows what to look for, so she can answer my question. The last time I had an issue, she had the final master fixed that same day. Of course, it was just a glitch, but still.

  166. I just spent some time comparing the previous Blu-Ray, iTunes 4K SDR, and iTunes 4K DV. (I don't have the UHD disc yet.)

    I'm a novice compared to the experts here, but I agree with RAH and Haines on this one. There's no question that this new 4K, in either SDR or DV, has significantly less shadow detail than the previous BD. It isn't difficult to find, and it's very consistent. A great deal of dark clothing is missing any detail, texture, and even shape and contour. The DV version seems to loose a bit more detail to black, but at least on iTunes, both 4K versions are essentially the same. It's amazing that RAH can spot these issues without any direct comparison.

    And at least on my 55" display, I'm in agreement with Haines on the grain issue as well. I really don't see any additional grain on the 4K than I see on the previous blu.

    Even with all the problems on the previous blu, I can easily see why some may prefer it just for the shadow detail alone.

    I'll compare on the projector screen tonight and post some more observations regarding sharpness and grain at large size.

  167. I just spent some time comparing the previous Blu-Ray, iTunes 4K SDR, and iTunes 4K DV. (I don't have the UHD disc yet.)

    I'm a novice compared to the experts here, but I agree with RAH and Haines on this one. There's no question that this new 4K, in either SDR or DV, has significantly less shadow detail than the previous BD. It isn't difficult to find, and it's very consistent. A great deal of dark clothing is missing any detail, texture, and even shape and contour. The DV version seems to loose a bit more detail to black, but at least on iTunes, both 4K versions are essentially the same. It's amazing that RAH can spot these issues without any direct comparison.

    And at least on my 55" display, I'm in agreement with Haines on the grain issue as well. I really don't see any additional grain on the 4K than I see on the previous blu.

    Even with all the problems on the previous blu, I can easily see why some may prefer it just for the shadow detail alone.

    I'll compare on the projector screen tonight and post some more observations regarding sharpness and grain at large size.

  168. Reporting back after comparing iTunes 4K SDR vs. previous Blu on a JVC RS500:

    Without question, I prefer the previous blu-ray. I find even less grain and detail in the 4K, and I find the shadow crush annoying.

    A reminder that I do not own the new disc – either UHD or Blu-ray. But from what I've just seen and from what I've read in this thread, I'm not about to spend any more money on this release.

    I think RAH is correct.

    YMMV

  169. moviebuff75

    Can I please get a clear description of what everyone is concerned about, so I can let my contact know? I don't want to come across as ungrateful or complaining. I want to make sure she knows what to look for, so she can answer my question. The last time I had an issue, she had the final master fixed that same day. Of course, it was just a glitch, but still.

    was the grain added in, in post ?

  170. moviebuff75

    Can I please get a clear description of what everyone is concerned about, so I can let my contact know? I don't want to come across as ungrateful or complaining. I want to make sure she knows what to look for, so she can answer my question. The last time I had an issue, she had the final master fixed that same day. Of course, it was just a glitch, but still.

    I don't think there's anything clear TBH, but I'll try to sum it up, as this thread is going in all sorts of directions. The issues reported fall into two categories:

    1. 2019 4K UHD having less shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray. Initially reported by Mr. Harris, but not a unanimous conclusion, as others are not experiencing this, including myself. More details below.

    2. 2019 Blu-ray not having enough grain compared to 16mm and 35mm nitrate prints. Reported by Bruce initially, but again, there are disagreements. More details below as well.

    In terms of the 2019 4K UHD issue, I personally believe it's down to the nature of how different display devices handle HDR/HDR10/Dolby Vision, particularly EOTF curves/gamma when the contrast and brightness settings (and OLED light if applicable) are left at their defaults (which is necessary and the bypass setting for HDR10/Dolby Vision to work properly). Some displays could have lifted blacks, some proper blacks, and some crushed blacks. This is not a new problem, but a common one in HDR land. It's complex and messy. LG for example has released various firmware updates over the last year to deal with black level issues in HDR for their OLED displays. It's a mess. And not everyone has the problem. And still no real solution from LG for some folks. And just as LG is dealing with this issue, I have to assume others are too. So it's complicated, and no easy answer.

    In terms of the 2019 Blu-ray, a few folks are not happy with it, due to a perceived lack of proper grain when compared to 16mm or 35mm prints. I've said my 2 cents on it, and am OK if others disagree. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, I'm just curious myself as to what's going on that reports can vary so much, and people seem so passionate, even angry! But I cannot agree it's not better than the 2009 Blu-ray – that's just wrong on many levels, sorry. That version truly WAS devoid of grain, and had plenty of other issues. A quick A/B comparison (and I mean real quick) will show the 2019 version is superior all around. As it should be.

    So that's pretty much it. Not sure there's something to report yet.

    The other point I was going to address was Chris' findings with the iTunes 4K HDR/SDR vs. 2009 Blu-ray. I would be careful to draw conclusions from a heavily compressed 4K stream. Chris mentioned both black crush and lack of grain and detail with the 4K, and that's a combination not reported so far by anyone with the 4K. And the 4K has less detail than the 2009 Blu-ray? Something is not right there for sure.

    Lastly, I'm not sure why some get defensive when talking about displays used to evaluate and form opinions, or calibration settings, etc. This thread should be about problem solving this, not arguing about who is "right" and who is "wrong".

  171. moviebuff75

    Can I please get a clear description of what everyone is concerned about, so I can let my contact know? I don't want to come across as ungrateful or complaining. I want to make sure she knows what to look for, so she can answer my question. The last time I had an issue, she had the final master fixed that same day. Of course, it was just a glitch, but still.

    With what organization is your contact?

  172. ghostwind

    I don't think there's anything clear TBH, but I'll try to sum it up, as this thread is going in all sorts of directions. The issues reported fall into two categories:

    1. 2019 4K UHD having less shadow detail than the 2009 Blu-ray. Initially reported by Mr. Harris, but not a unanimous conclusion, as others are not experiencing this, including myself. More details below.

    2. 2019 Blu-ray not having enough grain compared to 16mm and 35mm nitrate prints. Reported by Bruce initially, but again, there are disagreements. More details below as well.

    In terms of the 2019 4K UHD issue, I personally believe it's down to the nature of how different display devices handle HDR/HDR10/Dolby Vision, particularly EOTF curves/gamma when the contrast and brightness settings (and OLED light if applicable) are left at their defaults (which is necessary and the bypass setting for HDR10/Dolby Vision to work properly). Some displays could have lifted blacks, some proper blacks, and some crushed blacks. This is not a new problem, but a common one in HDR land. It's complex and messy. LG for example has released various firmware updates over the last year to deal with black level issues in HDR for their OLED displays. It's a mess. And not everyone has the problem. And still no real solution from LG for some folks. And just as LG is dealing with this issue, I have to assume others are too. So it's complicated, and no easy answer.

    In terms of the 2019 Blu-ray, a few folks are not happy with it, due to a perceived lack of proper grain when compared to 16mm or 35mm prints. I've said my 2 cents on it, and am OK if others disagree. I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything, I'm just curious myself as to what's going on that reports can vary so much, and people seem so passionate, even angry! But I cannot agree it's not better than the 2009 Blu-ray – that's just wrong on many levels, sorry. That version truly WAS devoid of grain, and had plenty of other issues. A quick A/B comparison (and I mean real quick) will show the 2019 version is superior all around. As it should be.

    So that's pretty much it. Not sure there's something to report yet.

    The other point I was going to address was Chris' findings with the iTunes 4K HDR/SDR vs. 2009 Blu-ray. I would be careful to draw conclusions from a heavily compressed 4K stream. Chris mentioned both black crush and lack of grain and detail with the 4K, and that's a combination not reported so far by anyone with the 4K. And the 4K has less detail than the 2009 Blu-ray? Something is not right there for sure.

    Lastly, I'm not sure why some get defensive when talking about displays used to evaluate and form opinions, or calibration settings, etc. This thread should be about problem solving this, not arguing about who is "right" and who is "wrong".

    To address just your last sentence – I don't think anyone is arguing about who is "right" and who is "wrong." People are posting their opinions. I personally have said in almost every post that if people love what they are seeing, great. I'm not sure what "problem solving" has to do with the Blu-ray that I watched. I'm really gonna dig around in the garage for the older Blu, just to compare.

  173. haineshisway

    ….I'm not sure what "problem solving" has to do with the Blu-ray that I watched. I'm really gonna dig around in the garage for the older Blu, just to compare.

    If you find it, please compare the first scenes of young George at the drugstore. I'm seeing more and clearer freckles on the old Blu-ray than I'm seeing on the iTunes 4K version.

    Thanks

  174. lark144

    The Blu-Ray looks so degrained and otherwise digitally prettied-up to me, I'm wondering whether they just re-released a slightly cleaned up version of the same HD master from a few years back. The box simply says "Newly Remastered." Nothing about it being taken from a 4k scan of the original negative.

    Although I agree with your observations, I think it's fairly certain this is taken from a new 4K scan (although not all from the original negative). Paramount even includes a feature proudly explaining about the scan and the elements used.

  175. cda1143

    If you find it, please compare the first scenes of young George at the drugstore. I'm seeing more and clearer freckles on the old Blu-ray than I'm being on the iTunes 4K version.

    Thanks

    One would, presumably, reproduce more detail from a non-steamed source.

    Not to bring Dear Alice to the fore, but attempting to cull viable comparisons involving streaming, brings one to that rabbit hole.

    Please keep in mind that streaming is generally not a constant.

    Comparisons of physical media to a streamed signal can also lead one to question one’s mental status.

    We can compare old and new Blu-rays, vs DVDs, vs 4k physical media, vs properly produced 16, 35, and 70mm prints – even vs laserdiscs. But once a streamed signal enters the equation…

  176. Robert Harris

    One would, presumably, reproduce more detail from a non-steamed source….

    Please keep in mind that streaming is generally not a constant.
    …But once a streamed signal enters the equation…

    Indeed. Hence my curiosity and specific question for Haines should he find old blu. With streaming there is always the possibility of something going on that you don't know about. I will say however, that having spent many hours comparing iTunes 4k streams with their respective UHD discs, (on a 110 x 47 screen) I've yet to be disappointed.

    This stream however, seems to look much like you have described – not quite right.

    Having finally just watched my Olive Blu-ray of Letter From an Unknown Woman, OTOH – now that looks right!

    Thank you so much!

  177. I think the HDR looks bad. I'm not even sure how to describe it other than unnatural. Washed out.

    Without it (Dynamic Range Conversion) it looks much, much better. Thank goodness for my Panasonic UHD player. It saved the day.

  178. With thanks to Paramount, for getting a Blu-ray for me to peruse, I can now make some additional comments relative to the new 4k and Blu.

    Comparing them against each other, and also the prior Blu, I've come away with the following.

    I like the new Blu-ray. Grain is a tad like, but it may not be from a new image harvest, merely an updated master. Gray scale seems beautiful, far more open than the 4k, and looking closest to film prints.

    Grain on the 4k appears more course in Dolby Vision than in projection, and would be fine, if there were a full grain scale.

    The new Blu is far and away, a better way to visit the film than the old version.

    If I were purchasing one of the new variants, it would be the Blu-ray, or if one desired to import, the 4k / non-colorized Blu-ray from the UK.

    I'm unable to strip the HDR /DV and play without, but am betting that this image harvest and the work performed would be gorgeous in that mode.

    The new Blu-ray is Highly Recommended

    RAH

  179. Yes, thanks Mr.Harris. Another wrinkle – from what I understand the digital copy included with the new Blu-ray will redeem in 4K UHD on iTunes, so anyone with the new disc can have both if they so desire.

  180. I have it on iTunes, but am not 4K/HDR capable. It looks pretty good to me, definitely an improvement over the previous blu-ray, though it does look like there's been some "grain management."

  181. dpippel

    Yes, thanks Mr.Harris. Another wrinkle – from what I understand the digital copy included with the new Blu-ray will redeem in 4K UHD on iTunes, so anyone with the new disc can have both if they so desire.

    Yes, it’s one of the few positives of Paramount not joining Movies Anywhere. They give you an HD code which can be redeemed directly in iTunes. iTunes as a matter of policy provides all purchases and direct redemptions in the highest available resolution format, which for this movie is 4K.

    So yeah, buy the Blu-ray, and get the movie in 4K on iTunes too. That’s what I did.

  182. That’s probably what I’m going to do. Buy the new Blu-ray and redeem the digital but I’m tempted to just bypass it for now. It’s frustrating to me that I can’t assume I’ll get a proper and better representation of the film on UHD disc.

  183. Josh Steinberg

    Yes, it’s one of the few positives of Paramount not joining Movies Anywhere. They give you an HD code which can be redeemed directly in iTunes. iTunes as a matter of policy provides all purchases and direct redemptions in the highest available resolution format, which for this movie is 4K.

    So yeah, buy the Blu-ray, and get the movie in 4K on iTunes too. That’s what I did.

    Or you one can be a dope like me and buy the 4K and the Blu-ray, throw out both color versions, and put the 4K and Blu-ray in the same case. 2x the money gets you no color version! 😉

    On a more serious note, I love having all the movies online in iTunes as well, as it makes it less likely for my wife or son to open my precious discs in my absence, and they can still watch the films. Collectors will appreciate the importance of this. 🙂

  184. Worth

    I have it on iTunes, but am not 4K/HDR capable. It looks pretty good to me, definitely an improvement over the previous blu-ray, though it does look like there's been some "grain management."

    Something's got to give with an average bitrate of less than 20 Mbps – you can only show so much grain on a limited bit budget.
    In two cases where I had the chance to compare film grain was treated harshly on iTunes.

    Not my cup of tea so especially for older movies shot on film I will always go for the disc version if available.

  185. Here’s another thought.

    If the final result does not mi ic a 35mm film print, as the best standard issue Blu-rays releases of the era do, why even consider a 4k release?

    Especially when wrangling HDR or DV variants,

    Compare Wonderful Life in 4k, in projection, to something like The Letter.

    To my eye, Letter appears akin to a film print, while WL takes on the look of entirely something else, possibly too close to a reverse polarity negative. Technically ultra-sharp, and with a beautifully harvested image, but in some ways too unforgiving of the stocks and optics, that need a generation of air.

    I see it as an interesting experiment.

  186. willyTass

    Now that I’ve seen the 4k I’m a bit sad

    parts look great, parts look devoid of film grain

    better than the old Blu ray for sure , but still I’m left wondering

    Have you tried pausing the movie during parts that look devoid of grain. Maybe it's there but your eyes aren't refreshing fast enough to see it? Old movies always look grainier when paused. The wider dynamic range may leave some tones that look grainless in motion.??

  187. Trancas

    Have you tried pausing the movie during parts that look devoid of grain. Maybe it's there but your eyes aren't refreshing fast enough to see it? Old movies always look grainier when paused. The wider dynamic range may leave some tones that look grainless in motion.??

    thank you for your visit

    Jokes aside yes I’ve paused it at various points in the film and I’m using a Panasonic 4000

    certain scenes are outstanding others appear soft , and not just the dissolves / opticals

    im not a fan of the UHD format , as properly done 1920 x 1080 in the hands of a good compressionist is more than enough to resolve 35 mm film imho

    I’ve seen many many Blu rays of black and white films with breathtaking quality . But watching It’s a wonderful life in 4k was a head scratcher

  188. Robert Harris

    Here’s another thought.

    If the final result does not mi ic a 35mm film print, as the best standard issue Blu-rays releases of the era do, why even consider a 4k release?

    Especially when wrangling HDR or DV variants,

    Compare Wonderful Life in 4k, in projection, to something like The Letter.

    To my eye, Letter appears akin to a film print, while WL takes on the look of entirely something else, possibly too close to a reverse polarity negative. Technically ultra-sharp, and with a beautifully harvested image, but in some ways too unforgiving of the stocks and optics, that need a generation of air.

    Some films will work in 4k, albeit with a bit of digital massaging. Others can be problematic. Oz works beautifully. Robin Hood and GWTW would work less so.

    I see it as an interesting experiment, and am pleased that Paramount gave it a shot.

    I'm glad to see Paramount actually the time to do the new Blu-ray right.

    What we are seeing in some cases with other remastered BDs that accompany the UHD BD almost seems like a quick and easy effort. I wonder if it's some sort of HDR to SDR automated software process or something? Sometimes things just look odd (colors look off, shadow detail crushed, etc.) and we rarely used to see this with remastered titles when BD was the premiere format. It's as if more time and effort went into getting rec 709. Now, some BDs that are being done with no UHD BD are still looking excellent. Arrow titles come to mind but there are others.

    For example, The Matrix remastered BD has some serious clipping and some parts look blown out. I don't see this on the UHD BD which looks more balanced even on my (nicely) tone mapped JVC front projector. I do see this with some other Warner more recently remastered BD titles, but others as well.

  189. Robert Harris

    Here’s another thought.

    If the final result does not mi ic a 35mm film print, as the best standard issue Blu-rays releases of the era do, why even consider a 4k release?

    Especially when wrangling HDR or DV variants,

    Compare Wonderful Life in 4k, in projection, to something like The Letter.

    To my eye, Letter appears akin to a film print, while WL takes on the look of entirely something else, possibly too close to a reverse polarity negative. Technically ultra-sharp, and with a beautifully harvested image, but in some ways too unforgiving of the stocks and optics, that need a generation of air.

    Some films will work in 4k, albeit with a bit of digital massaging. Others can be problematic. Oz works beautifully. Robin Hood and GWTW would work less so.

    I see it as an interesting experiment, and am pleased that Paramount gave it a shot.

    I'm glad to see Paramount actually the time to do the new Blu-ray right.

    What we are seeing in some cases with other remastered BDs that accompany the UHD BD almost seems like a quick and easy effort. I wonder if it's some sort of HDR to SDR automated software process or something? Sometimes things just look odd (colors look off, shadow detail crushed, etc.) and we rarely used to see this with remastered titles when BD was the premiere format. It's as if more time and effort went into getting rec 709. Now, some BDs that are being done with no UHD BD are still looking excellent. Arrow titles come to mind but there are others.

    For example, The Matrix remastered BD has some serious clipping and some parts look blown out. I don't see this on the UHD BD which looks more balanced even on my (nicely) tone mapped JVC front projector. I do see this with some other Warner more recently remastered BD titles, but others as well.

  190. Robert Harris

    Here’s another thought.

    If the final result does not mimic a 35mm film print, as the best standard issue Blu-rays releases of the era do, why even consider a 4k release?

    Especially when wrangling HDR or DV variants,

    Compare Wonderful Life in 4k, in projection, to something like The Letter.

    To my eye, Letter appears akin to a film print, while WL takes on the look of entirely something else, possibly too close to a reverse polarity negative. Technically ultra-sharp, and with a beautifully harvested image, but in some ways too unforgiving of the stocks and optics, that need a generation of air.

    Some films will work in 4k, albeit with a bit of digital massaging. Others can be problematic. Oz works beautifully. Robin Hood and GWTW would work less so.

    I see it as an interesting experiment, and am pleased that Paramount gave it a shot.

    Mr. Harris,

    Your thoughts on this controversy have been interesting and appreciated, and your above post in particular brings the following question to mind:

    Is the true goal (in your opinion) of any film restoration that starts with the original negative to make the final master look like a film print?

    If I understand you correctly in the case of IAWL you are arguing yes, and your thoughts above indicate that maybe the 4k is TOO close to the original elements.

    Yet it seems we have had many releases sourced from restorations starting with the original negatives (even before 4k UHD) where the majority of reviewers were extremely happy with end results that were acknowledged to probably looking better and revealing more detail than any release print of the film ever would have.

    So is this really something that needs to be decided on a film-by-film basis, and if so, what are the criteria that should be used to determine whether to add "a generation of air", as you put it, to the final result?

  191. I have an older Samsung 4k TV that uses a workaround (that doesn't really work at all) for HDR and I don't like the way it looks so I've given up on buying 4k discs for the present. Mr. Harris made me salivate over the upgraded blu-ray so I bought it and I think it looks phenomenal!

    Thank you!

  192. Mr. Harris, thanks for your continued thoughts. Considering that I've been watching the film every year on the old 60th anniversary edition DVD from 2006 (on my 50-inch Panasonic plasma), it sounds like the 1080p Blu-ray will be a welcome upgrade, so that's the one I'll be buying.

  193. YanMan

    Mr. Harris,

    Your thoughts on this controversy have been interesting and appreciated, and your above post in particular brings the following question to mind:

    Is the true goal (in your opinion) of any film restoration that starts with the original negative to make the final master look like a film print?

    If I understand you correctly in the case of IAWL you are arguing yes, and your thoughts above indicate that maybe the 4k is TOO close to the original elements.

    Yet it seems we have had many releases sourced from restorations starting with the original negatives (even before 4k UHD) where the majority of reviewers were extremely happy with end results that were acknowledged to probably looking better and revealing more detail than any release print of the film ever would have.

    So is this really something that needs to be decided on a film-by-film basis, and if so, what are the criteria that should be used to determine whether to add "a generation of air", as you put it, to the final result?

    Very much film by film.

  194. Bryan^H

    I have lost a lot of respect for some of my favorite review sites, as most of them rate this presentation with HDR perfect, or near perfect video score. To me the HDR presentation is simply unwatchable.

    Well, I'm sorry if we lost your respect. We'll try to do better next time.

  195. Bryan^H

    Here is what I'm seeing–sorry about the angle. Top without HDR/pic below it with HDR:

    Your pics with HDR (bottom) look better to me than those without (top) as far as grayscale… the top pics have a lot of detail getting lost in the dark areas.

    So what is your specific complaint about the HDR pics? Do you actually prefer the look without HDR, or are they both bad in your opinion?

    Just asking… I have not seen this release personally yet and I don't have any reference for how it SHOULD look.

    For anyone who has the new regular Blu-Ray, do Bryan's pics with the HDR turned on more closely resemble the look of the new Blu-Ray, or does it match more closely the pics with HDR turned off.. or neither?

  196. YanMan

    Your pics with HDR (bottom) look better to me than those without (top) as far as grayscale… the top pics have a lot of detail getting lost in the dark areas.

    So what is your specific complaint about the HDR pics? Do you actually prefer the look without HDR, or are they both bad in your opinion?

    The HDR looks like the contrast got boosted hence giving it a washed out look.

    Overexposed shadow detail.

  197. Robert Crawford

    Well, I'm sorry if we lost your respect. We'll try to do better next time.

    I'm not judging you, I'm judging the professional reviews giving this a perfect video score. I usually base my buying decisions on such reviews. If you think it looks great, then that is great.

  198. Bryan^H

    Here is what I'm seeing–… Top without HDR/pic below it with HDR: ….

    To me the HDR presentation is simply unwatchable.



    While I also dislike the HDR version of this film, your description of "without HDR" is misleading. The Panny is not removing the HDR. It is re-tone mapping the HDR signal. There is no SDR encoded on the 4k disc for any player to read. The only way to really view this release without HDR is with the 1080 Blu-ray disc.

    For a thorough explanation, read Kris Deering's posts on what the Panny conversion and optimizer functions do regarding HDR.

    This does not contradict your view that the Panny tone-mapped conversion looks better on your display.

  199. Bryan^H

    I'm not judging you, I'm judging the professional reviews giving this a perfect video score. I usually base my buying decisions on such reviews. If you think it looks great, then that is great.

    Our reviewer also gave it a perfect video score so I take it as you're judging us too. You're welcome to your opinion based on what you're seeing, but, that applies to other people too based on what they're seeing on their individual HT setups.

  200. Robert Crawford

    It doesn't matter as he's in agreement with those other reviewers you lost respect for.

    This is my opinion about the film presentation. Why are you taking issue with it with how I feel about it? If I disagree about a review that is my problem, not yours.

  201. Bryan^H

    This is my opinion about the film presentation. Why are you taking issue with it with how I feel about it? If I disagree about a review that is my problem, not yours.

    I don't have a problem with your opinion about the film presentation and I think you know that. However, once you start talking about losing respect towards others then that's personal.

  202. Bryan^H

    Here is what I'm seeing–sorry about the angle. Top without HDR/pic below it with HDR:

    View attachment 65075 View attachment 65076
    View attachment 65077 View attachment 65078 View attachment 65079 View attachment 65080 View attachment 65081 View attachment 65082

    I have lost a lot of respect for some of my favorite review sites, as most of them rate this presentation with HDR perfect, or near perfect video score. To me the HDR presentation is simply unwatchable.

    There's a LOT more shadow detail in your HDR caps, which is exactly the opposite of what everyone here has been saying. I wonder why?

  203. Robert Crawford

    I don't have a problem with your opinion about the film presentation and I think you know that. However, once you start talking about losing respect towards others then that's personal.

    OK, the "losing respect" with review sites was an extreme thing for me to say. For that I apologize. I guess I should have just stated I'm disappointed in their review. Once in a great while reviews are written that I certainly disagree with. This happens to be one of them. 99.9% of the time I completely agree with the reviews, and honestly am thankful they exist.

  204. Bryan^H

    OK, the "losing respect" with review sites was an extreme thing for me to say. For that I apologize. I guess I should have just stated I'm disappointed in their review. Once in a great while reviews are written that I certainly disagree with. This happens to be one of them. 99.9% of the time I completely agree with the reviews, and honestly am thankful they exist.

    Thanks for rephrasing Bryan. As unfortunately worded as your original post was, I suspected it was a vote of appreciation for this site, rather than a slam of anyone else. To that end I'm including Dave's appreciation which can't be emphasised enough:

    Dave Moritz

    Thank you Robert for being a part of this forum and giving us your honest professional opinion on home video releases. We are so lucky to have you here at hometheaterforum.

    This site is unique and so valuable, because even knowledgeable reviews by highly competent people, can be discussed by a variety of other experts – adding to our knowledge rather than just generating noise. We are so fortunate to have these experts participating here.

    Everyone here seems to be a true movie lover. In addition, I think this is one of the the most respectful, and least trolled forums on the internet.

    Thanks to everyone here for making and keeping it so.

    Chris

  205. cda1143

    Thanks for rephrasing Bryan. As unfortunately worded as your original post was, I suspected it was a vote of appreciation for this site, rather than a slam of anyone else. To that end I'm including Dave's appreciation which can't be emphasised enough:

    This site is unique and so valuable, because even knowledgeable reviews by highly competent people, can be discussed by a variety of other experts – adding to our knowledge rather than just generating noise. We are so fortunate to have these experts participating here.

    Everyone here seems to be a true movie lover. In addition, I think this is one of the the most respectful, and least trolled forums on the internet.

    Thanks to everyone here for making and keeping it so.

    Chris

    Reviews, by all reviewers are opinions.

    IaWL is a problematic release, for the greatest part, because aside from tuning a projector or panel, we are nowhere near plug and play.

    Best of all worlds, one should be able to drop a disc in a player, and enjoy.

    But with layers of HDR, HDR+, Dolby Vision, which must be sync’d with projectors and panels, through players, that may or may not have the latest firmware, can make thing’s maddening difficult.

    I want to be fair to Paramount, and their efforts, along with Dolby.

    The Oppo 203 does not allow HDR or DV to be bypassed, so I’m bringing in a second Panasonic 4k player (I’m not disconnecting my projection setup) and will try screening Panasonic to Sony OLED.

    We’ll see where that goes.

    If I’m able to achieve a better image, I’ll amend my review. But if that occurs, it leaves other open issues regarding our ability to simply play a disc with proper results, without upgrading equipment annually.

  206. Still attempting to find a resolution, and have a Panasonic 4k player arriving Monday, to replace the Opposite 203. Let's see if the Panny can override the HDR, and allow some shadow detail.

    Which Panasonic are you getting? I have the Panasonic UB9000 with my Sony XBR55A9F OLED and am very happy with it. Panasonic has an optimizer for OLED which works very nice.

    View attachment 65093

  207. Dave Moritz

    Which Panasonic are you getting? I have the Panasonic UB9000 with my Sony XBR55A9F OLED and am very happy with it. Panasonic has an optimizer for OLED which works very nice. Did you give Robert a call at Value Electronics?

    View attachment 65093
    View attachment 65095

    I always give Robert a call. I don’t need the 9000 with a panel. Nice series of players.

    wondering if Wonderful Life would look better on an 8k panel…

  208. Bryan^H

    I'm not judging you, I'm judging the professional reviews giving this a perfect video score. I usually base my buying decisions on such reviews. If you think it looks great, then that is great.

    I said it earlier, but it's simply not enough anymore to properly review a 4K HDR disc without mentioning the gear you are using to make that evaluation. The simple days of a DYI (using a calibration pattern disc) or ISF calibration to Rec.709, 100nits, and HD for Blu-ray (or Rec.601 for DVD) are over when it comes to HDR. With those standards you knew that what you were seeing would not only be accurate, but that it would be the same for everyone with a calibrated display. With HDR you simply have no idea if what you're seeing is accurate or what it will look like for anyone else, because of the nature of HDR and how it looks different on every display for reasons stated in this and plenty of other threads out there. As you can see in this very thread, some have the crushed shadows, some don't! It's the unfortunate truth, and I don't know why some get defensive our touchy about it. I'm honestly surprised this hasn't come up before! I think it's important to address though.

    When I read Mr. Harris' reviews, I don't look for all the technical minutia I might in other reviews, but I look for the larger picture and background that comes from his vast experience. There's a lot of value in there that you won't find anywhere else. But I do read other reviews to complement, but I cannot trust them. Not because the reviewers are not honest, but because HDR is what it is. As videophiles, we should welcome these discussions, not turn away from them, or shun someone with a different or unpopular opinion. There's a lot to learn with HDR, that's just the way it is.

  209. Robert Harris

    I always give Robert a call. I don’t need the 9000 with a panel. Nice series of players.

    wondering if Wonderful Life would look better on an 8k panel…

    The 824 should do fine for your needs.

    It always helps to have more display resolution, perfect solution for lacking shadow detail, bad masters and all other kinds of ailments.

  210. ghostwind

    When I read Mr. Harris' reviews, I don't look for all the technical minutia I might in other reviews, but I look for the larger picture and background that comes from his vast experience. There's a lot of value in there that you won't find anywhere else. But I do read other reviews to complement, but I cannot trust them. Not because the reviewers are not honest, but because HDR is what it is. As videophiles, we should welcome these discussions, not turn away from them, or shun someone with a different or unpopular opinion. There's a lot to learn with HDR, that's just the way it is.

    It is frustrating to read reviews that are giving perfect scores, and not seeing that resembled on the HT display that is running in your house. Solely because of HDR, and how the hardware you are using is processing/displaying such films.

    Regarding HDR we now also have to take into account flagship TV's/normal TV's, max peak nits/brightness, OLED, QLED, LCD..Dolby Vision HDR10 etc, So many variables, so many different results. Mind boggling.
    I could probably get the video on disc to emulate what these reviewers are seeing by manipulating the feature set on my player/display, and get perfect video quality out of it. But I just have to put in the work to get it there.

  211. Bryan^H

    It is frustrating to read reviews that are giving perfect scores, and not seeing that resembled on the HT display that is running in your house. Solely because of HDR, and how the hardware you are using is processing/displaying such films.

    Regarding HDR we now also have to take into account flagship TV's/normal TV's, max peak nits/brightness, OLED, QLED, LCD..Dolby Vision HDR10 etc, So many variables, so many different results. Mind boggling.
    I could probably get the video on disc to emulate what these reviewers are seeing by manipulating the feature set on my player/display, and get perfect video quality out of it. But I just have to put in the work to get it there.

    There was a viable concept in Mr. Ford only producing his early vehicles in black.

  212. Bryan^H

    It is frustrating to read reviews that are giving perfect scores, and not seeing that resembled on the HT display that is running in your house. Solely because of HDR, and how the hardware you are using is processing/displaying such films.

    Regarding HDR we now also have to take into account flagship TV's/normal TV's, max peak nits/brightness, OLED, QLED, LCD..Dolby Vision HDR10 etc, So many variables, so many different results. Mind boggling.
    I could probably get the video on disc to emulate what these reviewers are seeing by manipulating the feature set on my player/display, and get perfect video quality out of it. But I just have to put in the work to get it there.

    If we look back to the history of consumer based home display technologies, I think HDR will make a great case study of how NOT to release a new technology. It still boggles my mind in this day and age there wasn't more corroboration on coming up with another way and some kind of standard of implementing HDR.

  213. OliverK

    The 824 should do fine for your needs.

    It always helps to have more display resolution. Perfect solution for lacking shadow detail, bad masters and all other kinds of ailments.

    8k does wonders for my lumbago.

Leave a Reply