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A Few Words About A few words about...™ Leon: The Professional (4k re-master) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Leon: The Professional is one of my favorite films of the era.

    Masterfully directed by Luc Besson, with a superb performances by Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and then there's the kid. Jackie Coogan, eat your heart out.

    As a transfer, and as viewed on Blu-ray, the imagery is perfect. Likewise, very strong audio.

    What I found interesting here, was the discussion of algorithms, down-rezzing, and up-rezzing of the image from 4k to HD and back for viewing via 4k panels or projections.

    I've recently upgraded from a Sony 600 to the new 665, as the 665 beats the older unit in every facet. On the 600, I had a problem allowing the Sony to do the up-rezzing of the image. Loss of grain structure, occasional digital artifacts. Not a pretty picture.

    The cure was to allow the Oppo 103 to do the up-rez.

    And the images were very film-like.

    With the 665, you have a brighter image, better contrast, better blacks, and everything else UHD ready.

    But the same problem, when allowing the image to be up-rezzed by the Sony.

    Loss of grain. An overall homogenization of the image, and digital artifacts. Even with the Sony algorithm for up-rezzing between the various data files.

    There is the possibility that the Sony algorithm only works with flat panels, but that remains to be seen.

    Regardless of the Sony sizzle, the new Blu-ray is a magnificent affair, especially when viewed via 4k projection using the Oppo to up-rez.

    A perfectly film-like image, with pure grain, great blacks, shadow detail, and a highly resolved, perfectly color timed image.

    Image - 5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 5


    Pass / Fail - Pass


    Highly Recommended


    RAH
     
  2. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    For some reason I inadvertently hit the hide button on this post. Free Range Few Words...
     
  3. Dr Griffin

    Dr Griffin Cinematographer

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    Is the new projector the 665?
     
  4. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Correct. Beautifully crafted piece of electronics, with the exception of the built in uprez algorithm. Send in 4K signal and everything is superb. Seems that "mastered in 4k" falls within that circuitry, and yields an equally unpleasant image.

    Running as 4K input all is beautiful.

    I wonder if anyone at Sony is actually running their Mastered in 4k releases and looking at the result.

    I'm still hopeful there's something I'm not getting...
     
    Dr Griffin likes this.
  5. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Uprezzing has never been Sony's strength in its hardware. I still use my Toshiba HD-A30 for DVD playback over my Sony BD 3D player, as the uprezzing hardware inside is far superior, despite being from 2007.


    It seems that Sony's hardware and software divisions aren't talking to each other.
     
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  6. Jonathan Perregaux

    Jonathan Perregaux Screenwriter

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    Yeah, "the kid" was pretty neat. Since we can't put her in a Charlie Chaplin movie (without using CGI), we should put her in a Star Wars movie. Then she can really show off her acting chops.


    Oh...


    Scratch that, how about a ballerina movie instead?
     
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  7. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    It should be noted that many have been rather happy with the Sony Reality Creation 4k uprez capabilities. If you know how film looks it falls a little bit short though to the discerning viewer.

    Luckily apart from this little glitch the other capabilities of this new Sony machine are very impressive - everybody who sees it with a proper uprez or one of the better movies already available in 4k would agree I think.
     
  8. Michel_Hafner

    Michel_Hafner Screenwriter

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    I'm tempted to upgrade to the latest JVC projector. For full UHD compatibility, additional brightness for 3D and HDR and better blacks than the Sonys, but also not full 4K and less ANSI contrast. A JVC Sony hybrid with laser engine would be almost ideal. Or a Dolby Vision 3 chip DLP for homes, with dual modulation. One can dream...

    The new Leon looks fabulous. Makes the older version look coarse in comparison. And that one was not exactly shabby as well.

    I'll wait for the UHD. 2016 should be stellar.
     
    Dave H likes this.
  9. willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    Yep the new Leon is miles ahead of the old blu Ray

    Evvvvverrrryyyyyone should get it
     
  10. OliverK

    OliverK Producer

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    The closest to perfection that you can get with the current projector generation will be the VW5000ES - it comes with a hefty pricetag though for ticking all boxes.

    I think that for both JVC and Sony the mid level entries out of this years lineup look the best, that is the Sony VPL-VW520/665 or the JVC DLA-X7000/????. The JVC has a bigger color space (with a ca. 20% dip in light output) and better on/off while the Sony has true 4k resolution and better ANSI, they should both have the same brightness level when using the REC709 color space.

    Leon looks very impressive indeed while The Fifth Element to me does not look like it was sourced from the OCN, I wonder why it is so hard to get the latter right.
     
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  11. FanboyZ

    FanboyZ Second Unit

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    Sony's scalers don't preserve 1:1 scaling, that's why.
     
  12. FanboyZ

    FanboyZ Second Unit

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    It's Sourced form Sony's IP- not the OCN (Gaumont).

    Say what you will, if you saw The Fifth Element in America, you saw the sony version. So make no mistake that the 2007 and 2015 discs are true to it.
     
  13. Oblivion138

    Oblivion138 Second Unit

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    Hey...at least she got to imitate Chaplin in this film. ;)


    The new Leon BD looks gorgeous. One of those rare occasions when I've been thrilled to double-dip on a title.
     
  14. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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  15. willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    Yep
     
  16. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Thanks!
     
  17. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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    RAH, the problem with the 'Mastered in 4K' setting on Sony's 4K equipment is that it's part of the 'Reality Creation' processing suite, and even with the sliders on the RC settings set to minimum with just Mi4K set to on it's still applying a layer of de-noising to the image which reduces grain. This was evident right from the start on the Sony 4K set I purchased in 2013, other owners were falling for the Mi4K "sizzle" but I could see that the image looked far more natural and grain looked unmolested without the RC settings turned on.


    Personally I always thought the 'specific Mi4K scaling algorithm inside the TV' thing that Sony trumpeted was a load of phooey anyway. As I've said to you in correspondence before, without that setting turned ON the Sony 4K scaling shaves off single-pixel detail when upscaling 1080p content, i.e. it's blocking information - however tiny - that would otherwise be passed through, so when people turn it on 'only' for specific Sony Mi4K discs they're being fooled into thinking they're getting a better image when they're just seeing details (on what is still a 1080p encode, after all) that a 1080p set would pass through anyway! Pffft.


    There's a very simple way around it on my 55" set, turn the Reality Creation OFF. This then attenuates single-pixel 1080p information but I can't discern individual pixels from 6ft away so it makes no practical difference (I use a scaler anyway, mind you), although for projector sized screens I can see when that might actually become an issue so using an outboard scaler would definitely be best in your case. Though I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the Oppo squirting out 1080p and turning OFF the Reality Creation completely on the PJ to see what it looks like.


    Stay away from dat sizzle RAH, this is not a new phenom with Sony's 4K upscaling. I may be teaching you how to suck eggs but any Sony 4K display is *always* upscaling a 1080p image to 4K regardless of the Mi4K setting, if it weren't then the 1080p image would literally fill a quarter of the screen.
     
  18. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Since late in day one with the previous Sony, I elected to allow the Oppo to do the heavy lifting, and thereby overriding the Sony sizzle. Beautiful film-like imagery.
     
  19. Mike Boone

    Mike Boone Supporting Actor

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    Stephen, I was very interested to read your comments about that Toshiba HD-DVD player and its uprezzing capabilities. Back in September 2007, having recently come into some money, I bought Toshiba's top HD-DVD player, the HD-XA2, as well as a Playstation 3, to be ready for any high def disc releases that came along. (never used the Sony to play games) The Oct. 2007 issue of Widescreen Review just raved about the uprezzing ability of the HD-XA2 saying that it was "arguably the best upconverting player for DVDs you can buy." Well, I would argue with that statement. On the 73 inch Mitsubishi Diamond Series DLP RPTV that was new at the time, as well as several years later, with a high end Panasonic plasma that won the Value Electronics Flat Panel Shootout, my friends and I thought that the Play Station 3 rendered DVD images every bit as well as the Toshiba. But with the exception of the terrific articles by Joe Kane that Widescreen Review carries, I've learned to really take statements from that publication with a grain of salt, anyway. I even stopped subscribing to the magazine when its editor, or editors, really allowed one of its reviewers to go over the line, by publishing his claim that a certain, quite expensive, HDMI cable, exhibited superior sound quality to more reasonably priced cables. People with just a basic working knowledge of the science behind the transference of digital signals are aware of just how absolutely absurd such a claim is. But I guess advertisers have to be kept happy, even if it means occasionally deceiving readers. (Man, don't you just love business!?)


    Anyway, Stephen, I'm not disputing what you have said, because I don't have any experience using an HD-A30, much less, comparing that unit with a standalone Sony Blu-ray player. So I figure you must have seen exactly what you wrote about seeing. And that is quite interesting. Personally, I think the HD-XA2 does a terrific job playing HD-DVDs, but having paid $800 for it, it seemed quite disappointing to not be able to agree with Widescreen Review's opinion that the unit's upconversion capability alone, made such an expensive player a worthwhile investment, and that one should consider it also having the ability to play high def discs as a sort of added bonus. Anyway, now I just occasionally pick up Widescreen Review at Barnes & Noble if Joe Kane has an article in the mag that looks interesting. As the man that actually developed the video standards that calibrators and reviewers use to get the best performance out of flat panels and projectors, Mr Kane is very much like RAH, in knowing exactly of what he speaks.


    BTW, after reading RAH's review, I used a discount coupon at Barnes & Noble, 2 days ago, toward buying the BD of Leon: The Professional. And that blu certainly looks terrific on our 80 inch screen.
     
  20. Stephen_J_H

    Stephen_J_H All Things Film Junkie

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    Mike, I have 3 Sony BD players: a BDP-S350, a 3D model (and the model number escapes because I'm at work right now), and a super slim PS3. Of those three, the PS3 does the best job of upscaling, but the Toshiba HD-A30 is still better.
     

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