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A Few Words About A few words about...™ The Quiet Man (Region B) -- in Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Dec 2, 2015.

  1. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    What a difference an encode makes.


    Many people were thrilled to finally see John Ford's 1952 three-strip Technicolor classic, The Quiet Man arrive on Blu-ray several years ago via a sub-license to Olive.


    The difference between that release, which was hailed by many, and the earlier DVD release were night and day, as the earlier master appeared to be produced for VHS distribution. It was that bad.


    Now, we get a UK, ie. Region B release, and once again the ante has been raised.


    Derived from the same master, the Eureka!, Masters of Cinema release gives the film, at least for those with high-end systems, a major upgrade.


    An upgrade based seemingly solely upon the encode, which has been produced by David Mackenzie.


    Grain structure now comes to the fore, for a tighter image, with more depth, and better black levels. To put it in the most simple terms, the new Blu, especially when up-rezzed to 4k, appears totally film-like.


    Would the difference be enough to make me add a Region B player, if I didn't have one?


    In this case, yes. The image can stand up to projection beautifully.


    If you're viewing on a 50 inch LCD panel, you're fine with what you have.


    Image - 4.5

    Audio - 5

    4k Up-rez - 4.5


    Pass / Fail - Pass

    Recommended

    RAH
     
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  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    Thank you for your thoughts, my UK BD is on its way to me along with Shane.
     
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  3. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    One more reason to upgrade my systems; as if I weren't already inspired enough throughout October.

    As it is, "The Quiet Man" is one sweet piece of Cinematography; to which I can already recognize its greater possibilities.

    Great news.
     
  4. SAhmed

    SAhmed Supporting Actor

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    This was in my shopping cart and was waiting on the RAH Seal of Approval :) Just pulled the trigger on this. Will wait a little while on Shane as well.

    Regards,
     
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  5. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Shane, too? Is it a new American pressing or is this another UK (Region B) pressing that would require that Oppo purchase?
     
  6. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    Great stuff! I grew up looking at this in b/w on the telly, & then came the god-awful colour versions, I didn't buy the Olive as it was region A locked, so definitely buying this, maybe make it a double with The Naked Prey. We're very lucky in the UK to have companies like Eureka.
     
  7. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    Despite this great news about encodes, would RAH say that "The Quiet Man" can still be taken to an even higher level through further restoration?
     
  8. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    If cost wasn't a concern, what do you think?
     
  9. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    You don't need an Oppo to enjoy these Region B releases. There are cheaper alternatives. Check the link below:


    http://www.220-electronics.com/
     
  10. Livius

    Livius Second Unit

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    Currently waiting on this one to arrive so great to hear it's getting a big thumbs up!
     
  11. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    Nice. Picked this up this morning along with Shane, also from Eureka. Will watch them both at the weekend.
     
  12. PMF

    PMF Producer

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    I would imagine the answer to be "Yes"; but, at the same time, Olive was claiming a 4K restoration had already taken place and was used for their "Quiet Man" BD. So, I didn't know if the actual 4K restoration was satisfactory and/or if it was only isolated to the problematic transfer to the disc by Olive.
     
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  13. RMajidi

    RMajidi Screenwriter

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    Thank you Mr Harris for reviewing this Region B release, which happens only rarely, bringing a greater sense of occasion when it does.


    Philip, I've been wondering about that too and am very interested to read Mr Harris' views on this. His score of 4.5 would indicate an excellent image but with room still for incremental improvement.


    From Mr Harris' review of the Olive release, I understood that the source elements and their scans were fine; the problems being with the post-scan workup: "What I'm seeing is an unfinished image, which appears unprocessed for any final look or texture, and more like a raw scan that has gone through a very basic composite for registration, without receiving any final steps".


    Is a score of 5 attainable for this exceptional film? If so, what's yet lacking and what cost the remedy?
     
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  14. Reed Grele

    Reed Grele Screenwriter

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    I knew I shouldn't have clicked on this thread! RAH's "A Few Words About" might as well be named "A Few Dollars More", cuz almost very time I read one, it ends up costing me. I guess I'm just too easily persuaded... ;)
     
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  15. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    I am frankly endlessly confused about the word encode, and I don't think that's what this improved release is about, actually. It's about how this company took the scan and did whatever they did to it - isn't encode just another word for authoring a disc - because authoring alone would not cause a release to improve this much. Mine should be here any day now.
     
  16. willyTass

    willyTass Supporting Actor

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    Encode = the compression

    Authoring means the other stuff like menus, chapter breaks, pop up menus etc

    Lyris (David m) had a video from memory explaining this on avsforum, I think it was a podcast on the upcoming new compression technologies
     
  17. haineshisway

    haineshisway Producer

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    In my experiencing with the authoring house who does the few titles I've released, and all the Twilight Time titles - the "encode" i.e. compression, is done by them, the authoring house. Not just menus, chapter breaks, etc. There was more wrong with the Olive than compression and in Mr. Harris's original comments he sums it up perfectly.
     
  18. John Hermes

    John Hermes Screenwriter

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    Plus, a straight re-encode is not going to change the black level. That's done in image processing.
     
  19. EddieLarkin

    EddieLarkin Supporting Actor

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    David Mackenzie does the job of an authoring house by himself, and is by now definitely considered the best in the business. Going by his usual MO, I would absolutely expect it to be the case that in fact neither Eureka nor himself did anything to the master they received from the licencor, other than to faithfully reproduce it at a much lower size on Blu-ray Disc. Something Olive quite clearly didn't do. And that's what has resulted in the difference between the two discs; not what Eureka did to the scans, but what Olive did to them.

    The black level hasn't been changed. It will be the same as it is on the master. It is Olive, who by encoding carelessly, will have caused an undesirable change to the black level on their disc. As above, you're looking at the issue backwards. These are simply the same problems we see between many a good disc and a bad disc that use the same master. Shoah for instance:


    David Mackenzie's Eureka encode, which strives to reproduce the 4K Cineteca di Bologna master as accurately as possible, and Criterion's, which appears to merely aim for "good enough":


    http://screenshotcomparison.com/comparison/152956
     
  20. smithbrad

    smithbrad Screenwriter

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    deleted.
     

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