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UHD Review A few words about...™ The Wizard of Oz -- in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Robert Harris, Oct 21, 2019.

  1. warnerbro

    warnerbro Supporting Actor

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    They left off the music only track on CAMELOT that was so awesome. For some reason, they forget about audio on so many releases. Did they at least include the music only track on THE WIZARD OF OZ 4k?
     
  2. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    That's probably the issue. This will be the umpteenth release of this film on home video, on another new format that has limited penetration in homes, in a physical media market that's already shrunk considerably. I'd imagine every time you include another feature to be mastered onto a disc, it costs extra money.

    While you can argue that the inclusion of the mono soundtrack is a feature that these niche collectors would want, I'd imagine WB has done the cost/benefit analysis and decided that most people that are buying 4K discs will not refuse because of the lack of mono, and may even question if anyone watching on a 55" 4K display would even want mono sound? So if they can save a few dollars by leaving it off the disc, that's probably what they decided to do.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I get all that.

    My argument has more to do with releasing an older soundtrack only in a lossy format when the video is HD (such as on the Bu-ray release). I've been told that soundtracks with limitations don't need/deserve lossless presentations and I think that's bunk.
     
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  4. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    RAH can better discuss costs of such a thing, but I can't imagine doing a restoration of the mono would be very expensive. It just needs a little clean-up, nothing extreme, IMO.

    Also, they already had a mono track on the Blu-ray. It's not very good, but it's better than the zilch on the 4K.

    Also also, 4K UHD will appeal more to the "serious film buff" audience, so it's more likely many potential buyers will be turned off by the lack of mono than the more general audience for DVD or BD.

    Both of which had mono! :oops:
     
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  5. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Maybe a restored mono track wouldn't sound as good as the 5.1 - it should still be there. Let the viewer decide.

    I don't get arguments against the inclusion of the original audio, whether here or for any other movie.

    If they want to remix soundtracks, I'm A-OK with that, but the original should always be an option as well...
     
  6. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Lead Actor
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    I have to agree with Robert Harris on this!

    I am planning on getting the 4K release but I am very disappointed that the mono mix was dropped from this 80th anniversary release. I do love my surround sound but is a 5.1 track really needed for a movie that never had one to begin with? I have upgraded so much of my system to be state of the art and raising the level of quality but with this movie I would have been fine with them only including a mono audio track!
     
  7. moviebuff75

    moviebuff75 Supporting Actor

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    And what is that spooky voice after the altered line of "O, Don't..." It sounds like "Hold him!" It wasn't there before the remix.
     
  8. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    It does, and takes up minimal space
     
  9. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    So, I can see how some folks would like to have the original mono soundtrack, but I'd love for someone to explain to me how a lossless encode would make a bit of difference in comparison to a lossy one. As RAH said, the original mono release soundtrack (not a new mono track created from optical stems) would only sound as good as the limitations of the original format will allow, which in this case is pretty low fidelity. An optical track doesn't have nearly the range of frequency reproduction that a magnetic recording would have. Even with some judiciously-applied equalization applied to improve the track as much as possible, the result could be more than adequately handled by a standard Dolby Digital track. Using lossless would be like keeping a guppy in a giant aquarium. Sure, you could do it, but why?

    Don't get me wrong: I'm all for including an original sound mix if it exists and there is space; however, every addition to a release costs at least some money and there no doubt has to be an acceptable justification made by those who are producing the release to those who control the budget for the release as to why the expenditure makes financial sense. Boutique labels know that their customer base is primarily film fans, so bells and whistles are a valid expenditure that might help move more units. Warner Home Video, especially with a release of a mass-market film that has already been released on home video a gazillion times over the decades, isn't going to be concerned with the inclusion of an audio track that will only appeal to a miniscule percentage of potential customers. The selling point of this release is the image. They've thrown in the old SD "Making Of" program on the 4K disc, since an encode already exists and it's more of a selling point than the mono soundtrack. They've also thrown in the previously-released Blu-ray that already contains all the other supplements. They've created a package that will appeal to whatever general audience is going to potentially buy a UHD disc with production costs kept to a minimum. This also allows them to offer the release at a low enough price point that it's enticing to those who might not otherwise consider a purchase.

    We have to be realistic. Film buffs are not the target audience for this release. The days of major studios catering to us are over. They ended when DVD became the dominant format and studios realized that the general public don't give a hoot about detailed and thoughtful supplements and whether or not an original sound mix is present on a release. We still have the small labels, thank goodness (for now.)
     
  10. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    Good points, but I would argue that film buffs ARE the target for this kind of release. 4K disc is not a mainstream format even now, so why would WB bother to put it out like this at all? In addition, Joe Sixpack likely already owns this film on DVD/Blu-ray, or figures it can be watched for free any day of the week, so why fork out $20? The guy with the $300 Walmart TV and $40 Blu-ray player is not the target customer for a 4K UHD disc version of The Wizard of Oz.
     
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  11. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm not sure film buffs are not the target audience for this 4K release. Serious film buffs with economic means will certainly buy this 4K title.
     
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  12. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This!
     
  13. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    If they have to do something then list the mono track as a bonus feature and put a disclaimer on the page to select it saying something about limitations of the original source.
     
  14. Keith Cobby

    Keith Cobby Cinematographer

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    I am captivated by the charms of 4k and look forward to seeing this in UHD. Regarding music formats, I cannot tell the difference between:
    Dolby Digital
    DTS
    THX
    Dolby TrueHD
    Lossless
    Dolby Digital Plus
    Dolby Digital EX
    Dolby Pro Logic
    Dolby Atmos
    Dolby Surround
    IMAX Enhanced

    and I doubt anybody else can unless they are a sound engineer.
     
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  15. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Archivist
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    Aside from Atmos, and its height channels, most of the processes noted are merely slightly different products, ending with non-unique sound.
     
  16. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    It just sounded like garbled noise to me, but I've not analyzed it as closely as you have! :D
     
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  17. Colin Jacobson

    Colin Jacobson Lead Actor

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    Plenty of people can tell the difference between lossy and lossless audio. Just because you can't doesn't mean no one else can...
     
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  18. Message #58 of 211 Oct 23, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
    PMF

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    With the remix noted, what were your overall impressions of this 4K/UHD in terms of its visual presentation?
     
  19. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Cinematographer
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    Well, that $300 TV from Walmart is more likely than ever to be 4K, even if it isn't the best product on the market. 4K TV's have been far more successful than 3D ones were and the tech involved has fallen in price to the point where it has become rare to find TV's over a certain size that are just 1080p, so a ton of 4K sets are in the wild. 4K UHD discs are still being marketed widely in the hopes that more people will start buying them. Yes, they are certainly geared toward those with the money to afford a 4K TV and are still interested in physical media, but while film buffs often fall into that category, we are still only a portion of it. If only film buffs were buying 4K TV's and UHD players, 4K disc releases would be on their way out instead of (slowly) increasing in number and we'd see more releases of the kinds of films that film buffs tend to be attracted to, rather than the majority of releases, which tend to skew toward modern, mainstream films. They will never see the kind of success that we saw with DVD, but I think anyone who believes that they are only being geared toward film buffs is mistaken. That would make no financial sense whatsoever for the companies releasing them. We just aren't as great in number as we'd like to think we are.
     
  20. dpippel

    dpippel HTF Premium Member
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    We'll just have to agree to disagree. I can tell you that, outside of this forum, I don't know a single person that's even aware that the TWoO is being released on 4K disc, much less planning on buying it.
     

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