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UHD Review A Few Words About A few words about...™ - Air Force One & The Mask of Zorro (SteelBooks) -- in 4k UHD (1 Viewer)

Robert Harris

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While the new SteelBook variants of Air Force One (released on 4k in 2018) & The Mark of Zorro (2020) certainly aren't necessary purchases, they're the way to add them to one's library if you're without.

These are both attractive, nicely designed products, but to me they bring something to the fore, which is overall product quality.

Essentially, my perception is simple.

Columbia is upgrading the packaging, adding Dolby Vision, and possibly re-working the Atmos stream. In doing so, they not only create a better overall product, but make a statement about that overall quality, based upon the superior work in mastering and compression to 4k UHD disc by Mr. Crisp and his team.

These are magnificent viewing experiences, both visually and aurally, and as such deserve the finest of packaging. While I might not go for leather-bound, a quality SteelBook design will do quite nicely,

Image – 5 (Dolby Vision)

Audio – 5 (Dolby Atmos)

Pass / Fail – Pass

Plays nicely with projectors - Yes

Makes use of and works well in 4k - 4.25

Upgrade from plastic 4k cases - Only if you‘re set up for Dolby Atmos, or are a SteelBook collector. Apparently, the Atmos has been upgraded.

Highly Recommended

RAH


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Blu_rayfan66

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I have read on another forum that the Atmos mix on Zorro has been tweaked from the Atmos on the previous 4K non-steelbook version- can anyone confirm?
 

Robert Harris

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I have read on another forum that the Atmos mix on Zorro has been tweaked from the Atmos on the previous 4K non-steelbook version- can anyone confirm?
I had heard that also, but have no way to confirm. It sounds startlingly good, and the Atmos is obvious.
 
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jayembee

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Did the previous 4K/UHD releases have Dolby Vision. I thought they were HDR.

Don't believe they did have Dolby Vision in the previous releases. I don't have them to hand, since I'm on the other coast, but images of the packaging don't mention DV.

The real question, though, is: Did they remove that menu pop-up during the end titles? I can't imagine they bothered, but one can only hope.
 

battlebeast

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I saw AIR FORCE ONE in the theater back in the day, and I liked it. It’s good fun, if not a terrific film. I saw it once on tv years ago in parts, but haven’t seen the whole thing since the theater. I should get this steel book.

I used to confuse this with “A Force of One.” 😂
 

Dave H

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If I am HDR10-only, any reason to upgrade mask of Zorro? Is the compression improved from regular seating position ala front projection?
 

Blu_rayfan66

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If I am HDR10-only, any reason to upgrade mask of Zorro? Is the compression improved from regular seating position ala front projection?
Atmos audio has been been given a boost according to some...

Some quotes...
"This is the first Sony Atmos track I've seen where they used the full 16-channel object cluster stream container for TrueHD"

"Not much of a bump in video bitrate like Air Force One (55841 kbps on the old release) but a huge one for the Atmos track (4378 kbps vs 7415 kbps)"

"As I mentioned before, the home Atmos track now uses more object clusters, 11 vs 15. It's definitely a new export from Sony Home Video from the Dolby Atmos Production Suite master file

Someone else asked is there an audible difference and got this reply...

"...If the objects are unlocked, then they can travel around to multiple speakers within the 24.1.10 home Atmos layout. A static mix is fixed to usually 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 and will not scale upwards, leaving a lot of speakers silent, especially with higher speaker count processors."




 

Robert Harris

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If I am HDR10-only, any reason to upgrade mask of Zorro? Is the compression improved from regular seating position ala front projection?
You’re probably fine. The original 4k releases were beautiful.

Time for Columbia to release Lord Jim in 4k, or McKenna’s Gold, and really show off 4k. MG is an interesting film shot in both 65 and 35. Presuming the 35 OCN survives, a 4k scan could look far superior to the blow-up dupes used for the original release,
 
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sbjork

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Atmos audio has been been given a boost according to some...

Some quotes...
"This is the first Sony Atmos track I've seen where they used the full 16-channel object cluster stream container for TrueHD"

"Not much of a bump in video bitrate like Air Force One (55841 kbps on the old release) but a huge one for the Atmos track (4378 kbps vs 7415 kbps)"

"As I mentioned before, the home Atmos track now uses more object clusters, 11 vs 15. It's definitely a new export from Sony Home Video from the Dolby Atmos Production Suite master file

Someone else asked is there an audible difference and got this reply...

"...If the objects are unlocked, then they can travel around to multiple speakers within the 24.1.10 home Atmos layout. A static mix is fixed to usually 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 and will not scale upwards, leaving a lot of speakers silent, especially with higher speaker count processors."





Assuming the truth about the increased object usage, it's worth clarifying that it's not relevant to anyone who has a 7.1.4 layout or less. It only would matter to the extraordinarily small percentage of people who have more speakers in their system than 11 primary channels. The number of channels in the processor won't matter unless there are more speakers for it to use.

The increased bitrate, on the other hand, could certainly help anyone. Potentially, anyway.
 
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Blu_rayfan66

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Assuming the truth about the increased object usage, it's worth clarifying that it's not relevant to anyone who has a 7.1.4 layout or less. It only would matter to the extraordinarily small percentage of people who have more speakers in their system than 11 primary channels. The number of channels in the processor won't matter unless their are more speakers there for it to use.

The increased bitrate, on the other hand, could certainly help anyone. Potentially, anyway.
Thank you for that clear explanation. Personally 7.1.4 is more than enough for me already and any increased bitrate is always welcome :)
 

Robert Harris

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Keep in mind that both of these films began life as SDDS productions.

Columbia via Sony promoted SDDS, a popular, quality digital sound system starting c. 1993. Some other studios used it later, in addition to Dolby Digital, DTS, and analogue bi-lateral tracks. The format was supported by thousands of theaters.

It’s 8 channels came closest to replicating the original 70mm 6-track mixes.

Aside from returning to stems, the SDDS format allows studios an easier means of upgrading audio to include height modern channels.

Technically, SDDS was printed to the two outboard areas of the perforations, outside of Dolby Digital.

1678451318369.jpeg


The image above shows the left side of a quad track 35mm print. (L-R) SDDS, DD, Analogue, DTS Timecode.
 

Dave H

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Atmos audio has been been given a boost according to some...

Some quotes...
"This is the first Sony Atmos track I've seen where they used the full 16-channel object cluster stream container for TrueHD"

"Not much of a bump in video bitrate like Air Force One (55841 kbps on the old release) but a huge one for the Atmos track (4378 kbps vs 7415 kbps)"

"As I mentioned before, the home Atmos track now uses more object clusters, 11 vs 15. It's definitely a new export from Sony Home Video from the Dolby Atmos Production Suite master file

Someone else asked is there an audible difference and got this reply...

"...If the objects are unlocked, then they can travel around to multiple speakers within the 24.1.10 home Atmos layout. A static mix is fixed to usually 7.1.2 or 7.1.4 and will not scale upwards, leaving a lot of speakers silent, especially with higher speaker count processors."






Thanks! I have a 6.2 set-up so I'm guessing I'm okay on the audio side with the original disc.
 

CC95

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They were not Dolby Vision.
Yeah, it sort of bugs me that we now have to double dip on certain titles because their first 4k release was HDR only and not DV. (Bridge on the River Kwai, Crouching Tiger, Ghostbusters, Karate Kid, etc.)
 

DanH1972

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Assuming the truth about the increased object usage, it's worth clarifying that it's not relevant to anyone who has a 7.1.4 layout or less. It only would matter to the extraordinarily small percentage of people who have more speakers in their system than 11 primary channels. The number of channels in the processor won't matter unless there are more speakers for it to use.

The increased bitrate, on the other hand, could certainly help anyone. Potentially, anyway.
The increased bitrate is mainly due to the lesser amount of what Dolby calls Spatial Compression for home Dolby Atmos using the TrueHD lossless codec. Both Atmos tracks are 24 bit/48 kHz.

Spatial Compression is their way of getting up to 118 potential individual objects at one time and a 7.1.2 bed to fit into 11 to 15 linear object "clusters." More clusters can be used, but those would potentially exceed the audio bitrate limit for the Blu-ray disc format, so 15 seems to be the limit at this time.

The more clusters available, the better the track's discrete precision and overall dimensionality as compared to the master, uncompressed Atmos track residing in the editing software that could potentially be spit out as a fully realized cinema Atmos track for a DCP container. Of course, this depends on whether you have bought the Dolby Atmos Production Suite that enables TrueHD and professional DCP track encodings. Otherwise, you are limited to a Dolby Digital Plus (5.1 with Joint Object Coding encoding) for streaming or a raw Atmos file output that must then be placed in the Production Suite in order to use or monitor the raw file with the full Atmos renderer hardware (enables up to 62.2 channel audio monitoring).

The Atmos encoder software looks for those 3D objects with similar positional panning metadata and groups them into a regional cluster that is carried on one of up to 15 linear TrueHD channels (the 16th is always designated as the LFE channel and not utilized). Sound objects that are panner tagged to move more freely within the 24.1.10 home layout (like the bird or leaf flying around the room in a couple of the home Atmos demo discs) can "jump" from regional cluster to regional cluster.


newimage2.png


Atmos Mixing Session vs Spatial Compression Clustering ^^

The biggest sonic limitation of home Atmos is that the bed channels (5.1 for lossy and 7.1 for lossless) are designated as fixed objects in the Spatial Compression clusters (lossless) or JOC (lossy) encoding software and therefore that will not allow the side and rear surround channels to independently array to multiple speakers within a theater, if you happen to have multiple side and/or rear speakers as made available with Trinnov or Storm Audio processors.

Off topic, but since objects can be turned into fixed pass-through channels, it appears you could create a 9.1.6 fixed channel mix encoding with the TrueHD version of Atmos given the 16-channel makeup of the codec.
 
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Jesse Skeen

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The real question, though, is: Did they remove that menu pop-up during the end titles? I can't imagine they bothered, but one can only hope.
Posting on another forum confirms it is gone from the new disc, thankfully. Sony seems to have at least stopped this on 4k discs, but I am unsure if they are still doing this on regular blu-rays- some new movies don’t get released on 4k so that’s still a concern. I’ve noticed none of the reviewers have called out releases that do this; any intrusion on any part of a movie is 100% unacceptable and I’ve mostly stopped buying Sony titles because of this. They’ve already done enough in the past to annoy me before this.
 

Sa5150

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They have pop ups on 4k uhds ? You mean like when your trying to watch a tv show on youtube ,amazon prime and old cable channels and all of a sudden they put a giant preview of what's coming up next and ruing the credits and music ? That is absurd . That's why I don't stream if I can buy the blu-ray or 4k and even dvds . Also this upgrading 4ks to just steelbooks is annoying as well . So far Groundhog day is the only title I have done this for and on bluray Christmas Vacation before the 4k came out . I would like Air Force one but not enough to buy it on steelbook . One other thing that is strange I read that paramount did with Airplane! You can only buy it on blu-ray but the digital code you can redeem in 4k . Any other older catalog movies that are in 4K not on UHD ? King Creole is another but has lip-synch issues on the 4K so I will keep my paramount presents blu-ray till a 4K (if ever) comes out. By far the best Elvis movie .
 

DanH1972

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They have pop ups on 4k uhds ? You mean like when your trying to watch a tv show on youtube ,amazon prime and old cable channels and all of a sudden they put a giant preview of what's coming up next and ruing the credits and music ? That is absurd . That's why I don't stream if I can buy the blu-ray or 4k and even dvds . Also this upgrading 4ks to just steelbooks is annoying as well . So far Groundhog day is the only title I have done this for and on bluray Christmas Vacation before the 4k came out . I would like Air Force one but not enough to buy it on steelbook . One other thing that is strange I read that paramount did with Airplane! You can only buy it on blu-ray but the digital code you can redeem in 4k . Any other older catalog movies that are in 4K not on UHD ? King Creole is another but has lip-synch issues on the 4K so I will keep my paramount presents blu-ray till a 4K (if ever) comes out. By far the best Elvis movie .
Sony released a few 4k discs with end credits menu popups, but seems to have stopped the practice. Some normal Blu-ray's still get that popup.

And yes, the popup on Zorro has been eliminated on the 4k steelbook.
 

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