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OliverK

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The recently posted screen captures show exactly what Mr. Harris was describing:


I suppose we were all hoping for dramatically improved colours and resolution, on par with the new 4K UHD scans of the Three Colors Trilogy, but obviously it was not to be.

I am glad that I am not really a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as those caps are underwhelming, especially for such a big budget title.

The Three Colors trilogy looks improved in resolution and texture but the changes in color timing seem quite jarring but that is probably best discussed in another thread.
 
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titch

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Although Pirates was shot on film, it went through post production digitally at 2K resolution and the final product was a 2K digital intermediate. There is nothing to go back to that can improve upon that unless Disney were to essentially remake the movie by scanning all of the raw film again and then re-editing it and redoing every single editorial choice and every single special effect. That’s just not gonna happen.
Didn't Peter Jackson do that for The Lord Of The Rings trilogy? Although he slathered the earlier films with lots of digital filtering, so that they matched the later Hobbit films in appearance.
 

Robert Harris

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The Three Colors trilogy was shot and completed on film, so there was an actual element with more detail to go back and scan and create a new master from.

Although Pirates was shot on film, it went through post production digitally at 2K resolution and the final product was a 2K digital intermediate. There is nothing to go back to that can improve upon that unless Disney were to essentially remake the movie by scanning all of the raw film again and then re-editing it and redoing every single editorial choice and every single special effect. That’s just not gonna happen.

There’s well over a decade’s worth of movies now that were completed as 2K digital masters and they are what they are. UHD has a wider color space than BD, and home video authoring is better now than it was a decade ago, so there is certainly marginal potential for improvement on a lot of those titles and maybe the occasional major improvement if the original Blu-ray was terribly done.
The trick is to understand when a production should NOT be up-rezzed.
 

Malcolm R

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Not dead, but still in decline according to the article you linked:

There were a total of 21 million DVD and Blu-ray sales across 2021, according to the Official Charts Company. That compared with 34.1 million in physical sales in 2020, a dip that can be partially explained by the lack of available film slate due to continuing cinema closures, but again evidences the industry’s continuing shift from physical to online home ent.
 

JC Riesenbeck

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Not dead, but still in decline according to the article you link
Are you saying it's dead Jim? The latest James Bond pic only had its home ent release in the last two weeks of the year but managed to become 2021’s biggest title, selling 1,148,000 units across both disc and digital formats. Sorry, but I missed the funeral. And those are UK numbers.
 

TravisR

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It seems like there's usually two extremes in the "Physical Media Is Dead" discussion. One group thinks everything is fine because boutique labels still release catalog movies or a franchise movie sells well and another group thinks it's only a handful of scared luddites that still use discs. I think the reality is that discs are slowly dying and streaming and downloads are the future (really they're the present) but both are currently co-existing and making money. As long as discs keep making money- whether it's from collectors or people with slow internet or people who have no interest in digital- they will be around.
 

Johnny Angell

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Are you saying it's dead Jim? The latest James Bond pic only had its home ent release in the last two weeks of the year but managed to become 2021’s biggest title, selling 1,148,000 units across both disc and digital formats. Sorry, but I missed the funeral. And those are UK numbers.
Jeez, I thought he was clear when he wrote “Not dead”.
 

dpippel

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Are you saying it's dead Jim? The latest James Bond pic only had its home ent release in the last two weeks of the year but managed to become 2021’s biggest title, selling 1,148,000 units across both disc and digital formats. Sorry, but I missed the funeral. And those are UK numbers.
So, that number doesn't distinguish between physical media and digital sales, but rather lumps them together?
 

stsxt05

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Appalling example from Disney who despite all their money and resources have completely failed to deliver a 4K version of this movie, flat picture, terrible sound, Disney clearly don’t care about physical media at all. DONT BUY THIS ! The movie is fantastic but please avoid this 4K version and buy the blu ray version instead which is actually better than the 4K release ! What a shame , such a great movie … or was thanks Disney, don’t you care about physical media, I think I already know the answer !
 

ManW_TheUncool

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The recently posted screen captures show exactly what Mr. Harris was describing:


I suppose we were all hoping for dramatically improved colours and resolution, on par with the new 4K UHD scans of the Three Colors Trilogy, but obviously it was not to be.

I am glad that I am not really a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies as those caps are underwhelming, especially for such a big budget title.

The Three Colors trilogy looks improved in resolution and texture but the changes in color timing seem quite jarring but that is probably best discussed in another thread.

I agreed w/ you... though I actually probably see less improvement in actual/real/critical fine detail "resolution" than one might (casually) perceive that's more the result of different mastering/encoding and color timing (and contrast/tonality) employed.

IF all those same diffs were applied in 1080p, I suspect there would be far less appreciable "improvement" beyond how film grain is resolved -- granted, certain limitations inherent to the BD format may render at least some of those impossible or somewhat less applicable...

Actually, since that French 4K release includes BD versions, direct comparisons w/ the included BDs, presumably mastered from the same 4K scans/transfers, would probably be much more relevant to this issue/discussion...

_Man_
 
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Josh Steinberg

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It seems like there's usually two extremes in the "Physical Media Is Dead" discussion. One group thinks everything is fine because boutique labels still release catalog movies or a franchise movie sells well and another group thinks it's only a handful of scared luddites that still use discs. I think the reality is that discs are slowly dying and streaming and downloads are the future (really they're the present) but both are currently co-existing and making money. As long as discs keep making money- whether it's from collectors or people with slow internet or people who have no interest in digital- they will be around.

I’d go so far as to say that those things are connected.

Boutique labels have been able to license and release an overwhelming number of releases in the past few years as a direct result of studios being more willing to license material out, and that willingness comes because their own physical media sales have declined so much. If the studios could make more money on physical themselves, they’d never do the volume of licensing they’re doing today. For the longest time, the titles coming out now on boutiques were in limbo - the studios didn’t feel they could make enough releasing them on their own but felt they would make too much to allow another company to make that profit off their holdings. The decline in the market is what convinced them they wouldn’t make the money they wanted on their own and that the boutique labels wouldn’t make so much that the studios would look bad in front of their shareholders for leaving that money on the table.

Discs are returning to being a niche product. Throughout the history of the motion picture, home ownership of films has always been a niche interest except for a brief period when the sweet spots of quality and convenience temporarily converged with DVD and created a mass market explosion that in hindsight was never destined to last. Owning movies on 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm was a niche. Owning movies on VHS (with the limited exception of family films), Beta and Laserdisc was a niche. Owning movies on Blu and especially UHD is a niche too. That’s ok.

So really, the explosion of boutique labels and releases is the direct result of catalog physical media declining to a point where studios became willing to enter into these licensing deals now.

I believe this more honest, “recognition of reality” approach benefits everyone. It wasn’t good business for studios to have sales expectations that were out of line with the marketplace realities. There’s similarly no need for disc fans to be defensive about this or to expect everyone to feel the same as them about discs. It is the acknowledgment of discs as a niche interest and the treatment of them as such that will keep discs alive.
 

OliverK

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I agreed w/ you... though I actually probably see less improvement in actual/real/critical fine detail "resolution" than one might (casually) perceive that's more the result of different mastering/encoding and color timing (and contrast/tonality) employed.

IF all those same diffs were applied in 1080p, I suspect there would be far less appreciable "improvement" beyond how film grain is resolved -- granted, certain limitations inherent to the BD format may render at least some of those impossible or somewhat less applicable...

Actually, since that French 4K release includes BD versions, direct comparisons w/ the included BDs, presumably mastered from the same 4K scans/transfers, would probably be much more relevant to this issue/discussion...

_Man_

I fully agree that a Blu-ray of those colors movies from the same master could also look very good and show most of the improvement minus the grain structure that to me always looks better on UHD discs if properly done.

Still for buyers of these discs that have the previous Blu-rays the improvement is substantial compared to what we get with Pirates which is more or less none at all.
 

ManW_TheUncool

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I fully agree that a Blu-ray of those colors movies from the same master could also look very good and show most of the improvement minus the grain structure that to me always looks better on UHD discs if properly done.

Still for buyers of these discs that have the previous Blu-rays the improvement is substantial compared to what we get with Pirates which is more or less none at all.

Given how yellow (and in some cases, green... particularly on Blue and maybe also White) the screencaps look, I wonder if we won't need Kino Lorber to do a release w/ their color corrections though... Granted, they also make me wonder if the Criterion set, particularly for Red, is also too blue/cool looking to be correct...


Sounds/looks like they did also improve/correct the framing vs the Criterion set, especially for Blue...

_Man_
 

ghostwind

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I’d go so far as to say that those things are connected.

Boutique labels have been able to license and release an overwhelming number of releases in the past few years as a direct result of studios being more willing to license material out, and that willingness comes because their own physical media sales have declined so much. If the studios could make more money on physical themselves, they’d never do the volume of licensing they’re doing today. For the longest time, the titles coming out now on boutiques were in limbo - the studios didn’t feel they could make enough releasing them on their own but felt they would make too much to allow another company to make that profit off their holdings. The decline in the market is what convinced them they wouldn’t make the money they wanted on their own and that the boutique labels wouldn’t make so much that the studios would look bad in front of their shareholders for leaving that money on the table.

Discs are returning to being a niche product. Throughout the history of the motion picture, home ownership of films has always been a niche interest except for a brief period when the sweet spots of quality and convenience temporarily converged with DVD and created a mass market explosion that in hindsight was never destined to last. Owning movies on 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm was a niche. Owning movies on VHS (with the limited exception of family films), Beta and Laserdisc was a niche. Owning movies on Blu and especially UHD is a niche too. That’s ok.

So really, the explosion of boutique labels and releases is the direct result of catalog physical media declining to a point where studios became willing to enter into these licensing deals now.

I believe this more honest, “recognition of reality” approach benefits everyone. It wasn’t good business for studios to have sales expectations that were out of line with the marketplace realities. There’s similarly no need for disc fans to be defensive about this or to expect everyone to feel the same as them about discs. It is the acknowledgment of discs as a niche interest and the treatment of them as such that will keep discs alive.
This is all true, but in the past one could not "own" or buy the movie in any other form. Now they can with digital sales. So then the physical media becomes even more of a niche.
 

JoshZ

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Here's what I'm wondering: Did Disney attempt to upscale this movie to 4K directly from the 2K DI, or did they perform a 4K scan of a film-out element that was a generation or so removed from the DI? If the latter, that might explain the softer details without necessarily involving DNR.
 

OliverK

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Here's what I'm wondering: Did Disney attempt to upscale this movie to 4K directly from the 2K DI, or did they perform a 4K scan of a film-out element that was a generation or so removed from the DI? If the latter, that might explain the softer details without necessarily involving DNR.
Pretty sure they did as little as possible which would mean a 2k to 4k upscale and HDR regrade.

The choice of upscale can also be responsible for a softer look compared to superior or more aggressive algorithms. After all caps-a-holic also shows us an upscale in order to make BD and UHD comparable.

That reminds me of the rather obvious cases of Oblivion and 3:10 to Yuma that were softer than the Blu-ray in a rather obvious way due to rather questionable upscaling:


Didn't help that the Oblivion Blu-ray was also sharpened but that cannot explain all of the softness.
 

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