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tenia

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It's fairly pointless to compare bit rates between Blu-ray and UHD when the two formats use completely different compression codecs.
Theoretically, it is. In practice, even if x265 is more efficient than x264, there is no reason (except of course for uniform screens that pretty much don't require any bandwidth no matter the format) for a UHD encode to go this low, so much that you're even lower than the BD counter-part. This suggests that either whoever did the UHD encode did it in a non-optimal fashion (like the Studio Canal's UHD encode of Total Recall), either there's something so fishy baked-in the source that an automated x265 encode is going to drop this low (like all the DNRed sections on the newest Basic Instinct restoration). Which isn't pointless to know at all.

Absolutely. If this was simply a matter of poor disc authoring, none of these changes to the source material would be visible on the streaming versions, but they are. This is happening during the mastering phase and isn’t an accidental byproduct of disc authoring.
I usually try to see a DCP of it to be sure what's coming from where, but I suppose that a smeary look would also be visible on a streaming version. I didn't know if that was the case for Liberty Valance, but if it is, then, there you go.

This isn’t an accident or a wrong setting that no one has picked up on.
I have seen discs where the mixed results were a combination of both baked-in digital tinkering AND a non-optimal encode. While one can usually be told from the other, I understand how some people could wonder if the encode here also isn't at fault (which it could be, Paramount isn't flawless in this aspect).

Glenn's not an A/V guy, and he doesn't need to be. He's not the one to read if you're looking for accurate assessment of audio and video quality on a disc. You read Glenn when you want a wealth of historical information on the production, distribution, promotion, and other fascinating minutiae regarding movies. And sometimes some cool personal stories as well. He's an absolute champ when it comes to that kind of thing.
Without wanting to pick on Glenn, but if he's not an A/V guy and notoriously can't offer an accurate AV accurate assessment, he just shouldn't then. In this case, it would have been quite simple to do, since his assessment is extremely short anyway, so I suppose the whole page wouldn't like it's missing something. Because in the end, since he does, and since he's seemingly trusted as a "very good and unique writer", it's hard not to imagine some of his readers also taking his words when he writes that he has "never seen a bad-looking copy of this B&W feature" and that "Paramount’s 35mm prints showed no appreciable grain whatsoever, a quality retained in this handsome transfer."

The overriding problem seems to be that someone feels that they MUST do something to change the original image, as opposed to having it looks like film. That is what all quality restorations hope to attain - the perfect appearance of film.
I often wonder how much all this digital tinkering cost, and how much cheaper it might have been not to spend time doing stuff that is actually detrimental to the overall quality of the restoration. Even if one factors the possibility that these tinkerings are done not so much with fidelity to the source in mind but pleasing what some think the current public visual tastes might be, I can't help thinking leaving these restorations alone and skip all this tinkering might be cheaper.
 

Robert Harris

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Theoretically, it is. In practice, even if x265 is more efficient than x264, there is no reason (except of course for uniform screens that pretty much don't require any bandwidth no matter the format) for a UHD encode to go this low, so much that you're even lower than the BD counter-part. This suggests that either whoever did the UHD encode did it in a non-optimal fashion (like the Studio Canal's UHD encode of Total Recall), either there's something so fishy baked-in the source that an automated x265 encode is going to drop this low (like all the DNRed sections on the newest Basic Instinct restoration). Which isn't pointless to know at all.


I usually try to see a DCP of it to be sure what's coming from where, but I suppose that a smeary look would also be visible on a streaming version. I didn't know if that was the case for Liberty Valance, but if it is, then, there you go.


I have seen discs where the mixed results were a combination of both baked-in digital tinkering AND a non-optimal encode. While one can usually be told from the other, I understand how some people could wonder if the encode here also isn't at fault (which it could be, Paramount isn't flawless in this aspect).


Without wanting to pick on Glenn, but if he's not an A/V guy and notoriously can't offer an accurate AV accurate assessment, he just shouldn't then. In this case, it would have been quite simple to do, since his assessment is extremely short anyway, so I suppose the whole page wouldn't like it's missing something. Because in the end, since he does, and since he's seemingly trusted as a "very good and unique writer", it's hard not to imagine some of his readers also taking his words when he writes that he has "never seen a bad-looking copy of this B&W feature" and that "Paramount’s 35mm prints showed no appreciable grain whatsoever, a quality retained in this handsome transfer."


I often wonder how much all this digital tinkering cost, and how much cheaper it might have been not to spend time doing stuff that is actually detrimental to the overall quality of the restoration. Even if one factors the possibility that these tinkerings are done not so much with fidelity to the source in mind but pleasing what some think the current public visual tastes might be, I can't help thinking leaving these restorations alone and skip all this tinkering might be cheaper.
They are not restorations. And it may not be the public someone is attempting to please.
 

Lord Dalek

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Glenn's not an A/V guy, and he doesn't need to be. He's not the one to read if you're looking for accurate assessment of audio and video quality on a disc. You read Glenn when you want a wealth of historical information on the production, distribution, promotion, and other fascinating minutiae regarding movies. And sometimes some cool personal stories as well. He's an absolute champ when it comes to that kind of thing.
He really should just stop then. I've literally lost count over how many films he's given Ye Olde ExcellentX3 which every other site panned over the last 20(!) years.
 

JoshZ

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Theoretically, it is. In practice, even if x265 is more efficient than x264, there is no reason (except of course for uniform screens that pretty much don't require any bandwidth no matter the format) for a UHD encode to go this low, so much that you're even lower than the BD counter-part.

The whole point of a more efficient codec is to use lower bit rates than the less efficient codec. If it's more efficient, it doesn't need to waste as many bits.

I'm not saying this disc has an optimal encode, just that comparing the bit rate numbers between two different codecs tells us nothing in itself.
 

OliverK

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The overriding problem seems to be that someone feels that they MUST do something to change the original image, as opposed to having it looks like film. That is what all quality restorations hope to attain - the perfect appearance of film.

Every restoration begins with a base scan - the selection of scanner, the individual operating the scanner, the scanner set-up, and any tools used as the data exits the scanner.

Even at that early point, something can go in as film, and come out as pasta.

There is also the dark side - that certain folks on Melrose believe they do superlative work, and like what they see. It will fall to those who take their place to mop up after them.
Indeed the overriding theme seems to be changes must be made and grain cannot be left alone one way or another.

Doing less seems like a good way to get away from the dark side and it is probably cheaper than what they currently do.
 

Stephen_J_H

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The overriding problem seems to be that someone feels that they MUST do something to change the original image, as opposed to having it looks like film. That is what all quality restorations hope to attain - the perfect appearance of film.

Every restoration begins with a base scan - the selection of scanner, the individual operating the scanner, the scanner set-up, and any tools used as the data exits the scanner.

Even at that early point, something can go in as film, and come out as pasta.

There is also the dark side - that certain folks on Melrose believe they do superlative work, and like what they see. It will fall to those who take their place to mop up after them.
It’s frustrating, because some of the Paramount 1080p masters look very good. I’m just watching the Paramount Presents disc of Ragtime right now, and it’s a great harvest that looks like film. I plan on spot-checking the 4K iTunes master later this week.

Clearly someone at Paramount has the same mindset as James Cameron did when he approved the T2 4K and 3D masters. It’s ironic, since nearly everything Cameron did on film was notorious for a raw, grainy look.
 

titch

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It’s frustrating, because some of the Paramount 1080p masters look very good. I’m just watching the Paramount Presents disc of Ragtime right now, and it’s a great harvest that looks like film. I plan on spot-checking the 4K iTunes master later this week.

Clearly someone at Paramount has the same mindset as James Cameron did when he approved the T2 4K and 3D masters. It’s ironic, since nearly everything Cameron did on film was notorious for a raw, grainy look.
Since Paramount has no transparency as to whom is involved in their mastering processes, one could guess that it's a person in their 20's, who, deep down, wants the Paramount library to resemble a modern digital production, such as In The Heights.
 

titch

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Oh this is just getting more interesting by the minute: Martin Liebman over on blu-ray com has just pronounced the 4K UHD as "absolutely spectacular" and gives it a 5/5 rating for picture. No one on their site had bothered to review any blu-ray version before, so he now suddenly reviewed a US 2017 blu-ray too and awarded that one a 4.5/5 for the picture. I tried to search a little bit, to see if his viewing equipment is an iPhone, CRT, laptop, flat panel or projector, but was unable to find out what the various reviewers over there watch their films on.

I will have to bite the bullet and purchase this 4K UHD to see for myself. On my 130 screen, I can see if the grain is manipulated from a projected image. I was one of the few to call out The Fellowship Of The Ring initially - the DNR was readily apparent to my eyes on the 4K UHD, although many people gave it a pass because "Peter Jackson approved it". Well, as a long thread can attest, things have become slightly more complicated with the "Francis Ford Coppola approved 4K UHD Godfather".
 

Malcolm R

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Since Paramount has no transparency as to whom is involved in their mastering processes, one could guess that it's a person in their 20's, who, deep down, wants the Paramount library to resemble a modern digital production, such as In The Heights.
Probably right. Younger folks who have been raised largely on digital filmmaking likely see grain as some sort of defect or "noise" in the image of older films that should be minimized or removed.
 

madfloyd

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Oh this is just getting more interesting by the minute: Martin Liebman over on blu-ray com has just pronounced the 4K UHD as "absolutely spectacular" and gives it a 5/5 rating for picture. No one on their site had bothered to review any blu-ray version before, so he now suddenly reviewed a US 2017 blu-ray too and awarded that one a 4.5/5 for the picture. I tried to search a little bit, to see if his viewing equipment is an iPhone, CRT, laptop, flat panel or projector, but was unable to find out what the various reviewers over there watch their films on.

I will have to bite the bullet and purchase this 4K UHD to see for myself. On my 130 screen, I can see if the grain is manipulated from a projected image. I was one of the few to call out The Fellowship Of The Ring initially - the DNR was readily apparent to my eyes on the 4K UHD, although many people gave it a pass because "Peter Jackson approved it". Well, as a long thread can attest, things have become slightly more complicated with the "Francis Ford Coppola approved 4K UHD Godfather".
I'll have to wait until tomorrow (when I receive the UHD) to be sure there's not some huge difference from the streaming UHD version, but I think it looks way better than Fellowship of the Ring, which sadly has detail removed.
 

tenia

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They are not restorations. And it may not be the public someone is attempting to please.
I know some tend to make a clear difference between remasters and restorations, which I tend to do less. In any case, my point remains the same regardless of which terms fits best the Liberty Valance 4K workflow.
As for the public they might be attempting to please, I obviously am only speculating, but it doesn't seem far-fetched to me to suppose that if all labs and studios were aiming at people like us, digital tinkering like here would be long gone. And yet, here we (still) are.

The whole point of a more efficient codec is to use lower bit rates than the less efficient codec. If it's more efficient, it doesn't need to waste as many bits. I'm not saying this disc has an optimal encode, just that comparing the bit rate numbers between two different codecs tells us nothing in itself.
Again, I understand what you mean, but this just isn't how the encodes on UHD and BD are done (just like x264 is a more efficient codec than MPEG2 and yet BDs are encoded at roughly 3 to 5 times higher AVBs than DVDs). This means that the usual real practices differ from the theory, possibly in this case because you're going to use discs with more space so why not using it anyway since it's not really cheaper not to, or also because we're also comparing 1080p with 2160p and the bandwidth to suit the extra resolution might eat up that extra efficiency (and more).

In any case, we've had enough examples of how such comparisons might be enlightening on what is happening on some UHDs regarding their encodes, though bitrates (and encodes) alone usually only tell a fraction of the story.
 

titch

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Six years ago, he was watching on a Sony XBR-65X930C.
Thanks for this - Martin Liebman's set-up is completely different from a projector set-up, if he hasn't made an upgrade in the meantime.

I find reviews of video and audio quality on these various sites impossible to gauge as to their relevancy to my set-up, without knowing the type of review equipment the reviewer has, for starters. I do have the UK 2013 blu-ray, which I last viewed on my mother's not-very-state-of-the-art flat panel screen, a mere 35 inches in diameter, in 2013. She had no curtains in her living room and her set was absolutely not calibrated. I think our viewing environment then was the polar opposite of my current one. But my mother and I did have a most enjoyable evening together.
 

JoshZ

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Again, I understand what you mean, but this just isn't how the encodes on UHD and BD are done (just like x264 is a more efficient codec than MPEG2 and yet BDs are encoded at roughly 3 to 5 times higher AVBs than DVDs). This means that the usual real practices differ from the theory, possibly in this case because you're going to use discs with more space so why not using it anyway since it's not really cheaper not to, or also because we're also comparing 1080p with 2160p and the bandwidth to suit the extra resolution might eat up that extra efficiency (and more).

In any case, we've had enough examples of how such comparisons might be enlightening on what is happening on some UHDs regarding their encodes, though bitrates (and encodes) alone usually only tell a fraction of the story.

This is still an apples-to-oranges comparison The two formats not only use different compression codecs, but are compressing very different amounts of data due to the differing video resolutions.

The way the review in question was written presents these statistics as a smoking gun. Ah ha! This disc has a lower bit rate than the other disc, therefore the compression is worse! That's just not how it works. They're not the same type of disc or compression format at all. The two numbers have no relevance to each other.
 

Chewbabka

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This is still an apples-to-oranges comparison The two formats not only use different compression codecs, but are compressing very different amounts of data due to the differing video resolutions.

The way the review in question was written presents these statistics as a smoking gun. Ah ha! This disc has a lower bit rate than the other disc, therefore the compression is worse! That's just not how it works. They're not the same type of disc or compression format at all. The two numbers have no relevance to each other.
The way I read it, not so much “lower bit rate than the other disc”, but rather “the bit rate dips in the areas where the video gets especially problematic. Oh and by the way, those dips don’t occur on the 1080p disc”

Certainly a relevant point and not as reductionist as you make it sound.
 

Kilgore

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Just to add a not so unrelated comment here. I am reminded of the time in the early 2000's when large numbers of people I knew couldn't see the difference between DVD and Blu-ray/HD DVD, or said that you can't tell the difference between SD and HD from a reasonable distance. These same people enjoyed what they were watching, regardless of how "wrong" they were.

Some people need to be trained to see, much like a budding musician needs to learn to hear. Thank goodness we have people like Robert A. Harris to share his enormous wealth of experience inform and educate us all.

EDIT: I should add, I'm not saying someone's opinion concerning what they enjoy is "wrong", just that they may not be seeing the whole picture, so to speak. Even after they are "educated" they may still hold the same view... and that is fine by me.
 

OliverK

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Oh this is just getting more interesting by the minute: Martin Liebman over on blu-ray com has just pronounced the 4K UHD as "absolutely spectacular" and gives it a 5/5 rating for picture. No one on their site had bothered to review any blu-ray version before, so he now suddenly reviewed a US 2017 blu-ray too and awarded that one a 4.5/5 for the picture. I tried to search a little bit, to see if his viewing equipment is an iPhone, CRT, laptop, flat panel or projector, but was unable to find out what the various reviewers over there watch their films on.

I will have to bite the bullet and purchase this 4K UHD to see for myself. On my 130 screen, I can see if the grain is manipulated from a projected image. I was one of the few to call out The Fellowship Of The Ring initially - the DNR was readily apparent to my eyes on the 4K UHD, although many people gave it a pass because "Peter Jackson approved it". Well, as a long thread can attest, things have become slightly more complicated with the "Francis Ford Coppola approved 4K UHD Godfather".

Martin Liebman gave Patton 5 out of 5 for video quality - the wax version:

As for his display one can always sit closer to a smaller screen - helps a lot.
In any case he obviously has not changed his ways to a significant degree as he seems to be rather happy with the old Liberty Valance release giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars for video.

In any case no need for me to read his review with that kind of track record.
 

Robert Harris

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This release - akin to some other Paramount films - will please many viewers seeking a clean, nicely rendered image for entertainment.

The use of the 4k format and various tools such as HDR, have nothing to do with an authentic or cinematic look. And many viewers will presume that digital noise and organic film grain are one and the same.

If one is not seeking perfection, or even an authentic cinematic appearance, this new 4k will check all the right boxes.

And to give it proper due, it’s head and shoulders above Patton and Day.
 

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