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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by PatWahlquist, Nov 17, 2007.
thanks for the review Pat. I just realized something. For these big multi disc sets, why don't these studios start using DVD-sized versions of plain cardboard record jackets for each disc and then house them all together in a simple carboard (or plastic) slipcase? The jacket itself would have have a spine for easy identification, has room for chapter listings or liner notes on the front and back (voiding the need for a seperate booklet or insert), allows easy acces to each invidual disc, and would likely never, EVER, result in a loose or damaged disc (especially if the slipcase itself is shrinkwrapped within any outer plastic housing). It would also cut down on shelf space considerably. I'm sick of dealing with faulty or scratched discs in these multi-disc sets. its a real PITA. Why the hang-up on cheap plastic trays? Do they think that's more impressive when they slap a hefty price tag on the thing? getting back to the review- is it your opinion Pat that what some other reviewers are taking as compression artifacting, is in fact noise or grain? In the case of the noise in the CGI shots, do you think this was intentional (to mimic grain) or the result of some fault in the transfer or compression?
Great review Pat! I appreciate the completeness of the review. I look forward to picking this set up first thing Tuesday. I had a feeling all this talk of compression artifacting wasn't actually a problem, but film grain. All the pre-release promotional material and Remastering program promos from one year, two months ago when the series was re-issued for a syndicated run all indicated a first class effort for the live action film element remastering. I hesitate to say restoration of the film elements, given the amount of re-work done. I really felt that Paramount CBS wasn't going to shortchange on that part. (Now you can say what you want about the CGI work as that is subjective to a degree) It will be interesting to read the comments as we all start viewing these discs this week. I know that there are at least 5 or 6 members here as hardcore as me and will chime on the PQ and AQ! Great warning on discs coming loose, I decided to go to a brick and morter to check the sets rather then mail order. By the way, I rather enjoyed the typo, "The Alternative Factory". An appropriate little slip for a weak episode! Don't fix it!
Pat, Nice review. By the way, the reason why it didn't work on your XA2 is that the HDi environment is bypassed for the secondary audio stream, which is why every HD DVD player has built in audio to handle all of the mixing in the player for advanced authored content. Nothing was broken, that is the way it's supposed to happen. Best, David
Thanks for the comments, guys, it was a pleasure doing this set and I enjoyed every minute of it! I'm not going to go so far as to say it's ALL grain and NO artifacting, but it looks more like grain than video noise. Of course, the noise could be compounding the grain, but it just doesn't look like it. Many of the scenes look better than the rest. One interesting thing I noticed was the full screen images of the viewscreen on the bridge of the Enterprise: the borders of the screen wall looked about worst of all. I don't know if this had something to do with how they added in the effects shots late or what. I would really hope one of our fine archival experts will know exactly what happened on this release. The Trek fan community is pretty vocal, so they may speak up. Nelson, I'll leave "Factory" just for you! Dave, thanks for the explanation. This explains the difference between the A1 and the XA2. This XA2 has really been a headache (literally for me during the review), first, with the 1080p/24 lip sync issue (now fixed) and the shutdown in 1080p (still not fixed). Pat
Excellent review, Pat! So it sounds like you are saying that, to you, it doesn't seem like there are really any compression problems...just normal issues from the age of the source material?
Indeed thanks Pat. My fears have been allayed - very much looking forward to this release!
Nice review, Pat. I am really looking forward to this set. It is going to be a great way to re-experience Trek. (I've watched some of the cut, syndicated broadcasts, so I can only imagine how splendid these episodes are going to look in HD. I was kind of luke warm on this release when first announced, but I'm getting pretty stoked over this title as the release becomes imminent.) - Walter.
Agree with the point about the packaging on these big sets . I just got the big 'Roots' giftset and 9 of the 10 discs were damaged inside with scratches and a 'gluey' substance on most . I think they need to put holders/grips rather than 'envelope' shapes inside . ~M~
Can you elaborate on the "shutdown in 1080P" comment? I didn't see it mentioned unless I'm completely missing it in your review. I have the XA2 and I'd like to know what I'm getting into here.
Sure, sorry about that... The XA2 has a bug while in 1080p (not 1080p/24) where the unit will shut down while playing. I have contacted Toshiba about this and they said it could be and was going to be fixed via a firmware update. Some are suggesting the HD chip in the unit is getting incorrect information in 1080p that the unit is too hot and it shuts down, which is not the case as mine does it about a minute into power up. With the new firmware from Toshiba, 2.7, 1080p/24 now has the proper lip sync as well as enabling the high bit rate audio, but I haven't checked to see if the problem in 1080p was corrected.
Thanks and yes, Mike, as near as I can tell on my equipment. I'm sure they'll be further debate on this as the set comes out. I'm interested to hear what owners of LCD displays think of it since LCD picks up noise and compression artifacts pretty well.
Pat, I've had the XA2 for a couple of months now and haven't experienced that issue at all (shutdown). That doesn't seem to be something that can be fixed via firmware, but I'm not an engineer...I only play one on TV
I just read a short review of this set on a Trek site. I often wonder if he comes here.... He's also chimed in on the grain issue. What is interesting is that the reviewer could see grain in the live action, but also felt they added grain to the new CGI effects in an attempted to match the grain of the film. This is in contrast to what Justin sees in his review. No mention in the review that I recall of what equiptment he used. I imagine the player and the display's ability to process the image has a lot to do with this, so everyone's perception will vary. This is killing me, I am looking forward to seeing this myself! Additionally, there was a photo of the box set all opened and spread out. Looks like a nice set with the cards that have disc content info and added liner notes for each disc.
Yes I read that review too Nelson. Lots of varying opinions. I wonder about the muted colour statement. Could be people are remembering videotapes being played on non-calibrated TVs. Colour smearing may have led to over bright colours. What we are getting now could be the proper representation.
On the firmware issue, I consider a fix for this via firmware suspect too. There is a supposed work around if you have the issue where you power up the XA2 until it gets to the time readouts on the front display, then power up your switcher or reciever (if that's part of your chain), then power up the display. That didn't work for me. I may jump up and down on one foot and chant and see if that helps. This will be a very interesting set to watch reviews on. My Marantz displays one of the best images you can get so I like to think it and my eye will be accurate. As I mentioned earlier, I'm wondering how well an LCD will resolve this image. I'm no fan of them because the first thing I usually see on LCD's is the breakup in small detail and background images. Can you post the link to the review you guys mentioned? I'm curious to hear about what it says on the color. Nothing looks muted in these re-mastered episodes, if nothing else, colors are a little boosted.
Yes, I agree Lou, so many variables out there in AV hardware that each person has a different perception. You must be CanuckLou! PAt, This particular review is at trekmovie.com. It should be the first item at the top of the content area, and it says; Review- Star Trek HD-DVD Box Set. It's not a super technical review as the audience is not an HT one.
I know in one of the interviews I saw, one of the guys from CBS digital talked about how they added grain to the new effects shots to try and get them to match the original photography. On the big screen they seemed to match pretty well. Doug
Yes the CGI shots in The Menagerie matched quite well with the live action ones. And Nelson, guilty as charged.
Got my UK copy today from Amazon, and am part way through watching The Menagerie. Picture quality is outstanding - am watching on a 100 inch screen via a 1080p projector and it is gorgeous. The only grain that I can see appears to be natural to the film, although the picture does of course go somewhat fuzzy everytime a female lead gets a close up Dont like the disc menus - too confusing and trying to be clever. Designed to be looked at and admired rather than used. And whats more you cant skip of fast forward through them. Given HD-DVDs pathetic lack of a mandatory resume function - this is incredibly annoying when you press stop and then have to laboriously go through the menus again. Worst thing is the packaging. Its absolutely disgraceful - cheap and tacky. No decent booklet or anything - just a few laminated "beer mats". When I pay £85 for a set of discs I expect packaging that is high quality and robust - unfortunately this is neither. I also think its very poor that we dont at least have a HD transfer of "The Cage" now whilst I realise that this wont have been prepared for broadcast like the other episodes, it is of significant historical interest and aside from anything is one hell of a good story. Watching The Menagerie is not the same thing. So whilst the quality of the original episodes shines through yet again they are somewhat let down by Paramount who seem more concerned with gimicks than with quality - no surprise given the awful packaging that has become a standard for Trek on DVD.