*** HTF Review of ID4: Independence Day in D-VHS D Theater High Definition ***

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gregg Loewen, Sep 10, 2002.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    [​IMG]

    Official Hometheaterforum D-VHS D Theater Review of ID4: Independence Day
    The popcorn was ready with extra butter and Diet Coke was on hand. My convergence was checked and remained dead on, so I decided to hit the play button and watch ID4 Independence Day in high definition.
    I have watched this flick multiple times previously but not in the recent past. From the opening space scenes the black levels left me saying “isn’t that beautiful” to Heather (we just celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary). Anyway, she thinks I’m crazy but she did agree that it looked great.
    This print was extremely sharp and the transfer must have had extreme tweeking (thank you FOX!). I was amazed during the Goldblum / Hirsch scene where they were playing chess. Judd Hirsch’s facial detail was unreal. Blacks were extremely deep and skin tones appeared accurate. Throughout the film there was a little film dirt (noise) present. Several exceptions were both Air Force One sunset shots, which exhibited a huge amount of film dirt. There was also a little 1080 I deinterlacing (combing) artifact. After the HD viewing, I replayed the DVD version. WOW, the differences were staggering. In comparison, the DVD looked like VHS (figuratively anyways – but you get my idea). Blacks still looked great, but I saw many more deinterlacing artifacts and film dirt. Film grain was also present. One additional note was that the Air Force One scenes were lacking the dirt that was present on the HD version (2 weird).
    The HD version comes with 5.1 and 2.0 Dolby Digital sound tracks. I only listened to the 5.1 sound track. ID4 is a great movie for showing off your 5.1 system, and my Atlantic Technology 450 series system was rocking. There was good use of both surrounds and LFEs. The house was shaking (thank goodness the kids sleep soundly). I compared the DVD version with the HD version and gave the edge to the HD version. Perhaps it was the higher bit rate or perhaps a slightly hotter (?) sound track. The 5.1 from the DVD and the HD versions are sure to please.
    This was a blockbuster movie that I have always considered a “popcorn flick”. I have always considered the way “America” saves the world and the other numerous references to the USA to be very “Pro America”. I am not trying to be political, and I am quite sure that this really appealed to the US viewing audience. I wonder what the rest of world’s take on it was? Perhaps, my view is because of my Canadian hertitage. Regardless, the special effects, both visual and audio, are incredible and by this alone warrant buying ID4 to add to one’s collection. If D-VHS is in your future, ID4: Independence is a must own. I will watch this movie time and time again, and will definitely use it for demonstration purposes.
    My favorite line: “You went to MIT for 8 years to become a cable repairman”
    D-VHS Stats: 1080i, 28.2 Mbps, 2.35 ratio, 5.1 DD, 1 Hour 45 Mins, PG-13, MSRP $ 34.98
    Rating 4.25/5
    Gregg Loewen
    Official ISF Video Calibrator of Hometheaterforum
     
  2. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Sounds Like another winner. Dang it.
     
  3. Ed St. Clair

    Ed St. Clair Producer

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  4. Mathias Klemme

    Mathias Klemme Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the review. It's an interesting technology I'll keep an eye on.

     
  5. Jeff Bamberger

    Jeff Bamberger Second Unit

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    I work at a high end home theater shop. This weekend we were part of a "home show" at a mall and for the show set up our NEC 50inch plasma with a new JVC D-VHS deck.

    I have to agree that Hi-def material looks and sounds great with this type of setup.

    My only concern is that this is a tape based medium. I would have concerns about getting into the format from a collectability standpoint. Already some of our tapes are degrading from high use (which is more prevalent in a store than in a home). This becomes apparent with pixellization and drop outs.

    But back to the point, I do agree that D-VHS material can look and sound phenomenal!!!
     
  6. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    I forgot to mention, there there were NO audio or video drop outs on this tape.

    Regards

    Gregg
     
  7. StevenA

    StevenA Second Unit

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  8. Andy_Bu

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    RyanDinan Stunt Coordinator

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  11. Josh Lowe

    Josh Lowe Screenwriter

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  12. Eric F

    Eric F Screenwriter

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  13. Bryant Trew

    Bryant Trew Second Unit

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    SUGGESTION
    For your reviews, why not add a "versus the DVD" section? I think it will add much needed perspective to the review, especially when a DVD has a reference quality transfer.
     
  14. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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  15. Gil D

    Gil D Supporting Actor

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    Greg,
    Thanks for the review.

    Any idea who has ID4 DVHS in stock?
     
  16. LaMarcus

    LaMarcus Screenwriter

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    Super funny Ricardo, of coarse me being a computer tech , I'd think that comment is funny.
     
  17. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Josh, thanks you are correct, interlacing. It is very present but no where never as bad as the DVD.
    Bryant, thanks for the suggestion. I will do that.
    [​IMG]
    Gil, trying emailing or calling Lasersedge.com. If they dont have it they will at least be able to provide you with a "to be available by" date.
    I dont think film noise is the same as film dirt. by dirt, I mean things like negative scratching, dust, etc. My terminology may not be entirely correct as I am not a telecine expert.
    I can hardly wait for Fight Club!!! OMG [​IMG]
     
  18. Dave Moritz

    Dave Moritz Producer
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    Yes Independance Day has made alot of money and it is a really cool flick. But after going to by ID4 special edition on dvd. Only to find out that it is out of print, and the only option is to buy the dd print! Other than going out and spending money on a tape format, meaning D-VHS. I am considering not buying this movie unless it comes back out in dd/dts. Or I might search used dvd stores and see if I can buy it that way. Dont think I will invest in D-VHS, mainly because it is a tape format with no choice in surround sound. And because I feel my money would be better spent in upgrading other peices in my HT. Sounds like a really good review though [​IMG] .
     
  19. Jordan_E

    Jordan_E Cinematographer

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    DTS?
     
  20. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    DTS has been negotiating with the studios and JVC. Im pretty sure the next generation of D-VHS decks will have DTS decoding capabilities.
     

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