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Discussion in 'DVD' started by Joe DC, Nov 19, 2003.
Do Superbit DVD's really sound and show up better than regular DVD's?
... but are Superbit DVDs much better than most DVDs or is the difference negligible? I know they beef up the audio encoding in exchange for less extra features, but do they beef up the video coding as well? Thanks.
Yes the video bitrates are also increased (less compressed). The difference can range from dramatic to negligble. It's more pertinent to ask about the difference with specific titles you may be considering.
If you're sure something's been asked before, then please do a search before starting a new thread. In this case, there are literally dozens of threads discussing the superbit concept and specific superbit titles. Here's a sample of relevant links:
What is the most impressive Superbit out right now?
Is there a good reason why Columbia/Tristar titles can't all be SUPERBIT?
The only reason to buy Superbit...
Superbit DVDs do not use all the available space - why ?
If you are sensitive to modest video noise due to compression artifacts and/or you have a very large display and are sensitive to horizontal detail, you will likely notice an improvement in a Columbia Superbit title vs. the non-Superbit of the same Columbia title. The same goes for if you believe that DTS offers a noticeable improvement over DD 5.1.
Your search on this topic will likely find a lot of folks who are not sensitive to these things saying it is a waste, and folks who are very sensitive to them saying it is the greatest thing since sliced bread. The truth of the matter will be a function of your own taste and viewing needs.
There have been a few Superbit titles where non-bitrate related changes to the transfer have been made compared to their predecessors. These include "Desperado", which was a completely new transfer from previous versions, although I believe a non-Superbit SE has since been released with the new transfer. Also, "From Here to Eternity" has a 5.1 remix that is not available on the non-SB release. Another is "Lawrence of Arabia", which has some audio mix edits fixed and features a re-timed transfer that improves the look of the film and reduces the intensity of haloing artifacts somewhat.
That really depends upon your equipment. The lower end your set up is, the more like that it won't. But even with average equipment you'll probably notice a difference. I've got a Sony Wega and Toshiba SD 3900 player, I can totally tell the difference between the regular and Superbit versions of 5th Element and Resident Evil.
Audio-wise, that's really up to your ears and while it should be better sounding, it's not always to different people.
Joe, please note that the DVD Etc. area is set up for dialogue with the editors and writers of the magazine, to discuss stories and reviews that appear there. Ask questions about DVDs in the Home Theater Software area. And, yes, a well-authored Superbit title looks and sounds somewhat to substantially better than its standard-edition counterpart. However, there are many, many non-Columbia Tristar titles on DVD that look and sound every bit as good.
...and it appears to make a difference when using front projection.
Superbits are a bit of controversy here on the HTF. Some say that the video and audio difference between Superbits and their counterparts are quite noticeable. Some say there's little or no difference, and it's just a Columbia-Tristar marketing tool. It really depends on a variety of factors: the transfer(s), your equipment, the actual title, and of course the opinion they've already formed. So, most people swear by them, others swear at them.
In my experience, the pros of many Superbit titles (devoted entirely to high video bitrate and good DD5.1 and DTS soundtracks) outweighs the cons (no commentary, no other special features unless it's a Superbit Deluxe). There are a couple titles where the quality of the previous release(s) doesn't really warrant a double-dip. Leon: The Professional seems to be one of these titles. Others, like Lawrence of Arabia, come very highly recommended as improvements over earlier discs.
Again, it varies from person to person here, but if you think you have the equipment (32"+ hi-def TV or projector, good PS DVD player or HTPC, decent non-Bose sound system), and you're not going to have an aneurysm if there's no special features, I'd choose the Superbit version of a title.
I would suggest using the search function in this forum as there are probably thousands of posts with good information.
Merged two recent threads asking the same question. As previously noted, Superbit titles have been discussed in many prior threads, and the perceived superiority (or not) varies from person to person and also title to title. Use the links in my previous post as a starting point. I will leave this thread open for now, but discussion of specific titles should proceed in the existing threads.