Is "seamless branching" a thing of the past??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Coleman, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    It seems like the studios are using this feature less and less or not at all. I guess my concern was STARGATE: UE! The SE gave you the choice by seamless branching. It doesn't seem to me that difficult to do the same for this version yet the chose different discs to place the movies on!

    This has me concerned as far as Artisan's release of T2: EXTREME EDITION! Wondering if they are going to use different discs for this one too!

    I think that "seamless branching" is DVD's greatest feature and something I'd wish they use more often (especially in the era of "revisionist cinema") so we can see multiple versions. I'm just wondering why studios are seemingly back-pedling from this feature?

    Curious if those here on this forum have ever experienced any playback problems with "seamless branching" discs in any of your players before? If you did, what discs where they and what players were they problems in? I myself have never had a problem with those discs through the 3 dvd players i've had (Toshiba 2006/2109 and JVC 600).

    Would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

    David
     
  2. Jon Robertson

    Jon Robertson Screenwriter

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    I sincerely hope not - it's one of the most truly exciting features of DVD technology. It's fascinating to be able to compare two or more versions of the same film back to back.
     
  3. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    The last disc with seamless branching that I can remember being released was Kate and Leopold.

    Does anyone know of one more recent? (I don't count Beauty and the Beast because that just had a single branch at the layer change - not true[*] seamless branching, and the disc includes a lot of wasteful redundancy)
    [*] Although, from what I understand, no DVD has implemented 'Seamless Branching' properly as laid down in the DVD specification - but at least have included multiple branches.
     
  4. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    Disc like INDEPENDENCE DAY, ABYSS, T2:UE and even the SUPERBITS which are to use "seamless branching" for it's layer changes have never given me problems!
     
  5. DaViD Boulet

    DaViD Boulet Lead Actor

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    I think the main problem with Beauty and the Beast running out of room for good compresion wasn't the branching issue, but the fact that they use *multiple angles* to encode the work-in-progress version...this reduced the maximum bit-rate dramatically since multiple angles are encoded using the same video-space simultaneously. Branching may reduce total playing time, but not maxiumum bit-rate per scene as different branched scenes are stored side-by-side using their own bit-space.
     
  6. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    Well encoding the whole second layer of the movie doesn't help either. But I think there was no other way around it because they were using the angles for the Work in Progress.

    I don't understand branching properly, but it uses some of the same techniques as are used when spliting multiple video tracks (multi-angle). Therefore I think it would be impossible in include branching and multi-angles on the same encoding. You literally can only have one of the other.

    I'm not really critisising Beauty and the Beast - although obviously an extra disc for the Work in Progress would have helped - just pointing out it only has one branching point (and the fact that it is on the layer change means it's not seamless on most players [​IMG]). Its really just pre-programmed chapters in a title, and the authors have made use of the layer change to hide the switch.
     
  7. Ray H

    Ray H Producer

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    I believe the There's Something About Mary SE will have seamless branching.
     
  8. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  9. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    If people would stop buying cheap Chinese OEM decks, then there would be less problems [​IMG]
     
  10. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    COUGHCOUGHAPEXCOUGHCOUGH [​IMG]
     
  11. Tim Ke

    Tim Ke Stunt Coordinator

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    I wonder if Fox will use seamless branching on the Alien Quadrilogy set...
     
  12. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    So has anyone experienced a branching problem here on this forum?
     
  13. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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    Personally, no. Have I seen them? Shoe-betcha
     
  14. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    Is the lack of seemless branching a money deal? I'm sure it does cost more to do, but does it require a significantly higher than normal production cost for the dvd?

    I think it has great potential for movies with director's cuts, or new scenes that are being introduced by a dvd release. The recent ET release comes to mind.

    Peace,

    DM
     
  15. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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    I've updated my (probably wrong) explanation of Seamless Branching near the top of this thread.

    I've also found this:

     
  16. Geoff_D

    Geoff_D Supporting Actor

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  17. Malcolm Cleugh

    Malcolm Cleugh Second Unit

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    As another UK user I agree with Geoff's comments.
    The problem is with the cheap players which are in the majority in the UK.
    My 3 players all top range Sony's, one now 3 1/2 years old are all fine with branching.

    Everytime a branching disk is released in the UK you read and see on TV consumer programs people with problems. These people have non mainstream Far East players for sub £100, you don't see many if any complaints from Sony, Panasonic, Toshiba, Phillips users.

    This is why there are fewer branching titles in the UK, Momentum only released the extended T1000 version on Terminator 2 (rather than the 3 versions on the R1), and Stargate only has the DC.

    As well as poor firmware the other problem I seem to remember was lack of memory ? this caused problems with titles like Gladiator, Toy Story & Fantasia, refusing to play at all on some makes of player.

    Therefore with DVD now mainstream us enthusiasts especially in the UK must accept a dumming down.
    The only plus is the UK still retains w/s only releases rather than the increasing common dual w/s & p/s of R1. This is probably because we have a higher % of w/s TVs as virtually all new TVs over 20" here are now w/s.
     
  18. Mark Bendiksen

    Mark Bendiksen Screenwriter

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    I also thought the Abyss disc was extremely impressive. I don't know how difficult it was to author, but the results were first-rate.

    Now, if only the disc were anamorphic.... [​IMG]
     
  19. James Reader

    James Reader Screenwriter

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  20. Christian Preischl

    Christian Preischl Screenwriter

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