*** Official HTF Review U-571 D-VHS D Theater High Def ***

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Gregg Loewen, Aug 29, 2002.

  1. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Official Hometheaterforum D-VHS Review of U-571 in D Theater
    During the past two days I had to look within myself to find the energy to put into this review (I was not a fan of this movie) and I came away pleasantly surprised. I had just received U-571 even though this title has been out for over one month now. So as with all my serious movie watching I waited until the kids were in bed (which was quite difficult as my 5 year old started kindergarten the next morning) and put U-571 in my JVC 30000 D-VHS D Theater player. All lights were turned out in my home theater and the 65” Toshiba 65H80 was nicely warmed up. The movie included a nice D Theater trailer that ended up being the only extra on the tape.
    I very much liked the video quality of the transfer. There was no visible edge enhancement and black levels were deep while maintaining detail. As with other D-VHS movies (X-Men, T2) the sharpness of the transfer was impressive. The transfer had also been nicely cleaned up, and without any visible defects. Skin tones appeared to be slightly orange but I found this coloring to be consistent with the DVD transfer. I recommend the D-VHS version over the DVD version for its superior video quality.
    As with other D-VHS titles, U-571 is encoded in 5.1 Dolby Digital Sound. The audio was nicely balanced and had good use of surrounds especially for special effects such as propeller sounds and ambient sound such as the dripping of water from pipes within the submarine. After viewing the D-VHS I compared it with the DVD version in both DD and DTS formats. Both the DVD formats sounded louder but not necessarily more detailed. The DTS track was definitely hotter than either of the DD tracks and had heavier bass. For this reason I preferred the DTS audio but I have no idea which is accurate to the master audio tracks. All 3 formats shook the foundations due to the heavy use of low frequency bass.
    Since doing my last review (X-Men) I have sent my player in to be repaired relating to audio / video dropouts. Since the repair I have viewed Terminator 2 and did not notice any problems. While viewing U-571 there was one audio and video drop just minutes into the film. I could not replicate the drop out and did not notice any others throughout the movie. This drop out seemed to be of a different nature than the ones experienced during X-Men.
    To summarize my thoughts, I am not a fan of this movie, as I thought the acting was poor and the plot lacking any emotional appeal. However I will watch just about anything in high definition and I am a HUGE fan of heavy bass and sound effects so I found this flick to be exciting on this level. I’d watch it again as long as fresh popcorn and at least 2 cans of Diet Coke were in the vicinity.
    D-VHS Stats: 1080i, 28.2 Mbps, 2.35 ratio, 5.1 DD, 1 Hour 57 Mins, PG-13, MSRP $ 44.98
    Rating 3.5 out of 5 stars
    Gregg Loewen
    Official ISF Video Calibrator of Hometheaterforum
    www.greggloewen.com
     
  2. Augustin Rodriguez

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    Hi-Def or not it's still tape. This whole VHS thing just needs to go away. I sure hope that this pricing does not follow with HD-DVD.

    No offense to any fellow members, but would you still be getting excited if they came out with an all digital high quality cassette tape for music. Maybe they already have, but I know I wouldn't be out trying to restore a dying format.

    I guess for now we all want what Hi-Def content we can get, regardless of it's format. Personally I would rather wait for the real meat & potatoes, HD-DVD.
     
  3. Steven Simon

    Steven Simon Producer

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    Augustin,

    If you haven't noticed, Gregg posted a review for an HD VHS movie, not the D-VHS format. Lets keep this thread on topic!!
     
  4. Augustin Rodriguez

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    You're right, he did. My apologizes Gregg.
     
  5. JJR512

    JJR512 Supporting Actor

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  6. Rob Tomlin

    Rob Tomlin Producer

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    Thanks for the review Gregg!

    I am still keeping an eye on these posts, especially with regards to the audio and video "dropouts". This is a major concern of mine with this format.

    I was blown away by the quality of U-571 at the WSR D-Theater festival, but if dropouts are going to be a problem, I don't know that I will be purchasing a D-Theater unit.
     
  7. Jan Strnad

    Jan Strnad Screenwriter

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    Gregg,

    Thanks for the review. Let us know what the effect of repeated viewings does to the quality of the presentation, okay?

    Jan
     
  8. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi Jan!

    The copy I received was a screener which had to be returned. It has been used but I dont know how many times. So the one drop out I experienced was related to wear??? (and not as previous - a hardware issue??)

    Gregg
     
  9. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Hiya Greg, well with tape who knows what the dropout could've been. It could be wear. It could be a misadjusted head of another player. It could be a badly manufactured tape. I'm would love to see more HD movies on my set but I cannot rationalze the format. Did you buy the player or are you trying it out?
     
  10. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Hi Dave, I received the player as a thank you present after calibrating the client's Mits RPTV. Ive been using it as a VCR up until the release of the few D-VHS titles that I have now acquired.
     
  11. Dave Scarpa

    Dave Scarpa Producer

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    Hey that's a heck of a Perk !
     
  12. Gregg Loewen

    Gregg Loewen Video Standards Instructor, THX Ltd.
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    Yup, one heck of a perk. Im usually tickled pink when the client offers a Diet Coke. I was in heaven that day.
    [​IMG]
     

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