Picture quality on Independence Day

David Payne

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I'm in region 2 and decided to rent Independence Day on DVD so that I could check it out on my home theatre. I know there have been a lot of versions on this on DVD, so I'm not sure which version I was sent. But I do know it was released in 2004, has a DTS track, the extended version of the film only, and a short preview for The Day After Tomorrow (so I'm guessing, the limited edition?).

I have to say I was pretty dissapointed with the picture quality of this disc. The edge enhancement was the worst I've ever seen - very visible in almost every scene, and you can even see halos at the top and bottom of the screen, where the picture meets the black border! There was also a noticeable amount of grain in the picture which I doubt was intentional, and the picture was very soft (I even checked if my projector was out of focus several times during the movie!). Every review I've read the raves about how good this transfer is (although online reviewers tend to be too lenient anyway!). I'm guessing those guys were talking about other releases of the movie (with so many versions out there, it's hard to tell which one a particular article is referring to!).

Are other people finding this? Are all releases the same? Incidentally, I thought the sound was fairly good, but nothing spectacular - probably more to do with the movies age than anything.
 

Joseph Bolus

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Independence Day was a fairly early DVD release. It was, in fact, initially released to Region 1 in December 2000; and I doubt very much if a new transfer has been struck since then. In that day and age "haloing" was the norm for DVD transfers. Compressionists were still learning their craft, and light EE - as displayed on the 36" CRT-based monitors of the day - was actually considered desirable by some factions.

Having said that, I will state that the December 2000 Region 1 release - while flawed - was certainly better than some of the other high profile releases of that time. For example, the EE on the Terminator 2 UE was worse than this transfer. Fortunately, in the case of Terminator 2 the DVD format finally got the transfer that it deserved in the upgraded Extreme Edition version of the movie that "streeted" just in front of the Terminator 3 theatrical release. There has been no similar reason for Fox to do any additional work on ID4. As far as I'm aware, every subsequent release has been a repackaging of that first December 2000 release.

Perhaps when Fox decides to release this movie to High-Def the transfer will be revisited ...
 

Lord Dalek

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A lot of the early Five Star/Collector's Series titles suffer from various issues which (although fine for 2000-2001) render them somewhat unwatchable to varying degrees these days. I was running Die Hard with a Vengeance the other day for instance and the edge enhancement on that is rediculous!
 

Jon Smith

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There is a new 'Definitive Edition' coming soon in the UK. I'd bet it was just a repackage job though of the original 2 discer - Theatrical and SE cuts etc.
 

Dave H

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Independence Day was reference quality when it came out, but really shows its age in terms of how far encoding/mastering has come along. This title has been re-released so many times, but always with the same transfer. A Blu-ray version is supposed to come out this year, so we'll see.
 

David Payne

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That really sucks to release it so many times without a new transfer. As I said, edge-enhancement is so bad that it shows up along the picture borders. Some of the reviews I read were written quite recently, not way back in 2000/2001. I guess those guys just really are suckers for new packaging!
Thanks for letting me know it isn't just me that has a problem.
 

Matt Czyz

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Yeah, Die Hard with a Vengeance is considered to have some of the worst haloing/EE of any dvd (maybe SW: Episode I is worse?).
 

Lord Dalek

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Episode I isn't that bad if you correctly fiddle arround with the THX Optimizer settings. DHWAV however looks terrible no matter what you do to it (which is weird since Die Hard 2 is practically reference quality).

Hopefully Fox will consider doing remasters when Live Free or Die Hard rolls around but I'm not holding my breath.
 

David Payne

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That's espeically weird about episode 1, since the other movies look so good (original trilogy only suffers from being old film stock). I won't bother sitting through it again to see if it's true though!
 

David Payne

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Nice to know I'm being listened to!
But can you show me the original link? Does the new version have a new transfer?
 

[email protected]

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As far as ID goes, I watched the 2-disc R1 silver Five Star version recently on a larger HDTV and it looked fairly good.

Newer transfer?
 

AndyMcKinney

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Looking at the product info page for this on EzyDVD.com.au (it's getting a simultaneous R4 release alongside the R2), I wouldn't bank on it. Probably just an out-and-out repackage.

The fact there's no accompanying R1 is the biggest hint: if this film were getting a new transfer, you could bet that the USA would be getting it, too.
 

Demis G

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information is taken from PLAY.com
maybe we should wait for a formal announcement
 

Nick Martin

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Sorry, but the region 1 ID4 was NOT released in December 2000. It was released on June 27, 2000.

I've seen this film so many times I could never count - it's one of my all-time favorite films, and I hounded many stores for it leading up to its DVD debut. Stores had conflicting release dates - June 13, June 20, and finally June 27, which was correct. I raced to the store that morning to buy it and had a ball with it on the 4th of July weekend (I'm Canadian, yes, but hey, I like America and love the celebrations on TV, and viewing this film is part of that)

EVERY release of this film has the same transfer, and the single-disc versions just ditch the great second disc of extras, and some only feature the 9 minute longer director's cut. None of the R1 versions have DTS sound, but if one came along, damn it I'd snap it up in an instant!
 

Joseph Bolus

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You're right!

According to my records, I didn't acquire the Region 1 "5-Star Collection" release until December of that year; and I guess I thought that it wasn't released until then as a result. (Back in those days I usually picked up high profile releases on "street" day - so I'm kinda' *shocked* that I didn't get around to purchasing this title until December!)

But I *do* clearly remember now that it was originally released to DVD in close proximity to July 4th.

Sorry for the confusion!
 

Stephen_J_H

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And I remember waiting until Christmastime to pick up this one because it was cheaper then ($17.99, if memory serves).
 

Nick Martin

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I wasn't nitpicking or anything. I just have such a fond, clear memory of getting the DVD. The film is universally despised in every sense of the word, but I have loved it completely since I first saw it on July 3, 1996. I love it as much now as then. Getting the VHS with the hologram card, then the soundtrack (my very first CD) for christmas that year, then the "Fox Widescreen Series" VHS...
 

cafink

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Heh, same here. I, too, have owned the "hologram" VHS release, the "widescreen series" VHS release, and the soundtrack CD. I still have the soundtrack CD, but I've retired the VHS cassettes, of course. I held on to the hologram card, though. I keep it in the DVD keep case. My family pulls this movie out every year on July 4.
 

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