Roman Waxy Holiday, in HD

Robert Crawford

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TCM had a Film Festival touting the restoration back in 2015. Here's the only documentation I could still find on that:
http://2015.filmfestival.tcm.com/programs/films/roman-holiday/
In December of 2015 iTunes rebranded the version that they sell with new iTunes extras and new artwork. I'll admit I can't find any documentation to prove that the actual movie file was replaced with the restored version, but I always assumed that it was.

Edit: Actually there was a discussion about the Restoration in this very forum. Here is a post saying that a Fathom event advertised that the iTunes file was being upgraded:
https://www.hometheaterforum.com/community/threads/roman-holiday-restoration.342097/#post-4322158
Mark,

Yesterday, I was going back and forth between Vudu and iTunes regarding Roman Holiday. When I pulled up iTunes I noted a 2007 date attached to iTunes extra movie file. That date confused me. By the way, the iTunes purchase price was $14.99 while Vudu was charging $6.99 as their purchase price.
 

Alberto_D

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Have they found better 35mm elemts for Roman Holiday ?

At the time Lowry Digital Images restored Roman Holiday and Sunset Boulevard, it was reported the elements available was quite bad and a simple digital clean-up would not turn details and resolution better, until they found Lowry Digital technology. It was restored in very high resolution for the time, 2K I supose, since they said it could be print to 35mm. But now appears that such achievement it's not good enough, or something else, since they don't release Roman Holiday in blu ray.
If they hadn't found better 35mm source for Roman Holiday, and Lowry Digital is no longer being hired by big USA studios for restoration, how could a new restoration looks better ?
 

Matt Hough

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I looked at my DVD last night (I reviewed it years ago; one of the last discs I covered as the Paramount DVD reviewer), and it looked acceptable to me upcoverted. One of the bonus features discussed how Lowry "degrained" the elements they were working from to come up with a finished product, and there was a smoothness to it that was probably DNR at work. But at least it didn't look shiny/waxy.

Naturally I'd like a high definition Blu-ray, but I could live with this. It didn't stop me from enjoying the movie all over again.
 

Alberto_D

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I would like to know if there is today any system better than Lowry's system. They used to say that could remove a few generations of film duplication, in terms of recover lost details.
If it was really such good, why it's no longer used?
 

Robert Crawford

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I would like to know if there is today any system better than Lowry's system. They used to say that could remove a few generations of film duplication, in terms of recover lost details.
If it was really such good, why it's no longer used?
Too expensive is what I remembered.
 

Alberto_D

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It was about 14 years ago. Today one top computer worth for 6 computers in terms of processing power. He used about 500 computer, so today would be like use 83 computers.

It's very sad that the only technology able to recover some details, instead of just sharpen images, it's no longer used in film restoration.

Too expensive is what I remembered.
 

Robert Crawford

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Mark,

Yesterday, I was going back and forth between Vudu and iTunes regarding Roman Holiday. When I pulled up iTunes I noted a 2007 date attached to iTunes extra movie file. That date confused me. By the way, the iTunes purchase price was $14.99 while Vudu was charging $6.99 as their purchase price.
I did some more checking this morning. The iTunes extras are more robust than what Vudu has and the trailer is different and looks much better than the older Vudu trailer. Perhaps, the iTunes digital copy is derived from the latest restoration of Roman Holiday.

Either way, I saw this in a movie theater in the past year or so. Therefore, I'm going to live with my 2002 DVD until a Blu-ray is released and I think it's a good chance that might happen in 2018, to celebrate its 65th Anniversary.
 
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I found this article regarding Lowry digital.

http://variety.com/2014/film/news/classics-and-cult-movies-restored-reliance-mediaworks-1201257457/

It’s from 2014, read the article and note how it says they are ‘upconverting’ from standard definition masters, now I have seen some of these so called Blu Ray titles and they have a marginal increase in detail over their DVD counterparts, they look slightly better but they do not give the sense of what could be if they scanned the camera negatives.

Unfortunately many will be completely unaware of this dubious practice, I call it dubious because to me it’s cheating, obviously some titles mentioned like The Third Man have been scanned at 4K.

At least with UHD they provide the wider colour gamut and sometimes an HDR pass when they upscale from 2K.
 

Dick

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I stand to be corrected but didn't Paramount also get criticized for their HD blu ray transfers of Hatari and Funny Face for excessive DNR? Perhaps this transfer of Roman Holiday was done at the same time.
HATARI! is a horrible Blu-ray, and it was a Paramount Home Video release. Look to TRUE GRIT (1969) for an example of what HATARI! should look like. FUNNY FACE is better, but certainly not flawless.
 

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Seeing that the iTunes HD of Roman Holiday is only $7.99, I went ahead and bought it. Skipping through different scenes there appears to be some grain structure, but there's probably been some grain reduction, though not excessive. It looks pretty good for there not being an alternative on BD. I would compare it to the DVD, but there's such a significant difference in resolution (pixel dimensions) it's kind of no contest.

What amazes me though (and makes me feels suspicious) is the iTunes .m4v is 4.55 GB and the file on DVD is 5.44 GB!

I'd still like to have a physical disc, but in general the digital download is fine.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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The DVD is encoded with MPEG2, which relatively speaking is not space efficient. The iTunes version is encoded with MPEG4, which can contain significantly more data in similar or smaller file sizes than MPEG2.

If you encoded the same source file in MPEG2 and MPEG4, the MPEG2 would probably be five or six times bigger for the same quality.
 
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Seeing that the iTunes HD of Roman Holiday is only $7.99, I went ahead and bought it. Skipping through different scenes there appears to be some grain structure, but there's probably been some grain reduction, though not excessive. It looks pretty good for there not being an alternative on BD. I would compare it to the DVD, but there's such a significant difference in resolution (pixel dimensions) it's kind of no contest.

What amazes me though (and makes me feels suspicious) is the iTunes .m4v is 4.55 GB and the file on DVD is 5.44 GB!

I'd still like to have a physical disc, but in general the digital download is fine.
Please note that streaming usually gives better textures on itunes than downloads that apple like to give you with inferior bit rates in order to keep file sizes down. These days drive space is a very cheap commodity and it does not much sense to do that but as usual apple does not ask us, they just do it. I noticed this first when the downloaded version of a movie had noticeably less textures and film grain than the streamed version after I had downloaded it both to my PC and to my PS3. I then verified this with a number of other movies and since then have stopped downloads for good.
 

Robert Crawford

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I deleted my download and tried streaming it. It looked pretty bad. Maybe my internet speed is not up to snuff.
The last time I watched my iTunes digital of it, the video presentation looked fine.
 

OliverK

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I deleted my download and tried streaming it. It looked pretty bad. Maybe my internet speed is not up to snuff.
That could be the reason. I got better quality from streaming than from downloads when I finally managed to get real 16 mbps of bandwidth- Woth less than that itunes may not give you maximum quality.
 

Cameron Yee

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It just looked very mushy, but I wasn't patient enough to let it stabilize and it looks fine. The interesting thing is when I look at the title info, it says the file is 3.59 GB, which is smaller than the download.

Screen Shot 2020-02-20 at 10.40.23 PM.png
 

Mark-P

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It just looked very mushy, but I wasn't patient enough to let it stabilize and it looks fine. The interesting thing is when I look at the title info, it says the file is 3.59 GB, which is smaller than the download.

View attachment 68800
I think you might need to check your iTunes account settings and verify you have downloads set to 1080p. The default setting is 720p.
 

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