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Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Ronald Epstein, Apr 15, 2013.
Quietly mastered in 4k.
well they 65 inch set is 6000 without the 4k player
This approach from Sony pre-dates Superbit DVDs. They made a big deal about laserdiscs created from high definition masters circa 1995 as well. As with Superbit, I suspect it will result in a quality master most of the time. Also as with Superbit, it may not do so *all* of the time, and I would be wary of paying a premium without reading reviews first.
It seems to me that Superbit DVDs actually delivered a quality product. As someone who doesn't care that much about bonus features, I appreciated the fact that every available bit (well, most) went towards video and audio quality. The final product seemed to deliver what it promised.
With Blu-ray, this just seems unnecessary and I hate the fact that they're making it sound like there's some big advantage to having these discs if you've got a 4K display when they're just Blu-rays. If you bought a 4K display and some of these discs, you'd have to think about re-buying the 4K versions when they come out.
This is my feeling as well. The few Superbit DVDs I had were TOTALLY worth it -- Lawrence of Arabia being the most important. That DVD literally preserved my viewing sanity right up until the happy developments of the past year. The improvement in clarity was astounding, on everything from my 25-year-old CRT to the very latest. In all previous incarnations of home video, there was always a reason to try anything that promised a higher level experience. With what we have now, I personally don't see any reason on earth to invest in anything along these lines until such time as the real thing is available.
From what I have read/seen so far regarding the new Ghostbusters BD, the "Mastered in 4K" banner is living up to the hype. I do not know how the expanded color part is working out, and I doubt anyone will be able to "screenshot" that, unless the difference can show up in a photo.
Based on this, I believe this effort from Sony is a good thing and I hope other studios will follow suit. If the release titles are ones I care about and the results show noticeable improvement, I do not mind the double-dip.
Think about it-- this just the excuse the studios need to "fix" past BD releases that did not look so great the first time around. It seems like a better approach than what they did in the case of Gladiator, Gangs of New York, and Patton. The Star Trek films are good examples that come to mind. I would be lining up for Trek movies that are "Mastered in 4K" and aren't digitally tampered with such as it appears to be the case with the new Ghostbusters and Spiderman.
New 4k masters are also good from the economical standpoint that they can sell them twice (once for existing 1080p setups and once again when 4k TVs & players become more widespread). Win win.
Raimi's Spider-Man looks excellent on the new Blu-ray.
But the real question is, how does it look compared to the original BD release?
No, the real question is how does Taxi Driver look?
So far all I've read is people saying it "looks better", but that you can't tell by looking at screenshot comparisons, it's just better in real life. I sniff a fair bit of the ol' placebo effect in the air. If a movie gets mastered in 4K, then yes compared to an older master of the same movie, it may look better. But I doubt that has anything to do with the expanded color gamut, and also has nothing to do with 4K as such, since it's still a regular 1080p blu-ray. In other words, Sony has decided to release newly remastered versions of several movies, some of which may look better. Since it's only a handful of titles, and since various other titles have already been mastered in 4K without this gimmicky hype, it's not exactly big news.
I'm less interested in what Ghostbusters (where the original Blu-ray is already a couple of years old) looks like compared to the old disc and more interested what Taxi Driver (a catalogue title that already got rave reviews in its original incarnation) and Total Recall (a film that has been released on BD like 5 seconds ago) look like in comparison. And if they really do look better: WTF?? Are we to expect "substandard" quality unless it has the 4k banner and drops all the extras?
With this particular set of titles, I'm only interested in the older ones with emphasis on previously-released discs we know can be improved upon. This is why I like what I read about Ghostbusters and Spiderman. It was not screenshots alone that makes me say that.
Now why Taxi Driver is being bundled in the Mastered in 4K category is interesting as the first Blu-Ray already made that claim. I do not see this one getting any better and this is one example where the marketing is questionable. Same goes for Total Recall. This is a fresh film already freshly released on BD. Are we to believe it was only mastered in 2K before?? That seems odd.
or perhaps it's the SAME Taxi Driver disc with new packaging...
Considering the original is from a dated master with filtering issues, poor resolution and muted colors, it looks fantastic.
Yes, I binned the slipcover...
So did you do an actual comparison?
EDIT: The "OPTIMIZED FOR 4K ULTRA HD TVs" line is a bunch of marketing hooey.
Ack. How many copies of Spider-Man must I own?
No, I made that up...
I compared it with the recent re-issue, that came with the extras. It still has the same transfer as the 2007 release, which has always looked crap, IMO.
Proper grain now, as opposed to the grain/video noise of the previous release. The heavy edge enhancement is gone, (some minor halos remain here and there), but the biggest surprise was some decent color being let back into the picture. Some brightness tweaks as well, I've always found Spider-Man to look dark, as if they were trying to mask the more questionable CGI elements, (the original DVD was far too dark, the Superbit fixed it quite a bit), but this now looks fine. Black levels are still solid.
I really hope they give Spider-Man 2 a look at, now. While that film on disc, is a leap over the Spider-Man disc, it's also from a dated master and could do with some va-va-voom.
Don't really care about Spider-Man 3.
Martin you watched this on a bluray player and tv that is not a 4K model?
It happens all the time so I had to ask. Glad to hear that it's an improvement over the previous releases sourced from the older master.
The Other Guys and the Karate Kid remake were both good. Battle: Los Angeles, on the other hand, was a stupid piece of crap. I have no idea why it was included here.