The Pianist DVD - bad PQ?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by David Susilo, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Great movie, I know. The picture quality, however, is atrocious. Even compared to the non-Superbit Charlie's Angels it's really bad. How can WidescreenReview gives it "WSR Picture Rating: 4 "???

    Oh, my TV is ISF calibrated just in case anybody is wondering. Players I tried: Panasonic RP-56, Panasonic DMR-E30, Pioneer DV-05 (interlaced only)
     
  2. Peter Apruzzese

    Peter Apruzzese Producer

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    The disc that Universal released in the US looks great. Were you viewing the Canadian release (which is supposed to have a lesser transfer) or the American release?
     
  3. David Susilo

    David Susilo Screenwriter

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    Yeah, living in Canada and all [​IMG] It doesn't even have Close Captioning.
     
  4. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    The magazine gave the U.S. version such a high rating because it deserves that rating. It's a superb transfer.
     
  5. Brian W.

    Brian W. Screenwriter

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    Yeah, Dave, the Canadian DVD is a PAL transfer converted to NTSC, believe it or not. Very puzzling, and too bad. Get the US version.
     
  6. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I just watched my US copy of The Pianist last night and the transfer and overall PQ were among the best I've seen.
     
  7. kevin_asai

    kevin_asai Stunt Coordinator

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    The canadian version sort of turns me off. In layman's term, the picture is moving too fast. [​IMG]
     
  8. Terry H

    Terry H Second Unit

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    I guess I'm dense but I don't understand why there is a US version and a Canadian version of some movies. I understood that Region 1 covered both. Can someone explain why there should be two versions?
     
  9. Damin J Toell

    Damin J Toell Producer

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  10. Terry H

    Terry H Second Unit

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    Thanks for the explaination.
     
  11. Jeff Adams

    Jeff Adams Screenwriter

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    Yeah, the US version is excellent. I would give it 4.75 out of 5 stars.
     
  12. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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    I originally owned the Canadian version (ordered it before the reviews came in), and subsequently sold it for the U.S. version. There is a major difference in picture quality between these two releases, as others have stated, due to the Canadian version doing a PAL to NTSC transfer.
     
  13. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I have the US version and found the picture quality outstanding.

     
  14. Runar_R

    Runar_R Second Unit

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  15. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I'm not sure that guy understands what he's talking about.

    The 25 fps and 24 fps speeds are realized by a different sequence of frames (of exactly the same frames - well, see further). And different flags are added to those frames, so the player can output PAL - or NTSC.

    But the real difference is only the number of pixels (lines, probably not the columns), and on most movies, when prepared for DVD, they digitize the image to a higher resolution anyway (to make NTSC and PAL possible). So that simply cannot be the real problem.

    But perhaps something escapes me.


    Cees
     
  16. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    If they did a regular PAL-to-NTSC transfer as one does with native 25 fps material, they would end up with a transfer that was sped up, and maybe had some frame-blending, depending on the technique used. Essential that's if they tried to keep the runnign time the same rather the frame sequewnce, which would be the correct thing to do in this case.
     
  17. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    But that would have been insane, as I said before, because it isn't 25 fps material in the first place. And digitized it only plays as 25fps, caused by the way it is authored on a PAL DVD.
    Just like an NTSC DVD plays as 24 fps.

    In both cases they digitize the original film frames, each of them.

    Cees
     
  18. Dan Rudolph

    Dan Rudolph Producer

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    It would have been insane, but that doesn't mean Alliance wouldn't do it.
     
  19. Tom Tsai

    Tom Tsai Supporting Actor

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    ^ Alliance didn't do it...Lions Gate did.
     
  20. CraigF

    CraigF Cinematographer

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    We hashed all this out when The Pianist was released. It is not at all unnatural that if a company owns a subsidiary or has a marketing arrangement with a company who ALREADY has a PAL transfer of a film to convert THAT to NTSC. For strictly financial reasons. It is also not unnatural that Canadian French language media corporations have relations/part ownership etc. of France French media corporations. Check who owns the rights etc., and if it's a French company, there's a very good chance the Canadian DVD release will be a PAL->NTSC. We also covered the Lions Gate marketing arrangements in Canada. In Canada, any release from Lions Gate must be held in the same suspicion as those from Alliance Atlantis. Until proven otherwise...

    FWIW, the Canadian The Pianist didn't look at all bad with my RP82, though certainly not reference, nor did the new The Meaning of Life release have the slightest problem...totally different issues of course, but it does seem player makes a difference. But then, I can't properly play any Infinifilm DVD with the RP82.
     

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