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  1. #1

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    Default Is everything (supposed to be) better on Blu-ray?

    My brother works at Best Buy, so he has the hookup and got us a Samsung BR player with built in wifi, etc for Christmas. I mention that, because I had no interest in getting a BR player, just because my regular player seemed to do a fine job - great picture.

    Got it hooked up via HDMI to a 60" Mitsubishi DLP, running 1080p. It's great, he got us a starter pack of a few BR discs, modern stuff, GREAT picture.

    To the point, we already own Young Guns on DVD, but walking through Wally World the other day, they had a pdq set out by electronics full of $8 BR's - older stuff, and Young Guns was in the bunch. Why not, right? I can't say it sounded, or looked any better than my plain old dvd copy (480p, right?). It didn't have the wow factor, like say Planet Earth on BR, or the copy of The Other Guys we rented on BR.

    Is it the era the movie was orginally made (mastered?) in? I'm actually glad - I don't feel the need to re-buy anything - but it has left me a little confused as to why Young Guns was put on BR, if it's not substantially (or at least noticeably) better. Why bother?

    I know this could be an isolated occurence, but is there some sort of mastering on the box I should look for, or something I'm missing, like the AAA, AAD, ADD, and DDD you can find on cd's?

    Cheers,
    Russ
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  2. #2

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    usually older movies don't have much if any better look on blu ray than they do on standard def DVD. I'd say movies released in the past 5 years on BR will look the best. like anything.. depending on how much care was taken in the transfer.. it can be hit or miss.

    overall though.. BR has higher rez audio.. and that's what's important to me...
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  3. #3

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    I usually go to Blu-Ray.com and read the video quality reviews before I buy an older title that has been converted.

    I would also get an older title if I like the movie and it has had the sound track remastered to one of the newer Codec's

    I know of nothing on the box of Blu Rays that is similar to the CD process of AAA through DDD

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    Hi Russ,

    Pretty much 99% of blu is going to be better than DVD, mostly because of the information.

    DVD has 10 gigs of info, blu has anywhere from 25 to 50 gigs of info.

    DVD's can be up-converted to 1080p where blu is already at full 1080p.

    I'd say most of the difference is in the audio mix. When you start getting into separate speakers, that's where you'll notice a big difference.

    My wife learned about the dif between Dolby Digital vs. HD-Master Audio like this, we were watching James Bond Quantum Solace, in the beginning song, White Stripes and Alicia Keys perform the duet in HD-Master Audio, but go and watch the video in the special features and it's done in Dolby Digital. My wife got the wow factor and said, "So that's why HD Master is so great".

    Most of the DVDs are done in D.D, there are some upgraded audios but not on the whole.

    The Young Guns BR has an upgraded audio mix over the DVD and that will be your main difference.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Hi Russ,

    Pretty much 99% of blu is going to be better than DVD, mostly because of the information.

    DVD has 10 gigs of info, blu has anywhere from 25 to 50 gigs of info.

    DVD's can be up-converted to 1080p where blu is already at full 1080p.

    I'd say most of the difference is in the audio mix. When you start getting into separate speakers, that's where you'll notice a big difference.

    My wife learned about the dif between Dolby Digital vs. HD-Master Audio like this, we were watching James Bond Quantum Solace, in the beginning song, White Stripes and Alicia Keys perform the duet in HD-Master Audio, but go and watch the video in the special features and it's done in Dolby Digital. My wife got the wow factor and said, "So that's why HD Master is so great".

    Most of the DVDs are done in D.D, there are some upgraded audios but not on the whole.

    The Young Guns BR has an upgraded audio mix over the DVD and that will be your main difference.
    This is not necessarily true. Some DVDs which have been transferred to BD have WORSE video quality. Sometimes, the transfers simply look horrible due to digital re-editing such as Heat or Patton. Basically DVD can be made worse or better, it's usually a case by case basis. Sound wise, it's a toss up, it might sound the same it might be better. But yes newer BDs are much better than their DVD counterparts. However, transfers can be judged by their reviews. I typically visit AVS, BD, or even amazon for opinions on the video quality (a lot less subjective than sq).

  6. #6

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    I value the input, I'm an audio guy, I'll never pretend to be a video guru, I'm borderline clueless, keep it coming.

    Cheers,
    Russ
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboroth00 View Post
    This is not necessarily true. Some DVDs which have been transferred to BD have WORSE video quality. Sometimes, the transfers simply look horrible due to digital re-editing such as Heat or Patton. Basically DVD can be made worse or better, it's usually a case by case basis. Sound wise, it's a toss up, it might sound the same it might be better. But yes newer BDs are much better than their DVD counterparts. However, transfers can be judged by their reviews. I typically visit AVS, BD, or even amazon for opinions on the video quality (a lot less subjective than sq).
    Of course it's true. And in part to your worse video quality statement is why I said 99 instead of 100%.

    I know for a fact that there are some DVD's with a decent audio mix (PCM) that will sound better than a BR done in only D.D., but in my experience, the majority of DVD's are done in D.D. or D.D. 5.1 surround.

    And, if you look a little closer at my statement, I said what makes the BR better than the DVD is the amount of information in the disc. Would my statement be any truer if I said 95%?
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN View Post
    I value the input, I'm an audio guy, I'll never pretend to be a video guru, I'm borderline clueless, keep it coming.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Cool, what kind of speakers do you have?
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  9. #9

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    +1 on reading the reviews. Some of the older movies are crap on BD due to sloppy transfers. If your going to buy an older title, I would say go to Blu-ray.com and check it out prior to. Other than that, BD should look darn good on your screen. Congrats on the gift and having a good brother to hook it up.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Cool, what kind of speakers do you have?
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Of course it's true. And in part to your worse video quality statement is why I said 99 instead of 100%.

    I know for a fact that there are some DVD's with a decent audio mix (PCM) that will sound better than a BR done in only D.D., but in my experience, the majority of DVD's are done in D.D. or D.D. 5.1 surround.

    And, if you look a little closer at my statement, I said what makes the BR better than the DVD is the amount of information in the disc. Would my statement be any truer if I said 95%?
    Some movies aren't shot for high def and are made worse by editing software which just tries to bring out quality where there isn't. One good case is 28 days later which HD transfer is obviously HORRIBLE. Some movies are shot to be "bad" in the case of 28 days, a crappy 35mm camera was shot to make it seem hazy, and it was even worse on BD. Taxi Driver however fuzzy on the DVD, was brought out with GREAT video quality despite how it looked on DVD. So no it isn't 99%, there are plenty of movies out there which companies are just putting out there to make an extra buck lazily transferring it onto BD. However, the Sapphire Collection and the Criterion collection generally do it better. However I must say they're not perfect either, Gladiator is case and point.

    Audio-wise some BD transfers do not even feature a better audio codec each time. They often use a DD codec because there isn't any more information or it just isn't necessary to have DD-HD or DTS HD to convey dialogue. Some movies don't need even today if there isn't a lot of action. Older movies with a lot of dialogue and not a lot of action/explosions won't simply benefit from being a BD transfer. Even movies with newer codecs aren't better... Master and Commander is another good example, the bass is rolled off sharply below 25hz and is documented by some good waterfalls. Just because there's more information because some company bothered to lazily transfer a DVD to BD and upconverted and added some digital "enhancements" doesn't make it better. I forget how many times I've passed on owning a BD just because its simply not worth having even though it was 8$. Even with my Behind Enemy Lines BD with DTS-MA, I'm struggling to hear the difference between the DVD i have with DTS and the BD. I can sort of convince myself that the bass is a little lower with a bit more depth, but it's sometimes hard to compare when DTS-MA just cranks up the gain to make it seem better. I'm pretty sure my speakers are up to the task of resolving a movie soundtrack as well as my subs.

    Thus, I would conclude to be more careful in making blanket statements concerning this matter. Each dvd is a case by case basis and reviews are very helpful. Ralph Potts over at AVS does great reviews as well as many others. Who would think a BD would be worse than a DVD, but it does happen and it's a shame it does.
    Last edited by aboroth00; 04-22-2011 at 06:13 AM.

  12. #12

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    Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. Damn people add some damn filters to damn try to make everything better and it don't work.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1173155

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    Well I'm not going to get into teh retard argument going on, but I will answer the question of "why release on BR if it's not better" : money. Plain and simple. You bought it, right?
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    My wife picked up Top Gun on Blu-Ray which we already had the original DVD. I use my PS3 as a player and my SC-35 AVR. It upconverted from DVD better than the BD...we both saw a noticable difference in sound and picture.
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    I only replace my older movies with Blu-Ray if the original DVD was either a non anamorphic letterbox (e.g The Rock, Armageddeon, etc.) or a FF only release (e.g Honeymoon In Vegas).
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  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by RuSsMaN
    I know this could be an isolated occurence, but is there some sort of mastering on the box I should look for, or something I'm missing, like the AAA, AAD, ADD, and DDD you can find on cd's?
    Not to my knowledge, Russman. I have not seen anything like that. That said, it seems to be a hit or miss. Better with the newer movies, not so much with the older. The audio tracks sound noticeably better on 95% of the movies I have but if you don't have a system that is built to reproduce all of the frequencies it's running through, I doubt the casual listener would even notice anything there.

    Some movies on Blu-Ray are incredibly better than that of DVD. Think Avatar. Then again, I guess that would depend largely on the gear you have running both the DVD and Blu-Ray from. Regardless, I'm definitely a fan of Blu-Ray and most all of the future purchases and rentals will be in that format.
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    It's a lot like the loudness war- sometimes they half ass the remaster and someone turns up the suck knob.

    In audio, it's dynamic compression; in blu-ray it's a variety of video filters. The intent is to make things pop, but usually, it makes them suck. There's a number of websites that compare the quality of releases and they're pretty good for making the call whether you should get a new disc. Doesn't help w/ impulse buys, though.

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    I've bought a few less-than-stellar BR transfers, it seems older movies don't always translate over as well--but not always the case. They say to buy the "sapphire" additon of "Gladiator" for this reason, as earlier releases were sub-par; especially for such a recent film. 2 that I can think of off-hand that are not very good on BR:

    1. Talledaga Nights the Ballad of Ricky Bobby
    2. Unforgiven

    While both are "OK" they are definitely not on par with the majority of my BR's.

    I've decided to only replace DVD's that were really good movies with BluRay. Comedies, stuff without much visual appeal, etc, will remain on DVD.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Of course it's true. And in part to your worse video quality statement is why I said 99 instead of 100%.

    I know for a fact that there are some DVD's with a decent audio mix (PCM) that will sound better than a BR done in only D.D., but in my experience, the majority of DVD's are done in D.D. or D.D. 5.1 surround.

    And, if you look a little closer at my statement, I said what makes the BR better than the DVD is the amount of information in the disc. Would my statement be any truer if I said 95%?
    Yes, 95% would be more accurate. There are TONS of blu ray transfers out there that are crap.
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    I would say there are some blu rays that I have that are just terrible for the transfer. Most are older movies that I wanted to replace my DVD collection with and after I watched it had to ask myself why did I just spend the money to do so.

    Not everything its better on blu-ray. I have also found that some older blus as well failed to have better audio but be all about picture. For me the big plus on buying a blue ray is the audio porition, not always the picture. However there is still a difference that is noticable on a 100" screen of upconverted DVD vs true blu-ray.
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  21. #21

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    I always check blu-ray.com for reviews especially for when older movies are coming out on blu and I already have them DVD.

    http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Young-...ay/137/#Review

    Young Guns got some terrible scores for video and audio.
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  22. #22

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    Russ (and you others as well), add the link below as a favorite on your smartphone or whatever. When you're in a store thinking about picking up a blu ray, do a quick search on this page and see where it falls on the list and then decide what you want to do. Keep in mind these are rankings based on visuals, not the audio side of things. Every once in a while you'll get a hiccup like the first release of Gladiator where the quality is not great, but overall the sound is almost always good on BD discs.

    However, not ALL BD discs have a lossless audio track, Planet Earth is a good example of this, carrying only a DD track, so no upgrade there.

    So, between the link below for visuals and what's stamped on the box to indicate if its got lossless audio or not, you have what you need to make a buying decision.

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1168342

    It also depends on what DVDP you already have. My Oppo 83-SE is very good at upconverting DVDs, so I don't just automatically buy everything on BD.

    My basic rule of thumb is if its in the Blu or Gold tiers I'll buy it regardless of whether or not I have it on DVD, if its in the Silver or bronze tier I'll think about buying it if I already have it and will buy it for sure if I don't, and if its in the copper or coal tier I typically won't buy it on blu ray unless I can't find it on DVD or its a movie I really care about the sound on and it has a lossless track.
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    thanks for so much info on BR playes. can we get BR movies on the new thumb drive rentals? and will they be as good as a disk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post

    Of course it's true. And in part to your worse video quality statement is why I said 99 instead of 100%.

    Would my statement be any truer if I said 95%?
    Quote Originally Posted by AsSiMiLaTeD View Post

    Yes, 95% would be more accurate.
    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by aboroth00 View Post

    Thus, I would conclude to be more careful in making blanket statements concerning this matter.
    Aye Cap'n, 'n please forgive my 4% error in judgment.
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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    I've bought a few less-than-stellar BR transfers, it seems older movies don't always translate over as well--but not always the case. They say to buy the "sapphire" additon of "Gladiator" for this reason, as earlier releases were sub-par; especially for such a recent film. 2 that I can think of off-hand that are not very good on BR:

    1. Talledaga Nights the Ballad of Ricky Bobby
    2. Unforgiven

    While both are "OK" they are definitely not on par with the majority of my BR's.

    I've decided to only replace DVD's that were really good movies with BluRay. Comedies, stuff without much visual appeal, etc, will remain on DVD.
    Sapphire version is crap as well. Studios added some filters trying to make it better. So Sapphire doesn't get it right all the time either. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...light=sapphire

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff4rfc View Post
    Thanks



    Aye Cap'n, 'n please forgive my 4% error in judgment.
    I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that they shouldn't just pick up a BD to replace their DVD because there are plenty of good movies which have been horribly transferred. So saying 1 in 100 BDs out there are bad draws people into the false sense of security that studios know what they're doing, when they often times just chuck out movies, add a filter and release on BD. There are far more subtle deficiencies in some particular BDs than many would know, as I had tried to convey in my post.

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    I'd like to add a couple of things.

    DVD has matured to the point where people can actually maximize the benefits of the format. Pick up a disc released in 98' and then compare to a disc in 08'. Big differences...

    Blu Ray has some serious potential (more so on the audio side of things) yet it usually hasn't been realized. The variable bit rates for audio aren't even close to what the format can offer, not even half of what the format is capable of. It takes time to allow the format to mature and evolve to the point where it starts producing what was originally being sold.

    Early Laserdisc vs DVD comparisons sometimes lead to people favoring the LD, I don't think anybody would consider LD video quality even remotely acceptable today, even when compared to DVD. The early troubles of DVD video quality were over come with better techniques and now the format looks stunning when you consider the resolution.

    Audio is very complicated and sometimes it has nothing to do with the codec's, it's actually in the compression of loudness during the final mixes. LD is superior to DVD in this respect. Early test's i've done with Blu Ray to LD have been favorable, enough so that I'd feel confident in replacing any LD's with BR if nothing more then sound quality.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aboroth00 View Post
    Sapphire version is crap as well. Studios added some filters trying to make it better. So Sapphire doesn't get it right all the time either. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...light=sapphire
    The original Sapphire release of Gladiator had really bad ringing due to edge enhancement. After so many complaints were logged and so many review sites dinged it, they went back and quietly snuck out a re-release of the Sapphire version that fixes all of those problems. The problem is... there's almost no conclusive way to tell if the one you pick up in stores is the old or remastered version. Recently, I've seen some remasters with yellow UPC codes (like they did when they quietly fixed Saving Private Ryan because of the audio sync issue), so if you're buying Gladiator, look for that. It seems like most of the ones in-stock at Amazon are the remaster as well. Blu-ray.com gave the remastered version a perfect score for video, so at least they got it right the second time.

    If you have the original Sapphire version, you're still good. Just contact them to trade it in. See http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=4901

    As far as catalog titles, it really depends. I have some that really don't look astoundingly better than the DVD... but then there are some like Silverado that will make your jaw hit the floor, because it looks as good as the day it hit theaters.

    Since someone mentioned 28 Days Later, you also have to realize that you can't judge some movies based on whether they look as good as Avatar... You have to judge them based on whether the Blu-ray accurately represents the way the movie originally looked. Recently, I bought Spielberg's A.I. Does it look as good as a more recent movie? Nope. But it does look exactly the way it was intended to look, complete with Janusz Kaminski's blown-out contrast and heavy grain due to the skip bleaching process. Put that side-by-side with something shot digitally like Knowing and of course most people will think it pales by comparison.

    Bottom line: I don't buy anything without checking Blu-ray.com's review anymore. Totally saves me money.
    Equipment list:
    Onkyo TX-NR3010 9.2 AVR
    Emotiva XPA-3 amp
    Polk RTi70 mains, CSi40 center, RTi38 surrounds, RTi28 rears and heights
    SVS 20-39CS+ subwoofer powered by Crown XLS1500
    Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player
    DarbeeVision DVP5000 video processor
    Epson 8500UB 1080p projector
    Elite Screens Sable 120" CineWhite screen

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gadabout View Post
    I usually go to Blu-Ray.com and read the video quality reviews before I buy an older title that has been converted.

    I would also get an older title if I like the movie and it has had the sound track remastered to one of the newer Codec's

    Scott
    +1. I do the same ... I bow down to Bluray.com. I have saved myself money not buying movies that have had lackluster reviews and would have pissed me off with lackluster sound and video. I actually rebought Terminator 2 when it was re-released on Bluray because Bluray.com stated that it was a large improvement over the first release of it on Bluray. I have avoided Robocop and a few others because of poor reviews but recently purcased the Alien Anthology due to high reviews, despite having owned the series on VHS and DVD.

    Z

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    Like with music, it all depends on the original source. BD isn't going to fix problems with filming or bad mastering. You will see old movies with beautiful picture and then newer ones with not that great. I would think 80's to early 90's might be the worst time since that was the rental boom time and many movies seem to be made with the attitude that (VHS) rental is where the money is so why waste money on great picture quality.

    Get 1966 movie 'Grand Prix' by John Frankenheimer on Bluray and you'll get an example of an older movie that looks amazing. It was shot with 70mm cameras and beautifully filmed.

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