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DVD Talk review of 'Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer' (Blu-ray)

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DVD Talk review of 'Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer' (Blu-ray)

Old 10-26-07, 02:14 AM
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DVD Talk review of 'Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer' (Blu-ray)

I read Adam Tyner's DVD review of Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer at http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/read.php?ID=31153 and...i find it funny how reviewers have not stepped up and upgraded thier equipment as they should to make proper reviews on software with high bitrate material. What is the issue here, i can tell you from personal experience the DTS HD MA track on this disc is nothing short of incredible. Doing a review without the proper equipment is pure blasphamy. I really appreciate the fact that you do these reviews but please guys, get your act together. Thanks for allowing my input and keep the reviews coming we really appreciate it.
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Old 10-26-07, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by KilrB1907
i find it funny how reviewers have not stepped up and upgraded thier equipment as they should to make proper reviews on software with high bitrate material.
I very recently bought a new receiver expressly for Blu-ray reviews, and I can take advantage of uncompressed PCM and TrueHD. If it makes me a bad reviewer to not want to drop another grand to replace hardware I bought 4 months ago purely to accomodate one studio on one format, then I guess I'm a bad reviewer.

The fact of that matter is that there are only...what, one or two Blu-ray players that can pass the DTS HD-MA stream (the Samsung BD-P1400 is the only one I'm aware of right now), and a tiny number of receivers that can decode it? Sony and Disney have been able to take films of a similar length with a similar feature set and include PCM soundtracks, and Sony's been fairly aggressive in including TrueHD as an alternative.

If there are other options of equal quality that people can use, what is Fox's motivation in wanting to promote an audio codec that isn't better than the alternative and requires virtually everyone who's bought into the format to replace their player and receiver?

Honestly, out of all of the Blu-ray review sites I'm aware of, I think one has the player and receiver combo necessary to tackle DTS HD-MA tracks, so I don't feel as if I'm the odd man out.
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Old 10-26-07, 10:21 AM
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It should also be noted that if you have a nice receiver that you're happy with now, downgrading to a lower-end receiver just to get DTS-HD MA decoding is not a good tradeoff. The quality of the DACs in the receiver make a much bigger audible difference in sound quality than the audio codec used.

I personally don't have the disposable income at the moment to buy a brand new receiver comparable in quality to my current one. I could buy a new Onkyo receiver today for approximately half what I paid for my Denon a few years ago, but I would not be satisfied with the downgrade.

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Old 10-26-07, 11:37 AM
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I think there's also the fact that DVD Talk's reviewers don't actually get PAID for their reviews (other than getting the title itself), so asking them to invest some serious $$$ for an upgrade is a little demanding, although most reviewers around here like to stay on top of technology, regardless.

Now if KilrB1907 would like to donate the proper equipment to Adam, I'm sure he wouldn't turn you down.
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Old 10-26-07, 03:30 PM
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I love the Fury here

Its a shame that not everyone can experience the true potential of these formats. I understand the reaction from you gentleman, but honestly can you really be rating these products fairly if you dont have the equipment to back up the true intention of the studio and director. I think not, and the suggestion that i would donate my equipment is purely ludicrous. I am simply stating a fact that a proper review should be done with the correct equipment to fully realize the potential of the format. Thankyou for your comments look forward to hearing more of these truely amazing and groundbreaking formats. Furthermore the PCM tracks on the Sony disc's are very good, there is no arguement there. But from what i have heard of the DTS-HD MA this format has a much crisper, cleaner and more accurate imaging than and PCM track on the market.
ps Josh can you give Kenneth a shout and let him know his reviews are right on the money

Last edited by KilrB1907; 10-26-07 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 10-26-07, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by KilrB1907
I understand the reaction from you gentleman, but honestly can you really be rating these products fairly if you dont have the equipment to back up the true intention of the studio and director.
I do have the equipment to back up the way the film was meant to be heard. My setup isn't bleeding-edge, but it is in no way substandard. I can take full advantage of lossless and uncompressed audio in discs from literally every other studio but Fox. They're the ones who've stuck doggedly for a codec that, until the past couple of months, was undecodable.

Again, there's literally one Blu-ray player on the market right now that can pass DTS-HD MA tracks, and I'm not going to replace a Blu-ray player I love and a quality receiver that's barely 4 months old just because Fox is so unjustifiably obstinant.

I understand your frustration that seemingly only one review site has the ability to decode DTS HD-MA tracks, but I don't think it's realistic that people are going to throw out their existing gear because of a single studio's preferences. Hopefully there'll be firmware upgrades that'll allow people to actually take advantage of these tracks sooner rather than later, though.
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Old 10-26-07, 03:59 PM
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Let me put it another way, and i have seen this used many times. Would you take a race car breed for pure speed and handling, and then use 87 octane and put touring tires on it. Maybe if you need some input on these soundtracks i would be happy to provide you with feedback. I am not trying to put you guys down, i just think to have a true objective review you should hear and see what is possible. The BD-P1400 not only sounds better than previous players but has a better video processor and loads quicker than any other player. I also own Sony's BDP-S300, this player is in the stone age compared to the newer Samsung. I'm sure the same will be true for newer players released down the road.
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Old 10-26-07, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by KilrB1907
Let me put it another way, and i have seen this used many times.
Would you replace a race car you're perfectly happy with just to be able to drive down one stretch of road?

I really am very conscious about this sort of thing, which is why it kinda makes me cringe when I see reviewers at some sites list the Xbox 360 in their equipment lists. If anyone at DVD Talk had the means to decode these soundtracks, I'd absolutely leave discs like this to them. If a compelling number of studios on these shores were supporting DTS-HD MA, then I'd consider making the switch myself.

As it is, though, Fox is the one who's being deliberately unfriendly to consumers. No, it's not their fault that so few players and receivers accomodate DTS-HD MA, but there are alternatives of equal (as I understand it) quality that other studios have adopted, and there's no reason why Fox couldn't do the same. I'm just not willing to replace my home theater for a single studio. If that means my reviews aren't useful to you, then I apologize -- and I do understand your frustration -- but that's going to have to be the way it is.
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Old 10-26-07, 11:20 PM
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Actually Lionsgate also uses DTS-HD, and with great results. You must certainly understand a race car is meant for a track not a road, and and when i unleashed my home theater(my race car) it was perfectly clear to me the new formats(the race track) are truely the wave of the future. Just like Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby Pro-Logic, and Stereo, these formats have taken the home theater experience to new levels. Believe me Adam i read your reviews for their insight and thoughts from a devoted fan of cinema. I just like you have grown with each progression of new formats right from the start of the home cinema experience. I too had a grand collection of laserdiscs and then DVD's and now own over half of the HD DVD and BluRay formatted movies. I really do appreciate the fact that someone else feels the same passion for home theater as myself, dont get me wrong about what i have said i believe what has been written was taken completely out of context. Let me clear the air by saying i only wanted to say that these formats ie. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA really need to be heard in thier fullest potential, lets hope that all will have the ability and resources to one day experience highbit rate formats for what they really are.

Last edited by KilrB1907; 10-26-07 at 11:22 PM.
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Old 10-27-07, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by KilrB1907
Actually Lionsgate also uses DTS-HD
There's a difference between "DTS-HD" and "DTS-HD Master Audio" -- I can take advantage of the former, but the latter is still exclusively the domain of that single player, which still requires a receiver that can decode the MA track. Lionsgate has used DTS-HD, but not the lossless master audio tracks.
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Old 10-27-07, 09:34 AM
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yes i am completely aware it is DTS-HD Hi Res. Thankyou Adam
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Old 10-30-07, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by KilrB1907
Actually Lionsgate also uses DTS-HD, and with great results.
Lions Gate have also used dts-MA 7.1 on select titles. New Line look like they are going to support dts-MA as well in a similar vein as Fox.
Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Again, there's literally one Blu-ray player on the market right now that can pass dts-HD MA tracks, and I'm not going to replace a Blu-ray player I love and a quality receiver that's barely 4 months old just because Fox is so unjustifiably obstinant.
The new Pioneer (95) also passes dts-MA as bitstream and it is currently available, which means despite the specs to the contrary the BDP-S500 should be able to do it as well but perhaps with a firmware upgrade as they have the same chipset I believe.
Panasonic should be issuing a press release later today for the DMP-BD30K which I know will bitstream TrueHD and dts-MA and I'm hoping will decode it as well. It's list price is US$499.95 but should be on Amazon for closer to $399 or less - 22% off. So that's either three or four players that do it.
You said you can know appreciate both TrueHD and PCM with a four month old receiver. Does than mean TrueHD converted to PCM? How come (and this isn't an accusatory question) you didn't go with one of the newer HDMI 1.3 receivers from Pioneer Elite, Denon, Yamaha, Sony or Onkyo?

Last edited by dobyblue; 10-30-07 at 08:13 AM.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Adam Tyner
Lionsgate has used DTS-HD, but not the lossless master audio tracks.
Dr. Strange had dts-MA 7.1 on it and that was from Lions Gate.

Also New Line are using dts-MA on Hairspray and Pan's Labyrinth and hopefully on Rush Hour 3 and Shoot 'Em Up as well as Golden Compass when it comes out next year.
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Old 10-30-07, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for the correction about Lionsgate's use of DTS MA-HD with Dr. Strange -- I wasn't aware of that one.

Originally Posted by dobyblue
Does than mean TrueHD converted to PCM?
Yes.

Originally Posted by dobyblue
How come (and this isn't an accusatory question) you didn't go with one of the newer HDMI 1.3 receivers from Pioneer Elite, Denon, Yamaha, Sony or Onkyo?
I'm using a PlayStation 3 as my Blu-ray player right now, and it can't pass the bitstream. I thought about picking up an HDMI 1.3-capable receiver, but since I'd bought a PS3 around the same time, picking up a HDMI 1.3 receiver would be kind of like buying a key without having a lock to go with it. I was also very happy with my previous Harman Kardon receiver, and there was a certain comfort level in sticking with a newer model of the same receiver as well.
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Old 10-30-07, 07:33 PM
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That's very understandable - I too am very loyal to products and/or companies that have given me pleasure.
I have stuck with Paradigm speakers all around and Pioneer amplification. I am seriously looking at the 94TX for my next receiver to go along with the new Panasonic DMP-BD30K which is profile 1.1 and outputs all advanced codecs as bitstream. I am positive it will be less than $399 this year, if not when it first comes out as the MSRP is only $499.95
I am very tempted to check out the Onkyo 875 instead though as it's only $1299 from JR.
Tough decisions.

I'm pretty steadfast on the Paradigm speakers though - I have monitor towers for all four main speakers, fronts and rears, and it certainly makes for an exciting movie. I'm looking forward to listening to the dts-MA tracks on Fox's BD's and have been abstaining from watching them until I'm able to enjoy the audio to the max.
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Old 11-01-07, 12:32 AM
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My Reciever is 1.3a compatible, check it out. completely capable of all high res formats. VSX-91TXH Pioneer Elite is my current reciever. BDP-1400 Samsung player. These components work amazingly together. Bitstreaming is the wave of the future and while take the world by storm once the prices come down.
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