Superbits vs Regular release

 
Old 09-02-03, 07:38 PM
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Superbits vs Regular release

I recently bought my first Superbit (the Mask of Zorro bought at Best Buy 2 for $20 sale), and I have a question. I've been curious for some time about these, but never willing to pay the premium price for them (a little bit more and you are into Criterion price range). I've got a decent TV but it's not HDTV or anything special(35" Panasonic standard tube). Regular DVD's look fine on it. I couldn't see anything particularly special about the Superbit release. It was a nice transfer (colors were great etc..), but I've seen as good if not better on others. Do you need some sort of high end DVD and/or TV to notice anything special?
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Old 09-02-03, 09:43 PM
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I have read probably 6 or 7 reviews for the Superbit of this film and the majority seem to think that the video on this one is only marginally better than the SE release. To be able to see the difference you definitely need a high end system (HDtv and Prog. Scan player) to notice the difference. This is one I haven't upgraded based on this reason.

Others will provide more insight on SBs in general, (hate to be the guy) but you could also do a search, there have been numerous threads on the topic.
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Old 09-02-03, 09:52 PM
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The main difference is for the DTS sound, but you will need a fairly high end audio system to hear the difference. Not to bring up the heated DTS vs. Dolby Digital debate, I prefer DTS as it sounds clearer to me on my system.
The Mask of Zorro has some very good explosions near the end when the mine blows up and sounds very good on a high end audio system with a good subwoofer.
The Fifth Element is very good as Superbit and I can see a noticable difference on my HDTV with the picture quality compared to the older release.
Resident Evil has better sound in DTS and makes the movie much more enjoyable.
Hollowman has noticeable picture quality improvements compared to the original release. When the ape gets transformed from invisible to visible the colors and picture looks amazing.
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Old 09-02-03, 10:09 PM
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The Mask Of Zorro SE, it's worth pointing out, already had the same dts track! The transfer is a bit better though, a little less EE.

The higher up you go systemwise, the easier it will be to tell the difference. The differences might only be marginal, but even a little more detail can make an image look a whole lot better.
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Old 09-02-03, 10:59 PM
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Just remember, because it says "superbit" doesn't mean it's any better then anything else. There are plenty of discs out there that have DTS, DD and a great transfer (with extras on a second disc!) for not a premium price.

That said, they can still be good discs. Just not something I'm going to miss out extras on.
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Old 09-03-03, 12:03 PM
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Many thanks to those who replied. I think I'll just stick with regular DVD's (and an occasional Criterion) now and not worry with Superbits too much. I like the extra features on DVD's too much, and my set up while adaquate for me, won't do the higher end video enough justice. Thanks again!
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Old 09-03-03, 01:58 PM
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Well, just look at reviews for each disc before buying.

For example, The Fifth Element regular edition is barebones. The superbit edition has a DTS track, and better picture. So go with the Superbit.
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Old 09-10-03, 11:22 PM
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This superbit edition also doesn't have the commentary. (At least it wasn't listed on the box.) If you like commentaries then you may want to stick with the SE. Personally I detest double dipping so choose wisely.
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Old 09-11-03, 12:27 PM
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Just as a side note, due strictly to the single, but critical, fact that the studio went back and exactingly remastered the original elements after the earlier DVD releases, there is a WORLD of difference between the standard releases of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and the new Superbit version, but typically, the difference betwixt the two types of discs isn't nearly as profound...
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Old 09-11-03, 02:39 PM
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On a typical 35" TV that is not properly calibrated (i.e., ISF'd) I doubt you would see a difference.

Now, try comparing them on a calibrated 61" TV and the difference is very notable.
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Old 09-11-03, 03:20 PM
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There's really no point in buying Superbit if you have an regular TV. You can tell the picture quality improvement of a superbit by simply playing it on a flat tube CRT or LCD monitor.
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Old 09-11-03, 03:50 PM
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FYI- my local Best Buy has the Superbit Mask Of Zorro priced at $14.99. I'm assuming it's a mis-price because all the other Superbits seem to be priced in the $22-25 range. Might be worth checking out if it's happened at other BB's.
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Old 09-11-03, 04:30 PM
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i just got the lawrence superbit today and all i can say is WOW.
GREAT transfer. so much more clearer than the previous version (which i also had). i definitely recommend it.
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Old 09-11-03, 04:46 PM
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http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthr...light=superbit

In the final analysis...it depends. Some movie have crappy non-Superbit releases (example: Das Boot) and in these cases, buying the Superbit release is probably worth it. Some movies have a transfer that's very close to Superbits and include tons of extras that the Superbits lack for the same price (example: Starship Troopers SE vs. Superbit). Some movies really make no sense as Superbit titles (example: Leon/The Professional).

In terms up upgrading if you already own a movie, it also depends. I can see a huge difference between low bit-rate (most are around 5K) and high bit-rate (some, like Spirited Away, go to 9K or above) transfers on my 50" HDTV and I actually care a little. For me it's worth it to get the improved quality through a double dip if I like the movie.

Last edited by Hiro11; 09-11-03 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 09-11-03, 08:31 PM
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To be able to see the difference you definitely need a high end system (HDtv and Prog. Scan player) to notice the difference.
This is so not true. You don't need some special, high-end TV to see a difference. As long as your TV can display enough resolution for the DVD format, you're fine. Many times, the difference doesn't even come down to resolution.

As for Superbit, it's nothing more than marketing jargon. It's Sony's way to get you to spend money twice on the same film. There are some truly spectacular SB DVDs. But there are a ton of regular special edition DVDs that easily match any Superbit every made. Toy Story 1 & 2, AOTC, Monsters Inc., Tarzan:CE, and Training Day all match superbit DVDs. In some instances, a couple of these DVDs are even better than some superbits. Sony could do the same thing they do with superbit with a regular release, and they don't need the SB name to do it.

So while some SB DVDs are fantastic, Sony could have done the DVD right the first time and they wouldn't have needed to do a SB re-release. Not to mention most of Sony's best titles aren't even released in SB.
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Old 09-11-03, 09:42 PM
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I saw the Leon Superbit at Best Buy today. How does it compare to the original release?
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Old 09-11-03, 09:48 PM
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Originally posted by palebluedot
I saw the Leon Superbit at Best Buy today. How does it compare to the original release?
Picture improved minimally. Surprisingly inferior sound!
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Old 09-11-03, 10:21 PM
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As for Superbit, it's nothing more than marketing jargon. It's Sony's way to get you to spend money twice on the same film. There are some truly spectacular SB DVDs. But there are a ton of regular special edition DVDs that easily match any Superbit every made. Toy Story 1 & 2, AOTC, Monsters Inc., Tarzan:CE, and Training Day all match superbit DVDs. In some instances, a couple of these DVDs are even better than some superbits. Sony could do the same thing they do with superbit with a regular release, and they don't need the SB name to do it.
That's basically it. I hate when people say something like "I wish Gladiator was SuperBit!"
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Old 09-11-03, 10:53 PM
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Originally posted by DonnachaOne
Picture improved minimally. Surprisingly inferior sound!
Thanks...right after I posted this I found the review in the Reviews forum (I'm so damn lazy). Looks like a rent before buy on this one.
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Old 09-12-03, 09:24 PM
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Desperado and Bad Boys look amazing compared to the originals as well.
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