24 season 2 - inferior PQ?

 
Old 09-12-03, 06:36 PM
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24 season 2 - inferior PQ?

i don't know....i'm more than halfway through season 2 now, and my wife and i both agree (she's not usually picky about picture quality) than Season 2 of 24 is seriously lacking picture-wise when compared to the VERY sharp and highly detailed dvd's of season 1.

it's almost like the season 2 discs are at half bit-rate or something. they also appear much murkier and very SOFT.

what's even stranger is that the season 2 preview disc looked REALLy good, just like the first season. those same episodes look murkier in the boxed set!!!

anyone else disappointed in season 2's picture quality?? what could have caused this??
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Old 09-12-03, 07:01 PM
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I thought the picture looked just fine. I think season two may have been shot on film....maybe the first season was shot on video, I'm not sure. But I'm willing to bet this season was just shot differently (different film stock?) the graphic inserts (for the credits, subtitles and such) are INCREDIBLY sharp, so if it were a bad transfer, you'd think those would look equally soft.

I've heard people make the same complaint about NYPD Blue and some other TV shows that are intentionally shot with a grainy look.

Perhaps Fox screwed up the promo disc by thinking the same thing the producers came in and say, "No guys - it's supposed to look like this!"
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Old 09-12-03, 07:01 PM
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I have the Region 2 UK limited edition boxset of Seasons 1 and 2. I found the Season 2 picture much grainier than Season 1 but still highly watchable.
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Old 09-12-03, 08:56 PM
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i've watched about ten ep. and agree that the picture quality is sub-par compared to the first. Someone else mentioned that the original HD broadcast looked better than the dvd as well. That is a bummer.
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Old 09-12-03, 09:15 PM
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A HD broadcast would always look better than a dvd I believe, because HDTV has more lines of resolution than dvd does. It doesn't really matter though, as Fox doesn't broadcast in full high definition anyway. I don't think they do anything above 480p.

I have the 2nd season set and a very well calibrated Pioneer Elite 58 inch HDTV. I also have noticed the "fuzzy shots" in the background, but I believe this is just as they wanted. It definitely does show some grain, but once again I believe this is just as intended. This anamorphic widescreen transfer is better than most any TV on dvd set I have seen (Alias and CSI season 2 are the only ones that looks better off the top of my head).

All of the online dvd reviews of this set have been very happy with the video quality and on the whole I would fully agree. To each their own though. GREAT SERIES.
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Old 09-12-03, 09:25 PM
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I'm about 2/3 of the way through the set and so far it looks about on par with the first season. There is a lot of grain, but that's how I remember it in the original broadcasts.

Someone else mentioned that the original HD broadcast looked better than the dvd as well.
They did look better than the DVDs by a slight margin. That doesn't surprise me though. Shouldn't 480p look a little better than 480i?

This anamorphic widescreen transfer is better than most any TV on dvd set I have seen (Alias and CSI season 2 are the only ones that looks better off the top of my head).
The Region 2 sets for Angel Season 3 and Buffy Seasons 5 and 6 also look better than 24 IMO. Amazing picture quality.
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Old 09-13-03, 05:24 AM
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well, i started this thread, and i'm still amazed that more people don't think the PQ is inferior on season 2.

i stuck in some of the season 1 dvd's and it looked like HD compared to what i had been watching all night (season 2, discs 5 & 6)....season 1 has finer detail....more grain but MUCH more detail.
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Old 09-13-03, 02:31 PM
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Originally posted by Doughboy


They did look better than the DVDs by a slight margin. That doesn't surprise me though. Shouldn't 480p look a little better than 480i?


Fox's "HDTV" broadcast is only 480p as you mentioned. However, with a progressive scan dvd player and an HDTV then it should be the same of 480p on a home system. In comparison CSI, Alias, West Wing, ER and others are usually in 720p. I know ABC (as well as ESPN HD) and NBC are 720p. CBS does some stuff in 1080i I think.
Therefore Alias, CSI and others can't look as good on dvd as they do on a High Definition live broadcast. At least until HD DVD comes along.
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Old 09-13-03, 02:35 PM
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PS - i see more "grain" in season 1- but there's also more detail.

i'm not seeing much grain on the season 2 boxed set. another sign these are at a lower bitrate than the first box.
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Old 09-13-03, 03:05 PM
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Have you checked the bitrate? I don't personally own season 2 (though I plan to) but I would check the bitrate and compare it to the first season.
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Old 09-14-03, 01:32 AM
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season 1 is leant to a friend, but i can check the bitrate of season 2 right now. i'll post an average soon.
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Old 09-14-03, 03:31 AM
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well, i guess i AM crazy because season 2 has a very good bitrate - it often gets up to the high 9's, and usually averages around 6 or 7. so there's just something i don't like about the way these episodes look - they just seem soft to me.

they don't look bad. it's just that season 1 looks so much sharper to me that it's striking. maybe it's the extra content and the commentaries. if so, that's fine i just wanted to get other opinions.

good thing the show is amazing enough to make this a moot point.
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Old 09-14-03, 02:47 PM
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The averages I saw when I just checked were slightly different... although my tests weren't very thorough (basically just checked a few minutes of the first episode of season 2, few minutes from the first episode of season 1 and a few minutes of season 2's first episode as presented on the free preview disc)... What I found was that the bitrates seemed to average one to two Kb higher in season one on average while the free preview of season two seemed very similar to the season 2 set... still the picture quality looks excellent to me on all of them and I see nothing to complain about.
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Old 09-14-03, 03:12 PM
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There are tools for the PC that will tell you the average bitrate of a disc in the drive. The one I know of offhand also breaks the CSS encryption so I can't mention it.
I can say that S-Mart is where Jack the Ripper shops.
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