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eXcentris 12-19-05 08:59 PM

2046 R1 releases vs R0
 
I just compared the R1 releases from Sony and Seville (Quebec) with the R0 from Mei Ah. Both the Sony and Seville use the same 5.1 cantonese track. This track is problematic. No music comes out from the rears and the sound effects are either weak or non-existent. This is the only audio track on the Sony. The Seville however has a french 5.1 track and the difference is striking. Music and effects from all channels are crisp and clear and the track is much more dynamic. The Seville also has a cantonese 2.0 track and even that sounds better than the cantonese 5.1 track. The R0 cantonese and mandarin 5.1 tracks are equivalent to the Seville french 5.1 track. The R1 Sony has a slightly better picture than the R0. Frankly, I barely saw a difference.

Personnally, if you don't have a region-free player I'd recommend the R0 over the Sony. The Sony has slightly better picture but the much better audio tracks on the R0 more than make up for it, especially considering how important the music is in this film. I swear that being able to hear Zbigniew Preisner's music at the beginning in it's full glory gave me the shivers. :) If you care more about extras, then the Sony has a nice set. The R0 is a two-discer but of course no subs on the extras. The Seville (no english track or english subs) would only appeal to those who absolutely need a french 5.1 track.

speedy1961 12-19-05 09:58 PM

So overall you're recommending the Canadian version?

pro-bassoonist 12-19-05 11:33 PM

I am going to repost my note to you that I also posted in the other thread in the international forum (for those that are not aware of it and would only follow up on your comments here).


***********
eXcentris:

Let me follow up your thought process here:

You are claiming that both the R1 (US) and R1 (Seville) versions have faulty audio Cantonese tracks. Knowing that the R1 is a native NTSC release and the Seville R1 is a PAL port of the French release (the UK, AUS, and Dutch versions are all ports of the French set) your claim implies that the faulty track is also present on the French release. This is what common logic suggests if one is to deconstruct your post above. Which leaves us with only the R3 version as the only source offering the “correct” audio rack.
Also using common logic I would think that the French dub on the Canadian disc and the Mandarin dub on the R3 Cantonese release are the only two “properly” mastered tracks!!

Well, this is a very unusual claim which (I hope I read your statement above correctly) is anything but believable as it suggest that the entire Cantonese master used for both the French set and the Sony R1 release is then improperly mastered. In support of what you state above I don’t hear any significant difference between the Cantonese track on the French set and the Cantonese track on the R1 Sony release. Therefore, I am going to assume that what we are offered in both the French set and the R1 Sony release is indeed what the French mastering company has supplied for 2046 (for the record the special effects team that assembled the final cut of the film before the Cannes premiere also worked on the Cantonese audio track…which happens to be a French team and not a HK crew as one might think. Clearly I don’t see how they could have messed up everything without Wong Kar Wai being aware of it).

Once again….this is just following common logic after reading your post. Until otherwise proven with concrete facts the R1 release remains an excellent choice.

Ciao,
Pro-B
***************

pro-bassoonist 12-19-05 11:35 PM


Originally Posted by speedy1961
So overall you're recommending the Canadian version?

Nope!! He claims that the French dub sounds better and perhaps the Cantonese 2.0 track. eXcentris suggests that the R0 is the best version...which I disagree with...for now! On top of everything else the Seville Canadian disc is a PAL to NTSC port.

Ciao,
Pro-B

eXcentris 12-20-05 12:47 AM


Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
You are claiming that both the R1 (US) and R1 (Seville) versions have faulty audio Cantonese tracks.

For the sake of argument, let's call them "different" instead of "faulty", and let's go directly to the point of contention.

The cantonese 5.1 track on the Sony and the Seville are identical. From what you say, I'll assume that the cantonese on the French set is also identical. However, the Seville has the same french 5.1 track as the french set. And there's a world of difference between the 5.1 cantonese (supposedly the same as the French set) and the 5.1 french (definitely from the french set). The later has music on all channels, and has effects not heard on the cantonese track. Did you listen to the french track on the french set?

Also, this is from the DVDRama review:


Les deux pistes Dolby Digital 5.1 (french and cantonese) bénéficient d’un mixage excellent, restituant à merveille la musique et l’ambiance, tout en mettant en valeur la piste dialoguée. Notons que la piste française est bien réalisée, de qualité équivalente à la piste cantonaise. Sur ces pistes Dolby Digital 5.1, la restitution de la musique s’adapte avec une grande finesse aux différentes textures de son voulues, recréant ce son particulier aux musiques de l’époque quand cela est nécessaire tout en conservant une grande pureté sonore. Quant aux effets d’ambiance, ils sont très bien répartis et il n’est pas nécessaire de mettre le volume très haut pour être plongé dans l’atmosphère du film.
I heard the above from the french 5.1 track. I certainly didn't hear it from the cantonese 5.1 track which has no music from the rears and weak to non-existent effects. And yet, that review states that the quality is equivalent. Sorry but something just doesn't wash. You have the french set, listen to both tracks using the opening scene after the credits (Preisner's music). Do both tracks have music from the rears? If they do, then the cantonese track on the Sony and the Seville are not the same as on the French set. If the french track does but the cantonese doesn't (as I would expect from the Seville) then the reviewer at DVDrama is deaf.


Once again….this is just following common logic after reading your post. Until otherwise proven with concrete facts the R1 release remains an excellent choice.

Ciao,
Pro-B
***************

Until it's proven otherwise or unless Wong Kar-wai himself comes in here and states that the R1 cantonese soundtracks is what he intended, I stand by my statement that the R1 is a poor choice soundwise.

pro-bassoonist 12-20-05 01:23 AM

I just ran a quick test and unless I am missing something everything stated above is a big mystery to me. I had my brother bring the French disc for me and the only thing I hear is a louder sound...but this has nothing to do with the disc. As far as ambience...this is a very difficult terrain to explore.

A couple of things to point out: We do know (by way of logic) that the Cantonese tracks on the R1 (CAN/US) are the same as the Cantonese R2 track. We do not know however for sure if the French track on the Canadian disc is the same as the French track on the R2 disc (isn't the Canadian French dub...a Canadian French?).

I really am not sure how to continue this discussion as I don't have all of the missing pieces here-I do not own the Canadian disc and I do not own the R3 disc.

Bottom line...the Cantonese 5.1 track provided for the French, US-R1, and CAN-R1, all come from the same French mixing company. So does the dub on the French disc...but did they do something wrong? It will be hard to convince me but I leave this discussion for others to ponder as I can not shoot in the dark for answers. Plain and simple from what I have heard so far the two 5.1 tracks on the French R2 metal coffret and the Sony R1 releases are identical. This I CAN vouch for...everything else, I take your word on it....

By the way I did see your review. :up::up:

Ciao,
Pro-B

cultshock 12-20-05 02:21 AM

Wow, I'm going to try to rent the Sony disc (instead of purchasing it) to compare to my Mei Ah disc. (not that I doubt you, eXcentris, I'm just curious to hear this for myself)

nitin77 12-20-05 04:36 AM

I've tested and compared several versions of this film.

The r3 korean disc has the best picture quality. By far. No blocking artefacts, especially during the red scenes on the train. It is also the sharpest. It's a 2 disc edition.

However, the korean version doesnt really have the green tint that is evident on all other releases, I never saw this theatrically so dont know which is the intended way to see it.

The next best for picture quality is the Australian R4 (which may be R0). Has a few blocking artefacts in the red scenes, but kept to the background. It has the green tint. The transfer appears to be the same as the r2 but more space has been allocated to the film as the r4 is 2 disc and the r2 is 1 disc (like the r1).

Dont know if that helps, audio sounded fine to me on all discs.

eXcentris 12-20-05 08:24 AM


Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
I just ran a quick test and unless I am missing something everything stated above is a big mystery to me. I had my brother bring the French disc for me and the only thing I hear is a louder sound...but this has nothing to do with the disc. As far as ambience...this is a very difficult terrain to explore.

Do you or do you not hear music from the rear channels on both cantonese and french tracks on the french set?


A couple of things to point out: We do know (by way of logic) that the Cantonese tracks on the R1 (CAN/US) are the same as the Cantonese R2 track. We do not know however for sure if the French track on the Canadian disc is the same as the French track on the R2 disc (isn't the Canadian French dub...a Canadian French?).
Here's where we disagree. I'm far from convinced on the former, I'm convinced on the later. But I've made other inquiries so I'm waiting to pass final judgment.

FYI I just spoke with the owner of another french canadian site and he's convinced that the cantonese 5.1 track on the Seville is "faulty" too. However, as you stated, I do think it would be odd that multiple versions of that cantonese track would exist.


I really am not sure how to continue this discussion as I don't have all of the missing pieces here-I do not own the Canadian disc and I do not own the R3 disc.
Yup, I have nothing further to add at this point either. In a perfect world, you'd bring your french R2 over here and we'd sort this out. :)

eXcentris 12-20-05 08:54 AM


Originally Posted by cultshock
Wow, I'm going to try to rent the Sony disc (instead of purchasing it) to compare to my Mei Ah disc. (not that I doubt you, eXcentris, I'm just curious to hear this for myself)

Hey, the more the merrier. :)

I'm not disputing what Pro-B says for the fun of it or to prove that I'm right. But as it stands now, something's fishy to me.

Richard Malloy 12-20-05 09:11 AM

I believe the Mei Ah disc is available from Netflix if anyone wants to compare it to their version. I rented it back before the "official" R1 from Sony was released, so Netflix may have since phased out the Mei Ah version.

But I own the R3 Korean 2-disc set, and it's an excellent transfer (far better than the otherwise acceptable Mei Ah release). I'm glad to hear it seems to be the best out there, at least the best NTSC transfer, and I think it's worth ensuring that everyone's aware of this option given the questions about the other releases.

pro-bassoonist 12-20-05 02:23 PM


Originally Posted by eXcentris
Do you or do you not hear music from the rear channels on both cantonese and french tracks on the french set?

eXcentris:

I only hear louder music but I don't hear any difference in terms of ambience. I think the big problem is that I don't have the R3 disc with me which everyone seems to be using as their basis for comparison. Furthermore, I don't think that this whole debate is a matter of being right or wrong for two reasons:

1. We do not know for sure how this Cantonese track was mastered to begin with (I am certainly not aware what source the R3 disc used as the only Cantonese track that was provided for 2046 literally hours before its Cannes premiere was from the French company. Therefore I assume that the cut and Cantonese audio track everyone else used later on was from the same source. I just find it very odd that both the R2 and R1 have the same <i>faulty</i> track).

2. The second reason I don't think that the R1 Sony disc is to be avoided is due to the fact that indeed the picture quality and extras are excellent. I can not ask people on this forum to avoid the disc before having a solid confirmation and an actual test proving that the Cantonese track is faulty on all these releases but the R3. How can I compare something and claim that it is faulty without having the "correct" source to begin with. You state that you hear more music coming out from the rears...more compared with what? only the French dub? this does not work for me as dubs are manipulated to begin with, the audio is reaplied and I can only guess whether or not something has been "corrected. I just want you to see that I do not disagree with you, you may very well be right and if turns out to be so I will surely revise my review in favor of another DVD. But so far I have not been able to prove on my own that your claims are correct.

Either way I am not going to comment in this thread any more as I truly have nothing else to add up to the discussion. Hearing "more" music just does not cut it for me. In fact I am a professional musician and I honestly do not hear any difference when I listened to the R1 track. I hear difference between the DTS track and the R1 track but that is a totally differen matter which does not help our debate at all.
If someone else wants to compare the two discs (R3 and R1) when the Sony release becomes available I am ready to listen. I also hope that this person will be able to provide more than just a claim that there is "more music" coming through the rear channels. Or, which I think is even more important that the the French dub you speak of (once again I take your word on it that it is identical to the R3 Cantonese track in the opening scene) is not being manipulated. I have absolutely no problem correcting the review at DVDTALK and recommending another version but there has to be a proof...which at this moment I can not provide.

By the way I am not trying to go against you with this statement...this is just where I stand at this time. :)

Ciao,
Pro-B

eXcentris 12-20-05 03:18 PM

Pro-B,

You are obscuring the issue. Forget about the R3 for now as it uses different mandarin and cantonese tracks. These are the facts (and note that "Seville" also applies to "Sony" when speaking about the original track because they are identical.)

1. The Seville has an original 5.1 track, and a french 5.1 track.

2. Since Seville themselves have told me that the Seville french track is the same as the french R2, they should be identical.

3. I also assume that the Seville original track is the same as the one on the french r2, from your statements, and from the fact that there is apparently only one source for this track.

4. The french track on the Seville sounds a lot better than the original track. This isn't supposition or a question of a little more or a little less music. There's NO music coming out of the rears on the original track on several passages I listened to. There IS music on the french track. This isnt a matter of degrees, or subtlety, it's a fact.

5. The DVDrama review states that both the original and the french track are excellent and equivalent. That's not what I'm hearing on the Seville. The difference is, again not subtle or barely audible, it's striking. Therefore, since I have no reason to doubt that the French 5.1 track is the same on the Seville and on the R2, there are only two possible explanations to this:

a) The original track on the Seville/Sony is NOT the same as on the R2 french.

or

b) The reviewer at DVDrama is deaf.

And there's an easy way to answer this question. Since you say you have access to the french R2, listening to both tracks and telling us on which track(s) you hear music coming out from the rears from would help answer the above conundrum. :)

Actually you said:


I only hear louder music but I don't hear any difference in terms of ambience.
Which means that you hear music on both tracks on the R2. Again, there's NO music on the Seville/Sony original track that comes out of the rears except from the menu. That to me, confirms that the original track is not the same as on the R2, and is therefore "faulty".

pro-bassoonist 12-20-05 03:38 PM

I am hardly obscuring the issue.

1. I asked previously that you give me the exact timing on the scenes where you do not hear anything coming out of the rear channels. You did not.

2. If the Seville version is clearly a PAL port as you state in your review I can only think of one release that they could have used...the French disc. All other PAL prints appear to be using the same print.

3. I CAN NOT comment on the Seville French track and whether or not there is music coming out of the rears. Please read what I stated above which is that I don't feel comfortable making a final decision without having all srouces in front of me.

4. I do own the French set and I CAN comment on it. I don't hear a striking difference. I don't know if I or whoever is the reviewer at RAMA is deaf but this is what I hear. I also hear music through the rears on the R1...point me to the right timing!

5. As I mentioned before both you and I assume too much in this discussion. I clearly don't have enough facts to support your claim. You feel comfortable with what you have found so far. As you could see I am not avoiding the debate but unless we two get together and have all these discs in front of us I am don't see how we can confirm that the R1 discs are faulty.

The easiest thing to do is for me to rent the R3 disc and compare it to the R1 and....voila...but only listening between the French and Sony releases I don't see what I am missing. Either that or please give me the exact timing that I have to look for.

One last thing...do you actually have the R1 Sony disc with you or do you rely on what your friend is saying?

Pro-B

eXcentris 12-20-05 03:53 PM

I have the Sony. I compared it to the Seville on my friend's system and on my higher end system. And I can guarantee you that there is no music coming out from the rears on the original track on the passages we listened to. Even if you stick your ear right on the speakers. Try 40 seconds in (Preisner music), then skip to the beginning of chapters 3, 5, 9. Rears are dead silent. And we hear music in it's full glory on the Seville french 5.1 track. This information was corroborated by yet a 3rd person, the owner of uneporte.net And there's major differences in terms of ambiance too.

pro-bassoonist 12-20-05 11:32 PM

eXcentris:

I will be meeting my brother tomorrow night at his place 9.00pm and we will compare the French disc (chapters 3, 5, 9) with the R1 disc. We will also listen to the entire train scene....plus the ending where there is plenty of music as well!

Will report back tomorrow night!

Pro-B

spinning plates 12-20-05 11:35 PM

i will be picking up the r1 on release day and i'm going to be very happy since i somehow missed this on in theaters.

Bleddyn Williams 12-21-05 09:33 AM

This is a fascinating thread, but I wish the R2 Tartan could be included. I wonder if it has the "good" soundtrack with active surrounds.

pro-bassoonist 12-23-05 12:31 AM

Ok, here’s what I have been able to confirm after two nights of comparing, arguing, and attempting to figure out what’s going on with the Sony R1 release. First of all, both I and my brother are convinced that what eXcentris has stated so far is correct…to a certain degree. Here’s why:

We ran (on two different set ups…that’s why I am late tonight) 4 different tests. First of all there is definitely surround activity on the music portion at the beginning on the French set. Most of the activity, however, and this is my personal opinion comes from the center speaker. The R1 Sony is dead. Now switching to chapters 3, 5, 9…there is also more activity on the rears…the R1 drops off the surround I believe around chapter 4 after the last dialog before the music. eXcentris is correct once again.
Now here’s what my brother and I disagree on (which I think also goes against mine and eXcentris' assumption that the French dubs are all the same)…He is more experienced when it comes down to sound mixing (he is in his upper 40s) and he definitely thinks that there is a huge difference between the Cantonese 5.1 track and the activity on the French dub found on the French disc. Why does this matter and how does it concern the R1 Sony release, well, I am not convinced that any of these tracks are faulty to begin with…there just appear to be some very strange mixing here. To support his claim tonight we went to his house again and in the opening scene with the train and the music there is definitely more sound on the French dub coming out of the rears as opposed to the center speaker which sounds louder on the Cantonese track. I am not quite so sure what is happening here but it is definitely noticeable if you listen (very) carefully. Bottom line on Sunday we will have a copy of the Tartan disc as well and will run a test on it but so far it seems like the R1 Sony disc has a very different Cantonese track when compared to the French disc (I wish we had one of those Canadian-French DVDs as well to run a test on Sunday). Back to the Sony R1...I am positive I missed it the first time as I tend to view my discs very late at night (after 3.00am) and I never turn the volume up. That is why I also credit my brother for his claim (for which he will have to further convince me this Sunday when we meet again) that the Cantonese 5.1 track on the French 2DVD also has less activity when compared to the French dub.

Hopefully this helps those of you looking for some sort of confirmation as to what is going on with the Cantonese 5.1 track on the Sony release.

Ciao,
Pro-B

Bill Geiger 12-23-05 03:27 AM

So which one is the one to get? This one?

http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-7j-70-dj8.html#

Or this one

http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-7j-70-fjy.html

pro-bassoonist 12-23-05 03:38 AM

Let me take one final look at the Tartan release on Sunday and will let you know. It appears that they used the same print Wong Kar Wai approved for the French metal coffret. The only concern here is the audio...and since the Tartan has the DTS from the French coffret (I think) I would think that it might be the UK disc. Wait until Sunday....will report again!!

And Bill...picture-wise...the RO/R3 is not the best print (I think that DVDBEAVER also notes on that)...as the greenish tint is only present on the Tartan, Sony, and of course the French disc.


Ciao,
Pro-B

Bill Geiger 12-23-05 04:51 AM

Just looking for the best sound and pic....let me know Svet! :)

eXcentris 12-23-05 10:06 AM

Well considering I also said there's a huge difference between the cantonese track and the French dub on the Seville (same as on the French set), Pro-B's brother pretty much confirms everything I said. Hence, the DVDrama reviewer is deaf. I've also had confirmation of this from two french reviewers that work for another site. Anyway, not ragging on Pro-B, it's fun doing all these comparisons and research and everybody comes out better informed in the end. :)

As Pro-B stated, and we got this from a message Tutut posted in the international forum, it's not entirely correct to say the cantonese track on the R1 releases is "defective". It was, for god knows what reasons, "remastered" for home theater. And the result is far from satisfying. The "original" audio (as in "as you heard it in theaters") can be found on Asian releases and has not been tampered with. Which is why I maintain that the Mei Ah release (R0) is the best choice soundwise for those without a region free player. The transfer is slightly inferior but the audio more than makes up for it. I changed my review (sorry, it's in french :) ) to reflect these findings.

As for the best release overall, it seems to be the Korean R3. People have stated that the Tartan R2 is close and perhaps better transfer wise but I'll let Pro-B deal with that one. :)

pro-bassoonist 12-23-05 01:14 PM


Originally Posted by Bill Geiger
Just looking for the best sound and pic....let me know Svet! :)

Ok, I will, we have another guy coming on Sunday (for Christmas) with his Tartan disc so as soon as I run a check on his copy I will write a small summary regarding each region release.

Ciao,
Pro-B

nitin77 12-23-05 08:20 PM

As I stated earlier, I've tested and checked many versions of this film (except the r1).

The Korean R3 2 disc is the sharpest (by far) and has the least compression artefacts. However, it doesnt have the greent tint.

The Australian R4 2 disc is the best to get out of all the green tinted versions as it has the least compression artefacts. This is because it allocates more space to the film being a 2 discer. The R2 and R1 are single discers with lots of extras and therefore have less space attributed to the film. The R4 also has a DTS track which from what I remember was reasonably active in the surrounds.

the R3 korean :

http://www.koreandvds.com/dvddetail.html?id=25990

the R4 australian :

http://www.ezydvd.com.au/item.zml/782697

There is a 2 disc R4 available, that site doesnt have it listed though.


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