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Does anyone else think SD transfers are getting WORSE?

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Does anyone else think SD transfers are getting WORSE?

Old 11-01-08, 04:00 PM
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Does anyone else think SD transfers are getting WORSE?

I swear, for the last year or so, the picture on SD discs has been getting worse - even on new films. If I didn't know better (and I don't), I'd think studios were doing this intentionally to make the difference between SD and BD even more dramatic, and make the jump to BD more appealing to consumers.

Am I crazy??
Old 11-01-08, 04:03 PM
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Wouldn't surprise me.
Old 11-01-08, 04:10 PM
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I think you're right. I noticed it too. The New World Extended looks worse than the original DVD. I wouldn't mind if there was a Blu-ray.
Old 11-01-08, 04:53 PM
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I have really noticed this a lot from Warner Bros, most noticeably from the two recent harry potter films. Horrible SD transfers, but the HD looks great.
Old 11-01-08, 06:37 PM
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I wouldn't say that, we are just getting spoiled by the way everything looks on blu-ray.
Old 11-01-08, 06:47 PM
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I've said for quite some time that new films from Warner look horrible in their first half an hour or so (they usually settle down after that) whilst their new release catalog tittles continue to look pretty impressive. I did read that they have different compressionists working on their new films for about a year or so but it's a very noticeable difference to me.

I havent got a blu ray player so its not like I've been spoilt either.
Old 11-01-08, 06:50 PM
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I haven't noticed really.Then again I haven't been paying that much attention
Old 11-01-08, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Bluelitespecial View Post
I wouldn't say that, we are just getting spoiled by the way everything looks on blu-ray.
No, that's definitely not it. I don't own BD, and have only seen it in passing at the store. I can compare brand new films that should look beautiful on DVD to 4-year old movies and the difference is obvious.

...and it's not just BD. Even my SD's of stuff like Hulk and Iron Man are not nearly as crisp as movies I bought a couple years ago.
Old 11-01-08, 07:15 PM
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If this is indeed true, looks like the DVD version of "The Dark Knight" will look terrible, while the Blu-ray will be the reference disc of the year...
Old 11-01-08, 08:10 PM
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Pretty much the only way they can get most people to buy BD now is to stop SD from selling.
Old 11-01-08, 10:23 PM
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hulk and iron man dvds are slightly soft but there's not too many compression issues, like Warner's new releases.
Old 11-02-08, 04:53 AM
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Most new from theater releases have so made ads, special features, and language tracks that the film in 5.1 would fit on a single layer DVD-5.
Old 11-02-08, 07:37 AM
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I have noticed this as well. Chuck Season 1 started out very good with Episode 1 and then later episodes even had an appearance of snow in them, no longer crisp. I am starting to notice it in Smallville Season 7 as well. I even commented when I noticed it that maybe they are putting less time into mastering the SD to increase the benefit of BD.
Old 11-02-08, 07:57 AM
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I think it's just because the "wow" factor of DVD has wore off, but I could see why studios just aren't trying as much anymore (see: less special features, no inserts, etc)
Old 11-02-08, 08:21 AM
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It's not hard to believe that the studios would deliberately sabotage their SD transfers in an attempt to build more interest in Blu-Ray, e.g. when people A/B new releases.
Old 11-02-08, 10:31 AM
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At least with respect to TV shows it is also possible that in later seasons budgets had to be cut to keep on the air. The video for the last feel seasons of Farscape, for example, was much worse then the earlier seasons. It was all due to cheaper production costs for the show.
Old 11-02-08, 04:24 PM
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Yes, it's not just you who sees this...

Yes, I agree new SD releases have subletly become WORSE looking in the past 1 to 2 years. The incentive isn't there for them to produce reference-quality SD releases anymore.
They have become very sloppy in authoring technique and compression...

Bitrates have decreased precipitously while "fluff" has increased and optimal disc space utilitzation has decreased.

I've seen many new releases with average bitrates in 3 to 4 MBits/sec range (DOOMSDAY and THE REAPING come to mind, among others), which is totally unacceptable. The Blu-rays of course look fabulous.

And, it's not just new releases, either. The new "special" edition of REBECCA also comes to mind. Why release a new version with an average bitrate of only 4.2 MB, when the old, superior Criteron release has a proper bitrate of 7.5 MB and a sharper picture? DVD Beaver even gripes about this in their review of the disc.
Old 11-02-08, 04:44 PM
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I can clearly see a quantifiable difference in quality over some of my older DVDs (Fight Club, for example, still looks amazing after all these years) compared to some of the more recent offerings.

I appreciate them wanting to offer a new format to people who want the best quality available, but the average person isn't going to buy a 1080p TV over 32 inches and would be just fine with regular DVDs. Of course, the industry doesn't want to tell them that or let them think that. That would be CRAZY TALK!
Old 11-03-08, 05:05 AM
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Especially some Warner Brothers titles have been bad. They seem to have started to include both Full Screen and widescreen versions on each side of the disc, and making each side single layer. They're horribly overcompressed. And many times when looking at DVDs of movies from smaller companies and obscure titles, I notice how much better these look than many newer titles from the major studios.

Thankfully there's Blu-ray, but still there's a lot of titles from major studios that's not issued on BD, so I'm stuck with DVD.
Old 11-03-08, 06:07 AM
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I'm not sure if there is a conspiracy to move everyone to Blu-ray, but there's something going on with regards to some releases which should have had a good transfer. But it's probably more than likely studios don't give a shit, and want to cram as much adverts and stupid little whoopty-fuckin-do games and whatever else on a single DVD versus spreading out the extras on a second disc. Oh wait. But they do. The double-dip. Six months later with a 2-Disc Special Edition for you to buy all over again.
Old 11-03-08, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Kim Olav Svines View Post
Especially some Warner Brothers titles have been bad. They seem to have started to include both Full Screen and widescreen versions on each side of the disc, and making each side single layer. They're horribly overcompressed. And many times when looking at DVDs of movies from smaller companies and obscure titles, I notice how much better these look than many newer titles from the major studios.

Thankfully there's Blu-ray, but still there's a lot of titles from major studios that's not issued on BD, so I'm stuck with DVD.
^Yep, if you look at the breakdown of a recent DVD release today, you'll see usually less than half of the disc space is allotted to the movie itself, with the rest going to the increasing number of previews and any extras that are not pushed onto a second disc. Never a good thing compression-wise. I would imagine the shrinking number of discs with DTS and EX tracks are attributed this as well.
Old 11-03-08, 08:01 AM
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I noticed it while watching Six Feet Under. Man, the pq is horrible!
Old 11-03-08, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Giggles View Post
I noticed it while watching Six Feet Under. Man, the pq is horrible!
I too have been watching some of the second season on DVD lately and would definately argree, but those DVDs are actually quite a few years old, and not a good example of a recent bad release. HBOs releases of Carnivale and Rome look much better.
Old 11-03-08, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by indy81 View Post
It's not hard to believe that the studios would deliberately sabotage their SD transfers in an attempt to build more interest in Blu-Ray, e.g. when people A/B new releases.
I'm all for a good conspiracy theory, but with high production costs and low sales figures, how exactly does this benefit them? They clearly make all their money on DVD, generating interest in BD does not.

I think Dean has it closest:
Originally Posted by Dean Kousoulas View Post
I think it's just because the "wow" factor of DVD has wore off, but I could see why studios just aren't trying as much anymore (see: less special features, no inserts, etc)
Lazy. DVD is at a point where studios can slap together the most basic DVD and it will still sell a gajillion copies the first week. Spending time and resources on an exhaustive SE with a beautiful transfer and animated menus is a waste when they will sell just as many copies of the slapped together version.
Old 11-03-08, 09:51 AM
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Has anyone else seen the side-by-side SD/BR comparison video they run at Costco? It's almost funny how blurry and fuzzy the SD side is versus the sharp, vibrant BR side. I think if my SD discs were actually that vasoline-on-the-screen blurry, I'd know it!

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