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Watched my 1st Blue-ray DVD - Frankly I'm not impressed

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Watched my 1st Blue-ray DVD - Frankly I'm not impressed

Old 03-07-08, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Curious, what are you watching your standard DVD's on? Is it an upconverting player? Because if not, even I could see the difference between 480p and 1080i

I'm watching my SD DVD's on an upconverting player. Like I said in my post earlier the best bet is to try an older film and compare the difference. I tried this with my standard copy of The Shining and then watched the BR copy. All I can say is WOW.
Old 03-07-08, 10:11 PM
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eXcentris,

I have an XA2 hooked up via component to a 50" Panasonic Plasma, which is 1366 x 768 resolution (~1080i, 720p).

As an aside comment, I didn't bother buying a 1080p HDTV because I didn't think it was worth it at the time.

I have the HD DVD version (Combo) and watched it a few days ago (I'm assuming WB has the same VC-1 on the Blu-ray version). I think the transfer looks pretty good. Meaning, an upgrade from a typical SD DVD version, and certainly better than an upconverted SD DVD version. However, I totally understand what you're seeing if you've never seen much HD content before.

In this particular movie, it's filmed with a muted and contrasted look to the colors as well as some slight grain (although very low--but since this is HD, you can see it more readily at times), not to mention at night in a lot of shots. (I don't mean you see a lot of grain in the night shots, but not as much definition as you might expect. However, the initial attack scene is still rather crystal clear, in my opinion).

What I refer to as the "sparkle" (or "pop"), isn't there all the time because of the above. However, if you look close enough, the definition is there, much more than the SD DVD version. Look at around 2:50 to 3:00 into the movie at Foster, and other scenes where close-ups of the characters reveal the higher definition of their skin, hair, clothing, etc.

As an aside, I was watching Face/Off the other night and the scene with Caster Troy getting out of his Cadillac and raising his coat to reveal the two guns he has...was absolutely gorgeous. The definition of the guns and his red wine colored silk shirt was amazing.

But overall, The Brave One is NOT a reference HD title to make give you the Shock & Awe you might be looking for. But I will say, over time, you will come to notice the difference and it will make a difference in the movie itself.

Last edited by DVD Polizei; 03-07-08 at 10:30 PM.
Old 03-07-08, 11:57 PM
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I just watched Spiderman 3, and since the movie blew, I concentrated on the quality of the image, the colors, the textures, the skin tones, etc... Some of the scenes looked fantastic but then again I didn't have an SD version to compare it against.

However, I have the "Wall Street" Blu-ray disc and I remembered I also have the old SD from the Oliver Stone collection which, if I remember correctly, had a mediocre transfer. So I'll compare them tomorrow and I'm hoping for a big WHOA!

Question: When you hit the display button on the PS3 remote, what's does the AVC figure on the upper right corner refer to? I assume that's the video bit rate? For example, the back of the "Wall Street" case states: VIDEO AVC @ 16mbps. Also, what's the difference between AVC and VC-1?

Last edited by eXcentris; 03-08-08 at 12:02 AM.
Old 03-08-08, 12:00 AM
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^

Don't expect a big whoa from Wall Street. It is one of the weaker BD transfers currently available.
Old 03-08-08, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
However, I have the "Wall Street" Blu-ray disc and I remembered I also have the old SD from the Oliver Stone collection which, if I remember correctly, had a mediocre transfer. So I'll compare them tomorrow and I'm hoping for a big WHOA!
Direct from the DVDTalk review of Wall Street, and I agree:

This 1.85:1 widescreen presentation of Wall Street (it's labeled as 2.35:1 on the case) uses the MPEG-4 codec, but there's not a lot of newfound detail to be had from previous standard definition versions. In fact, it almost looks like there wasn't too much care put into this version, as it appeared there was some edge enhancement that could be spotted on Gekko when he and Bud meet the Blue Star labor heads at Bud's apartment. The bottom line is don't expect to be wowed by this.
What it really comes down to is that the HD formats are capable of delivering on great video and audio, but that doesn't always happen. Just like there are varying degrees of quality on SDVD releases.

Last edited by The Cow; 03-08-08 at 12:11 AM.
Old 03-08-08, 01:04 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris

Question: When you hit the display button on the PS3 remote, what's does the AVC figure on the upper right corner refer to? I assume that's the video bit rate? For example, the back of the "Wall Street" case states: VIDEO AVC @ 16mbps. Also, what's the difference between AVC and VC-1?
It refers to the type the codec used. A BD will use either AVC, VC-1 or MPEG2. Some people get into fanboyish arguments as to which codec is best, but really, as long as it is done properly, and there is enough space on the disc (especially with MPEG2), it shouldn't matter which codec is used.
Old 03-08-08, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Keeping in mind that I only have a 1080i (50") display, I watched "The Brave One" on my PS3 last night and I can't see a friggin difference in video quality between that and say "Rome" which I've been watching all week on my upconverting Oppo. I'd often read that, on displays 50" and less, the difference between 720p/1080i and 1080p was so small as to be indistinguishable. I guess that is correct or, I'm simply getting old and blind. Plus, these blue DVD cases are friggin ugly.
This is interesting old friend

The only answer I have is that indeed you are old, not getting. And, you can not judge the entire format based on one disc.

With this in mind Blu-Ray is as much of a word as is eXcentris.

Ciao,
Pro-B
Old 03-08-08, 02:16 AM
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I love my HD players, and I notice an extreme difference between standard and HD discs.

= J
Old 03-08-08, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
This is interesting old friend

The only answer I have is that indeed you are old, not getting.
Please reference the point of old. I'm worried that I may indeed be there.
Old 03-08-08, 03:02 AM
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Watch 2001 A Space Odyssey or The Shining in BD for one of those older movies, I just about crapped my pants how beautiful those old movie look in HD.
Old 03-08-08, 10:22 AM
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I went "Blu" because I got a PS3 as a gift two weeks ago. I don't have a HDTV yet, but one thing I noticed while I watched my first BD, "30 Days of Night", is just how sharper the picture is. The colors are so much richer and less dull than DVD. Watching a BD disc on a 13" CRT TV (480i) isn't going to make a great deal of difference, but even on a small, non-HDTV you can tell the difference, if you look closely.

One of the other big factors of going "Blu" for me is that the cases save a lot of shelf space. I didn't like the look of them at first, but they've grown on me.
Old 03-08-08, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by cultshock
It refers to the type the codec used. A BD will use either AVC, VC-1 or MPEG2. Some people get into fanboyish arguments as to which codec is best, but really, as long as it is done properly, and there is enough space on the disc (especially with MPEG2), it shouldn't matter which codec is used.

Thanks. Yeah, while researching I stumbled upon an AVS forum thread on this issue. I'm not sure I understood half of what the heck these guys were arguing about.
Old 03-08-08, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
This is interesting old friend

The only answer I have is that indeed you are old, not getting. And, you can not judge the entire format based on one disc.
I assume my oldness.

Tech aspects of my "The Brave One" review: "This is my 1st Blu-ray review and I can't compare the transfer quality to anything else. Looks pretty good though."

With this in mind Blu-Ray is as much of a word as is eXcentris.

Ciao,
Pro-B
Assuming my non-existence will be a bit harder.
Old 03-08-08, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by The Cow
Please reference the point of old. I'm worried that I may indeed be there.
I share the opinion that if you don't see and hear a difference in decently produced BR versus a decently produced SDVD then it is either your equipment (I doubt this was the case with the OP) or there are indeed physical limitations which naturally or unnaturally (you do not wish to admit that there is perceptible difference in quality) blur your judgment abilities. Age could be an understandable physical limitation.

The rest, and specifically the fact that eXcentris is a reviewer on another site, leads me to believe that there is something more to it.

Pro-B
Old 03-08-08, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by pro-bassoonist
The rest, and specifically the fact that eXcentris is a reviewer on another site, leads me to believe that there is something more to it.

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Old 03-08-08, 02:24 PM
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Hence...
I guess that is correct or, I'm simply getting old and blind.
...i am not correcting anything but recommend that you get more BRs.

Pro-B
Old 03-08-08, 02:34 PM
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Ah ok, thanks, more will come.
Old 03-08-08, 03:10 PM
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Casino Royale and The Searchers both looked very good....especially the latter. Try those
Old 03-08-08, 03:20 PM
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My Blu-ray is hooked up to a 1080i TV using component cables (TV is old enough to have no HDMI). The first Blu-ray I watched was The Prestige and my reaction was "whoa!" I then watched Blade Runner and my reaction was "whoa!". I watched 30 Days of Night the other day and I couldn't tell you what happened in the movie becasue I was so fascinated with the picture quality!

Blue-ray may not be too impressive but Blu-ray almost knocked me on my ass when I first saw it.
Old 03-08-08, 06:12 PM
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Hmmm, I might try "The Shining" or "The Searchers". Any other suggestions of reference quality BR titles? Preferably, titles where the SD has been around for a while. I don't really want to re-buy titles that I've bought in SD somewhat recently.
Old 03-08-08, 06:26 PM
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Old 03-08-08, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
Hmmm, I might try "The Shining" or "The Searchers". Any other suggestions of reference quality BR titles? Preferably, titles where the SD has been around for a while. I don't really want to re-buy titles that I've bought in SD somewhat recently.
I wouldn't call it a reference BD title, but in comparison to the SD, The Road Warrior will make you go whoa!
Old 03-08-08, 06:40 PM
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2001 - The one Kubrick title I recently re-bought in SD.

What sucks here is, had I bought my PS3 a few weeks sooner, I would have gotten the BR Kubrick boxset to review because my boss (the only one with a BR player in our group) doesn't like Kubrick. He kept calling me to ask if I'd bought that PS3 yet but finally got tired of waiting and did the review.

Last edited by eXcentris; 03-08-08 at 06:42 PM.
Old 03-08-08, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by eXcentris
2001 - The one Kubrick title I recently re-bought in SD.

What sucks here is, had I bought my PS3 a few weeks sooner, I would have gotten the BR Kubrick boxset to review because my boss (the only one with a BR player in our group) doesn't like Kubrick. He kept calling me to ask if I'd bought that PS3 yet but finally got tired of waiting and did the review.
there is a BR Kubrick boxset?
Old 03-08-08, 09:02 PM
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The last two Blu-Rays that I've rented and watched didn't have the "pop" I was hoping for.
Michael Clayton
The Lookout
*Both good movies but the HD transfer didn't have me popping the champagne.

However, there are titles that have benefited greatly from being released in HD (Blu-Ray) like:
The Life of Brian
LOST Season 3
Planet Earth
Cast Away
Close Encounters (Although showing its age it is a great looking release.)

Those are great releases as well as many others that have hit both formats. I expect a more dynamic video and audio presentation when going HD and most of the time it is there, but in some cases the studios, and maybe the movies themselves, just do not deliver. Pick some of those titles, give em a spin and enjoy.

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