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Dts In One Region & Not In Another

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Dts In One Region & Not In Another

Old 06-05-04, 05:01 PM
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Dts In One Region & Not In Another

Hey Guys,

I am sorta of new in the Dvd collecting scene. I was just wondering why would dts soundtrack be included in one region and not in another. I prefer dts to dolby most of the time. I find it totally irritating e.g. "underworld" movie to have only dolby in region 1 and only to find out that a dts track is included in another. Why? Also why would picture differ from region to region. Shouldnt some studio executive (probably making 6 figure salary) choose the best available print in existence for the movie the first time around...e.g Leon, the Proffesional.

I totally resent being jacked around by the studios and treating us consumers like sheep with deep pockets. Many of us collectors, are just average joes trying to get by. I understand the need for region coding...NTSC, PAL blah blah blah. But to have different transfers with different quality soundtracks and video is absurd!!! Different extras for different regions I can also understand.

Am I the only one around who feels this way? I don't find it particular exciting and fun to shop around for the best quality transfer from a distant land.
Old 06-05-04, 10:57 PM
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I totally agree that the majority of time the US releases pale in comparision to other region releases. The lack of anamorphic transfers, lack of DTS or even DD5.1 on older releases is a shame too. This is what brought me into international dvd collecting.
On other occasions I have found the packaging to be much better in other regions with included booklets with information about the movie, while in R1 we get advertisements instead of inserts.
Old 06-06-04, 01:05 AM
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I would attempt to answer a few of your questions by starting with the fact that I am actually a big supporter of the region coding. Before I explain why I feel this way let me point out the following-

Picture would differ from region to region since different films are owned by different companies in different regions, which means that certain issues are considered differently by different countries. As ridiculous as it may sound to you “having one master for all regions is as a ridiculous idea as it is communism where everyone regardless of their skills and qualifications gets paid the same”. For example let’s assume that film A is owned by company B in the US and company C in Scandinavia. Chances are that ideally the US disc will only have English and Spanish subs (or maybe optional French subs or dub). Well, in Scandinavia this very same disc will have at least 4 major sub options- Danish, Swedish, Finish, and Norwegian. Additional options would include probably Icelandic and to widen the market perhaps English subs which in a perfect world should automatically make the US disc superior in picture quality even though you may argue that such small difference in sub usage won’t affect the picture quality. Imagine if we add dubs in 50% of the mentioned above languages, you follow me? This is just one of the examples that may give you an idea where some of the differences stem from.

Why it is that so many French discs for example have DTS tracks and reference quality in terms of video/ audio presentation? Consider again the above issue, the subs, as your basis for comparison. Like it or not French is a language that is spoken in quite a few countries as well- France, Belgium, Canada, Luxemburg, Switzerland, Monaco, Lichtenstein, etc. If I was the CEO of the French company that has the rights for film A I wont really want to appeal to the rest of Europe which may like English subs (though the practice is different) because you already have plenty of competitors that you have to consider that provide English subs- imported US/Canadian/Australian discs, Scandinavian discs, Spanish discs, recently an influx of Russian discs that also offer English subs, etc. Instead I would focus on providing a superb picture quality with the best possible DTS track that wont be affected by the inclusion of a number of additional subs (which as you know take space off the disc). As a result you end up with discs that for example in France are often with superb quality in both the audio and video department. Most recent example- only the Bad Boys 2 disc got a DTS track there. On the other hand Hong Kong films usually have their best releases in France as well given the same policy I explained above-the French HK distrib don’t really try to capture a wider market where Thai, Korean, Japanese, Chinese and a whole bunch of other producers are trying to capitalize on as well by targeting the English “contingent”. So this is only one area of DVD mastering that explains the wide variety in production quality.

Now, why do I support regional coding-

Imagine two scenarios-

Scenario #1 where only a few companies own the rights to all films in the world, do you really think that even if all countries adopted one standard, lets assume NTSC as many on this board wont consider PAL, do you really think that quality control would be that high? I hardly think so. To say the least we would have endless “special editions” that would be simply ridiculous (much, much more than what you currently see in R1 land). It is like being on the local market, if I knew that I was the only one selling gas in the United States…do you really think that I would consider having the best possible edition (design, cover work, aidio/video specs) at the lowest price? In fact part of such damaging for the consumer mentality is already in existence. In the United States the film lover is treated as sheep where cover work and DVD designs get slammed with one big head and a quote treating the American consumer as an idiot. The result- we see beautiful Korean SE packages, outstanding Japanese designs, top notch- cover work and designs from France, etc. You follow me…..??

Scenario #2

Even though I already explained to you that certain films are owned by different companies in different countries/continents let’s assume just for a second that 6 or 7 companies owned the world DVD/film library. This is probably the biggest disaster you could ever have and trust me what you are complaining about at this very moment would be what you would wish the DVD market was like. I hardly think you would see the variety of Korean films on the market and their excellent packages. I hardly think you would see the variety of Japanese films, excellent French films, Spanish films, TV shows from other countries not only America (yes other countries do make them as well) etc. You would instead see lots of “blockbusters” all over the world where the cult/arthouse/ etc, productions many on this board discuss will be a wishful thinking. Look at how long it takes for example to produce a DVD version of a certain foreign film in the US, now multiple this by 50 and certain films wont even make it at all. By the time you see a decent release of Fanny and Alexander your son would probably be installing film chips in his head. Or if they do manage to put a quick release of a certain foreign film we will have the “expert touch” that occurred with the Bergman boxset. Hmmm…..

So, this is just a short (very short) attempt to explain to you why I support regional coding. To me it truly will be as if we had Wal-Mart-mentality if we abandoned it(which you seem to unintentionally favor) where we would have a censored/blurred Eyes Wide Shut all over the world or a sanitized cut of Original Sin as the standard no matter where you look at. For me for a number of reasons regional coding is in a way the best protection against fostering a conservative worldwide behemoth such as Blockbuster. Imagine that…..

I would say, if you truly consider yourself a film-lover then shopping for the best version around the world should be a pleasure. It is like picking the best produce at your local market-delicious, tasty, good looking, and at times even exotic…..now that would be my market!!


Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 06-06-04 at 01:17 AM.

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