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Old 04-30-2012, 03:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I have been making my own DVDs since 2006 (ish). I recently made a DVD of a movie from the Sony movie channel, HD feed (downrezzed to SD of course) using a DirecTV receiver. After making the DVD, my wife, who has a superior mental cataloging feature asked me why I made a DVD of that movie when I had actually purchased that move on a commercial DVD a few years ago. I admitted it was a mistake on my part as I had forgotten.

Anyway, I started to watch the commercial pressed DVD, and was really appalled at the quality of the movie on my 55 inch television. I took it out of the player and put in the one I had just made, and the quality was vastly, and I am not exaggerating, it was VASTLY superior to the one I had purchased.

In your opinion, is this an isolated incident, or is it typical that a home made DVD would be superior to a commercial pressed one. Maybe they remastered the movie since the DVD was made, but as they are BOTH SD DVDs, they both have access to the same max resolution, it just seems odd that the one I made is so much better than the one I purchased. Wouldn't a commercially pressed DVD make use of the highest quality possible with the media?

A bit confused...

BTW, it is understandable that I didn't exactly remember that I had purchased that particualr movie as I burned about 65 DVDs THAT DAY! I guess my tendency to stockpile stuff, then burn it in batches reached a peak there. Luckily, the content was spread across three or four DVD recorders, all in use simultaneously, unluckily, there were quite a number of DL disks made that day, about ten or so I'd guess--Time-consuming, those DL disks.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 04-30-2012, 03:21 PM
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Almost sounds like the diff. between PAL and NTSC somewhere among the elements?

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Old 04-30-2012, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Church AV Guy View Post

In your opinion, is this an isolated incident, or is it typical that a home made DVD would be superior to a commercial pressed one.

I don't think it's typical. If you would give us the title of the movie, maybe someone will know why the commercial copy isn't as good as it could be (or you could search the internet for information on it).
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:19 PM
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My guess is your commercial DVD was from a print meant for VHS tape, not DVD. I see this quite frequently with older DVDs and it makes me mad whenever I see it. My guess is the print on the Sony?? channel was remastered from the original print and even though it was downconverted for your DVDR, downconverted HD is much better that VHS quality SD. It's also possible your commercial DVD is letterboxed? while your home made DVD was anamorphic which looks much better for a WS movie.
I run into this frequently with older film shot TV on DVD where they just used the original syndication tapes for the DVDs, other better made conversions go back to the original film which by contrast looks almost HD quality(even on DVD). Other later made TV programs that were shot on tape really show their age and look more VHS than DVD quality.
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
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...If you would give us the title of the movie, maybe someone will know why the commercial copy isn't as good as it could be...

Eh. It was just a generic question so I left the movie title out of it on purpose. I was interested the phenominon, nothing specific, and not worth the time for research. I was mostly wondering if anyone else has seen this.
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...even though it was downconverted for your DVDR...

Specifically, downconverted BY my DVR. It is a HD receiver, but, of course, I use the SD output to run to my DVD recorder(s). It looked even better when viewing the HD output from the DVR, but the SD output, recorderd, burned to a DVD, looks superior to the one I purchased.

With a really good, clean input signal, the Panasonic EH55 makes a very good final DVD for sure. It must be right at the limits of what is possible with SD.

I'll have to check on the date. You are likely correct in that it was a DVD made from a "mastering" intended for VHS distribution--still, it looks like a DVD made from a VHS tape copy.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 04-30-2012, 08:50 PM
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I hate that, commercial DVD's made from VHS rips.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:10 AM
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I've bought a few of those that were almost unwatchable.
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:46 AM
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Luke, is the eh55 the one I worked on?? maybe I OVER fixed or tweaked it too good.

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Old 05-01-2012, 11:10 AM - Thread Starter
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I have two EH55s, both have been repaired, one by Panasonic before they closed down the really good repair facility, and the other by you, mickinct. I don't remember which one this was. DVDs made on these machines look to be of very similar quality, so I doubt you can take credit for it--sorry.

In case it's just eating away at someone, the movie was 2001: A Space Odyssey. The best example of what I was referring to is in the scene where the lunar shuttle is landing in the spaceport. The ship comes in, center screen, but you can see on the right and left of the screen windows behind which are people walking around, and video screens with content. On the commercial DVD, they look like blurred windows, with nothing visible through them. My DVD clearly shows the people and the monitors through the windows. I was quite surprised really.

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:29 PM
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Just kidding with you Lk

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Old 05-02-2012, 07:16 PM
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Digital disc has not been kind to the classic Kubrick catalog: several of the films received surprisingly poor initial DVD releases and have since been remastered. "2001" might be on its third DVD version by now. If you bought yours more than 5-6 years ago, it might be one of the terrible initial DVD versions.

I'm not sure which version I have, but it was bought before I had a 16:9 television. On CRT it looked great, but when I first tried it on a flat panel it looked awful (flat, low contrast, muddy details, motion blur like you wouldn't believe). I was so shocked I thought I had a bad new television, so I tried it on several other Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony TVs- it looked like crap on all of them. After a lot of playing around with settings, I stumbled across what might be the issue: the disc seems to have trouble triggering true anamorphic in some players. After messing with player setup several times, the true anamorphic suddenly kicked in and the image looked dramatically better, much more in line with what I'd expect from a DVD of such a legendary sci-fi film. Perhaps you could try tinkering with your EH55: toggle its TV aspect setting between 4:3 and 16:9 a couple times and see if it helps, also try running the upscaler resolution up and down.

One last issue to consider is that the space scenes in "2001" are an acid torture test for nearly any flat panel screen: the majority of current televisions just aren't up for the challenge. Douglas Trumbull's FX were groundbreaking for the time and still hold up astonishingly well, but they are uniquely based on flat hard-edged graphics that are not "anti-aliased" to accommodate digital display panels. The floating spaceships are not models but really cut-out photos of them, often moving diagonally in high contrast against a black background. This is hell on most LCD screens: they aren't "fast" enough to deal with such material. I've found my copy of "2001" looks best on LCD screens using speedy IPS technology (Panasonic, some LG) and high-end plasma.

The more typical commodity LCD panel used by Sony, Samsung and other televisions makes a mess of the spaceships and the activity matted into their windows: motion blur obscures all the detail and the judder is really bad. The blur and judder are made worse if the "tru motion" 120Hz features are turned on in the higher-end TVs: try turning those features off and see if your "2001" improves. IPS, plasma and CRT are inherently "faster" than standard LCD, so they're a better match for "2001." (I'm talking about the speed of the pixel elements in the screen, "tru motion" addresses/creates a different type of distortion).

The "2001" you recorded off satellite is probably the newest remaster, and/or the satellite compression may have actually helped by fuzzing the hard edges a bit. Some movies just never get a "perfect" DVD transfer: "Close Encounters" has been remastered several times, and each time Spielberg fixes one video issue but screws up two others. I must have three different DVDs of it, and can never remember which looks best on what television for what scenes. To date, no "Encounters" DVD I've seen has lived up to the analog Criterion laserdisc edition of 1992 (tho I hear the BluRay is excellent).
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The disk I made of 2001 is very good, and plays as near perfect as can be expected in all of my DVD players, so I have no interest in doing research to see what's up with the commercial DVD. I'll just use the one I made. I suspect the issue is:
Quote:


Digital disc has not been kind to the classic Kubrick catalog: several of the films received surprisingly poor initial DVD releases and have since been remastered. "2001" might be on its third DVD version by now. If you bought yours more than 5-6 years ago, it might be one of the terrible initial DVD versions.

Yes, my commercial DVD is AT LEAST 5-6 years old!

Luke

Evil is charming and beautiful. It makes you doubt yourself. It asks for one small compromise after another until it whittles you down, and it functions best when no one believes in it.-JOA
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