Terminator 2: Judgment Day - All High Definition releases comparison PIX - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 88 Old 10-06-2008, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Previous threads:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=865415
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1028018

This one is just to focus on every high def version, ignoring the DVD transfers as we've seen enough of them.



This first set of caps is duplicating my previous choice of frames but all decoded using ffdshow and displaying overlay info now - and finally including the German "Ultimate" Steelbook HD DVD release. This time I'm linking them directly since that seems to be what people prefer. I intend to do more and include the French Blu-ray when it arrives (FR/UK BD disc 1 = FR/UK/AU HD DVD disc 1 but there should be a second disc with the theatrical cut like the FR HD DVD). I'll also post caps of the announced Japanese Blu-ray in this thread once I get that (I believe release date is in December?).

I don't have time to do a comprehensive overview (at the moment anyway), so I'm just posting the pics quick so you can all judge for yourselves which release is best and why. PQ/included cut(s)/extras/audio specs/cover art/etc... unfortunately no release has the best of everything yet.

The other bitrates have been posted previously, so I'll just say for now that the AVBR of the German VC-1 is 12.01Mbps.

(this is my favorite movie)

UPDATE Nov 9 2008: Added French Blu-ray release. Specs are here.

Disc 1 is unfortunately locked to Region B! And just like the French HD DVD release, if you choose the English audio option, French subtitles are forcibly overlayed. It's a VC-1 encode of the Theatrical Cut at 20.79Mbps.
Disc 2 duplicates Optimum's UK release that will also be released in other countries, so I haven't bothered to post identical screencaps of it.

Still waiting on the "Premium" 2-disc Japanese that's coming out Dec 5. Too bad that one STILL isn't bothering to use seamless branching. The Special Edition cut is again the main disc - it will be available separately and cheaper than the 2-disc set.


UPDATE Jan 13 2008: Added both discs of Japanese Blu-ray release. Specs are here and here.

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post #2 of 88 Old 10-06-2008, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
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post #10 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 02:41 AM
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The HD DVD versions has the better PQ. But that is not saying much.


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post #11 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xylon View Post

The HD DVD versions has the better PQ. But that is not saying much.

I don't agree. To me the UK Blu-Ray looks best.
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post #12 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

I don't agree. To me the UK Blu-Ray looks best.

I agree. If you can blow up those 2 girls faces, you can see the difference pretty easily.


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post #13 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 04:00 AM
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They're all soft.
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post #14 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madshi View Post

I don't agree. To me the UK Blu-Ray looks best.

Did not notice that there is UK Blu-ray VC-1 version


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post #15 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 04:29 AM
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post #16 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 04:34 AM
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Too bad you don't have comparative caps of the StudioCanal HDDVD (http://www.amazon.fr/Terminator-juge...3379016&sr=8-1), which is the best version as far as PQ clarity is concerned. Featurewise the german steelbook edition tops every other version, but I prefer the PQ of the StudioCanal release.

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post #17 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 04:47 AM
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@Xylon: I believe I've seen comparative shots of the german and StudioCanal (2disc french edition), and the StudioCanal was an upgrade to the german. Do you happen to have some of those caps, by chance?

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post #18 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 06:28 AM
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As I see it, they're all from the same subpar source and any claim that one version is vastly superior to another is just hyperbole. Here is a comparison with the French HD DVD by the way, and it's the same thing there.

It needs a completely new transfer, and judging from the disc producer asking for extra features suggestions for both films over at HTF, I hope we'll see one before long.
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post #19 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 07:59 AM
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I have seen this one on MUSE LD and it is one of the better MUSE discs IMHO as always.
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post #20 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tteich View Post

Too bad you don't have comparative caps of the StudioCanal HDDVD (http://www.amazon.fr/Terminator-juge...3379016&sr=8-1), which is the best version as far as PQ clarity is concerned. Featurewise the german steelbook edition tops every other version, but I prefer the PQ of the StudioCanal release.

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@Xylon: I believe I've seen comparative shots of the german and StudioCanal (2disc french edition), and the StudioCanal was an upgrade to the german. Do you happen to have some of those caps, by chance?

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As I see it, they're all from the same subpar source and any claim that one version is vastly superior to another is just hyperbole. Here is a comparison with the French HD DVD by the way, and it's the same thing there.

Guys, guys, guys! You didn't read the OP closely enough (or at all?)! Even Xylon is confused. Perhaps I should have noted this in the text overlays...

ALL OF THE STUDIOCANAL "DIRECTOR'S CUT" (PROPERLY CALLED "SPECIAL EDITION CUT") RELEASES ARE THE SAME VC-1 ENCODE! This includes both HD DVD and Blu-ray, and some are released by subsidiaries or partners like Optimum and Universal. French HD DVD, French Blu-ray, UK HD DVD, UK Blu-ray, etc. etc. all use the exact same video stream and even the disc menus are identical between the two formats. The same situation applies to the Rambo trilogy, Total Recall, Basic Instinct...

Only difference between those movies and this one is that the German HD DVD released by Kinowelt features a unique (and inferior) encode of the Special Edition cut vs StudioCanal's releases. Aside from the lower bitrate and added compression artifacts as a result, this encode displays the exact same vertical stretch and blurring as the Lionsgate TC MPEG-2 release. It also has the best selection of extras on any single release to make up for it, and comes in a sexy Steelbook case.

The only encode released so far NOT yet shown in this thread is StudioCanal's THEATRICAL CUT VC-1 as seen in Xylon's comparison thread. This is on the SECOND DISC of the French HD DVD - the French Blu-ray also supposedly includes a second disc but Amazon.fr says not. We'll see whenever mine comes (probably November), unless someone can confirm before then...

Kram Sacul and paku are on the money in that overall these are all just iterations of the same transfer. But this is a 1080p telecine made in 2003. Was the technology that much different 5 years ago?

Abridged quote about this transfer from another forum (link to full post is in my older comparison thread linked in the OP):
Quote:


This is straight from my Terminator 2 Extreme DVD "Manual"

The previous transfer of T2 (the version that appeared on T2 The Ultimate Edition DVD) was created at the highest quality available at that time. However, since that time, many improvements have taken place in the realm of film-to-video transfers (also known as telecine).

Upon evaluation of the 1997 master elements, THX and Artisan determined that the picture quality and format of the high-definition (HD) images might not meet today's standards for HD distribution in the future. While video processing on this older master could have created a good quality image for DVD, time and effort would be spent on a master that had little future. THX is proud to take part in Artisan's decision to retransfer T2 using the latest telecine and post production technologies. This new film transfer has resulted in the superior images you will find on this DVD release.

Starting from the same interpositive (IP) print created from the original negative of the film used in 1997, THX supervised the transfer of the film into HD video. This new HD master could be called an "electronic film master" since it is an exact representation of the film recorded onto HD-D5 videotapes. The transfer and subsequent mastering were performed at International Video Conversions (IVC) in Burbank, California.

The technical format for the T2 electronic film master is 1920x1080 24PsF. Here is a brief explanation of what that means. 1920x1080 is the size of each video frame and is the current standard resolution of HD video. Each frame of the film is scanned into a frame of video that is 1,920 pixels wide and 1,080 lines high. Doing some math reveals that a picture size of 1920x1080 has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 (1920 / 1080) which means that the width of the picture is 1.78 times the height of the picture. 1.78:1 is also known by the term 16x9 because 16/9 also equals 1.78.

Any movie that has an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 would fill a 1920x1080 frame size perfectly. However, T2 was released in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 which means that the width of the picture is 2.35 times the height of the picture. Movies that have an aspect ratio larger than 1.78 would have to have black mattes (also known as letterboxing) added to the top and bottom portions of the screen in order to fit the enire width of the wider film frame into a 1.78:1 picture.

Because of letterboxing, in a frame size of 1920x1080, a 2.35:1 picture would have used the entire resolution width of 1,920 pixels, but would only use approximately 815 lines of the 1,080 available lines. The rest of the 265 lines would be used and wasted by the black mattes. A decision was made early to optimize the new master by transferring the movie FULL FRAME by scanning each film frame so that it filled the entire 1920x1080 area, thus increasing the resolution of the image. While this master is not formatted properly, it utilises every single line for the actual picture content and maximises the ability to perform needed restoration.

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post #21 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 09:59 AM
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Nice comparison. The StudioCanal transfer is still the one to get.

Didn't Kinowelt make a big deal about their Ultimate Edition saying they were completely remastering it and crap... ends up looking slightly worse than the MPEG2 US release.
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post #22 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Kram Sacul and paku are on the money in that overall these are all just iterations of the same transfer. But this is a 1080p telecine made in 2003. Was the technology that much different 5 years ago?

I think that either the technology has improved, or the people responsible have improved. Several shots show what looks like EE baked into the master which means it was automatically added in the telecine process (disqualifying the technology as "not that different") or it was added by someone during mastering (disqualifying them as "not that different").

In any case I would be surprised if it could not look a lot better. Also note that the 2003 telecine was from the same IP created in 1997. I don't have much knowledge of advances in analogue film technology and processing, but is it possible the image could be improved by striking a new IP from the original negative before transferring it to the digital domain?
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post #23 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 11:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by eric.exe View Post

Nice comparison. The StudioCanal transfer is still the one to get.

Yep. Although the WMV HD actually has slightly more picture visible! SC cropped it slightly and added tiny black overlays on the left and right.

Excepting that and the possible bitrate differences caused by differing runtimes, we actually have two fair codec comparisons here as the image underneath compression matches with no DNR apparent on any transfer.

---
WMV HD TC vs StudioCanal DC = 6.53Mbps WMV9 vs 18.90Mbps VC-1 (interesting because WMV9 is basically early VC-1, so we can see what happens to it at around half the lowest reported HDM bitrates)

Kinowelt DC vs Lionsgate TC = 12.01Mbps VC-1 vs 18.92Mbps MPEG-2 (I'm actually really surprised by the outcome here...)
---

The StudioCanal releases might have the best quality, but I'd say the Extreme Edition DVD gets the best value award. A reference-quality DVD transfer with a couple extras and the best HD version available if you can ignore the roughly broadcast-quality compression.

Quote:


Didn't Kinowelt make a big deal about their Ultimate Edition saying they were completely remastering it and crap... ends up looking slightly worse than the MPEG2 US release.

Yep they did, and yep it does. Pretty ridiculous. Shall I dig up all the posts people made about it whooping the US BD's ass during the format wars? Too cruel? I think it would be justified for making people waste their money.

Posts like those and the ones saying the StudioCanal First Blood was vastly superior are why I don't put much faith in anyone's comparisons made without computer assistance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paku View Post

I think that either the technology has improved, or the people responsible have improved. Several shots show what looks like EE baked into the master which means it was automatically added in the telecine process (disqualifying the technology as "not that different") or it was added by someone during mastering (disqualifying them as "not that different").

Touché. This level of EE doesn't usually bother me so I end up forgetting about it.

Quote:


In any case I would be surprised if it could not look a lot better. Also note that the 2003 telecine was from the same IP created in 1997. I don't have much knowledge of advances in analogue film technology and processing, but is it possible the image could be improved by striking a new IP from the original negative before transferring it to the digital domain?

If they were willing to go back to the ON to do that, why not just scan the negative directly?

The way they mention scanning into full-frame 1080p with incorrect formatting makes it sound to me like the IP used was anamorphic 2.35:1. I wonder how much difference that would make versus transferring the same image portion directly from the Super35 source without the squeeze-unsqueeze.
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post #24 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 11:38 AM
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I certainly agree that a "proper" new transfer is called for (that's what I am waiting for before buying a new release of t2).

Here is a HF-Noise Analysis sample. This is somewhat interesting if we are to presume it is basically the same master being used in each release. The particular codec responds slightly different in each case. Hard block artifacts are shared all around. Let's hope the "New-new release" is treated with a bit more tlc...

wmv-hd


br-us


hdvd-de

LL
LL
LL

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post #25 of 88 Old 10-07-2008, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

If they were willing to go back to the ON to do that, why not just scan the negative directly?

I've never found a source that adequately explains why, but I was under the impression that they rarely like to scan directly from the negative. Perhaps the film-to-film process involves less risks of damage than the scanning/telecine process.

And I'd guess using a Super35 source would be preferable. They could even create a 1.78:1 open-matte master for TV while they were at it (assuming the framing and SFX work allowed it.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paku View Post

And I'd guess using a Super35 source would be preferable. They could even create a 1.78:1 open-matte master for TV while they were att it (assuming the framing and SFX work allowed it.)

Since they created a 4:3 master from the entire surface area of the S35 (reframing scene to scene basis), it wouldnt be impossible to create a 1.78:1 framing.
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The WMV is a great disc, but the WMA sound is a disaster unless you have a premium PC speaker setup. And then there is the DRM with online verification...reason alone to skip it.

The SC HD DVD is still the disc to get. The German steelbook HD DVD had enormous potential, but the PQ is garbage and slightly stretched like the domestic BD.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

Guys, guys, guys! You didn't read the OP closely enough (or at all?)!
[...]

msgohan, not to offend you, but in a thread titled "All High Definition releases comparison PIX" I was expecting shots from the french Studio Canal release, too, especially as it contains an encode different to the other ones. C'est tout.

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post #29 of 88 Old 10-08-2008, 08:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tteich View Post

msgohan, not to offend you, but in a thread titled "All High Definition releases comparison PIX" I was expecting shots from the french Studio Canal release, too, especially as it contains an encode different to the other ones. C'est tout.

In that case I apologize. I named the thread like that because I intend to update it for any future release even beyond the Japanese disc(s) and I don't want to have to bug a mod to change the thread title.

I didn't expect anyone to really miss the half of one release I currently don't have since I linked to Xylon's thread which includes it and the quality of the "Theatrical Cut" appears to match StudioCanal's "Director's Cut" encode which I did include (except the strange cleanup of that one print artifact).

Again, to be clear, the UK Blu-ray shots ARE the French StudioCanal release as far as the first disc is concerned, just currently missing out on the French-exclusive encode on the other disc minted from the same master but without the extended footage.

EDIT: Actually it appears I've had that backwards all along. The soft-forced-sub TC is on disc 1 and the DC is on disc 2, which I guess they just slapped into the release because they'd already made the DC disc for every other country - and didn't bother with their forced subs for the French market since it's "just" a supplemental disc.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post

In that case I apologize. I named the thread like that because I intend to update it for any future release even beyond the Japanese disc(s) and I don't want to have to bug a mod to change the thread title.

I didn't expect anyone to really miss the half of one release I currently don't have since I linked to Xylon's thread which includes it and the quality of the "Theatrical Cut" appears to match StudioCanal's "Director's Cut" encode which I did include (except the strange cleanup of that one print artifact).

Again, to be clear, the UK Blu-ray shots ARE the French StudioCanal release as far as the first disc is concerned, just currently missing out on the French-exclusive encode on the other disc minted from the same master but without the extended footage.

EDIT: Actually it appears I've had that backwards all along. The soft-forced-sub TC is on disc 1 and the DC is on disc 2, which I guess they just slapped into the release because they'd already made the DC disc for every other country - and didn't bother with their forced subs for the French market since it's "just" a supplemental disc.

I'm confused as well about all these different releases. In this light: thanks for the energy and effort which you put into it.

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