As a post production professional currently working on The Pacific, it is with interest I read these speculative comments about HBO's mastering.
In my 25 years of working in post, it would be hard to find a more discerning quality control department than the professionals at HBO.
They are very, very thorough.
On my home display I can see what evidently is a repositioned shot in Part 1 of BoB at the previously mentioned time code. It is surprising that this apparently slipped by the Q.C. I would like to look at that scene at the office on a professional display with the gamma bumped-up.
As far as grain reduction, there are times when it is selectively applied to scenes that have blow-ups to reduce what can be excessive grain as a result of the enlargement of the shot. Scenes are "blown-up" beyond their native resolution fairly regularly in post so as to re-frame for composition, remove an unwanted boom mic, etc. etc. When subsequent grain reduction is applied, the scene-to-scene grain continuity can be noticed.
As far as the "DNR" comments go, I can't intelligently reply as I am not close with the staff who mastered BoB. I have watched 4 parts of BoB on Blu-ray and feel it is an excellent transfer. I would need to see it from HDDVD to make comparisons on grain reduction.
With respect to the grain issue, I have been made aware that excessive grain can be a technical headache with disc encoding, particularly Blu-Ray.