Predator Ultimate Hunter Edition comparison *PIX* - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Taffy Lewis View Post

I prefer the newer updated "look" of this title over the older "look" by a wide margin. I really don't care for that grainy look at all and I'm glad the studios are able to create something that, to me, looks a whole lot better than the way the actual picture was shot. Just an opinion....

I seriously hope that's a wind-up - I'd almost be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt based on a couple of those stills, but the one of the general? The DNR algorithm they've used has not only eliminated the grain, but what the hell has happened to his moustache? He's gone from having fine grey hair to looking like he's had grey Play-Doh smushed onto his upper lip. You cannot possibly claim that this is better than the way the picture was shot. The simple fact is, when you have grain you are never going to recover a better picture from underneath it just by using a computer to 'remove' it - all you end up with is the same low picture quality, only now it has computer approximations over it.

At least with the grain there, my EYES can approximate what's underneath, not a bloody computer.
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post #92 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

If Aliens gets this treatment, I will not be buying the box set. I don't NEED Blu-rays, and I'm done throwing money away at mediocrity in this format.

yep
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post #93 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Stevie76 View Post

This is really taking a HUGE toll on my interest for collecting BD movies...
If the future of catalog titles is heavy DNR jobs like this, then I WILL give up on it. Most movies coming out today is crap, and the catalog titles is what is keeping the flame burning for me. But it IS about to burn out.

FOX, if you try this kind of **** with ALIENS, I WILL ****ING DESTROY YOU, MOTHER****ERS!!!!!!

Greetings,

Take it easy. While I think it is important to send a message to the studio that the integrity of the quality of films being released is essential I suggest that this all be kept in proper perspective especially if you want to be taken seriously.


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post #94 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 02:47 PM
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I have the orginal release and will be holding onto it. There is no reason to release this film like this and if the studio thinks this looks good then they all need glasses as this looks terrible. I saw this film in 1987 in the theater on a much bigger screen than most have at home and it was very grainy but it fit the mood of the film perfectly and I loved every minute of it. I also viewed ALIENS in 1986 and that film is also very grainy and I fear there was already some DNR done on the film for prior releases as each release seemed to get cleaner and cleaner. My orginal laserdisc collecters edition was very grainy because Cameron boosted the contrast the DVD release had the same contrast bot a lot of grain seemed reduced from the LD release maybe it was the tech used for the new transfer we will see. Hopefully they do ALIENS justice.

Later Everyone
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post #95 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 03:13 PM
 
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That is by far the worst looking DNR mess yet made, everyone who bitched about eh first release being too grainy should be ashamed
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post #96 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 03:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Take it easy. While I think it is important to send a message to the studio that the integrity of the quality of films being released is essential I suggest that this all be kept in proper perspective especially if you want to be taken seriously.


Regards,

You mean the studios and others will not take those who make violent threats seriously? Since when?
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post #97 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by darkedgex View Post

Hi, welcome to AVS Forum. We discuss audio/video technology here, especially as it relates to film, television and music.

Clearly you haven't had a lot of experience with any of this, so allow me to educate you briefly. Film grain is a stylistic choice, one the director (or at the very least, his cinematographer) decides on early in the production. It is not a technical flaw or limitation: it can make a presentation appear "grittier" or provide a faux historical appearance to a more recent production.

As an example of a director who would "want his work distracted by this", I give you a recent film: 300. This was shot digitally, but large amounts of grain were added during production to generate a certain look. This is the look the director intended. Similarly, with a film like Predator, it seems likely they chose the stock of film they did (one which has lots of grain visible) precisely because it makes the film appear grittier. As a final example, consider the recent reincarnation of Battlestar Galactica. Again, a show shot digitally with no film grain present in the source, but a large amount of it added during production because this was the desired outcome.

To bring the discussion full circle: Blu-ray Disc should be about film PRESERVATION. Technology can be added in televisions (or playback devices) to perform this DNR on the fly for people who find the grain distracting, but once performed by the studio, people like me who prefer seeing the production as it was originally presented have no option of getting that fine detail/grain back.

Gimme a break. I don't need the education. Prove your assertion that Predator was filmed intentionally with that much grain. Like I said in another post, I agree the grain should be preserved if intentional. But if it wasn't maybe there's latitude to do something about it. There are some scenes in Predator that seem really overboard with the grain. The director doesn't want someone watching to say "there's something wrong with the picture there". That's what I mean by "distracted" -- you are actually noticing the grain and now watching that instead of the show. The film appearing "grittier" should be subtle, not overt to the point of wondering if the projector guy spilled something on it. It just seems to me something was wrong with some of those scenes, perhaps some problems processing the film.
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post #98 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Jason One View Post

No. What was needed was to do a brand new state-of-the-art transfer from the best available film elements, and then encode that with high bitrate AVC.

Using old masters and adding DNR is a terrible way to go. We have seen the disappointing results over and over.

Amen!

Movies look their best when they look like movies. More Patton-esque remasters!

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post #99 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

Gimme a break. I don't need the education. Prove your assertion that Predator was filmed intentionally with that much grain. Like I said in another post, I agree the grain should be preserved if intentional. But if it wasn't maybe there's latitude to do something about it. There are some scenes in Predator that seem really overboard with the grain. The director doesn't want someone watching to say "there's something wrong with the picture there". That's what I mean by "distracted" -- you are actually noticing the grain and now watching that instead of the show. The film appearing "grittier" should be subtle, not overt to the point of wondering if the projector guy spilled something on it. It just seems to me something was wrong with some of those scenes, perhaps some problems processing the film.

Even in the 1980s there were all sorts of techniques you could use to make a film less grainy.

You could use a more fine-grained film stock (although most 80s movies had a grainy look as the 35mm film stocks back then aren't as fine-grained as they are now), or shoot with a slow film stock that doesn't reveal as much grain.

They could have shot with anamorphic lenses, or with more lighting as grain is intensified during night scenes. Star Wars was shot in the 1970s and looks quite clean, Lawrence of Arabia and 2001 was shot in the 1960s with 70mm film, it is basically like IMAX film and has an extremely fine grain structure to it. There were all kinds of choices available at the time.

Even without digital post-processing one can do noise reduction in an analog sense.

Despite all of this, the movie looks as it does. There is no point in debating what could have been, because we all know what the movie looks like. My guess is that the director wanted a rough look to suit the raw nature of the movie. The movie should look as it did when it was complete. To say that you can somehow guess what the director could or would have wanted and fundamentally alter the look and feel of the final product to suit what you think he wanted is rather arrogant, frankly.
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post #100 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Matt_Stevens View Post

Look at me! I'm a wax dummy!!

PREDATOR is a grainy film. They used a film stock that did not require a lot of light, but the trade-off was it was grainy as heck. That is how the film is supposed to look.

They have performed a full on Grain-Rape and it is deplorable. Someone should be fired for this.

Pretty much.
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post #101 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason One View Post

No. What was needed was to do a brand new state-of-the-art transfer from the best available film elements, and then encode that with high bitrate AVC.

Every movie of any significant stature deserves that treatment, but rarely are we getting that as movie fans on Blu-ray. This new edition of Predator surpasses Patton as the worst transfer for a major film.
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post #102 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

Gimme a break. I don't need the education. Prove your assertion that Predator was filmed intentionally with that much grain. Like I said in another post, I agree the grain should be preserved if intentional. But if it wasn't maybe there's latitude to do something about it. There are some scenes in Predator that seem really overboard with the grain. The director doesn't want someone watching to say "there's something wrong with the picture there". That's what I mean by "distracted" -- you are actually noticing the grain and now watching that instead of the show. The film appearing "grittier" should be subtle, not overt to the point of wondering if the projector guy spilled something on it. It just seems to me something was wrong with some of those scenes, perhaps some problems processing the film.


You're missing the point entirely. Intentional or not, that's how it was done. Since the film has been finished that way, you can't do anything to enhance the detail without ruining the picture. The detail that's there is all the detail there's ever going to be, and boosting color, adjusting contrast, and digitally wiping away grain isn't going to make the picture look any better.
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post #103 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

Prove your assertion that Predator was filmed intentionally with that much grain.

Because people who saw 35mm prints recently have confirmed as much.
You think the filmmakers didn't watch the film they shot? They did, and they liked what they got enough to not re-shoot it.
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post #104 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 07:37 PM
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This is good news for me. Just another disc that I don't need to buy. Thanks Fox.
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post #105 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 08:09 PM
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does anyone have an email address for Fox where we can voice our displeasure?
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post #106 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 08:31 PM
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That second capture (well, the first too, for that matter) made me physically flinch! Wow!

You see me reaching for my f****** wallet?!?
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post #107 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

...Thank God for digital cinematography. This issue will go away eventually.

"Digital cinematography" isn't a magic cure for visual noise. Digitally shot films can be quite noisy and nasty looking. Check out scenes from the films Michael Mann has shot digitally for example. Even David Fincher had to heavily process ZODIAC in post-production to reduce the digital noise that was inherent in that film's nighttime digital cinematography. If you think "Digital Cinematography" automatically means no noise, you are very mistaken. Just like shooting with film, there are several factors that are involved when it comes to how "noisy" the final images are.

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post #108 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oink View Post

This is the one point grain fans cannot answer.
Given an opportunity to use the newer film stocks of today, would Hitchcock, Ford, etc. have still used those crap stocks available back then?
Or even went digital?

All vintage film stocks were "crap"? Interesting, I did not know this.

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post #109 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

Grain is poor PQ. It's poor film PQ in the first place. Grain is a technology limitation; it's not intentional. Film a movie with two cameras: One with film stock that produces noticable grain, and one with film stock that does not. Which will be preferred? I can't believe a director would want his work distracted by this if he had a choice in the matter...

Tell that to Steven Spielberg.

EDIT: Just finished reading the rest of this thread and saw that several other folks already pointed this example out

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post #110 of 574 Old 07-01-2010, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

If Aliens gets this treatment, I will not be buying the box set. I don't NEED Blu-rays, and I'm done throwing money away at mediocrity in this format.

+1
Because of the way Predator has been treated...I will now have to wait for reviews on the Alien Quadrilogy before I buy. If any of the films have the slightest amount of DNR it is a NO buy for me.
So FOX if you want to sell tons of box sets of Alien Quadrilogy you better not even think of touching the DNR button!
FOX if you ruin the Alien movies I will never buy another blu-ray from you ever again! I will only rent via Netflix....and that affects your bottom line.
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post #111 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 12:55 AM
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Wow, haven't posted for ages but this one brought me out of the woodwork. Even the folks posting for the right reasons here can't seem to help jumping too far one way to refute the ignorant DNR fans' point.

Yes, 300 was shot on film. The actual reason? The amount of speed-ramped footage. Digital cameras may give you a nice matte, but they sure can't shoot at photosonics speeds. Nothing to do with 'obvious' greenscreen at all. The whole thing was so processed and stylised to match the look of the graphic novel that opinion is sort of redundant anyway. It was never intended to look realistic. Yes, I was there, although I didn't work directly on that one.

I'm sort of a bit dismayed that Spielberg is about the only person anyone can think of for examples. Surely a much better analogy would be modern horror movies in general, as Predator is absolutely a horror/action film.

The reason people like Taffy are being taken to task as ignorant is that they have no understanding of the process and thinking directors and storytellers employ (at least judging from how they articulate their viewpoint). And for someone with that handle, they really should investigate a bit more about their favourite film, Blade Runner. Let me put this as simply as I possibly can. Emotional logic generally takes precedence over plain vanilla logic in film, which is why as much as I love AVS and Xylon especially for his invaluable service, people here sometimes miss the forest for the trees in terms of intent or what is 'right'/appropriate. The Snow Walker sequence in Empire for example is one of the stupidest scenes of all time from even the internal logic established in those films. But one of the most brilliant from an emotional, figurative point of view.

Modern horror movies have access to equipment where grain is an AESTHETIC decision. It's about MOOD and an appropriate visual representation of the tone of the story. Grain is employed heavily these days as an artistic choice. Simply put, grain is being used to make these films GRITTY, literally AND figuratively. How does a plastic, scrubbed look generally associated with digital extreme sportscasts convey a dirty, grimy, squalid quality that puts you in there with the demented killer? Or vicious Alien hunter, as the case may be.

Although at the time the original Predator was made it was more of a consideration, it still wasn't a tiny budget. Arnie had already become a star, and the budget was equal to Aliens which was about the same time, but MUCH more ambitious with the same budget. So while this whole issue can't be truly settled until the director gives his take, there are a MILLION precedents for directors using film grain for exactly these creative reasons. And like someone already said, decades before there were things like 70mm. If you wanted less grain, you could get it. Even then.

To get more technical about it, film grain IS a chemical/technical side effect of film. If it wasn't, Kodak and others wouldn't have bothered to reduce it/improve grain structure/light sensitivity/film speed over the last century. And it is also true that the detail captured in the chemical/exposure process means the grain IS the detail and cannot be separated as if they were two disparate elements.

BUT for a long time now directors have turned what was a limitation into a powerful storytelling tool. In the same way as even further back, black & white film was a limitation and colour not possible. However the many directors and cinematographers and students of artists like Gustave Doré turned that supposed limitation to amazing strengths in achieving effects and storytelling potential colour could NEVER accomplish. Same goes for silent movies vs sound. There's a rich history of technical limitation turning to creative innovation.

In the same way as grain is used to cast a literal patina and figurative mood over a picture for the purposes of VISUAL storytelling, the advances in digital processing or film grading over the incredibly limited optical process have actually allowed filmmakers to achieve something very ironic- a return to almost black & white filmmaking. Sure it's all a blue wash, or a fiery red frame or even a burnished (almost sepia) brown, but they're using the powerful freedom of the new tools to stylise the frame down to an essentially monotone and therefore B&W tone and mood. Using colour to get effects only B&W could previously achieve. The overriding point being that in modern film these are no longer budgetary but creative decisions. And so the blu-ray or film can be exactly the author's intent. Double-guessing technicalities that are the result of creative decisions is a dangerous game, and the AVS regulars are right to stick to accuracy meaning true to the original theatrical intent. Not some idiotic tail-wagging-the-dog "make it look like the other stuff on my HDTV" backward viewpoint.

Finally, getting back to Predator, let me reiterate that it's dangerous to talk in absolutes. A big technical consideration with this particular film is the effects. The way optical visual effects work is that the compositing process is essentially a string of double-exposures. And the more multiple exposures you have the more degradation of image because you're losing generations each time. So if there's a decent amount of film grain in your stock to start with it'll get marginally worse each step. This is why many effects films used Vistavision which was for all intents and purposes 65/70mm stock. Much more negative space and therefore much finer grain. So when you go through your process hopefully you'll still end up with decent imagery on par with the live action stuff you shot at the lower-quality 35mm level. Now, where Predator is concerned, the signature effect was an invitation to lousy image quality. Concentric/freznel effects where the exact same imagery is reduced and placed over itself many times is a textbook example and perfect analogy of the Chinese whisper effect I'm talking about, image-wise.

So in this film's case, whether it was to give that appropriately 'gritty' feeling AND ensure less jarring change between the live-action and effects, the use of grain is entirely appropriate. And has a million precedents.

So yes, grain IS a technological/chemical limitation. And it is ALSO intentional. Both can be true at the same time. It's just that when people mistake one for the other or can only hold one point of view/black or white/ on or off (ironic digital analogies intentional), that the trouble starts. And studio marketing people have an astounding ability to judge things the wrong way. Third time lucky?


Sorry for the rant. That was a BIG two cents!

I suffer from sexy dyslexia - I prefer black bras on my screen.
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post #112 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Take it easy. While I think it is important to send a message to the studio that the integrity of the quality of films being released is essential I suggest that this all be kept in proper perspective especially if you want to be taken seriously.


Regards,

Hi Ralph! Yeah I know. It´s just getting so damn frustrating to see all these classics keep getting butchered by the studios.
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post #113 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 05:13 AM
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I'll just close my posting here with one final question: Why isn't all this valuable knowledge being used by the studios when they cut a BD? Why do many catalog titles get this treatment (grain wipe)? Don't tell me that Fox hands their film vault over to some pimple-faced kid operating out of his garage to do this work. That's BS. I generally agree with all the comments of how it "should be", but what I really want to know is why it turns out the way it does despite there being the possibility of a "better" result.

It comes down to this: The studios don't give a damn what a few people on a videophile website have to say. They want to sell this to J6P to make money. "Preserving" the movie for a few aficianados doesn't make $$$. If the "Best Buy" shopping public doesn't like the grain on their new HDTV sets, the grain comes out, end of story. J6P isn't going to know about a "DNR" button on his TV. Plop the BD in and it better look like "hi-def". If the ball game doesn't have grain on it, the movie better not either. (Hey, that's the solution, get the networks to put grain on sports broadcasts!)

There is nothing special at all about BD. It's not intended to be a niche format like LD turned out to be. If BD doesn't sell to the wide general public, it's a financial failure. All this discussion is nice group therapy, but it just doesn't matter.
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post #114 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 07:23 AM
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I am somewhat surprised that there has not been much comment or uproar on the changed contrast and color temp. Suppose Torched picture adjustments are welcomed. See Pic 7 for some cartoony color, partly due to the DNR and picture changes.

Best Regards
KvE


Nothing wrong here either....
http://images.blu-ray.com/reviews/2984_2_1080p.jpg

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post #115 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Hector.B View Post


+1
Because of the way Predator has been treated...I will now have to wait for reviews on the Alien Quadrilogy before I buy. If any of the films have the slightest amount of DNR it is a NO buy for me.
So FOX if you want to sell tons of box sets of Alien Quadrilogy you better not even think of touching the DNR button!
FOX if you ruin the Alien movies I will never buy another blu-ray from you ever again! I will only rent via Netflix....and that affects your bottom line.

Don't worry. Your "no buy" will be cancelled out by the majority of other buyers wanting a nice clear picture.
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post #116 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Damato View Post

Don't worry. Your "no buy" will be cancelled out by the majority of other buyers wanting a nice clear picture.


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post #117 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 08:49 AM
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I now see a good reason why HD-DVD needed to stick around. While DVD provides some competition for blu-ray, to reduce pricing, etc. it doesn't provide any HD "film" competition. I think we'd have had less DNRed movies if HD-DVD were still around.

S**t.
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post #118 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan P. View Post

I'll just close my posting here with one final question: Why isn't all this valuable knowledge being used by the studios when they cut a BD? Why do many catalog titles get this treatment (grain wipe)? Don't tell me that Fox hands their film vault over to some pimple-faced kid operating out of his garage to do this work. That's BS. I generally agree with all the comments of how it "should be", but what I really want to know is why it turns out the way it does despite there being the possibility of a "better" result.

It comes down to this: The studios don't give a damn what a few people on a videophile website have to say. They want to sell this to J6P to make money. "Preserving" the movie for a few aficianados doesn't make $$$. If the "Best Buy" shopping public doesn't like the grain on their new HDTV sets, the grain comes out, end of story. J6P isn't going to know about a "DNR" button on his TV. Plop the BD in and it better look like "hi-def". If the ball game doesn't have grain on it, the movie better not either. (Hey, that's the solution, get the networks to put grain on sports broadcasts!)

There is nothing special at all about BD. It's not intended to be a niche format like LD turned out to be. If BD doesn't sell to the wide general public, it's a financial failure. All this discussion is nice group therapy, but it just doesn't matter.

You make good points. Blu-Ray is being sold to the public at large as the best way to watch movies at home ever, with the clearest picture you'll ever see. So, when the BD they buy doesn't look like the ball game or American Idol the uninformed consumer doesn't get it and perhaps complains. But why should we let the lowest common denominator of the public influence these decisions? For too long, too many companies/institutions/studios in this country seem to have made it their policy to cater to the lowest common denominator. The people who just don't get it.

Even though we're just people on a "videophile website" as you say there are more of us that "get it" than you think. And there's a chance sales are down because of it.

From TheBits:
http://www.thedigitalbits.com/articl...oap062510.html

Bill's excellent rant on the Predator BD:
http://www.digitalbits.com/#063010b

Maybe we can win this one. But not if we're quiet about it. I don't know about you but I'm tired of having my choices limited by decisions based on how the lowest common denominator, the ones that just don't get, it feel about something.

And, there is something special about BD. If you don't think so, why be here in the first place?

Of course it's not intended to be a niche format like LD turned out to be but neither was LD at the time.

From the Wiki:
The Laserdisc format was poorly received in North America due to the high cost of the players and discs, which were far more expensive than VHS players and tapes, and due to marketplace confusion with the technologically inferior CED, which also went by the name Videodisc. While the format was unsuitable with most North American consumers, it was well received among videophiles and celebrities due to the superior audio and video quality compared to VHS and Betamax tapes. The format was more popular in Japan than in North America because prices were kept low to ensure adoption, resulting in minimal price differences between VHS tapes and the higher quality Laserdiscs. LD also quickly became the dominant consumer video format in Japan.

So, when the price is right and people "get it" superior quality wins. The price is already right on Blu-Ray. Now we have the job of informing the uninformed. Let's aim for the goal of having superior quality (done the right way) win this time. Enough already with dumbing it down for the masses.
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post #119 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 09:02 AM
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Don't worry. Your "no buy" will be cancelled out by the majority of other buyers wanting a nice clear picture.

And that should make you sad. Just because the uneducated lemmings want it, doesn't mean it's right. And who'd want to be part of a group of uneducated lemmings?
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post #120 of 574 Old 07-02-2010, 09:28 AM
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And that should make you sad. Just because the uneducated lemmings want it, doesn't mean it's right. And who'd want to be part of a group of uneducated lemmings?

Exactly. The masses likes and dislikes tend to only prove that there is far more uneducated people per subject than there are educated...which means flashing lights and shiny objects attract them like fish (example: Avatar).

Concerning this release of Predator (based on screenshots and reviews), 10 out of 10 customers in Best Buy would pick this version over the previous release.

Stephen.

Chances are very good that I was drinking when I posted the above.

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