Poll: Best Blu-Ray Movie Studio - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: What is the best Blu-Ray studio?
20th Century Fox 0 0%
Criterion 0 0%
Disney/Buena Vista 0 0%
MGM 0 0%
Miramax 0 0%
New Line 0 0%
Paramount 0 0%
Universal 0 0%
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Warner Bros. 0 0%
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post #1 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 04:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Just curious what people think are the best Blu-Ray studios out there. In looking over my collection, I've got to go with Warner Bros. They have the biggest mix of new and catalog titles, and they rarely if ever screw up a transfer with EE, DNR, etc.

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post #2 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 04:23 PM
 
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Sony, Sony, Sony, Sony
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post #3 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 05:47 PM
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Pixar by a mile.
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post #4 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 05:52 PM
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I say it's a toss-up between Sony and Criterion. I voted Sony because I own more of their stuff but both are great.

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post #5 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 06:23 PM
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For me, it's a close call between Disney and Sony. They rarely mess up their releases.

And now I rant:

Sony has a few skeletons in the closet though;
Thirt33n Ghosts which is an abhorration of EE and DNR (then again it doesn't deserve better)
Life of Brian which has EE, DNR and a somewhat unstable 5.1 upmix of the optical SVA track from the print (I know the source was in poor condition, but they could have used a less heavy hand and better upmix logic)
Cadillac Records, which has aliasing (do not record RGB onto HDCAM SR in 4:2:2 mode).

Disney of course messed up A Nightmare Before Christmas with DNR. I won't forgive them for that. Their scrubbing of their animated classics is at least done with some TLC and by genuine professionals, so that I can live with.

Most of the titles in my collection are from Warner Bros., and I commend them for going easy on the EE and DNR most of the time, but they don't compress things very well.

Universal and I are not friends yet, not until they stop using vintage telecines. Fox seems nice overall, as does Paramount. But I don't have enough titles of theirs to know what to make of them yet.

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post #6 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 06:27 PM
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That is a tough one. Sony always seems to do a good job and if they don't they fix it. Warner has moved lots of titles and done some very nice restoration work. But they are also the 800lb gorilla. Criterion hasn't done as many titles but relative to their size they are punching way above their weight and they usually deal with films that need a lot of TLC.

I must be on the internet because I find it easier to pick a looser than a winner. But I am going to have to go with Warner. Maybe I will change my vote when Bridge on the River Kwai comes out. But if Sony really wants to lock down my vote they know what they have to do.
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post #7 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 06:38 PM
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This is a trick question: is it who has the best catalog, who transfers the best or who authors the best?
Warner has the best catalog, Criterion does the best job transferring but I also like Universal BD's because of U-Control and the cool screensaver.
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post #8 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 06:41 PM
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Criterion, based on content and consistency in image quality. I am fond of Fox when it comes to their overall movie, supplements and image quality, but there have been some very annoying issues along the way.
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post #9 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 06:57 PM
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Like it's already been mentioned in this thread, that's actually a tougher question than it would seem. Just about every major studio has put out some excellent quality releases that have been unfortunately balanced by some really mediocre quality releases as well.

Overall, imo Disney has been by far the most consistent studio releasing their product onto Blu-ray with the majority of their releases holding to a high standard. It's just a shame they can't get more classic films out but if the trade off is high quality, I'll take that over quantity every time.

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post #10 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 07:11 PM
 
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Meh, difference of studios.
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 07:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Interesting points with regard to size of studio. I think it's fair to say it's a combination of studio/catalog size and skill at mastering.

Of course WB is the largest. But I really appreciate their willingness to put out less successful films (Alexander Revisited) and their utterly fabulous restoration work (2001, Gone With The Wind, Wizard of Oz). So they're #1 for me.

Criterion is definitely up there. I'd put them at #2. They never butcher a film. Their transfers are the most film-like around. But their stuff is just too darned expensive.

Sony always puts out quality stuff, but I find a lot of their transfers to be a tad on the noisy side, with occasional EE and overly hot color palettes.

Fox has never done me wrong. But I don't own a lot of their stuff.

Disney bugs the $#@! out of me with awful, unskippable previews and menus. I dislike Paramount and Universal for similar reasons. Paramount seems more than willing to release an EE-ed mess like the Gladiator Sapphire disc. At least they are doing kind of right by consumers with their "secret" exchange program.

New Line will have to do a lot to make up for the non-seamless-branching LOTR set.

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post #12 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweflen View Post

Just curious what people think are the best Blu-Ray studios out there. In looking over my collection, I've got to go with Warner Bros. They have the biggest mix of new and catalog titles, and they rarely if ever screw up a transfer with EE, DNR, etc.


Please don't take this as some sort of an attack, but you're joking right? Who do you think started the DNR craze, if not Warner? They may be more subtle at it than Fox was with the new Predator, but they're hardly immune. Personally, I believe that a policy of grain removal is what made Warner's DVD product so much more consistent than other studios. Random noise is the enemy of low bitrates and any type of signal processing (down conversion in particular in the case of dvd). But, with BD, the loss of detail became more apparent. Even Warner's new releases have been soft until relatively recently. But they seem to be doing better.

I voted based on new releases only, because when it comes to catalog product, I'm not convinced that anyone, other than maybe Criterion is putting in the type of effort that deserves BD's premium price. Now that the format war is over, even Sony seems to be letting things slide once again when it comes to catalog product. Unless, I know the film was recently remastered with high def in mind, I'm reluctant to pay more than ten or twelve bucks for a catalog title. Not that the improvement isn't worth it, but, if they're going to recycle existing masters and extras, they should give us a recycled price; $20 SRP, max, like the price scale of some of the smaller production houses. In the case of some catalog stuff, $15 SRP might be more appropriate to the effort the studios are giving us.

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post #13 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 08:42 PM
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Warner is very love hate with many people regarding bd, but if your a fan of older classic films you generally are a fan of warner.
They are the ONLY major studio consistently releasing any sort of quantity of older films on blu-ray, and they are the studio that is releasing the most blu-ray titles total so I don't think it's a stretch at all to think of them as the best studio.
Of course Criterion is excellent, and I love their releases, but if I had to name the studio that has contributed the most to bd overall it would have to be Warner.
and they will continue to lap the field because they are the studio most dedicated to releasing their amazing catalog on bd.
sure they have had some poor releases, but they have had some amazing releases also.
I mean good god they have put out great bds of "Gone With The Wind", "The Wizard of Oz", "Dr. Zhivago", Bonnie and Clyde", "How the West Was Won", "Gigi", "An American in Paris", "Bullitt", "North By Northwest" and many others, and are releasing "The Maltese Falcon" and "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" this Fall.
next year they are releasing "Ben Hur" and "Citizen Kane"
no other major studio comes anywhere close to touching that sort of quality as far as older releases.
I mean it's not even a contest.
Paramount has issued a grand total of TWO films from before 1970 on blu-ray I believe.
Universal has released hardly anything from before 1970 besides a wretched bd of "Spartacus".
Sony has released a few Harryhausen films, and hasn't issued ONE film that has a dvd release under the "Columbia Classics" banner, while completely ignoring all the amazing films from the 30's, 40's, and 50's that they have the rights to.
(they are FINALLY releasing "Bridge on the River Kwai" this Fall)
that's pretty pathetic if you ask me.
Warner is certainly the major studio doing the most as far as actual film preservation in concerned; as regards actually preserving the history of American cinema on this fantastic new format, while Paramount, Universal, and Sony are basically doing nothing.
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 08:47 PM
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All of them have their hits and misses. To me the most meaningful measure of a studio's worth is how they treat their pre-digital titles.

Fox and Paramount have some amazing discs, but also some hideous ones. Universal is without a doubt the worst of the majors for catalog titles. Sony's been consistently good in recent years but rarely puts out something really great. Disney is pretty solid but frankly I don't know what the big deal is, because they barely release anything, and their disc authoring is thoroughly obnoxious.

Warner tends to use masters that are at least adequate and are often very good, but their weakness is the people who author their discs and do the video and audio compression. In the early days, this meant lossy audio and shoddy video, now it's just the latter. Unfortunately, this means ALL their movies are affected, regardless whether they're new or old. If they got this issue resolved, they could easily be the best, but at present they're consistently disappointing.

I think Criterion is kind of overrated in regard to the transfers they use. I know they don't have Warner or Fox's resources, but they rarely hit above "just adequate" IMO. Same goes for Blue Underground and the other small-timers that enjoy a great amount of hype.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 08:52 PM
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I noticed Lionsgate is missing from the list... not that I would vote for them, but they have more titles than other companies on that list.

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post #16 of 27 Old 08-21-2010, 09:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyyall View Post

Pixar by a mile.

1) Disney handles their releases
2) It's pretty hard to screw up something completely digital
3) Less than 10 releases


Anyway, Sony gets my vote. They've released a few downright mushy looking discs from obviously ancient transfers, but have yet to release anything with disastrous amounts of DNR and/or EE.

They also do a very good job with video encoding.
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 12:02 AM
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Disney got my vote for the great audio/video transfers, usually good bonus material and the occasional $10 Off Combo coupons they give online.

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post #18 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 03:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benes View Post


I'm not sure where to put Warner anymore. They haven't released any outright disasters that I can recall, but they just have an overall air of mediocrity about them.

I voted for them. I think their BD quality to be at least consistent.

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post #19 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 03:45 AM
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I don't know which one is the best Studio but Warner and Lionsgate are the worst.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 04:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSmith83 View Post

Criterion, based on content and consistency in image quality. I am fond of Fox when it comes to their overall movie, supplements and image quality, but there have been some very annoying issues along the way.

Criterion must be the worst for EE out there
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post #21 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 06:21 AM
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Criterion gets too much credit. Some people seem to think they do all their transfers themselves, when that's far from the case, and I'd say they have just as many titles from mediocre and outdated masters as some of the other studios. Just compare the 4K scans of Bigger Than Life or The Red Shoes to the poorer, artifacted and/or EE-infested titles like 8½, PlayTime, Wings of Desire or Paris, Texas.

I'd probably say Sony as well. Encoding is great, they actually release older movies, and if a catalogue title is announced and it's from Sony, I feel it has the best chance of looking good. Even many of their older masters are still passable today, compared to something like Universal whose older masters are (pun intended) universally rubbish.
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post #22 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 07:11 AM
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I would have said Paramount but their catalog titles have all but dried up recently, so I'm going with 20th Century Fox. Both studios have in common that, other than the occasional snafus (e.g. PREDATOR, which I think is far less egregious than many others, a couple of the Sapphire Series), their transfers are excellent and the two studios also make a point to always carry over all bonus features, including trailers, that were on the DVD counterparts. If Sony would get on board with that, they'd clean everyone's clocks but I've lost count of the Sony BDs for which I've had to keep the old DVD alongside to ensure I don't lose any bonus features...
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post #23 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 09:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

I would have said Paramount but their catalog titles have all but dried up recently, so I'm going with 20th Century Fox. Both studios have in common that, other than the occasional snafus (e.g. PREDATOR, which I think is far less egregious than many others, a couple of the Sapphire Series), their transfers are excellent and the two studios also make a point to always carry over all bonus features, including trailers, that were on the DVD counterparts. If Sony would get on board with that, they'd clean everyone's clocks but I've lost count of the Sony BDs for which I've had to keep the old DVD alongside to ensure I don't lose any bonus features...

Paramount's amazing discs you can count on one hand
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post #24 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 10:18 AM
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I voted for Disney. I was just thinking about the LOST Seasons today (last coming out in two days) and how great they are, and how horrible they would have been if the transfers had been meddled with. Overall they are a great studio.

I'm a bit surprised at all the votes for Warner. This thread also made me realize I haven't watched too many Sony releases.
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post #25 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 10:29 AM
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Another thing I put into consideration is some of the studios silly 30-day wait policy on rental versions of new releases (like Warner, Fox, Universal). I think Paramount came out later that they did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that it made no difference to do it. Disney doesn't employ this policy either.
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post #26 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdmike007 View Post

Paramount's amazing discs you can count on one hand

SHUTTER ISLAND
The corrected SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
The corrected GLADIATOR
THE GODFATHER Collection: The Coppolla Restoration
BRAVEHEART
ROAD TO PERDITION
The Original and Next Generation STAR TREK Sets (at least in terms of audio and extras, if not video)
MINORITY REPORT
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
CLOVERFIELD
COLLATERAL
INTO THE WILD
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES
BEOWULF
ZODIAC
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
IRON MAN

You might want to have that one hand checked...
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post #27 of 27 Old 08-22-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Filmmaker View Post

SHUTTER ISLAND
The corrected SAVING PRIVATE RYAN
The corrected GLADIATOR

THE GODFATHER Collection: The Coppolla Restoration
BRAVEHEART
ROAD TO PERDITION
The Original and Next Generation STAR TREK Sets (at least in terms of audio and extras, if not video)
MINORITY REPORT
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
CLOVERFIELD
COLLATERAL
INTO THE WILD
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES
BEOWULF
ZODIAC
INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL
IRON MAN

You might want to have that one hand checked...

Anything in bold either had a correction so they screwed it up or you can keep it, and the Warner version of Zodiac is better.

Also if thats the best they have done, (and its not Days of Thunder is better than anything on that list.) Then that for a whole studio is pretty poor.
With Sony the list of their bad titles is half that.
Plus half those tites were done with another studio, so they most likely had a say in the transfers.

And Star Trek for the audio? this is not discs for the blind
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