The Secret of NIMH - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-01-2011, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Skip it . . .

Someone lied to Gary Goldman. In the audio commentary with him and Don Bluth, he starts off by saying the edition they are watching is not as good as what we will be eventually seeing, and they will be cleaning it up for the final product, taking out the scratches and dirt. While he's saying that, there is an excessive amount of scratches and dirt on the screen. That's not a nice thing to do to Mr. Goldman. It does not look like any restoration work was done at all. Now, if you are a film purist, and enjoy the 'original look' of the projected image, going so far as to wait until a film's last week at theaters, so you can enjoy that aged film quality, then this may just be the transfer for you. It looks as if there was no digital processing done either, so no worry about waxy or overly glossy images here, nothing but pure grain and silt. And, I know, grain is good, but uneven, excessive grain is bad.

Sound was good, in all of it's DTS-HD 2.0 glory. Yes, 2.0, no other English options. Purists rejoice.

Also, there is no top menu, none. Only a very minimal pop-up menu. When you put the disc in, it runs a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang trailer, which you can only skip with fast forward, then the movie starts right up.

Maybe some day this film will get the respect it deserves, and a decent transfer and disc will be produced, but not today. If you already have the DVD, there is no real reason to 'upgrade'.


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post #2 of 27 Old 04-02-2011, 09:42 AM
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No one lied to Goldman. In fact, MGM told him the truth.

Gary Goldman posted this on Don Bluth's site in response to a question about the HD transfer:


I haven't seen the final NIMH, nor Anastasia's Blu-ray transfer on DVD. However, there is a digital master of Anastasia (it was shot digitally, in the computer and transferred to film for its release in 1997), and I'm sure they used the digital master and not a film element.



The inter-positive film print for The Secret of NIMH, or intermediate protective master (made from the original film negative) was physically cleaned before we started the transfer. However, every film has imbedded dirt and dust in the images of every frame, not just dust residing on the surface of the film. And, The Secret of NIMH was shot on 35MM film, way before digital filmmaking.



I personally supervised the initial color-correction transfer from film to the digital high definition Blu-ray format, but whatever debris was in the film image was transferred to the digital master. The next process was to digitally clean the new digital master of residual negative film dirt, dust and possible scratches, which I was unable to remain in LA to supervise, nor was I offered the opportunity.



What many people do not understand is that when you upgrade to a much higher resolution, the film dust, dirt and scratches become extraordinarily visible to the naked eye. I know that what Disney does for their classics is go back to the original negative and transfer it digitally at a full 4000 pixels (film resolution - FYI Television resolution is around 525 pixels about 25% of film resolution, so video and the older DVD imagery is very soft compared to HD or film imagery). This high res transfer allows the computer operator to easily find all of the flaws imbedded in each individual frame of the film. It's not just running the digital print thru some sort of electronic dust/dirt/scratch filter. Though, that is part of the process, but that process only removes the most prevalent and obvious specs. Someone has to remove the tiny, faint "dirt" specs from each and every frame.



When I asked about their process, they told me that the process would probably not be as extensive as I had asked for, that they would probably spend no more than three days to a week. I'm sure that when I get my Blu-ray copy of The Secret of NIMH, I will especially be looking at the digital cleaning job that they did. By the way, again we were hoping for the theatrical poster to be used for the packaging art. Instead the new Blu-ray still uses that same art as on the the past few releases - very discouraging.



Best, Gary



Also, the audio format is incorrect. It decodes as stereo when it should be matrixed surround which is the correct theatrical release format.

No, activating Pro-Logic does nothing. The audio is stereo unless you switch your BR player to PCM in which case you can use Pro-Logic to decode the audio as it was intended to be heard.

The DVD got it right. The audio decodes properly even without activating Pro-Logic. Not sure why they couldn't get it right for the DVD.
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post #3 of 27 Old 04-02-2011, 05:46 PM
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Maybe I mis0understood this person, but "TV is 525 pixels" sounds like he/she is living in the 90's and doesnt know that TV is today considered 720/1080 in many cases.

Why does Disney go back to the original negative, but other companies do not and use some form of generational copy, cost?
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 02:44 AM
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Personnaly, from my experience, I find the cropped image (just like the 'Dragon's Lair' Blu-ray), contrast boosting and average bitrate far more annoying than the absence of digital clean-up... :-/
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 09:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

Maybe I mis0understood this person, but "TV is 525 pixels" sounds like he/she is living in the 90's and doesnt know that TV is today considered 720/1080 in many cases.

Why does Disney go back to the original negative, but other companies do not and use some form of generational copy, cost?

Gary Goldman was saying that NIMH in SD hid many of the film based artifacts that are now apparent in HD. NIMH only had an SD transfer before 2007 so that was the point of reference he was using.

Given that MGM (FOX is just the distributor) just emerged form bankruptcy protection, why would they spend tons of money on a movie that isn't hugely popular?

It's possible NIMH might get a better cleanup one day but untill then what we have is far superior to all previous transfers.
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post #6 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parotaku View Post

Personnaly, from my experience, I find the cropped image (just like the 'Dragon's Lair' Blu-ray), contrast boosting and average bitrate far more annoying than the absence of digital clean-up... :-/

Gary Goldman and Don Bluth both supervised the negative cleaning and HD transfers. Apart from further digital cleanup, NIMH looks like how THEY want it to look and not how YOU want it to look.

Bluth & Goldman also supervised and approved the 1.85:1 transfer. NIMH was a THEATRICAL release not a TV movie. Yes, it was animated at 1.33:1 but framing for the 1.85:1 ratio was always taken into consideration.

A new 1.33:1 transfer was also done in 2007 but only in SD which is why it probably isn't on the disc. That and the disc is single layer.

Previous transfers of NIMH were done by people who didn't know or care about the movie's intended look. The laserdisc had garish pumped up colors, while the original DVD, in Don Bluth's own words, "Made everything all one color".

Facts are facts. Unless NIMH is heavily processed it is never going to be a pretty film. It's always going to look a little dingy which suits the dark material. It was a low budget production photographed on homemade equipment and it will always reflect that.

I've owned NIMH on Beta, VHS, LD, DVD and Super 8mm. The Blu-Ray trumps them all in both picture and sound quality.
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post
A new 1.33:1 transfer was also done in 2007 but only in SD which is why it probably isn't on the disc. That and the disc is single layer.
An SD film transfer in 2007? Surely you jest. They probably scanned the full film frame for this HD transfer and cropped it to both 1.33 and 1.85.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 11:28 AM
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Someone's actually complaining that it's in its proper widescreen theatrical ratio? Not that this is a perfect release (Though IMO quite decent) sometimes I think people are just looking for things to complain about.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-03-2011, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msgohan View Post
An SD film transfer in 2007? Surely you jest. They probably scanned the full film frame for this HD transfer and cropped it to both 1.33 and 1.85.
The 1.33:1 isn't cropped. NIMH was animated at 1.33:1 with framing for 1.85:1 theatrical projection.

According to Gary Goldman, he and Don Bluth supervised three transfers in 2007 for NIMH:

1.33:1 SD (Full frame but not scanned at HD resolution.)

1.85:1 HD

1.85:1 SD (Downconversion. This is what's on the Family Fun DVD.)
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-04-2011, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post

The 1.33:1 isn't cropped. NIMH was animated at 1.33:1 with framing for 1.85:1 theatrical projection.

According to Gary Goldman, he and Don Bluth supervised three transfers in 2007 for NIMH:

1.33:1 SD (Full frame but not scanned at HD resolution.)

1.85:1 HD

1.85:1 SD (Downconversion. This is what's on the Family Fun DVD.)

Indeed, and I've heard conflicting reports on which framing Bluth himself considers "definitive". Speaking personally, I find the 1.33:1 framing to be quite a bit more natural than the overly tight 1.85:1 version.


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post #11 of 27 Old 04-04-2011, 07:31 AM
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I watched this over the weekend. It's too bad a film this good gets NO restoration or clean up. This sucker is ugly...but the film is good enough to draw attention away from the bad presentation.
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-04-2011, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post

The 1.33:1 isn't cropped. NIMH was animated at 1.33:1 with framing for 1.85:1 theatrical projection.

According to Gary Goldman, he and Don Bluth supervised three transfers in 2007 for NIMH:

1.33:1 SD (Full frame but not scanned at HD resolution.)

1.85:1 HD

1.85:1 SD (Downconversion. This is what's on the Family Fun DVD.)

I only meant cropped in the sense that film isn't 1.33 or square-edged, and IMDB claims the AR was 1.37:1 rather than TV proportions. We're on the same page regarding open matte.

Do you still have a link/quote/screenshots or something else indicating that the 1.33 was a separate SD transfer? Seems like wasted effort on their part.
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post #13 of 27 Old 04-04-2011, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rach View Post

I watched this over the weekend. It's too bad a film this good gets NO restoration or clean up. This sucker is ugly...but the film is good enough to draw attention away from the bad presentation.

This was my experience as well.

My equipment: JVC RS55 for 2D, BenQ W7000 for 3D, Carada 40x117 2.925:1 AR BW Criterion screen, Navatar .8 HD conversion lens, Darbee Darblet, region free Oppo BP93, Toshiba HD-A35 HD-DVD, JVC HD-DH5U D-Theater, Mitsubishi HS-HD 20000 DVHS, Pioneer CLD-97 LD player/AC-3 mod, B&K AC3 Demodulator
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post #14 of 27 Old 09-13-2013, 06:50 AM
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I know its an old thread but I've tried watching my copy and I can't hear the sound in my setup. I can hear the commentary. Also when the BD player is hooked up directly to the TV I can hear that but no sound in the following configuration:

Pioneer VSX1019AHK with PS3 120 GB or Pioneer VSX1019AHK with BDP-51FD. anybody know what the problem is? would it be the VSX1019AHK receiver?
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post #15 of 27 Old 09-13-2013, 12:22 PM
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Can you check your disc players' menus to make sure Secondary Audio is turned OFF?

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #16 of 27 Old 09-13-2013, 12:43 PM
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Its fine when hooked directly to the TV but isn't when it goes through the receiver. As far as I know its off.
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post #17 of 27 Old 09-13-2013, 01:15 PM
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It could be the receiver. Any neighbors or friends with modern receivers (with DTS MA and Dolby TrueHD decoders) where you could try the disc out on their A/V systems? If not, take it to an electronics store and see if it works there.

Could be an incompatibility problem with the disc's authoring and your particular receiver model. This happens sometimes. Does this receiver have any means of firmware updating? I didn't notice any Ethernet port on the back that could facilitate a user initiated update.

If it doesn't work in those situations, it could just be a bad disc (where there's a problem with the primary DTS MA audio track).

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #18 of 27 Old 09-14-2013, 11:46 AM
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I think its the disc since it is the only one that has problems. I'll see if I can rent/borrow another copy to make sure.
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post #19 of 27 Old 09-16-2013, 05:00 PM
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Audio isn't my area of expertise, but have you tried tinkering with the audio settings on the player at all? The audio track on this is only stereo btw (DTS-HDMA 2.0, 48kHz, 24-bit), though it has some pretty nice "surround" FX for only 2-channels. Maybe that's confusing your AVR?


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post #20 of 27 Old 09-16-2013, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADU View Post

Audio isn't my area of expertise, but have you tried tinkering with the audio settings on the player at all? The audio track on this is only stereo btw (DTS-HDMA 2.0, 48kHz, 24-bit), though it has some pretty nice "surround" FX for only 2-channels. Maybe that's confusing your AVR?

Xtempo does have a slightly older receiver, so it is possible that his receiver's firmware is not up to date and causing issues with DTS MA 2.0 encoded tracks. The use of DTS MA for stereo tracks has been a fairly recent occurrence.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #21 of 27 Old 09-16-2013, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman View Post


Xtempo does have a slightly older receiver, so it is possible that his receiver's firmware is not up to date and causing issues with DTS MA 2.0 encoded tracks. The use of DTS MA for stereo tracks has been a fairly recent occurrence.

 

^Interesting.


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post #22 of 27 Old 09-16-2013, 05:47 PM
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If you're using a Sony player, I would check the official thread in the BD player forum for the best audio settings for DTS, and so forth. Also, make sure the BD AUDIO MIX SETTING on the player is turned OFF.


You could also try switching the DOWNMIX setting from SURROUND to STEREO (since this only has 2 channels anyway). Normally that shouldn't be necessary. But sometimes I have to go that route on my own setup (with analog audio outs) to compensate for issues in my Sony S390 player's virtual surround processing on DTS-HD tracks.


I also turn the AUDIO DRC (dynamic range compression) OFF on my player, though some find that setting too dynamic, and dialogue more difficult to hear in that configuration.


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post #23 of 27 Old 09-16-2013, 06:14 PM
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Some audio-related comments from an earlier poster that may also be worth a look...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post

Also, the audio format is incorrect. It decodes as stereo when it should be matrixed surround which is the correct theatrical release format.

No, activating Pro-Logic does nothing. The audio is stereo unless you switch your BR player to PCM in which case you can use Pro-Logic to decode the audio as it was intended to be heard.

The DVD got it right. The audio decodes properly even without activating Pro-Logic. Not sure why they couldn't get it right for the DVD.

 

 

I think he means "...couldn't get it right for the BD." in that last sentence btw.


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post #24 of 27 Old 10-05-2013, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ADU View Post

I think he means "...couldn't get it right for the BD." in that last sentence btw.

Correct.

To update my comments, I recently got the Denon X-1000 receiver and it automatically played NIMH in Pro-Logic while bitstreaming the audio.

Seems the disc is flagged for DPL but because the DTS 2.0 codec is so new, older receivers can't "see" the flag to switch on DPL.
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-05-2013, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post

Correct.

To update my comments, I recently got the Denon X-1000 receiver and it automatically played NIMH in Pro-Logic while bitstreaming the audio.

Seems the disc is flagged for DPL but because the DTS 2.0 codec is so new, older receivers can't "see" the flag to switch on DPL.

Don't know that it's actually flagged per se for DPL. It may be that older decoders don't react to a DTS MA 2.0 stream as just normal 2 channel stereo audio during the decompression stage, allowing you to switch on DPL in the first place (or for the processor to auto engage DPL if you have set it as a default mode for stereo audio programming). It's also possible that these decoders without the newest DTS decoding software instructions mistake it as a front left and right encoded 5.1 track with missing info for the other channels, which would then lock you out of the DPL mode.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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post #26 of 27 Old 10-07-2013, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cougartiger View Post


Correct.

To update my comments, I recently got the Denon X-1000 receiver and it automatically played NIMH in Pro-Logic while bitstreaming the audio.
 

 

Thanks for clarifying. So does this mean the 2.0 audio track is correctly encoded on the BD, and most of the issues with it are likely AVR/firmware-related?


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post #27 of 27 Old 10-07-2013, 10:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ADU View Post

Thanks for clarifying. So does this mean the 2.0 audio track is correctly encoded on the BD, and most of the issues with it are likely AVR/firmware-related?

I'd say yes. It's how older decoders react to the DTS-MA 2.0 stream that is the most likely culprit. If it incorrectly reads the two channels then it will shut off your ability to overlay surround post-processing that normally works for stereo source material. Stereo material is not flagged for Dolby ProLogic decoding. You have to engage it or have the decoder default to it when hit with two channel signals. It's not like the old Dolby 5.1 EX format that may or may not include a flag to alert EX decoders to de-matrix the mono back surround information from the side left/right channels.

Listen up, studios! Just say "NO" to DNR and EE!!
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