"Prime Suspect" series compatibility? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 08-09-2013, 09:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Acorn lists its 7-disc series of Prime Suspect as1080i region 1. My Sony PS3 machine won't play 1080/50i Blu-rays, so distribution tech details are sometimes fuzzy.

While the region 1 coding suggests it's for North America (etc.) , bought a region-free set of "Little Dorrit" a few years back (Amazon.UK), also marked 1080i on the cases, but concluded they were 1080/50i when my PS3 wouldn't load them. Amazon.com here now labels its LD set as region B/2 (Britain, etc.), but weirdly details the set's format as: DTS Surround Sound, still not mentioning1080/50i. (Yes, region coding and formatting are separate topics). Mailed my set back to England.

For some additional ambiguity, Amazon USA releases its 7-disc "Prime Suspect" Aug 27th, labeled region A/1 with this curious format: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen.

Guess the direct Acorn price of Prime Suspect is $120, as of today, while Amazon lists $84 currently. Reasonable to assume the Amazon Prime Suspect complete collection will work on Sony PS3s? -- John
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post #2 of 48 Old 08-09-2013, 01:01 PM
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I would be confident that Amazon US discs will be OK for North America. If 1080i they will be 1080i60.

Amazon does sell import PAL DVDs but they are clearly labeled as such. I don't recall 50hz Blu-rays at Amazon, but if so I'm sure there would be a prominent notice.

They have a good return policy, of course.

-Bill
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post #3 of 48 Old 08-11-2013, 10:13 AM
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I would be interested to hear your comments of the audio/video quality of the BDs. I have the DVDs each series. The video is pretty poor, and in places the audio is worse. Acorn in my opinion mostly doesn't do anything to improve either when the re release something on BD. I would not want to waste my money if there is no improvement over the DVDs.

SMK
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post #4 of 48 Old 08-12-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Appreciate the replies. Can't recall the HD PQ from cable viewing but hope the Blu-rays exceed DVDs. Noticed description from some source says there's a 1080p MPEG4 AVC 7-disc set available (versus 1080i on Amazon).. I'll have to update my 2009 Sony PS3's operating system from 3.60 (my 1st update) to version 4.60 before ordering the Blu-rays.
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post #5 of 48 Old 08-12-2013, 05:46 PM
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There are some early reviews that say they look pretty good. The only problem seems to be with the aspect ratio for the 4th episode. The episodes (save part of the 4th) are all in 1:78 now, which is apparently how they were meant to be seen. The brightness and contrast are supposedly also significantly better than the DVDs. See the review at DVDBeaver.

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post #6 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 06:20 AM - Thread Starter
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^^^Yes, spotted comments about aspect ratios in a forum attached to that Blu-ray.com spec list I linked just above. Some posters said they wouldn't buy new releases converted from 1.33:1, which apparently was used for some Prime Suspect episodes. Also noticed on those Blu-ray-page specs, with MPEG4 1080p codec, it says check individual discs for aspect ratios, suggesting not all (or any?) are conversions from original aspect ratios.

Not sure now I'll need to update my PS3 system software from 3.60 to the latest 4.46 version. Came across a PS3 update page that lists MPEG4 for update 4.46, yet other PS3 update pages imply earlier system software versions can handle MPEG4 discs/streamings as long as they're H264/MPEG4 encodes. -- John

P.S.: IMDB.com spec page says Prime Suspect was 1.33:1 but also says it was filmed, so fresh telecines.might work for discs.

Thanks for the dvdbeaver review suggestion. Very thorough!
But another spec puzzler: dvdbeaver says the complete series is 1080i MPEG4 AVC (~24 fps), while the Blu-ray.com spec page I linked says the Aug 27 release is 1080p MPEG4.
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post #7 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

dvdbeaver says the complete series is 1080i MPEG4 AVC (~24 fps)

1080i cannot be 24 fps, so some part of this is wrong. The Blu-ray spec only supports 1080i at 50Hz or 60Hz, or 1080p at 24 fps.

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post #8 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 01:05 PM
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If it is a Blu-ray it would not be shown as region 1 since that is the designation for DVD. The region code would be "A" for Blu-ray North America so the video would be 1080i/60 or 1080P/24. Region "B" is 1080i/50 or 1080P/24. To play 1080i/50 you would need a Region-Free Blu-ray player.
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post #9 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie6 View Post

If it is a Blu-ray it would not be shown as region 1 since that is the designation for DVD.

Online catalogs are filled with errors like that.

-Bill
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post #10 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 01:21 PM
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[quote name="ernie6" url="/t/1485300/prime-suspect-series-compatibility#post_23625497"
To play 1080i/50 you would need a Region-Free Blu-ray player.[/quote]

The player wouldn't have to be region-free just 1080i/50 capable. For instance, the Oppo players are not region-free but can handle both PAL DVD and non-North American Blu-ray rates. If you had a Region ABC Blu-Ray disc with 50i material on it, the Oppos would play them with no difficulty, even without a region-free mod.
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post #11 of 48 Old 08-13-2013, 02:02 PM
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No U.S. distributor has ever sold a Region A Blu-ray with 1080i/50 Hz content. Acorn Media frequently puts out interlaced 1080i content on Blu-ray, but always in the format playable on North American players and displays. They did the same for the BBC's 1979 adaptation of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy:

http://www.doblu.com/2013/05/27/tinker-tailor-soldier-spy-1979-review/
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post #12 of 48 Old 08-14-2013, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

1080i cannot be 24 fps, so some part of this is wrong. The Blu-ray spec only supports 1080i at 50Hz or 60Hz, or 1080p at 24 fps.
Sure. Here's the dvdbeaver (UK based) spec review page for the complete series Prime Suspect Blu-ray:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_59/prime_suspect_blu-ray.htm
Review has lots of DVD-vs- Blu-ray comparison shots, with most Blu-ray PQ looking noticably better:

Here, again, is the complete-series spec listing link for the Aug. 27th release at Blu-ray com

It lists 1080p MPEG4 AVC. Click on the preorder button there and the link takes you to Amazon.com for the Aug. 27th shipment. I e-mailed acornonlline yesterday for an explanation of the 1080p MPEG4 listings versus the 1080i ones but haven't heard from them yet. -- John
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post #13 of 48 Old 08-14-2013, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

1080i cannot be 24 fps, so some part of this is wrong. The Blu-ray spec only supports 1080i at 50Hz or 60Hz, or 1080p at 24 fps.
Sure. Here's the dvdbeaver (UK based) spec review page for the complete series Prime Suspect Blu-ray:
http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_59/prime_suspect_blu-ray.htm
Review has lots of DVD-vs- Blu-ray comparison shots, with most Blu-ray PQ looking noticably better:
DVDBeaver is based out of New York, if I am not mistaken. They mostly review American Blu-rays against foreign editions.
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post #14 of 48 Old 08-14-2013, 01:37 PM
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PAL uses many DVD regions(2-9) other than North America with is 1. Region 1 DVD's are NTSC. PAL only applies to DVD's. Blu-ray are either 1080P/24 or 1080i/50 or 60. The OPPO players are Region-Free or they would never be able to play both NTSC and PAL. It is possible a Blu-ray player designated for Region 1/A could play a Region-Free Blu-ray mastered in 1080i/50. I don't know of any North American players that can handle 1080i/50 and there is no reason for a manufacturer to make a player play 1080i/50 since that is a standard used in Region B/C.
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post #15 of 48 Old 08-14-2013, 02:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie6 View Post

The OPPO players are Region-Free or they would never be able to play both NTSC and PAL. It is possible a Blu-ray player designated for Region 1/A could play a Region-Free Blu-ray mastered in 1080i/50. I don't know of any North American players that can handle 1080i/50 and there is no reason for a manufacturer to make a player play 1080i/50 since that is a standard used in Region B/C.

Region coding is a separate issue from PAL and 50 Hz playback. A DVD or Blu-ray can be 50 Hz and yet not region-locked.

Out of the box, OPPO Blu-ray players are compatible with PAL DVD and 1080i/50 Blu-rays, but will not play discs locked to DVD Regions 2-6 or Blu-ray Regions B or C. A PAL DVD or 1080i/50 Blu-ray that's coded as region-free can be played in an OPPO player, which will output them either at the original 50 Hz frame rate or convert them to 60 Hz or 24 fps.

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post #16 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

DVDBeaver is based out of New York, if I am not mistaken. They mostly review American Blu-rays against foreign editions.

DVDBeaver reviews quite a few non-North American Blu-Ray and DVD discs.

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post #17 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 01:12 PM
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We are combining DVD & Blu-ray together when they are distinct separate formats. DVD is either PAL (576i) or NTSC (480i). Blu-ray is 1080P/24 or 1080i/60 or 1080i/50. DVD region codes are 0-9. Blu-ray region codes are A-B-C. 0 is the wildcat code for DVD. Their is no wildcard code for Blu-ray. I don't own an OPPO so I can't speak with authority about them. I was basing my comments about OPPO being region free on other members comments about reviewing region B Blu-rays on their OPPO players. I stand corrected on OPPO players.
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post #18 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 02:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ernie6 View Post

I don't own an OPPO so I can't speak with authority about them. I was basing my comments about OPPO being region free on other members comments about reviewing region B Blu-rays on their OPPO players. I stand corrected on OPPO players.

Out of the box, OPPO players not not region-free for Blu-ray. However, there are many region code modifications available on the internet that will allow you to manually switch between A, B or C.

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post #19 of 48 Old 08-15-2013, 04:31 PM
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They're not region-free for DVD either out of the box.

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post #20 of 48 Old 08-16-2013, 05:17 AM
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blu-ray.com now has a review of the Prime Suspect set up. Seems to pretty much agree with the DVDBeaver review that the set is a pretty good improvement over the DVD but not perfect.

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post #21 of 48 Old 08-18-2013, 10:07 AM
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Does anyone know if these discs have subtitles? The original DVDs don't, and the only way my wife would let me spring for these BDs would be if they have subtitles.

SMK
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post #22 of 48 Old 08-18-2013, 10:45 AM
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The Amazon listing says yes to subtitles. That's not an infallible resource, of course.

-Bill
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post #23 of 48 Old 08-19-2013, 06:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Never heard back from acornonlline, mentioned above, so sent this email to Amazon today:
*****************'
Hesitant about preordering Blu-ray complete-collection Prime Suspect for Aug.27 because details differ on two Amazon-linked websites:
At the Blu-ray.com site, linked to Amazon for preordering, the format is MPEG-4 AVC 1080p with DTS Audio. Here is the site:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Prime-Suspect-The-Complete-Collection-Blu-ray/72157/ The preorder price is $83.99

But the direct Amazon site lists the format as: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen. The audio format seems to differ, and listing Blu-ray only suggests this could be a 1080i format, not 1080p. Here's the direct Amazon URL:
http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Suspect-Complete-Collection-Blu-ray/dp/B00D2UMH60/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1376919042&sr=1-1&keywords=prime+suspect+complete+collection Preorder is $83.99

I want to buy the 1080p MPEG-4 AVC collection, but preordering from the Blu-ray.com preorder button, which links to Amazon.com, makes the order too ambiguous. Could Amazon clarify this issue please?
**********************
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post #24 of 48 Old 08-20-2013, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
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A BING search uncovered this exhaustive review of the upcoming complete-collection Blu-ray Prime Suspect, posted just today. Didn't spot any discussion of the 1080p-vs-1080i? issue I queried Amazon about (just above). Someone at Amazon replied yesterday but wrote it'll take about one week to pinpoint their website description issue. -- John
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post #25 of 48 Old 08-20-2013, 03:13 PM
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All of the reviews seem to reach the same conclusion: an overall improvement but hardly perfect.

My own feeling is that the Blu-Ray is worth getting, especially if you've never seen these shows. Prime Suspect was some of the best television ever done, with generally good to great scripts and always first-class acting.

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post #26 of 48 Old 08-21-2013, 11:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Never heard back from acornonlline, mentioned above, so sent this email to Amazon today:
*****************'
Hesitant about preordering Blu-ray complete-collection Prime Suspect for Aug.27 because details differ on two Amazon-linked websites:
At the Blu-ray.com site, linked to Amazon for preordering, the format is MPEG-4 AVC 1080p with DTS Audio. Here is the site:
http://www.blu-ray.com/movies/Prime-Suspect-The-Complete-Collection-Blu-ray/72157/ The preorder price is $83.99

But the direct Amazon site lists the format as: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen. The audio format seems to differ, and listing Blu-ray only suggests this could be a 1080i format, not 1080p. Here's the direct Amazon URL:
http://www.amazon.com/Prime-Suspect-Complete-Collection-Blu-ray/dp/B00D2UMH60/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1376919042&sr=1-1&keywords=prime+suspect+complete+collection Preorder is $83.99

I want to buy the 1080p MPEG-4 AVC collection, but preordering from the Blu-ray.com preorder button, which links to Amazon.com, makes the order too ambiguous. Could Amazon clarify this issue please?
**********************
At blu-ray.com, if you view the back cover picture it says "1080i". If it was released in 1080p it would probably be 4% too slow.
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post #27 of 48 Old 08-22-2013, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
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At blu-ray.com, if you view the back cover picture it says "1080i". If it was released in 1080p it would probably be 4% too slow.
And why would that be? If the source material were 25i or 50p, it could be 4% faster (if never adjusted for North American standards) but never slower.

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post #28 of 48 Old 08-22-2013, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
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And why would that be? If the source material were 25i or 50p, it could be 4% faster (if never adjusted for North American standards) but never slower.
If it was shot at 25 fps (as it was a UK TV show), and it was then put on Blu-ray at 1080p24 (24 fps or more likely 23.976 fps), it would have been slowed down by approx 4%.

25-23.976=1.024.
1.024 is 4.096% of 25

So if released at 23.976 fps (normal for 1080p) it would be just over 4% (4.096%) too slow (if it was originally shot at 25 fps).
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post #29 of 48 Old 08-22-2013, 06:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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At blu-ray.com, if you view the back cover picture it says "1080i". If it was released in 1080p it would probably be 4% too slow.
Interesting. Thanks. While it's far from definitive, noticed in the new review I cited just above (5 posts up) the reviewer writes his Blu-rays were 1080p. (search text for 1080p).Hope Amazon's upcoming e-mail reply I mentioned above clarifies things, but seemingly routine ambiguities in ads make me pessimistic. -- John

P.S. Selectable rear-cover view, with 1080i, sits next to the text spec of MPEG-4 AVC, 1080p resolution. What fun. smile.gif.
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post #30 of 48 Old 08-22-2013, 04:17 PM
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But if it is 1080i, it would not be at 24 fps but at 30 and would be 4% fast. Since the series was originally shot on film, the source material is probably 24 fps.

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