The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 571 - AVS Forum
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Blu-ray Software > The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 10:51 PM 10-25-2010
Didn't we just have the 3D discussion? Seems like just yesterday! I agree with the consensus.

PS: thanks for the Thanksgiving review. Oh well.

Just came out of Back to the Future on the big screen. Talk about memory lane. Gotta say though - you can really see the make up on Michael J. Fox! Should be interesting when I see it on blu.

Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:10 PM 10-25-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinema Squid View Post

I do think it's worth paying closer attention to some of the 3D releases in this thread, however, since the included 2D versions on these might not always come out exactly the same as existing or forthcoming 2D-only BD releases.

Good point, the new 3-D Coraline Blu-ray has already shown that situation. Apparently the newer 2-D video encode on it is superior to the regular BD, currently ranked eighth best in the tiers.
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 02:56 PM 10-26-2010
Sex and City 2

You know what trend I hate? Smoothing the faces of actors/actresses. It's sucks, and it's ugly, and this god awful POS movie is full of it. It makes no sense to smooth a face, but the leave the suit/clothes perfectly defined and clear. It's a shame, because this one could have looked okay, with some stunning color and general sharpness. Blacks are stable and rich too.

Tier 3.25
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 07:31 AM 10-27-2010
Damned by Dawn

Oh dear. Maybe cheap, consumer grade digital video cams are worse than smoothing faces if this thing is any indication. Not only is slathered in fog, artificial and CG, there is almost nothing positive here. No detail, poor blacks, blue color, soft, banding, compression, and EE. Hideous.

Tier 5.0
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 08:35 AM 10-27-2010
^^^^

I feel for you GRG in having to view to such atrocious-looking titles.
Herve's Avatar Herve 12:05 PM 10-27-2010
My wife and I received "Supernova" a few days ago. I thought it was the 2000 space-sci-fi, but it was the 2005 movie of the same title, starring Peter Fonda, Luke Perry, Emma Samms, etc.

We decided to watch it even though it was not the one we wanted. I'm glad we did. The story and acting wasn't bad and the PQ was better than excellent, except for, amazingly, the CGI.

Anyway, I'd love to hear other people's comments about the PQ of this movie.
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 11:30 PM 10-27-2010
Get Him to the Greek

Stroke the furry wall

Surprisingly beautiful looking transfer. Detail was king on this feature, from the colorful, saturated environs to the cast's facial close-up's. Okay, there were some bouts of softness but not enough to bring it too far down. The concert footage looked great!

The biggest issue was lack of dimensionality due to some weaker moments of contrast. This usually occurred during the darker scenes. Blacks, in general, were decent with no crush. The next biggest issues was a really bad instance of aliasing on Aldous' ski hat. This whole scene seemed out of place.

Aside from those, a fine presentation.

Tier Recommendation: 1.75

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 6'
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 10:58 AM 10-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

^^^^

I feel for you GRG in having to view to such atrocious-looking titles.

Gotta take one for the team some times, although that seems more often than not lately...

Winter's Bone

Shot digitally, and it's not too bad. Very clear, crisp image full of life, even if the movie isn't. Set in the drab Ozarks where the color has been drained, the detail typically remains. A nice window effect thanks to the clarity, but the black levels are washed out, and the colors don't carry much pop by design.

Tier 2.75

djoberg's Avatar djoberg 11:28 AM 10-28-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Gotta take one for the team some times, although that seems more often than not lately...

You're the man!
audiomagnate's Avatar audiomagnate 10:24 AM 10-29-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

Get Him to the Greek

Stroke the furry wall

Surprisingly beautiful looking transfer. Detail was king on this feature, from the colorful, saturated environs to the cast's facial close-up's. Okay, there were some bouts of softness but not enough to bring it too far down. The concert footage looked great!

The biggest issue was lack of dimensionality due to some weaker moments of contrast. This usually occurred during the darker scenes. Blacks, in general, were decent with no crush. The next biggest issues was a really bad instance of aliasing on Aldous' ski hat. This whole scene seemed out of place.

Aside from those, a fine presentation.

Tier Recommendation: 1.75

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 6'

Whatever was going on with that hat was down right bizarre! It looked like radioactive chainmail. The rest looked too stylized for me to enjoy. None of the outdoor scenes really popped for me, and closeups were just average.

I thought the movie was awful and I enjoyed Brand in the same roll in the Sarah Marshall movie.

Pan TC-54PC14 from 9 feet

2.5
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 02:17 PM 10-29-2010
Back to the Future

Definitely loads of DNR and EE going on here, the severity ranging from scene to scene. Flesh tones have that unnatural pinkish hue, while other colors are quite vivid. Some minimal black crush in spots. Detail suffers all around, and light grain structure that is barely there remains unimpressive.

Tier 3.75
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 08:43 PM 10-29-2010
Back to the Future II

If the DNR was bad in the first one, it's atrocious here. Oddly, the EE seems to have been toned down, but a lot of the film takes place at night, so it's probably hiding. Lots of effects shots don't help admittedly. They do look notably worse, but no grain? That makes no sense.

Tier 3.75
lgans316's Avatar lgans316 05:44 AM 10-30-2010
Universal to announce BTTF 26th anniversary edition with properly remastered picture.

A must buy has been turned into a no buy.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 12:39 PM 10-30-2010
Frosty The Snowman

recommendation: Tier 1.5


Found only on Blu-ray as part of the 3-BD set, The Original Christmas Classics, Frosty The Snowman looks absolutely spectacular. There is no other way to express my amazement at the 1969 animated special's first appearance in high-definition. The Christmas magic that was used to bring Frosty to life must have been applied to the Blu-ray's stunning image. You can safely donate or give away prior DVD versions to a church or charity without a second thought, for the BD is simply breathtaking.

Licensed from Classic Media, the 3-disc set was released on October 12, 2010 by distributor Vivendi Entertainment. The 25-minute television special from Rankin and Bass originally aired in 1969, but looks as sparkling in 1080p as a new feature. The video is encoded in AVC on a BD-25, at an average video bitrate around 30 Mbps that rarely dips below 27 Mbps. Given that high-quality treatment, there is zero macroblocking and the BD looks 100% transparent to the master. That allows the Blu-ray's picture to retain every bit of detail possible from it.

Correctly framed in the original broadcast aspect ratio of 4:3, the lack of debris and dirt is remarkable. The original production elements must be in fantastic shape, or a top-notch restoration of recent vintage had to have been used as the basis for the HD-transfer. It is easily in the same class as the excellent work that Warner did on the theatrical Looney Tunes shorts. Revitalized is an apt description for a Blu-ray that removes the damages of time and neglect, as in this case.

No one since the original animators working on the animation cels themselves, have seen Frosty in such vivid and pristine clarity. White levels are clean and uniformly excellent, while primary colors leap off the screen. Not a hint of fading or dullness pervades the nicely saturated hues of red and green that pepper the picture, as is common in older animated material of this type. The master has been left untouched by any postprocessing like sharpening or filtering.

The impressive picture quality deserves to be ranked somewhere in Tier One. By no means is Frosty The Snowman being graded on a curve, but for a production from 1969 the cleanliness and consistency speaks for itself. It makes the Peanuts stuff on Blu-ray look as dull as dishwater in comparison. What makes the BD important is that future generations will now have an impeccable reference version preserved for posterity of this Rankin-Bass classic in splendid 1080p resolution. The cost of the entire set is worth it for the transfer and handling of Frosty The Snowman alone.

Watching on a 60 Pioneer KURO plasma at 1080p/24, fed by a 60 GB PS3 (firmware 3.41), from a viewing distance of six feet.
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 04:42 PM 10-30-2010
Excellent, PS! As I've mentioned before I'm about to purchase the Peanuts classics as well as the Holiday ones. Great start on the holiday ones already...
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 05:14 PM 10-30-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

Excellent, PS! As I've mentioned before I'm about to purchase the Peanuts classics as well as the Holiday ones. Great start on the holiday ones already...

My thoughts on Rudolph will be coming soon, it is not quite up to the magnificent standards of Frosty's BD.
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 06:11 PM 10-30-2010
Back to the Future III

A lot of the outrage over this set is focused squarely on the first one, and I understand why. However, the third is the worst of the bunch, we're talking Predator UHE terrible. Edge enhancement is laid on thick with no apparent benefit, the DNR is seriously offensive, detail one step shy of being completely wiped from the frame. Absolutely one of the worst cases of DNR to date on the format.

Tier 4.25
rusky_g's Avatar rusky_g 06:44 AM 10-31-2010
Knowing

I've concluded this month that all films should be shot with Red HD cameras having revisited 'Knowing' last night .

Previously this title impressed me on my Plasma TV so thought I'd give it a viewing on my Projector; for me this defines how movies should look - crisp, clear, packed with detail and depth from beginning to end, yet retaining a filmic quality. Contrast and blacks, awesome. Perhpas not everyone's cup of tea, but for me, marvellous.

Tier rating: 0


OptomaHD65 / 94" / 10.75'
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 07:28 AM 10-31-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by rusky_g View Post

Knowing

I've concluded this month that all films should be shot with Red HD cameras having revisited 'Knowing' last night .

Previously this title impressed me on my Plasma TV so thought I'd give it a viewing on my Projector; for me this defines how movies should look - crisp, clear, packed with detail and depth from beginning to end, yet retaining a filmic quality. Contrast and blacks, awesome. Perhpas not everyone's cup of tea, but for me, marvellous.

Tier rating: 0


OptomaHD65 / 94" / 10.75'

I agree with you except for one thing: FACIAL DETAILS! In my review I said this was definitely a Tier 0 contender except for these; everything else was reference quality. I gave it a 1.0.
rusky_g's Avatar rusky_g 03:49 PM 10-31-2010
Hiya DJ

Hope you are well and enjoying Halloween

Thanks for the feedback - I guess, split between the two of us, its in an appropriate ranking area, which is good. I felt the overall 'greatness' of the picture made up for the odd shortcoming, although I am pretty new to reveiwing and still getting to grips with what criteria we look at - so please bear with me, as currently my decision making is formulated from the simplest of forms: gut feeling and smile factor lol
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 10:27 AM 11-01-2010
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer

recommendation: Tier 3.5


One of the earliest Rankin/Bass stop-motion productions, the beloved Christmas special starring Rudolph first aired in 1964 on NBC and remains the longest running Christmas television special. Classic Media, through the distributor Vivendi Entertainment, released the Blu-ray as its own standalone feature on October 12, 2010. The 51-minute program is encoded in AVC on a BD-25, averaging a strong 29.98 Mbps on the video portion alone. Production quality looks a notch below the later Rankin/Bass animated programs, but there is no doubt this disc is fully transparent to the source material. A commendable and strong technical effort produces a solid, but not stellar, image at 1080p.

The grain of the film has a pleasing and naturalistic film-like quality that is untouched by modern processing techniques. Print damage is kept to a minimum, though several very thin gate scratches and minor anomalies show up on occasion. While not as clean in general as the other Rankin/Bass productions I have recently viewed on Blu-ray, the master looks in good shape. The resolution of the BD actually reveals a few minor quirks of the early, crude stop-motion process used for Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer. Characters show an amazing sense of originality and charm in their design, but lack the intricate detail work of later specials in the physical models. There will not be moments when you pause the feature to marvel at small details like belt buckles.

I suspect that as much quality as possible has been squeezed out of the surviving prints for Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer on this BD, which never quite projects the astonishment and sense of visual appeal I had watching Frosty The Snowman. The picture is flatter and the color palette is more restrained. The main feature was remastered in high-definition back in 2005, so that is likely how along go the transfer was cultivated. A newer transfer might improve matters a wee bit, but there is only so much life that can be squeezed out of the source material in this case. Placement in the middle of Tier Three is a sensible judgment call on the BD. Fans should no doubt pick it up, as it presents a satisfactory upgrade from DVD.

BDInfo scan information courtesy of DVDBeaver.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 12:39 PM 11-02-2010
As an addendum to my placement for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, new information has come to my attention about subtle changes to the color palette between the new Blu-ray and older DVD versions. In particular, the color of Yukon Cornelius' coat is a shade of green on the Blu-ray from Classic Media. Prior versions had always shown the coat as a light shade of blue. Someone on another forum has received this semi-official reply on the color change:

...looked into this with our post-production team and received the following response:

The picture restoration was locked in a timeline and the audio was done after the picture-lock. There was originally damage on the word Everyone and unfortunately during the restoration of that song, when that word was fixed, the damage unfortunately covered the word For.
So unfortunately this is on all the Rudolph BR discs.

Regarding the color, due to older film prints- all previous releases do indeed have a blue coat.

With sophisticated digital systems with finer RGB separation we find the original materials to have the coat as green. Manufacturers in the past used the existing tape materials to model their products so they made the coat blue.

If you look at a scene that has both Hermie/Herbie and Cornelius in it you will see that the separate colors are apparent within the same frame.


That does appear to confirm at least a new transfer was used on the Blu-ray. The new information does not alter my evaluation of its placement, but thought it would be good to share.
Gamereviewgod's Avatar Gamereviewgod 12:57 PM 11-02-2010
Toy Story 3

I've been a big supporter of Bug's Life since I joined this thread, but forget it. This one has so much TEXTURE, it's absurd. Plus toys are incredibly defined, hair on humans is perfect, metals are distinct, and wood, its well wood. Colors are incredible, sharpness impeccable, blacks amazing, and contrast bright.

Tier 0, top
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 03:23 PM 11-02-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Toy Story 3

I've been a big supporter of Bug's Life since I joined this thread, but forget it. This one has so much TEXTURE, it's absurd. Plus toys are incredibly defined, hair on humans is perfect, metals are distinct, and wood, its well wood. Colors are incredible, sharpness impeccable, blacks amazing, and contrast bright.

Tier 0, top

Sounds good GRG! I picked up a copy at Wally World today and I'll be watching it tonight. I'll chime in as the credits roll.

BTW, I'm waiting for you to view The Thin Red Line to get your input on that. IMHO it's definitely the BEST live action title (without any CGI) to date. It may not have the EYE CANDY that the animated marvels have (especially in terms of COLOR), but it has no rival in the context of CONSISTENT sharpness, detail, and depth in the non-animated world of Blus.
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 03:52 PM 11-02-2010
The Killer Inside Me

This was a lackluster presentation, both in BR quality and how it was filmed. Blooming lights and weak contrast plague the entire feature. Some facial details come through well, but still not up to par with what's found in the upper tiers.

Again, there is a specific dated look that is achieved, but runs counter to what we are rating. Blacks are not bold and darker scenes are flat as a pancake.

Tier Recommendation: 4.0

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 6'
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 03:58 PM 11-02-2010
Sorry, but I just have notes of my ratings for these two movies I watched about 3-4 weeks ago...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Spread

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hot Tub Time Machine

Tier Recommendation: 1.75

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

All I remember was that they had the usual orange-ish skin tones, usually found in the comedy or romance/comedy genres and the facial details were lacking in both. Hot Tub Time Machine had better "pop" factor with bolder blacks and more dimensionality and gets a slight edge.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 09:40 PM 11-02-2010
Toy Story 3

IMPECCABLE!!! This word sums it up *perfectly* and because this transfer excels in every area I MUST join my colleague Gamereviewgod and nominate this for the TOP SPOT (among animated titles) in Tier Blu. What a feast for the eyes with even bolder colors than the first two installments and much more texture, detail, and depth. You truly have to see it to believe it! Pixar has set a new standard and quite frankly I can't possibly see how an animated transfer could look any better.

You notice I said I'm nominating this for TOP SPOT "among animated titles," for IMO The Thin Red Line and Avatar deserve the number one and two spots for achieving such perfection in the live action genre (especially The Thin Red Line where no CGI was employed). I'm still waiting for others to view The Thin Red Line and hopefully others will join the three of us who have weighed in with a "Top of Tier 0" recommendation.

I want to mention in closing that the audio was reference quality too in Toy Story 3 and I enjoyed the storyline immensely. What a treat all the way around!!

Tier Recommendation: Top of Tier 0 below Avatar

Pioneer 60" KURO Elite (1080p/24)....Pioneer BDP-05....Viewed from 7.5'
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 09:58 PM 11-02-2010
The Exorcist (Extended Director's Cut)

recommendation: 3.5


Thinking it over, a fair assessment of the merits for this specific cut of the movie is somewhere in the upper half of Tier Three. The transfer is really a mixed bag from Warner, though in the end does not heavily affect the outcome. Is this the best one of the great pieces of cinema history will ever look? That is a highly doubtable proposition. A better transfer could be created and probably will, whenever WB feels the need to sell another format to us. Regular viewers will surely be pleased with how the film looks, but videophiles will definitely find fault in some of the digital processing used.

The digibook edition includes a letter from director William Friedkin, which claims this is the best print ever available for The Exorcist. That statement is probably true, given the advances in modern scanning tools. Friedkin further elaborates that both himself and cinematographer Owen Roizman supervised the color-timing of this new transfer. On that point, they succeeded in using a delicate touch to not alter anything too drastically, just enhancing what was always there in the film. Most will be pleased with that aspect of the picture, as the film does show significant improvement in that regard. Contrast is not overdone and flesh-tones remain healthy, without an excess warmth to the reds so common with modern color-timing.

My complaints mostly reside in the area of oversharpening. The Exorcist has never been a razor-sharp film experience, as a slight softness was part of the original cinematography. Given the sometimes thick patina of grain on the original camera negative, it appears some level of digital noise reduction was employed throughout to lower it. In all fairness, the filtering is mostly applied in a judicious manner at a uniformly low level. Only one or two scenes have occurrences of problems like frozen grain, or ripples of “swimming” grain. On the other hand, textures look a little too clean and smooth. Close-ups early in the film suffer the most from the effect, showing a loss of high-frequency information to a degree. Watch the skin on Father Merrin's face in the desert for one example. On the whole though, I could live with the amount of digital noise reduction used on this transfer. The resolution is still quite good, likely owing to the 4K scan of the master.

Unfortunately, the technicians working on the transfer used a common technique on it after the degraining. To sharpen it for Blu-ray, a pervasive sharpening filter of some type was applied throughout the movie. The ringing is noticeable in spots, but that is not the main problem with it. The remaining grain in the image takes on a slightly noisy appearance at times after being sharpened. Many will just chalk it up to the age of the film and its inherent grain, but certain scenes show visual indicators of the problem.

Compression issues are really confined to the scene involving the actual exorcism. The VC-1 encode holds up quite well until that moment, when it starts to slightly break down at the combination of fast action, dark interior lighting and murkiness. After seeing the Blu-ray, the compression encoder did a better job with the film than I expected before viewing.

The Exorcist was never intended to be eye candy. The Blu-ray looks okay, but a nagging thought reminds me that a better edition in terms of absolute picture fidelity and quality is very possible. As is, the picture quality turned out acceptable to me, a huge fan of the film since I first watched it many years ago.

BDInfo scan of director's cut (courtesy of RDarrylR):
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...4#post19292414
deltasun's Avatar deltasun 10:47 PM 11-02-2010
Phantom, thanks for the reviews on the Christmas specials. I'll be ordering those in the next few days.

Denny/GRG - I have TS3 sitting here and will probably get to it in the next few days. Makes it hard to wait with your glowing reviews.

Hugh, I think it was you who mentioned the the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (standard) DVDs a while back. Looks like a BR version came out today and couldn't help but put it on before TS3. It's quite good so far.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 08:45 AM 11-03-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Toy Story 3

You notice I said I'm nominating this for TOP SPOT "among animated titles," for IMO The Thin Red Line and Avatar deserve the number one and two spots for achieving such perfection in the live action genre (especially The Thin Red Line where no CGI was employed). I'm still waiting for others to view The Thin Red Line and hopefully others will join the three of us who have weighed in with a "Top of Tier 0" recommendation.

Tier Recommendation: Top of Tier 0 below Avatar

I actually saw Toy Story 3 in the theaters (remember those things?) so I am not sure when I will get around to watching it on Blu-ray. Pixar continues to push standards higher and higher.
Tags: High Definition , Blu Ray Movies
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