The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 719 - AVS Forum
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Blu-ray Software > The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 10:11 PM 06-12-2014
Non-Stop

Teal anyone?! Okay, so I was fortunate enough to watch 2 Blus back-to-back with pervasive color-grading, but guess what? This one wasn't nearly as distracting as the last viewing. Flesh tones were intact and it didn't hinder details so any penalization will be minimal.

I was very impressed with the clarity, details and depth through the majority of the movie. Most definitely demo-worthy! During the last 20-30 minutes, when the action kicked in, softness reared its ugly head in various shots and details suffered.

Colors were limited due to a muted color palette (with the exception of some colorful clothes on a few of the airline passengers and one of the flight attendants). Contrast was generally good. Blacks levels were almost non-existent, but when they did appear they were good (not great, but good).

In comparing this with my last viewing I'm inclined to bump it up one notch....

Tier Recommendation: 1.50*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....

rusky_g's Avatar rusky_g 04:02 AM 06-13-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

Orange/Teal (especially Orange!) anyone? This Blu could have possibly found its way into the Reference Tier if not for the pervasive color-grading, some intermittent soft shots, and several instances where faces appeared blurry/fuzzy. The color-grading was the worst culprit, for the orange hues affected flesh tones in numerous shots.

Other than these anomalies, we are treated to a rather sharp and detailed film. Facial close-ups were the highlights to these eyes, most notably EVERY shot of Kevin Costner. His aging is most apparent in HD; I've said this about him in previous Blu-ray releases and this was no exception. His wrinkles are surely mounting up!!

Black levels were, for the most part, very good, but I wouldn't call them reference. The same can be said for shadow details.

Colors were good, but again with a generous amount of color-grading they weren't as impressive as they might have been.

Another "redeeming quality" was a light layer of grain, giving it that "cinematic-look."

All things considered this may be worth of Tier 1, but just barely...

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
I was keen to pick this up but not so sure now, especially with the mention of grain...
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 01:45 PM 06-13-2014
Serial Experiments Lain: Complete Series

recommendation: Tier 3.0*

This is an older anime series made with classic cel animation. This was another one of Funimation's earlier releases with adventures in banding, stirring up criticism. Honestly, the older cel animation in Serial Experiments Lain always had a unique aesthetic, one that I am not sure was fully realized by its creators. Even a perfect video encode wouldn't look that hot, though it does appear that Funimation mucked with the black levels.

This flawed release belongs somewhere in Tier Three.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 04:28 PM 06-13-2014
House of Cards

WOW...WOW...WOW!!

We have ANOTHER serious contender for Tier Blu. I have only viewed the first three episodes of Season One, but I was in awe of the razor-sharp image, immaculate details, and depth that comes as close to 3D as you'll ever see on a 2D disc. To be honest, the first episode wasn't quite as dazzling; there were some instances of softness and the teal color-grading took away from the colors on display. But episodes two and three are simply stellar. (I just watched a scene where Kevin Spacey is speaking to a congregation in a church and I can't remember the last time I saw such amazing definition, with phenomenal depth, details, and colors.) If the rest of the series holds up to this standard (set forth in episodes 2 & 3) I will easily recommend this for, at the very least, the middle of Tier Blu. FWIW, reviewers have said the Blu-ray is MUCH BETTER than the PQ seen while streaming on Netflix.

In averaging out the first three episodes, I can, with a good conscience, recommend the following placement....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.66)

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 06:49 PM 06-13-2014
Well, I just finished episodes 4 and 5 and they are STELLAR. Most definitely mid to high Tier 0!!

Okay, time to quit *binging*.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 04:11 PM 06-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Well, I just finished episodes 4 and 5 and they are STELLAR. Most definitely mid to high Tier 0!!

Okay, time to quit *binging*.
You have a ways to go, in three days the second season is released on Blu-ray.


Harvey

recommendation: Tier 2.0*


A brilliant film transfer by Universal (I don't believe I have ever written those words before) with striking definition, newly struck from the original camera negative. The 1950 film looks better than ever, derived from an immaculate source and lightly handled by a stellar AVC video encode. The excellent black-and-white cinematography is flawlessly reproduced with perfect contrast and sumptuous shadow delineation.

The film-like transfer has not been filtered, allowing an authentic film experience with top-notch detail and clarity. Easier graders than I might place Harvey in Tier One, there are certainly many scenes in it that qualify. Easily one of the best-looking catalog Blu-rays handled by Universal, Harvey surpasses most of their output in terms of faithfulness and fidelity to the original film elements.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 04:25 PM 06-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
Well, I just finished episodes 4 and 5 and they are STELLAR. Most definitely mid to high Tier 0!!

Okay, time to quit *binging*.
You have a ways to go, in three days the second season is released on Blu-ray.
I think I'll wait for the price to drop on the 2nd Season before buying. The 1st Season is half the price (obviously WELL WORTH IT!) and that's about all I want to pay for this series. It is a really good political drama/thriller with topnotch PQ, but I can't see myself viewing it again for a very long time due to the length of each season (13 episodes a piece).
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 04:34 PM 06-14-2014
Anyone seen or heard anything about TimeScapes, a movie shot at 4K? I bring it up because it's only available on Blu-ray through this website and someone keyed me in on its pure demo quality. It sounds very similar to a project like Baraka or Chronos.

http://timescapes.org/

Here is the brief synopsis from their website:

TimeScapes is the debut film from award-winning cinematographer and director Tom Lowe. The film features stunning slow-motion and timelapse cinematography of the landscapes, people, and wildlife of the American South West. Lowe spent 2 years roaming the Southwest in his Toyota pickup truck shooting the film.

TimeScapes was shot, edited and color-graded at 4K resolution (4096 x 2304 pixels).
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 05:00 PM 06-14-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Anyone seen or heard anything about TimeScapes, a movie shot at 4K? I bring it up because it's only available on Blu-ray through this website and someone keyed me in on its pure demo quality. It sounds very similar to a project like Baraka or Chronos.

http://timescapes.org/

Here is the brief synopsis from their website:

TimeScapes is the debut film from award-winning cinematographer and director Tom Lowe. The film features stunning slow-motion and timelapse cinematography of the landscapes, people, and wildlife of the American South West. Lowe spent 2 years roaming the Southwest in his Toyota pickup truck shooting the film.

TimeScapes was shot, edited and color-graded at 4K resolution (4096 x 2304 pixels).
I just watched both trailers and it already looks demo-worthy! The soundtrack sounds amazing, especially on the 2nd trailer.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 11:47 AM 06-16-2014
C-Control: The Money and Soul of Possibility

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

This 2011 anime series was clearly animated with a focus on its visuals. The elaborate character designs and backgrounds are intricately detailed in splendid color. Highlighting perfect contrast and a fully-saturated color palette, the 1080p presentation is impressive. C-Control is a release by Funimation, an inconsistent BD distributor in regards to picture quality. Released in October of 2012, this two-disc set escapes the more serious banding problems seen in a handful of their other Blu-rays.

Depending on how one feels about the occasional compression artifact, C-Control could have ended up with a higher placement. It definitely remains a fantastic example of newer hand-drawn animation.
wattheF's Avatar wattheF 07:40 PM 06-16-2014
At this point it is a very rare occasion that a movie is so good that I completely get lost in it to the point where I don't even think about the picture quality. But this is exactly what happened when I watched "Her". It is written and directed by Spike Jonze. I highly recommend checking out this truly special movie. I can't wait to watch again so i can focus on the PQ a bit more.

Its not a visually dynamic movie but from what i saw it looked good. Hope to purchase soon and I will post a review then. Btw it's shot in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 08:31 PM 06-16-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
At this point it is a very rare occasion that a movie is so good that I completely get lost in it to the point where I don't even think about the picture quality. But this is exactly what happened when I watched "Her". It is written and directed by Spike Jones. I highly recommend checking out this truly special movie. I can't wait to watch again so i can focus on the PQ a bit more.

Its not a visually dynamic movie but from what i saw it looked good. Hope to purchase soon and I will post a review then. Btw it's shot in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio.
I've heard great things about it, I want to see it at some point. Spike Jonze was also responsible for Being John Malkovich, another innovative and unique movie. The Criterion edition of Being John Malkovich looked pretty average, I don't remember its placement off the top of my head.
fredxr2d2's Avatar fredxr2d2 08:32 AM 06-17-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
At this point it is a very rare occasion that a movie is so good that I completely get lost in it to the point where I don't even think about the picture quality. But this is exactly what happened when I watched "Her". It is written and directed by Spike Jonze. I highly recommend checking out this truly special movie. I can't wait to watch again so i can focus on the PQ a bit more.

Its not a visually dynamic movie but from what i saw it looked good. Hope to purchase soon and I will post a review then. Btw it's shot in a 16 x 9 aspect ratio.
I was going to chime in with my review of Her today anyway, so I'm glad you brought it up.

Firstly, you should see the film: it is quite interesting and good.

Then, the PQ is amazing. Again, the Arri Alexa shows off it's stuff. Everything is bright, clear, crisp, colorful, and a pleasure to behold.

My only gripe would be the black levels. There aren't very many moments of dark scenes (which may have been an intentional push by the DP to account for the all-digital photography) and those few moments where darker elements are available, none of them truly reach down into black, more of a dark gray (and I say this in comparison to the "black" of the bars on the 1.85:1 image). However, one cannot fault this movie for truly bad black levels because the story didn't need deep black levels (there were no armies attacking Helm's Deep or Voldemort's legions on a dark hillside).

I'd place it in Tier 0, probably around the middle or near the bottom, depending on how you feel about dark grays.

Looking forward to hearing from others.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 02:45 PM 06-17-2014
If there were enough scenes that tested the black levels, I'd have trouble myself putting a disc with less than inky black levels in Tier 0. I haven't seen the BD and can't really say about Her. If the Arri Alexa has one weakness, it is the occasionally milky black levels.

We passed today over 3.5 million page views for this discussion thread since it started. It's been a long, strange journey.

3,500,266
wattheF's Avatar wattheF 07:29 PM 06-17-2014
The Lego Movie

Just got done watching this great BD with my kids. The movie was enjoyable and entertaining on all levels.

Overall the PQ is outstanding and the animation looks incredible! Contrast is very strong with great black levels and shadow detail. Colors are abundant and pop off the screen. Clarity and sharpness leave nothing to be desired. The image is very clean and polished, *all the while maintaining a natural and almost "handmade" feel. The lighting and motion is animated in such a way to make it look and feel like a stop motion film.

All these factors combined with an amazing amount of detail and texture rendered in the animated characters makes for depth and realism that is almost palpable. They even animated fingerprints and other "flaws" into the Lego parts. Even in 2D images seemed to jump off the screen. I can't wait to see the 3D version.

There are some live action scenes at the end that also look great.

About the only negative I noticed was some very slight color banding a few times but it was minimal so I don't feel the need to dock the movie too much for this. *The issue may also be endemic to the animation itself.

Btw, the dynamic DTS audio is also excellent.

Ranking...TIER 0 (in the middle)

(*) EDIT-6/18
fredxr2d2's Avatar fredxr2d2 09:03 AM 06-18-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by wattheF View Post
The Lego Movie

Just got done watching this great BD with my kids. The movie was enjoyable and entertaining on all levels.

Overall the PQ is outstanding and the animation looks incredible! Contrast is very strong with great black levels and shadow detail. Colors are abundant and pop off the screen. Clarity and sharpness leave nothing to be desired. The image is very clean and polished, *all the while maintaining a natural and almost "handmade" feel. The lighting and motion is animated in such a way to make it look and feel like a stop motion film.

All these factors combined with an amazing amount of detail and texture rendered in the animated characters makes for depth and realism that is almost palpable. They even animated fingerprints and other "flaws" into the Lego parts. Even in 2D images seemed to jump off the screen. I can't wait to see the 3D version.

There are some live action scenes at the end that also look great.

About the only negative I noticed was some very slight color banding a few times but it was minimal so I don't feel the need to dock the movie too much for this. *The issue may also be endemic to the animation itself.

Btw, the dynamic DTS audio is also excellent.

Ranking...TIER 0 (in the middle)

(*) EDIT-6/18
Agree 100%. Tier 0 for the Lego Movie. I also can't wait to get time to watch it in 3D.
rusky_g's Avatar rusky_g 05:02 PM 06-18-2014
Gangster Squad

An excellent movie with PQ to do it justice!

This slid under my radar and I'm pleased to report it exceeded my expectation.

From start to finish the picture is very clear. Sharpness is generally on point although softness did occasionally rear its head, most notably during the 'tin can' target practice scene. Inky blacks were a strong point; a good thing given that most of the film takes place at night. Black cars shimmered, as did the wet sidewalks of the city streets. I have to say the lighting was fantastic throughout and really captured the mood of the era.

Whilst not a film overflowing with colour, they did sparkle when called upon, be it the brightly lit neons of or the cabaret shows. Contrast was consistently strong, at times almost monochrome, yet fitting to the context. Facial details were average to good but definitely short of reference level.

This was not a top tier title but certainly good enough to rub shoulders with Tier Gold..

1.5
mweflen's Avatar mweflen 12:27 AM 06-19-2014
Gravity (2D)

Excellent black levels and detail near black. No aliasing, banding or posterization. Good color. Exterior space shots bristle with detail. Faces are more of a mixed bag detail-wise, probably due to the compositing of real and CG elements. I agree with the current placement near The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey EE in Tier 0.

Tier Recommendation 0 (above Hobbit EE)

mweflen's Avatar mweflen 12:31 AM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I think I'll wait for the price to drop on the 2nd Season before buying. The 1st Season is half the price (obviously WELL WORTH IT!) and that's about all I want to pay for this series. It is a really good political drama/thriller with topnotch PQ, but I can't see myself viewing it again for a very long time due to the length of each season (13 episodes a piece).
I was impressed by the PQ on Netflix, and thought to myself frequently "I wonder how much better this will look on BD." They shot with high quality digital cameras and had professional cinematographers and DPs all the way, so it's not a surprise.

Having watched through S2, I agree with the recommendation to wait for a discount. It's fine and all, but not worth paying a premium over S1 for.
djoberg's Avatar djoberg 04:04 PM 06-19-2014
Amazon has a great price on The Lego Movie!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I6JOBTI/...332200_TE_item
patrick99's Avatar patrick99 07:36 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Quote:Originally Posted by djoberg


It was that bad, huh? I'm sure you saw enough of it to evaluate the video quality. We'll call it the patrick99 exception in this case.
Quote:Originally Posted by djoberg
Nice to know that I am still remembered here
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 08:04 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post
Nice to know that I am still remembered here
I was hoping the comment would get noticed. You might be the last of the original contributors to still occasionally post in this discussion thread, unless I am missing someone. Your input is always welcomed here. It's the same criteria we've been using in the thread for the PQ Tiers these many years.

Now tell us what you think of The Lego Movie.

Here is a sneak preview of an upcoming release next week...

Winter's Tale

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

Beautifully lensed by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel using the Arri Alexa and other cameras, this big-budget wreck's transfer has been filtered on some level. That does affect the actual quantity and scope of its fine detail, especially in tighter close-ups. It appears they valiantly failed through the magic of Hollywood to pass Colin Farrell off as a 21-year-old.

Aside from the notable filtering, this is a great-looking movie that is consistently sharp. The picture really pops with an appreciable amount of depth, though hints of aliasing creep in due to the regular usage of digitally composited sets. Warner Bros. nails the AVC video encode, the nearly pristine video is free of artifacts.
patrick99's Avatar patrick99 08:19 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I was hoping the comment would get noticed. You might be the last of the original contributors to still occasionally post in this discussion thread, unless I am missing someone. Your input is always welcomed here. It's the same criteria we've been using in the thread for the PQ Tiers these many years.

Now tell us what you think of The Lego Movie.


Totally coincidentally just happened to be checking for the first time in a long time. Thank you very much. My life has changed a lot in the last year. Just ordered several discs though. Don't think I will have anything to say on Lego Movie.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 08:25 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post
Totally coincidentally just happened to be checking for the first time in a long time. Thank you very much. My life has changed a lot in the last year. Just ordered several discs though. Don't think I will have anything to say on Lego Movie.
I hope everything is going well with you. Keep the newer version of the Tiers handy at this link, it still gets updated on a regular basis:

Official Blu-ray Picture Quality Rankings: The PQ Tiers (updated through March 27, 2014)
patrick99's Avatar patrick99 08:30 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
I hope everything is going well with you. Keep the newer version of the Tiers handy at this link, it still gets updated on a regular basis:

Official Blu-ray Picture Quality Rankings: The PQ Tiers (updated through March 27, 2014)


Thank you. I have always been more interested in the discussions than the results but thank you very much for your hard work on the results.
|Tch0rT|'s Avatar |Tch0rT| 10:28 PM 06-19-2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Anyone seen or heard anything about TimeScapes, a movie shot at 4K? I bring it up because it's only available on Blu-ray through this website and someone keyed me in on its pure demo quality. It sounds very similar to a project like Baraka or Chronos.

http://timescapes.org/
I watched the blu-ray of that this morning. It's similar to Baraka, Samsara, and Chronos but the scenes are much shorter. It's beautiful for sure, especially the daytime shots. It alternates between daytime scenes (some are slowed down a tad and other look real time) and nighttime scenes of a timelapsed sky which is quite neat. The daytime scenes look flawless to me, almost like you're right there. Some of the nighttime scenes had banding issues, blurry edges, and one scene had some weird video noise but they were few and far between. I don't like to give tier ratings since I have a hard time quantifying black levels and such like some of you guys can and I tend not to notice edge enhancement unless pointed out (lets just say I think the Back to the Future blu-rays look decent LOL). But for the most part it's demo material. The music was ok but it bored me from time to time but the film is only about 40 min long (8 min of credits) so it wasn't too bad. Not bad but considering they want $20 for it I find the price a bit steep.
Phantom Stranger's Avatar Phantom Stranger 10:33 PM 06-19-2014
Thanks for that report on TimeScapes. The price does seem a bit steep but I guess it's a niche product.
edlittle's Avatar edlittle 01:22 PM 06-20-2014
I'd pay $10 for a 50 minute blu ray, but I agree that it is very steep.
rusky_g's Avatar rusky_g 03:55 PM 06-20-2014
With the forum 'upgrade' have we also now lost the feature to search within a thread topic?
edlittle's Avatar edlittle 04:51 PM 06-20-2014
No it's up at the top right, Search this Thread. We have lost most post links though.
Tags: High Definition , Blu Ray Movies
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