AVS Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: West Central Minnesota
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The Man from Snowy River
Okay, so it's obvious this 1982 Australian Western will never win any beauty contests (PQ-wise, that is), but I'm here to tell you that it's light-years ahead of its DVD counterpart! I had doubts of this in the opening scene, for inside the Craig mountain home (at night with low-lighting) we are immediately treated to less-than-stellar blacks levels, a bit of noise, and unflattering depth and details. But my doubts were short-lived as the next scene shifted to a daytime scene in the woods where details leaped off the screen along with a good measure of sharpness and clarity. As scene after scene unfolded it became apparent that inconsistency would reign supreme but thankfully the majority of the scenes were, as stated above, huge improvements over the DVD.
Do you like grain? Let's hope so, for grain was left unchecked, perhaps to a fault in some shots (they appeared somewhat *gritty* and in a couple of nighttime shots came across as *noise*). In other shots it took on a very pleasing "film-like" look.
Colors were bland, so this won't help in the final analysis. Black levels could be very good during night scenes (and the black bars could rarely be detected next to the surrounding bezel), but at times they faltered or crushed. Contrast was *okay*, though it did spike in one or two daytime, outdoor scenes, leaving us with a washed-out look.
Not much more can be said. Am I glad I made the purchase? Oh yeah! The movie still holds a charm for our family (though some will find it too slow-paced and simple compared to "modern-day" westerns) and the obvious improvements over the DVD preclude any idea of "buyer's remorse." As I stated, there were a lot of inconsistencies from scene to scene (with some veering towards Tier Gold and others dropping ever-so-close to the dreaded bottom tiers), but I'm inclined to put it smack-dab in the middle of the tiers....
Tier Recommendation: 3.25
Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD....Pioneer Elite BDP-05....Onkyo TX-NR717
Cambridge Soundworks MC305 Fronts & Center...Cambridge Soundworks Ambiance Surrounds....SVS PC12-NSD