The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 725 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #21721 of 22339 Old 07-29-2014, 07:59 PM
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Official Blu-ray Picture Quality Rankings: The PQ Tiers (updated through March 27, 2014)

AVS Forum's Blu-ray Picture Quality Tiers are now current through the last post, found at the link above. One can ignore the March 27th date, I haven't figured out how to edit an existing thread's title with the new software. It can always be found as a sticky in the Blu-ray Software sub-forum. We are now very close to 4000 total entries, ranked for best video quality appeal. We could not have gotten to this point without all of the past and present contributors in this thread.

Tier 0 - Blu Tier 1 - Gold Tier 2.0 - Silver Tier 3.0 - Bronze Tier 4.0 - Copper Tier 5.0 - Coal
0 - 1 - 1.25 - 1.5 - 1.75 - 2 - 2.25 - 2.5 - 2.75 - 3 - 3.25 - 3.5 - 3.75 - 4 - 4.5 - 5 -

At the moment the above links are broken with the change in forum software. I'll look for a solution though if anyone knows if anchors still work on this new forum code, contact me.


Going over a few things that aren't explicitly laid out on the main page for newbies, feel free to report a mistake or broken link in the PQ Tiers in this discussion thread. The highest level of video quality, Tier Zero, is absolutely ordered from best to worst. Monsters University remains the #1 ranked disc for the moment. Nothing in the Tiers is immutable, an entry can still be changed by community input or a re-evaluation in each update. I do not foresee the next update happening until October or November.

As I mentioned a few days ago, no one needs to use the Google spreadsheet entry form anymore. It will be kept open but there is no need to enter your own scores if you don't have the time. All scores posted in this discussion thread will get counted like always. I would like to thank all the regulars that used it but the form never gained the traction needed to make it worthwhile. It will now be an internal accounting system for the Tiers.
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post #21722 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 08:35 AM
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^^^^^^^


Thanks again Phantom for the countless hours you spend keeping this thread updated. I believe few, including me, have any idea the work that is involved.

I watched Noah last night but I plan to go over a few scenes again before writing up a review. I was thoroughly impressed with the details and depth displayed from beginning to end. But there were a a couple of scenes at night (most notably the scene where Noah goes looking for wives for his two youngest sons) and then some shots in the Ark during the flood where the black levels didn't seem to be reference quality.
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post #21723 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 09:13 AM
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Not sure if I can make recommendations as I honestly don't know enough to properly judge. That being said I see that Dragon Hunters made it to Tier 0 and that is one of my favourites with what I thought was excellent PQ. Another I would love to see is The Secret of Kells. Not only is the story astounding (once you get into it) but the "animation" is absolutely gorgeous and well worth reviewing.
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post #21724 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 09:16 AM
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I watched Noah last night and I agree with what djoberg said.

I would put it in Tier 0 near the middle.

The biggest thing I can say about it is textures Textures TEXTURES! Every single piece of homemade, handspun (or was made to look this way) clothing was absolutely mind-bogglingly clear. Like individual threads clear. And facial pores? EVERY SINGLE ONE.

The only issue with the disc is occasional black levels, and even then, the rest of the film just looks so darn good.

I definitely recommend a rental on this one, just for the PQ and AQ (some nice deep booms and swishes as the floods come in).

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post #21725 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 10:59 AM
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Noah

I haven't got time to revisit the movie, so after seeing fredxr2d2's review (where he confirmed what I saw in some of the black levels) I think I'm ready to commit to a recommendation. I really have nothing to add to the former reviews, for the DETAILS and TEXTURES were phenomenal, not only on facial close-ups and clothing, but in landscapes and in the *Watchers*. The color palette was quite dull, but I loved it every time they showed Adam and Eve, the serpent, and the apple....amazing colors, clarity, and details!!

The black levels simply were not the best I've seen, especially for a Tier Blu title, but I'm willing to overlook the few instances where they faltered...to a degree. If they had been reference quality I would be tempted to assign this to the middle of Tier 0, but I'm forced to drop it down a quarter of a tier....

Tier Recommendation: Tier 0* (.75)

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post #21726 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 11:08 AM
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I meant to add a comment about the movie itself. Being a lover of the Bible, I found this movie, which is *supposed* to be based on the Biblical account of Noah and the flood, to be a travesty. It misrepresents the scriptures on so many levels that it's ridiculous.

Having said that, this IS Hollywood, and they're out to make money, not to retain Biblical accuracy when making a move based on the Bible. So it doesn't surprise me at all that the greatest liberties were taken in order to *entertain* the masses. I knew this before I rented it. I simply wanted to see a reference-quality Blu-ray, in spite of the gross misrepresentation of the Bible reflected in various characters and events. Some may not be willing to do so, and I would empathize with them in that sentiment and not blame them at all for passing this one by.

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post #21727 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 12:10 PM
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There are definitely a couple of scenes inside the Ark where Noah's black levels are sketchy at best. Considering the reference shadow detail and superior delineation in the rest of the film, I didn't really hold that segment against Noah's ranking.

As for the film itself, it's definitely not aimed at religious audiences. Like most Hollywood blockbusters these days, it mostly uses the name recognition of its source material to help sell the movie. It does offer one of Russell Crowe's better performances in recent memory.
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post #21728 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 12:26 PM
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My understanding on Noah was that it was a midrash -- that is, a story told about and with the Biblical elements intended to discuss deeper (or different) philosophical or theological concepts. In this case, a discussion on whether or not human beings are worthy to be saved (or that is what I took away from it).

I think, in particular for this film, that some Christian audiences missed some of the point on what is, more or less, a way of telling a Jewish story--using a Jewish method of talking about Scripture. That said, I agree with Stranger and djoberg that the Hollywood aspects of any film often overlay the literary or other source material.

Still, PQ on Noah is very good and I think worth a watch for that alone, though I personally wouldn't buy it and probably don't plan on re-watching it anytime soon.

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post #21729 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 12:36 PM
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Noah does have a beautifully designed sequence retelling the creation story from Genesis, though I felt it a little out of place in the middle of the narrative.
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post #21730 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 04:21 PM
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Saving Mr Banks

Nice colours here echoing the films retro feel. I felt mid range shots looked prettier than close ups bar a few of Emma Thompson which revealed nice detail. Black levels were pleasing as was contrast. The flash back scenes were colour starved but that didn't stop them looking great! The worst scene in PQ terms was when Disney arrived at the home of PL Travers.

This wasn't the absolute cream of the crop but good enough to rank in Gold.

Tier 1.25
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post #21731 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 04:46 PM
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Update

Thank you for all you do.
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post #21732 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 06:49 PM
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Speaking of the new update, if anyone has strong feelings about the exact order at the very top of the PQ Tiers, bring them up. Given djoberg's score for Rio 2, it might have deserved a higher placement but I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to entries with single votes at the very top.
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post #21733 of 22339 Old 07-30-2014, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Speaking of the new update, if anyone has strong feelings about the exact order at the very top of the PQ Tiers, bring them up. Given djoberg's score for Rio 2, it might have deserved a higher placement but I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to entries with single votes at the very top.
Everything looks good to me, mind you I haven't had a chance to watch Rio 2 yet.

I was just glad to see Oblivion in tier 0 where it belongs!

Good work Phantom.
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post #21734 of 22339 Old 07-31-2014, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
I meant to add a comment about the movie itself. Being a lover of the Bible, I found this movie, which is *supposed* to be based on the Biblical account of Noah and the flood, to be a travesty. It misrepresents the scriptures on so many levels that it's ridiculous.

Having said that, this IS Hollywood, and they're out to make money, not to retain Biblical accuracy when making a move based on the Bible. So it doesn't surprise me at all that the greatest liberties were taken in order to *entertain* the masses. I knew this before I rented it. I simply wanted to see a reference-quality Blu-ray, in spite of the gross misrepresentation of the Bible reflected in various characters and events. Some may not be willing to do so, and I would empathize with them in that sentiment and not blame them at all for passing this one by.
I'm more upset that the Bible got it wrong.
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post #21735 of 22339 Old 07-31-2014, 10:05 AM
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I'm more upset that the Bible got it wrong.
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post #21736 of 22339 Old 07-31-2014, 04:40 PM
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I'm more upset that the Bible got it wrong.
It's funny you should say that (but not for the same reason that hernanu found it funny!), for I once tried to prove the Bible wrong. Guess what happened...IT PROVED ME WRONG! I was sitting as a judge upon the Word of God with the intention of proving it was filled with contradictions, myths, and fables, but as I continued to read it it became my judge and convicted me
of all the wrongs I had done. See Hebrews 4:12.

If men reject the Word, they will ultimately be judged by the very Word they reject. See John 12:47, 48.

I know the Forum is not the place for these kinds of discussions, but I had simply commented on the "movie" Noah (and how it compared historically with the Bible), which we are allowed to do. Your reply to my post compelled me to respond to you.
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post #21737 of 22339 Old 07-31-2014, 06:32 PM
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Religious views aside I found Noah to be boring... good sound and video but boring. I judge how boring a movie is by how often I get the feeling to grab my iPad. It was often... The battle scene was nice though.

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post #21738 of 22339 Old 07-31-2014, 07:49 PM
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Religious views aside I found Noah to be boring... good sound and video but boring. I judge how boring a movie is by how often I get the feeling to grab my iPad. It was often... The battle scene was nice though.
I agree; it was boring. And aside from good performances by Emily Watson and Russell Crowe, the acting was poor to mediocre. But the Video/Audio was stellar and that kept me from reaching for my iPad.
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post #21739 of 22339 Old 08-01-2014, 02:33 PM
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Killer Joe

recommendation: Tier 1.25*

For some reason I thought Killer Joe had already been ranked in the Tiers. The 2012 Blu-ray release by Lionsgate is a strong Tier One candidate, I'd be hard-pressed to argue if someone wanted it placed higher than this ranking. This is quality digital cinematography, courtesy of the ARRI ALEXA camera and great production values. It possesses exquisite levels of fine detail in a completely unfiltered digital transfer.

Its clarity is on par with many selections from Tier 0. Some blown-out fleshtones in a couple interior scenes take something away from the mostly impeccable video quality. A slightly flatter presentation is the main component keeping this out of a much higher ranking. In all other regards it's a clear winner.
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post #21740 of 22339 Old 08-01-2014, 02:40 PM
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We're the Millers

Tier Recommendation: Tier 1.0


Watching this comedy last night didn't have me distracted by any bad portions of the picture. While it can be argued that the black levels never go down very far, other than a few night sky scenes near the end, the main argument is that they don't need to.

This recent release is everything that you'd expect from a recent film and that puts it in Tier 1 for me. Not exemplary because it didn't stand out as being exceptional (like Noah), but nothing overwhelmingly displeasing either, so I couldn't justify rating it lower. Bright and colorful and right on the mark.

As far as the movie goes: I'd recommend it to fans of raunchy comedies, but with the stipulation that it is merely fun, and not a genre-breaker by any means (it doesn't stand out the way that The Hangover did, when I remember all my friends quoting endlessly after seeing it). That said, it is definitely worth a rent if you're a fan and don't mind a few f-bombs (or more than a few, depending on who you regularly spend time around).

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post #21741 of 22339 Old 08-03-2014, 06:46 PM
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I'll be leaving early tomorrow for at least a week, but I'll be checking in from time to time to see any reviews that come in. I'm anxious to see how well Divergent does and I believe it is released this Tuesday.

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post #21742 of 22339 Old 08-03-2014, 09:01 PM
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Thomas Crown Affair, The (1968)

Recommendation: Tier 3.75*

Part of the Steve McQueen Collection, it's inconsistent. I was worried as the first scene unfolded as I would put it in the tier 5 quality but it picked up from there. Some shots reach into tier 1 such as the closeups during the chess match between McQueen and Fay Dunaway. Colors and flesh tones are good most of the time but blacks are washed out in many of the scenes. There are lots of split/multi screen shots which were cutting edge at the time. A few of these look pretty good but most show washed out colors and lots of dirt or print damage. They were all done optically so that's probably where the damage occurred with all the handling. The biggest thing that holds it back is the softness in many of the shots. Some troubling scenes but taken on the whole I'm satisfied with my placement.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.

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post #21743 of 22339 Old 08-03-2014, 09:20 PM
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Grand Budapest Hotel, The

Recommendation: Tier 1.25

First off, this is a really fun watch and Wes Anderson makes some really great movies. Sharpness never waivers, colors are vibrant, and black levels are inky and never crushed. There are a variety of flesh tones and they all look natural. Just a nice overall presentation.

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I find your lack of schadenfreude disturbing.

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post #21744 of 22339 Old 08-04-2014, 11:44 AM
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I thought the changing aspect ratios in The Grand Budapest Hotel were going to end up being a gimmick but they pulled it off quite well.
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post #21745 of 22339 Old 08-04-2014, 06:21 PM
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Grand Budapest Hotel, The

Recommendation: Tier 1.25

First off, this is a really fun watch and Wes Anderson makes some really great movies. Sharpness never waivers, colors are vibrant, and black levels are inky and never crushed. There are a variety of flesh tones and they all look natural. Just a nice overall presentation.
That movie is incredible!
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post #21746 of 22339 Old 08-04-2014, 08:49 PM
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Accel World: Set 1

recommendation: Tier 1.75*

This anime release is noteworthy for the reference compression specs. Unlike other anime distributors on Blu-ray, Viz Media actually split the twelve episodes on Set 1 between two BD-50s. The AVC video encode has much higher parameters as a result, leading to a perfect video encode of what is presumably the Japanese broadcast master. The animation however is not quite as impressive, leading to a rock-solid presentation that doesn't sparkle with brilliance like better animated fare in 1080P resolution.

Accel World provides nice video quality with a wide-ranging palette of bright colors. The traditional hand-drawn animation does incorporate a few CGI elements.
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post #21747 of 22339 Old 08-05-2014, 12:25 PM
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Ironclad: Battle For Blood

recommendation: Tier 2.0*

A medieval siege flick hitting straight to video, Ironclad's sequel is usually sharp and has the occasional burst of outstanding resolution. However, this is one of the weaker looking ARRI ALEXA productions on Blu-ray. The sub-par AVC video encode on a BD-25 lacks complete and faithful transparency to the original Digital Intermediate, softening detail and introducing a handful of compression artifacts.

This was a movie made on the cheap in Serbia with a mostly Serbian crew. The digital grading lacks a vivid color palette, leaving a flat, lifeless quality for a new production. The transfer has been left unfiltered but there are minor lapses in high-frequency content, likely due to slipshod editing and questionable CGI.

While this review sounds overly harsh, the disc manages Tier Two standards with relative ease. More polish in the digital cinematography and less handheld work might have made this a Tier One contender.
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post #21748 of 22339 Old 08-05-2014, 09:21 PM
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The Swimmer

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

I have no idea how Grindhouse Releasing does it but they've delivered another fantastic film transfer in The Swimmer. The PQ Tiers methodology can't quite capture how utterly film-like and authentic the 1080P video is on this disc. The ad copy on the back claims a "spectacular new digital restoration created from 4K scans for optimal picture quality." This is one case where the advertising does not lie, it's an utterly flawless reproduction of what the film should look like in beautiful clarity and detail. You really can't handle a film transfer with better practices, there is nothing in it except pure film reproduction in immaculate quality.

This is the same distributor that did a great job on The Big Gundown's presentation. It appears they are cherry-picking the newest archival film scans by Sony and bestowing them with top-notch technical presentations. This Burt Lancaster film is profoundly interesting, a unique reflection of America in a different time.
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post #21749 of 22339 Old 08-06-2014, 04:32 PM
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Gambit (2012)

Daytime scenes looked excellent - see the park bench scene around the 1.00hr mark as the best example. In dimmer scenes however, shadow detail suffered with back crush swallowing up the picture. Any instance of a black dinner jacket, of which there were a few, fell foul to this downfall. Elsewhere, bar a couple of good facial close ups of Alan Rickman, the rest were forgetable. Fabric textures were most rewarding on the Major's tweed jacket.

Gambit had some high moments but just not enough to leave me buzzing.

Tier 2.0
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post #21750 of 22339 Old 08-06-2014, 04:58 PM
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The Swimmer

recommendation: Tier 1.5*

I have no idea how Grindhouse Releasing does it but they've delivered another fantastic film transfer in The Swimmer. The PQ Tiers methodology can't quite capture how utterly film-like and authentic the 1080P video is on this disc. The ad copy on the back claims a "spectacular new digital restoration created from 4K scans for optimal picture quality." This is one case where the advertising does not lie, it's an utterly flawless reproduction of what the film should look like in beautiful clarity and detail. You really can't handle a film transfer with better practices, there is nothing in it except pure film reproduction in immaculate quality.

This is the same distributor that did a great job on The Big Gundown's presentation. It appears they are cherry-picking the newest archival film scans by Sony and bestowing them with top-notch technical presentations. This Burt Lancaster film is profoundly interesting, a unique reflection of America in a different time.
With such a glowing review I was a bit surprised to see a rank of 1.5. May I ask what held you back from ranking it any higher?
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