The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 752 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #22531 of 22541 Old 05-03-2015, 05:37 PM
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While this release is a little old and isn't a true "movie", I want to throw out "Shut up and just play the hits" the farewell concert video for LCD Soundsystem.
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I sitting here watching it on my Samsung F9000 and the clarity of the picture is just incredible for live footage and it makes for a great contrast and shadow detail torture test as well. The band members are dressed in either all white or all black and are often in the same frame together, James Murphy (lead singer) in a black suit with white shirt, plus the sharp gradient from lit to unlit area's of the stage and crowd. All of this dark and shadow yet the blacks don't look crushed at all and you can still see fabric patterns in the clothing.

I would give it a score of between 1.5 and 1.25 gold.

And being a concert film, it gives the speakers a nice work out

http://www.amazon.com/Shut-Up-Play-H...+play+the+hits
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post #22532 of 22541 Old 05-03-2015, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJackson View Post
Similar to Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises?
You can find old comments of mine in this thread on specific movies searching on the movie's name and "phantom" most of the time. One should remember the Dark Knight review below was published when George W. Bush was still President. I don't necessarily agree with their current placements in the PQ Tiers.

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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post
Bottom quarter of Tier 2 or high Tier 3 sounds right for Batman Begins. It's simply an inferior transfer and encode by Warner. The Batman Begins BD demo disc looks better of the same material. What's the date on the video encode from the HD DVD? I believe it's around two years old and simply doesn't hold up to recent Blu-ray releases.
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The Dark Knight

tier recommendation: third quarter of Tier 1

The most anticipated Blu-ray release of all-time, Warner Bros. Pictures has released this Christopher Nolan helmed movie today in a very good looking release that does have some minor problems. The 152-minute main feature is encoded in VC-1 on a BD-50. The average video bitrate is 24.00 Mbps, derived from a BDInfo computer scan (scan courtesy of forum member House linked below). This Blu-ray represents the best compression work I have ever seen from a Warner title, with absolutely no macroblocking or banding or compression noise throughout the movie. It is simply an excellent video encode that appears transparent to the source HD master. There are regular peaks in the forties for the video encode with no bitrate starvation, even in the darker lit scenes. I am very grateful that Warner decided to place the bulk of extras on a second disc to give the video encode of this long movie breathing room.

For the most part the changing aspect ratio for the IMAX portions appears seamless to the viewer. The source master looks in very good shape in terms of dirt or specks. There are no noticeable anomalies on the image, even during the special effect sequences. Unfortunately I did notice the application of intrusive edge enhancement haloes at times. A few scenes appear severely over-sharpened and if anything, look worse in motion on my display than from the screen caps seen here in other threads. This is the only negative of this transfer but it is definitely present and visible. I would imagine even an untrained eye would notice it on larger screens. It did not ruin my enjoyment of this movie’s picture quality but it is disappointing. Outside of the sharpening the transfer appears very film-like with no apparent tinkering. Grain structure appears normal and fluid with no strange motion artifacts.

The color black is rendered superbly, with excellent gray-scale and a deep inky quality to the darker lit scenes. There is a great shot later in the movie with the Joker’s face surrounded by pitch blackness. Shadow detail and depth reveal a fantastic amount of low light information like the Batman’s suit in all its glory. In fact I would rate the black levels here as among the best the Blu-ray format has to offer.

This film presents incredible cinematography throughout that really brings Gotham to life. Contrast is solid with slightly muted colors that tend toward cooler tones. I did find the flesh tones a little overcooked in a few indoor scenes but this is a minor quibble. Close-ups reveal very fine detail, though this does not appear to have the razor sharp appearance that higher ranked tier titles possess. The image has a nice consistent depth to it but no one will confuse this with a Michael Bay directed movie with loads of three dimensional pop. It is obvious the film was carefully shot, with the frame of the image being composed with a greater overall coherence and purpose than any other blockbuster I have ever witnessed.

Overall I was very happy with this Blu-ray's image quality outside of the dreaded edge enhancement. I would be recommending a higher tier placement without it frankly, but it is there and does slightly distract from the final image quality and assessment. I am recommending this BD be placed in the third quarter of tier one.

Watching on a calibrated 60” Pioneer Kuro plasma at 1080P/24 from a PS3 (firmware 2.53) at an approximate viewing distance of six feet.

BDInfo Scan:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post15119577
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Originally Posted by David@Wrigley View Post
While this release is a little old and isn't a true "movie", I want to throw out "Shut up and just play the hits" the farewell concert video for LCD Soundsystem.

I would give it a score of between 1.5 and 1.25 gold.

And being a concert film, it gives the speakers a nice work out

http://www.amazon.com/Shut-Up-Play-H...+play+the+hits
Welcome to the thread! Content of all kinds fits into the PQ Tiers, feel free to review concert material. I've seen concerts on Blu-ray that look very good and some that look terrible.
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post #22533 of 22541 Old 05-03-2015, 07:13 PM
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Toy Story of Terror!

recommendation: Tier 0* (below Toy Story 2)

Disney gives the 21-minute television special its own Blu-ray release. They didn't skimp despite its brevity, Toy Story of Terror! arrives on a BD-50. Originally broadcast on ABC, the special shows darker lighting than what we've come to expect from the Toy Story franchise. That drops it below the fantastic demo quality of Toy Story 3, still one of the Tier's highest ranked BDs. The slightly lower quality of animation drops it into the top third of Tier 0, somewhere below Toy Story 2.

The 1080P video has been encoded in AVC at stellar bitrates with complete compression fidelity. There are no technical issues concerning the Blu-ray presentation, this is an artifact-free experience with highly polished animation. While falling short of Toy Story 3's demo brilliance, this special is still an impressive display of Pixar's prowess.
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post #22534 of 22541 Old 05-04-2015, 05:52 PM
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The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Miss Osbourne

recommendation: Tier 4.0*

The 1981 European film gets a fresh restoration from the original camera negative, handled by Arrow Video. Despite the new film transfer done with best practices, this is a soft, diffuse movie experience with very average detail.

The AVC video encode uses very high parameters to handle the gritty grain structure in a transparent fashion. I would hate to see film elements this rough handled by some other distributors, the picture quality may have well turned out unwatchable. Properly framed in its 1.66:1 theatrical aspect ratio common to European cinema, the 1080P presentation has just enough definition and clarity to remind viewers this is truly an improvement over standard definition video. That marks a large leap in quality from prior versions of this film, most of which have been cut for various reasons.

My only quibble with the transfer itself is the mildly bright look, possibly the product of an elevated gamma level. Some blooming occurs in specific scenes, a heavy dose of romantic lighting leads to the problem.
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post #22535 of 22541 Old Yesterday, 02:40 PM
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Stonehearst Asylum

I fondly remember watching Amicus' "Asylum" and its various stories from the "incurably insane". I was therefore looking forward to getting my hands on this disc and spending an honest couple of hours in the company of some very interesting guests...

Stonehearst Asylum is presented in a suitably subdued manner to portray the film's era and setting, with frequent dim scenes. There are a few examples of less than stellar contrast and minor issues with black levels but on the whole it does portray the various parts and characters of Stonehearst very well. The consistently darker tones lead to reduced depth and a slightly unpolished digital sheen.

However, detail on close-ups of faces, clothing and other items around the building are excellent (for example, look at the small electroshock machine that Doctor-in-training Edward Newgate uses to spark the frog's legs into life. Very sharp). Fabric textures are clearly visible and the numerous bits and pieces on desks, tables and floors are clearly defined and detailed. All together a very pleasing effort to bring the corridors of Stonehearst alive.

My recommendation: Tier 2.0

Peter G.
IT Manager and film lover.

Currently viewing on: Epson 5030UB, 110" 1.0 Gain Screen, LG Blu-ray, Dune HD Smart H1 media player, Sony DTR-2400ES Amp, Sony centre, fronts and rears (updating gear quietly as wife permits!)

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post #22536 of 22541 Old Today, 02:47 AM
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I'm just chiming in to report that my KURO "died" on me the other night. I say "died," but it actually shut off on its own and after doing extensive research it sounds like it's the Power Supply Board. The repair could be very expensive, if I can even get it repaired. Pioneer quit making the PSBs years ago and in talking to an authorized Pioneer dealer in our area they are "few and far between" in the after market arena. I have to decide if I'm willing to invest up to $1,000 to repair this (IF I can even get the part) when I've been longing for a bigger screen for the last few years. I was hoping the KURO would last until I could get a reasonably priced OLED display in the 70-80" size, but right now that isn't an option.

So, why am I boring all of you with this? Because my KURO is the display in my Home Theater room and until I either get it repaired or buy another display I'll be forced to watch Blu-rays on one of my two "small" LED displays (without a good sound system). You may be hearing very little from me in the foreseeable future due to this.

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post #22537 of 22541 Old Today, 09:36 AM
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That's tough to hear about, I almost feel like there should be a moment of silence for a display that has provided us so many PQ reviews. That KURO plasma served you well for many years. I don't know how soon large OLEDs are coming to market, they are looking more and more like vaporware. Not liking the currently available LCD options, I made sure to pick up a couple of Panasonic plasmas in case my KURO went down.

For the Tier users that haven't been around years and years, most everyone used to post which display or screen they were using with every recommendation. Go back a few years in this thread and you'll see that mentioned in nearly every post. It has become less of an issue as most people have shifted to larger and larger displays.

Last edited by Phantom Stranger; Today at 10:34 AM.
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post #22538 of 22541 Old Today, 10:31 AM
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I've had the KURO for going on seven years. The actual panel life is "supposed" to be good for at least 50,000 hours, which means it still has, theoretically, a lot of life in it. I'm taking it to a TV repair shop in Fargo, ND today. They won't even be looking at it for at least 5 days and then they'll give me an estimate if they think they can repair it (including being able to get the Power Supply Board).

If I were to get a new panel I'm leaning towards the LG 4K 65" OLED, but right now it's a few thousand dollars more than I want to spend. I trust it will come down dramatically throughout the year. I really do want a 70" or larger though so I may just sink to a lower level than anticipated and buy a good Full Array Local Dimming LED. Vizio FALD LEDs are getting good reviews on CNET for their M and P Series, but I was hoping to get a look at their upcoming Reference Series with High Dynamic Range and other "future proof" features. I'm not going to rule out Samsung or Sony either.

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post #22539 of 22541 Unread Today, 08:37 PM
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So sorry to hear about your Kuro...it just isn't fair sometimes. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the Fargo repair shop can take care of it at reasonable price, "dontchaknow".

I'm not sure how your room is laid out or if it's even feasible, but have you considered a projector at all?

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post #22540 of 22541 Unread Today, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcramer View Post
So sorry to hear about your Kuro...it just isn't fair sometimes. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the Fargo repair shop can take care of it at reasonable price, "dontchaknow".

I'm not sure how your room is laid out or if it's even feasible, but have you considered a projector at all?
The service tech told me that he checked with Pioneer and they DO have a Power Supply Board available if it will require one. It costs $500, so with labor it would run about $700 or so. The tech said it "may" just be a capacitor, which was a real problem with KUROs from 2006 thru 2009 (my model is a 2008). That would only run about $300 with labor. I believe if it's one of those two scenarios, I will have it repaired. The KURO still has one of the most phenomenal pictures and it beats most lcd or leds on the market.

My room is actually perfect for a projector. The dimensions are 13.5' x 27', so I could have a very large screen with 2-3 tiers of seating. Thing is I'm not all that excited about the maintenance involved and the cost of replacing lamps periodically.

Pioneer Kuro Elite PRO-151FD....Pioneer Elite BDP-05....Onkyo TX-NR717

Cambridge Soundworks MC305 Fronts & Center...Cambridge Soundworks Ambiance Surrounds....SVS PC12-NSD
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post #22541 of 22541 Unread Today, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post
The service tech told me that he checked with Pioneer and they DO have a Power Supply Board available if it will require one. It costs $500, so with labor it would run about $700 or so. The tech said it "may" just be a capacitor, which was a real problem with KUROs from 2006 thru 2009 (my model is a 2008). That would only run about $300 with labor. I believe if it's one of those two scenarios, I will have it repaired. The KURO still has one of the most phenomenal pictures and it beats most lcd or leds on the market.

My room is actually perfect for a projector. The dimensions are 13.5' x 27', so I could have a very large screen with 2-3 tiers of seating. Thing is I'm not all that excited about the maintenance involved and the cost of replacing lamps periodically.
Sorry to hear about the KURO, Denny....fingers crossed on the repair.
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