Superbit Titles as Blu-Ray Alternative - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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As further reinforcement for what I've already read, I was at Comp USA and watched a Samsung BD player hooked up to the big Sony SRX playing the 5th Element Blu-Ray edition. The picture was arguably no better if not worse than the Superbit 5th Element on my Toshiba A1.

At Best Buy I see the Superbit titles being blown out for $10 a pop. Many of these titles are affiliated with Sony Pictures like Men in Black I & II and so on. Being its unlikely any time soon these titles will be released in HD DVD, I'd say if you have a HD DVD player, pick up whichever of these titles are on your short list.
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post #2 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 10:23 AM
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I never really compared a superbit to a basic DVD. Is the superbit noticeably better? I only ask because A Knight's Tale is among my wife's favorite fun to watch movies and it is unfortunately a Sony movie so no HD-DVD. But, if the superbit is much better and with the HD-DVD's upconversion ability it might just work as an interim solution. So, my question is - are the superbit versions really better or are they mostly marketing fluff?

-Kaediil
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post #3 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 10:26 AM
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I would say it's mostly marketing fluff. But there is a noticeable improvement on SOME of the titles. Others like Underworld , I noticed no difference. However, these do include the DTS audio tracks.

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Originally Posted by kaediil View Post

I never really compared a superbit to a basic DVD. Is the superbit noticeably better? I only ask because A Knight's Tale is among my wife's favorite fun to watch movies and it is unfortunately a Sony movie so no HD-DVD. But, if the superbit is much better and with the HD-DVD's upconversion ability it might just work as an interim solution. So, my question is - are the superbit versions really better or are they mostly marketing fluff?

-Kaediil

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post #4 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 11:04 AM
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There is a tremendous amount of difference in the encoding rate of the movie, usually 25%-100%. Also, in some cases it's the only way to get a DTS track on that title.

http://www.hifi-writer.com/he/superbit/superbit.htm
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post #5 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 11:24 AM
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Thanks for the link it convinced me enough to give it a shot on my setup. Gonna see if someplace has one for rent I can try out for myself.

-Kaediil
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post #6 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 11:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaediil View Post

Thanks for the link it convinced me enough to give it a shot on my setup. Gonna see if someplace has one for rent I can try out for myself.

-Kaediil

Better not let it go too long. The Superbit series is discontinued and it seems only Best Buy has them for $9.99! I scored MIB I & II, Guns of Navarone, From Here To Eternity, Mask of Zorro, The Patriot, Snatch and another copy of the 5th Element (for backup). In some cases they were the last ones in the store. In others, I had to go to another Best Buy.

Most of these, maybe all, are Sony Pictures, so don't expect them on HD DVD anytime soon. So far, I'd say they are better than my regular non-Superbit versions and approach HD, at least compared to the DISH Network HD channels.

Still looking for Heavy Metal, Lawrence of Arabia, Leon, Das Boot, Black Hawk Down and Tommy. Glad I have Starship Troopers already. That's a tough one to find.
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post #7 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 11:43 AM
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I did the same thing; when I got my HD-DVD player I swung by Best Buy and picked up 6 or 7 superbit titles for $10 each.
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post #8 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 12:43 PM
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Like almost all Sony DVDs, the Superbit discs all have edge enhancement problems. They generally look better than the non-Superbit edition of the same movie, but that has more to do with the mediocrity of Sony's non-Superbit discs than any inherent benefits of the Superbit mastering process.

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post #9 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Like almost all Sony DVDs, the Superbit discs all have edge enhancement problems. They generally look better than the non-Superbit edition of the same movie, but that has more to do with the mediocrity of Sony's non-Superbit discs than any inherent benefits of the Superbit mastering process.

Hmmmm....that contradicts these findings.....somone's right or both are part right or part wrong?

http://www.hifi-writer.com/he/superbit/superbit.htm

Oh well, at least most people agree a Superbit DVD is preferable to the standard edition, especially when you can get it for $9.99 and the regular one is the same or higher price.
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post #10 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 02:25 PM
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I still believe that in general "Superbit" amounts to pure marketing.

The SB editions of Sony's films may look and sound better, but I've seen other studios release DVDs of superior quality with ease with no special labeling or increase in MSRP...with extras included.
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post #11 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 02:34 PM
 
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Yeah it's different with every release. The Fifth Element looks a lot better on Superbit, but The Patriot is swimming with artifacts. Still, it's the best we're going to get.

be advised that the 2-disc SE's of The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional include the superbit discs, so you might as well get them with a bonus disc.
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post #12 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howe View Post

Hmmmm....that contradicts these findings.....somone's right or both are part right or part wrong?

http://www.hifi-writer.com/he/superbit/superbit.htm

Again, if the non-Superbit edition from the same studio is mediocre, putting out the decent-quality edition they should have released the first time around is of course going to seem like a dramatic improvement. That says less about Superbit than it says about the studio.

There are plenty of DVDs from other studios that are as good or better than "Superbit" discs that get released without a fancy marketing label.

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post #13 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 03:20 PM
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IMO Superbit will never be a good substitute for a true HD transfer,
I was watching spiderman Superbit and 5th element Superbit and even when upscaled do not compare with HD content. Its still overly soft looking and thick fuzzy borders on objects and backgrounds.

However Find me Guilty dvd transfer is very good upscaled. that film though still not a good substute for true hd blows away any superbit transfer Ive seen to this date.
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post #14 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 03:43 PM
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I guess we could call Blu-ray, SuperSuperBit?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post

IMO Superbit will never be a good substitute for a true HD transfer,
I was watching spiderman Superbit and 5th element Superbit and even when upscaled do not compare with HD content. Its still overly soft looking and thick fuzzy borders on objects and backgrounds.

However Find me Guilty dvd transfer is very good upscaled. that film though still not a good substute for true hd blows away any superbit transfer Ive seen to this date.

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post #15 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overcast View Post

I guess we could call Blu-ray, SuperSuperBit?


how about Super-SuperShit

-Gary
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post #16 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 04:06 PM
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I have the SuperBit of "The Fifth Element" and have seen it many times in demos and shootouts.

The BD version is overall better. I find it inconsistent. Some scenes are beautiful, other are grainy and soft, even scenes with little motion. But overall better than the Superbit.

The original version of TFE was also demonstration-quality BTW. Many of the movies Sony pressed in SuperBit had excellent original disks (e.g., Lawrence).
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post #17 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaediil View Post

I never really compared a superbit to a basic DVD. Is the superbit noticeably better? I only ask because A Knight's Tale is among my wife's favorite fun to watch movies and it is unfortunately a Sony movie so no HD-DVD. But, if the superbit is much better and with the HD-DVD's upconversion ability it might just work as an interim solution. So, my question is - are the superbit versions really better or are they mostly marketing fluff?

-Kaediil

I've noticed a worthwhile improvement on every SB disc I've watched. Plus I prefer the DTS soundtrack -- a win-win for me (That includes A Knight's Tale)

-- Trevor
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post #18 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fettastic View Post

Yeah it's different with every release. The Fifth Element looks a lot better on Superbit, but The Patriot is swimming with artifacts. Still, it's the best we're going to get.

be advised that the 2-disc SE's of The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional include the superbit discs, so you might as well get them with a bonus disc.

The definition provided by SB The Patriot is easily superior to the standard -- I directly compared them.

-- Trevor
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post #19 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post

IMO Superbit will never be a good substitute for a true HD transfer,
I was watching spiderman Superbit and 5th element Superbit and even when upscaled do not compare with HD content. Its still overly soft looking and thick fuzzy borders on objects and backgrounds.

However Find me Guilty dvd transfer is very good upscaled. that film though still not a good substute for true hd blows away any superbit transfer Ive seen to this date.

And if there is no HD release, then just what do you propose? Nobody here is suggesting SB competes with HD. Got any other ideas?

-- Trevor
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post #20 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 07:04 PM
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Well I stopped on the way home and picked up Bad Boys and A Knight's Tale SB editions. I was a bit surprised and almost took the Knight's Tale back since it was marked 22.99. But since it is was for my wife I took it and to my delight it rang up 9.99. Thanks for the info everyone.

-Kaediil
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post #21 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorS View Post

Nobody here is suggesting SB competes with HD. Got any other ideas?

-- Trevor


title
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Superbit Titles as Blu-Ray Alternative

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post #22 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 09:07 PM
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I stopped at mine and got Dracula, Bad Boys, TFE, The Patriot, Spiderman, and Snatch. Wanted to get Starship Troopers but couldn't find it
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post #23 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 09:24 PM
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yeah the title clearly means that as hd-dvd owners if you want these flicks to go buy the superbit versions hence bluray alternative. Riding a horse would be an alternative to driving but it doesn't mean they're equal.


As for the superbit stuff...even though i own a few superbit dvds the reality is it is just a Sony marketing thing because as stated, other studios can get as good/better PQ and they dont ened to whip out some premium line. Also, comparing the SB versions to the originals is useless because as stated, all that says is the originals could have been done better although many I believe were early release dvds so on the SB versions they were able to better use the tools to provide better looking movies.

ROB
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post #24 of 158 Old 07-17-2006, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post

title

Yeah, I'm the thread starter and I stand by what the title is.

Alternative does not mean replacement that will deliver the same performance in all respects. It is simply making the best of the woefull situation that these titles are ~not~ available for us in the HD DVD camp, at least until hell get's frost on it. So what do we all do? We want these titles, and I suggest that the Toshiba product with its excellent upscaling and high bit process of Superbit competes (within reason) with the lackluster performance of the current state of the Blu-Ray art, most of the SD mastering and what you get on your cable and sat providers.

However, HD DVD ROCKS!
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post #25 of 158 Old 07-18-2006, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnB180 View Post

title

I don't follow you.

Just because buying SB is an alternative to buying a Blue-Ray player, still doesn't mean it competes with HD-DVD. Perhaps you could more fully explain.

Thanks -- Trevor
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post #26 of 158 Old 07-18-2006, 11:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlindo View Post

yeah the title clearly means that as hd-dvd owners if you want these flicks to go buy the superbit versions hence bluray alternative. Riding a horse would be an alternative to driving but it doesn't mean they're equal.


As for the superbit stuff...even though i own a few superbit dvds the reality is it is just a Sony marketing thing because as stated, other studios can get as good/better PQ and they dont ened to whip out some premium line. Also, comparing the SB versions to the originals is useless because as stated, all that says is the originals could have been done better although many I believe were early release dvds so on the SB versions they were able to better use the tools to provide better looking movies.

No question about your first paragragh, that's as obvious as the title itself.

On your second paragraph, I don't think anyone is claiming Superbit looks better than everything else, only that the Superbit version of a given title is higher definition than the original of the same title, and also tends to be an especially good transfer. From my personal experience, they are generally higher definition than the vast majority of other title transfers as well.

Just because one dislikes Sony doesn't mean everything they produce is BS.

-- Trevor
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post #27 of 158 Old 07-19-2006, 01:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poolrad View Post

I stopped at mine and got Dracula, Bad Boys, TFE, The Patriot, Spiderman, and Snatch. Wanted to get Starship Troopers but couldn't find it

Starship Troopers Superbit rocks! One of my favs, always good when I need a laugh.

Seeing this thread I shopped Superbit DVD's on Amazon. (Despite my name here, it's actually 50 miles to Tucson & the nearest BB.) I picked up "Legends of the Fall" SB off Amazon Marketplace for $9.99. Watched it last night & it was terriffic. Hadn't seen the movie in years & really enjoyed it. The PQ was as good or better than some of the "HD Lite" channels like TNT HD or HD Movie Net on Dishnetwork.

As an alternative to BD, some of these Superbit discs on clearance sale is a good alternative - for enjoying a movie in mpeg2 technology.
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post #28 of 158 Old 07-19-2006, 01:42 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howe View Post

As further reinforcement for what I've already read, I was at Comp USA and watched a Samsung BD player hooked up to the big Sony SRX playing the 5th Element Blu-Ray edition. The picture was arguably no better if not worse than the Superbit 5th Element on my Toshiba A1.

At Best Buy I see the Superbit titles being blown out for $10 a pop. Many of these titles are affiliated with Sony Pictures like Men in Black I & II and so on. Being its unlikely any time soon these titles will be released in HD DVD, I'd say if you have a HD DVD player, pick up whichever of these titles are on your short list.

You sir, are 100% correct!

I have been selling my SD DVDs and because of the low value they were offering for my Superbit movies I decided to hold on to those.

After reading your thread a few days ago my wife and I decided to test out your theory last night. We fired up the HD-A1 and put on "Underworld" in Superbit, and all I have to say is WOW!

We have seen "Underworld II" playing on Blu-ray at BB; and I can honestly say that the Superbit versions play about as well as any Blu-ray presentation that we have ever seen! It actually looks like BD's HD!

We had no idea that the Superbit versions had incredibly enhanced PQ! I only bought them because they had DTS sound that rocks.

I am going to BB today to buy "Spiderman I & II" and "Bad Boys I & II" in Superbit!
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post #29 of 158 Old 07-19-2006, 01:52 PM
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Maybe Sony will be releasing a Superbit BD version of The Fifth Element since they screwed the regular release up.

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post #30 of 158 Old 07-19-2006, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oshodi View Post

You sir, are 100% correct!

I have been selling my SD DVDs and because of the low value they were offering for my Superbit movies so I decided to hold on to those.

After reading your thread a few days ago my wife and I decided to test out your theory last night. We fired up the HD-A1 and put on "Underworld" in Superbit, and all I have to say is WOW!

We have seen "Underworld II" playing on Blu-ray at BB; and I can honestly say that the Superbit versions play about as well as any Blu-ray presentation that we have ever seen! It actually looks like BD's HD!

We had no idea that the Superbit versions had incredibly enhanced PQ! I only bought them because they had DTS sound that rocks.

I am going to BB today to buy "Spiderman I & II" and "Bad Boys I & II" in Superbit!

The biggest advantage SB offers is it's refusal to include the space consuming extras that are overfilling the typical multi-dip releases today (motion menus are also banished). SB provides the maximum bit space for the film, while including very good 448 KB/s DD5.1 and ~750Kb/s DTS original language tracks (plus optional subtitle and 192Kb/s DPL tracks).

As long as reasonable attention is paid to the film encoding, a decided improvement over most other SD offerings on the market is almost certain due to the bandwidth allocation. (Recognizing the SB's start with a reaonable quality master to begin with -- evidenced by the typically well above average transfer of the original release DVD).

No, it doesn't mean SB transfers are flawless, but it's at least an honest attempt to target a particular niche market -- much the same one that HD-DVD and BR are currently being received by. The video/film enthusiast. I just hope its lack of great success doesn't imply too much for the HD disc formats.

-- Trevor
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