Why so few "King Kong"-quality transfers? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Last night my gf and I were watching Scorpion King on HD DVD, which happens to be a tier 1 title, and I accidentally pushed the Channel button on my TV remote and switched to channel 5 NBC which I get with an over the air HD antenna. And it was showing National Treasure with Nicolas Cage. That over the air movie in high definition looked a lot better than my Scorpion King HD DVD - it made me wonder what's up. Can anyone explain in simple English why HD movies (both HD DVD and especially Blu-Ray) for the most part don't look all that better than standard DVDs? And how can over the air HD broadcast look so much better? I think the difference was more noticeable than between standard DVD and HD DVD? Do they use different codecs for broadcast or is there any other reason? I'm just being curious....

EDIT: Changed the original text a bit - I'm not trying to say HD DVD looks bad - I just like the over the air HD Broadcast better. I've read somewhere that over the air HD broadcast is better than cable/satellite HD because the latter use more compression. Which I don't think would the case here
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post #2 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 11:46 AM
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Whatever...

your eyes must be broke.
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post #3 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 11:58 AM
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vladi123456, what screen (or pj) do you use to watch HD?
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post #4 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:02 PM
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Man, you must have some really bad calibration on your HD DVD input. There's no way you could think broadcast HD looked a lot better than top HD DVD movies unless there was something wrong with your setup.

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post #5 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:09 PM
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and NBC HD at that...

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post #6 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chad473 View Post

and NBC HD at that...

You mean macroblocking is a *bad* thing?
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post #7 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:18 PM
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Best thing you could do is probably get an eye exam (just kidding)...but seriously, broadcast HD is hideous, plain and simple.
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post #8 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:25 PM
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For the record I turned on National Treasure last night for the hell of it (I'd already seen the movie). It is a pretty dark movie at times, and HOLY CRAP was there a lot of noise. I mean christ, did they compress it on youtube before airing it?
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post #9 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 12:32 PM
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Depends on the movie or what you are watching. King Kong and Hulk look great because they are relatively new movie that are mostly or all digital using the most recent equipment and very few "optical" effects and instead use very detailed CGI. Movies like Road Warrior are never going to look that good due to age, particular film stock and other things. Most non Block Buster movies are going to be using normal film stock and tend to use stylistic optical affects and some add defects (fake grain) induce noise and all sorts of things to get a certain feel.

You are comparing apples to oranges. Unless you are comparing the Break-Up on HBO HD and HD-DVD you never know what all is going into making the movie or particular scene. Even then You run into an issue where there is artificial cleanup and such on over air or digital HD in order to keep the needed bitrate down since they are severely crippled in terms of bandwidth. Then finally due to the severely confined bandwidth limitations often times the compression induces noise which is apparent watching static backgrounds like a blue wall or such.
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post #10 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:01 PM
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I have compared a couple HD DVD's movies to broadcast HD movies of the same title and
HD DVD has been better every time. Now, I am doing 1080p with my HD DVD's, so maybe it's not a fair comparison. Like others have said, not all HD DVD's are created equal.
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post #11 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnorris View Post

Whatever...

your eyes must be broke.


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post #12 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:12 PM
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Theres a huge difference between DVD and HD-DVD, on almost every title i have watched, Especially on a 92" screen. watching it on a projector theres never any confusion wether its HD or dvd. Even OTA HD while they look good arent as sharp and crisp as HD-DVD. On a smaller screen the differences might not stand out as much as they do on a 92" screen.
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post #13 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ettepet View Post

vladi123456, what screen (or pj) do you use to watch HD?

In my bedroom it's a 40 inch 1080i JVC that I bought about 5 months ago. Connected to a Panasonic receiver via HDMI. HD-A1 is connected to that same receiver via HDMI as well. I usually watch a little Jay Leno or SNL before I go to bed, and PQ is pretty amazing. I understand that TV broadcast is shot with different equipment, so I don't compare that to the movies' PQ. But last night it was the first time that I actually saw a movie via HD air, and I honestly thought it looked better than most of HD DVD movies I had seen on that same TV. And yes - my player is set to output 1080i...
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post #14 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:15 PM
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Alright, I agree that HD-DVD is going to look better than broadcast, hands down. However, calling broadcast HD "hideous" is the most idiotic thing I've ever heard. I've seen some stunning HD programs, especially a lot of the movies they play on Showtime HD. I watched "Bad News Bears" on there yesterday and the picture was remarkable for broadcast HD and had very few motion artifacts. Same thing with Capote.
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post #15 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 01:38 PM
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Is it possible the resolution on your plan is set to 480p instead of 720p/1080i/p? If its not that then something is wrong - take your HD-DVD player back

What does your TV say the resolution is at when you hit 'display'?

Are you using component, RCA, S-Video, a Reciever that's supposed to upconvert, HDMI? Maybe if you have a reciever in the mix its downconverting...

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post #16 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AustinSTI View Post

Is it possible the resolution on your plan is set to 480p instead of 720p/1080i/p? If its not that then something is wrong - take your HD-DVD player back

What does your TV say the resolution is at when you hit 'display'?

Are you using component, RCA, S-Video, a Reciever that's supposed to upconvert, HDMI? Maybe if you have a reciever in the mix its downconverting...

I'm using HDMI cables, and when I hit "display" - it shows 1080i. I'm almost prepared to accept the "my eyes are broke" explanation that some gentleman offered here in an earlier post - as I'm clueless why I can't see what other people see.
In the living room I have both HD-A2 and PS3 connected via HDMI to Onkyo 604 and from Onkyo via HDMI to a 52 1080p LCD Sharp. When I hit display button - it shows 1080i and 1080p for HD-A2 and PS3 respectively. But I still don't really see anything high definition in most of the movies I watch. For example, I watched "Click" on Blu-Ray - and it looked even worse than SD DVD in my opinion. Ironic, but the only hi-def stuff that look hi-def to me are those that I get via my over the air hi-def antenna - news, some sports shows and such. So maybe it's not the issue of my tv not beeing properly calibrated, but my HD players/PS3.....
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post #17 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladi123456 View Post

Last night my gf and I were watching Scorpion King on HD DVD, which happens to be a tier 1 title, and I accidentally pushed the Channel button on my TV remote and switched to channel 5 NBC which I get with an over the air HD antenna. And it was showing National Treasure with Nicolas Cage. That over the air movie in high definition looked a lot better than my Scorpion King HD DVD - it made me wonder what's up. Can anyone explain in simple English why HD movies (both HD DVD and especially Blu-Ray) for the most part don't look all that better than standard DVDs? And how can over the air HD broadcast look so much better? I think the difference was more noticeable than between standard DVD and HD DVD? Do they use different codecs for broadcast or is there any other reason? I'm just being curious....

EDIT: Changed the original text a bit - I'm not trying to say HD DVD looks bad - I just like the over the air HD Broadcast better. I've read somewhere that over the air HD broadcast is better than cable/satellite HD because the latter use more compression. Which I don't think would the case here

Sounds to me like you need to calibrate your display for the input being used. There is generally no way that OTA is better than HD DVD, and Scorpion King is awesome quality. Do you have the DVE HD DVD or even the standard DVD disc?

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post #18 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 02:45 PM
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I saw a couple seconds of National Treasure on NBC-HD last night and it looked pretty good. Granted I only saw a daylight/bright scene so I didn't notice any noise or macroblocking. NBC-HD OTA has been doing a lot better recently in terms of their PQ. Heroes is usually pretty grain free even in dark scenes.
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post #19 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladi123456 View Post

I'm using HDMI cables, and when I hit "display" - it shows 1080i. I'm almost prepared to accept the "my eyes are broke" explanation that some gentleman offered here in an earlier post - as I'm clueless why I can't see what other people see.
In the living room I have both HD-A2 and PS3 connected via HDMI to Onkyo 604 and from Onkyo via HDMI to a 52 1080p LCD Sharp. When I hit display button - it shows 1080i and 1080p for HD-A2 and PS3 respectively. But I still don't really see anything high definition in most of the movies I watch. For example, I watched "Click" on Blu-Ray - and it looked even worse than SD DVD in my opinion. Ironic, but the only hi-def stuff that look hi-def to me are those that I get via my over the air hi-def antenna - news, some sports shows and such. So maybe it's not the issue of my tv not beeing properly calibrated, but my HD players/PS3.....

Why don't you try an experiment and go direct HDMI from your HD players to the TV.

Even on my 32" LCD I can see a huge difference between DVD (Oppo upconverting) and HD-DVD (Xbox360 HD add-on). On my 47" LCD, it is even more obvious.
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post #20 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 07:22 PM
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I agree that some of the HD broadcast outperforms the HD disc counterparts.

Blu-ray : 340
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post #21 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlw2000 View Post

Why don't you try an experiment and go direct HDMI from your HD players to the TV.

Even on my 32" LCD I can see a huge difference between DVD (Oppo upconverting) and HD-DVD (Xbox360 HD add-on). On my 47" LCD, it is even more obvious.

That is hard to believe that two different receivers could do so much harm to the PQ, but that actually sounds like a good idea - I'll try that this weekend!
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post #22 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgans316 View Post

I agree that some of the HD broadcast outperforms the HD disc counterparts.

Like what? I know of one......Traffic.

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post #23 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wnorris View Post

Whatever...

your eyes must be broke.


either that or you were a little overzealous in adjusting the video controls in your HD DVD player. Because when viewed properly, ANY HD DVD trounces all SD DVD any day of the week
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post #24 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 08:01 PM
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Perhaps the shift from a 2.35:1 to a 1.77:1 image intensified your impression that National Treasure looked better.

I watched some of National Treasure, and no way does a ~15mb/s or less mpeg2 encode look better technically than HD optical with proper bitrate. Almost anything OTA will display macroblocking at times even if your affiliate is pumping out 17mb/s mpeg2, which is very unlikely. National Treasure was no different, and I have screen captures to show this on my other PC that I will try to post. Plus, the movie was not OAR so it lost before entering the gates.
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post #25 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 08:02 PM
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I have a Sharp 52 1080p LCD too, but I use xbox's HD DVD player (Can someone tell me how well that stacks up to Toshiba's players?) and even with my component cable hook up, even movies like "Nacho Libre" look great. Maybe your Standard Sharp settings are different from your DVD ones. Maybe some more tweaking?
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post #26 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 08:05 PM
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OAR is not better and Scorpion King is a Tier 1 release.

Either your setup isn't calibrated, configured or setup correctly or
as mentioned earlier, your eyes are broke.

Last Watched 3D: Oz the Great and Powerful

It should be called Violet-Ray

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post #27 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 08:52 PM
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Yeah his eyes are broke only when he watches HD DVD only.

I think the switch to the fullscreen[16:9] does the "trick" for many to be 'fooled".

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post #28 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 08:59 PM
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As much as the HD-DVD vs. BluRay groups get a lot of knocks for fanboyism, I'm starting to see a new cult forming... the one that says if you don't think HD is amazing then you must have brain damage. HD is an incremental upgrade most of the time (when the transfer/authoring of both SD and HD are done right), not an evolutionary leap. But I probably have brain damage, so don't listen to me...
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post #29 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildfire99 View Post

As much as the HD-DVD vs. BluRay groups get a lot of knocks for fanboyism, I'm starting to see a new cult forming... the one that says if you don't think HD is amazing then you must have brain damage. HD is an incremental upgrade most of the time (when the transfer/authoring of both SD and HD are done right), not an evolutionary leap. But I probably have brain damage, so don't listen to me...

The 5-6x increase in resolution is real. I think it comes down to the display, particularly the size. In other words, the displays are limiting the experience at this point. Imagine watching HD DVD or BD on 60" or bigger CRT.
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post #30 of 59 Old 05-21-2007, 11:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wildfire99 View Post

As much as the HD-DVD vs. BluRay groups get a lot of knocks for fanboyism, I'm starting to see a new cult forming... the one that says if you don't think HD is amazing then you must have brain damage. HD is an incremental upgrade most of the time (when the transfer/authoring of both SD and HD are done right), not an evolutionary leap. But I probably have brain damage, so don't listen to me...

We're not talking about HD looking or not looking amazing........we're talking about the difference between HD Broadcasts of movies and HD DVD (or Blu Ray for that matter). The difference between the two is clear.

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