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post #1 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 09:59 AM - Thread Starter
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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film: attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373692

Extras: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373692

Audio/3D Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
94





Studio and Year: Disney/Pixar - 2013
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 104 minutes
Genre: Family

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC/MVC
Video Aspect: 1.78:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English 7.1 Dolby True HD Master Audio , English 2.0 Dolby Digital and DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital, French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus, and Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: John Goodman, Billy Crystal, Steve Buscemi, Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Dave Foley, Nathan Fillion, Charlie Day, Sean Hayes, Aubrey Plaza, John Ratzenberger
Directed by: Dan Scanlon
Music by: Randy Newman
Written by: Dan Scanlon & Robert Baird & Dan Gerson
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 29, 2013







"School never looked this scary"


Film Synopsis:

Mike Wazowski and James P. Sullivan are an inseparable pair, but that wasn't always the case. From the moment these two mismatched monsters met they couldn't stand each other. Monsters University unlocks the door to how Mike and Sulley overcame their differences and became the best of friends.

My Take:

Ever since college-bound Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) was a little monster, he has dreamed of becoming a Scarer—and he knows better than anyone that the best Scarers come from Monsters University (MU). But during his first semester at MU, Mike's plans are derailed when he crosses paths with hotshot James P. Sullivan, "Sulley" (voice of John Goodman), a natural-born Scarer. The pair's out-of-control competitive spirit gets them both kicked out of the University's elite Scare Program. To make matters worse, they realize they will have to work together, along with an odd bunch of misfit monsters, if they ever hope to make things right.

If I was truly pinned down and under the white light I would probably say that Monster’s Inc. is my favorite Disney/Pixar film behind Toy Story. When Monster’s University was announced and the teaser trailers began to surface I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the premise which revolved around a prequel about Mike and Sully meeting in college. As it turned out Monster’s University which is the 14th installment in the Disney/Pixar canon, is charming and entertainingly explores themes of self-discovery and the revelations that come with growing up. Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi and John Ratzenberger reprise their roles (Bonnie Hunt returns but with a new character) and a plethora of new characters are voiced by the likes of Helen Mirren, Alfred Molina, Sean Hayes, Nathan Fillion, Charlie Day, SNL’s Bobby Moynihan, and Aubrey Plaza.

Monster’s University doesn’t resonate as loudly as it’s predecessor or feel as endearingly heartwarming as the best Disney/Pixar has to offer but it captures the essence of what makes them all special and takes us on a gladdening coming of age journey with two beloved characters. I liked the familiar interplay, thoughtful humor and gaggle of supporting characters that are aptly portrayed by the sterling cast. On top of that Monster’s University is an absolutely gorgeous animated film. In that regard it is among Pixar’s top tier efforts. I really enjoyed it and think it makes for a great companion to Monster’s Inc. I look forward to watching it again.


Parental Guide:

This film is appropriate for all ages.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**



Audio: 94

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics: attachment.php?attachmentid=109947&d=1210373699

  • Low frequency extension: attachment.php?attachmentid=109946&d=1210373699

  • Surround Sound presentation: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dialogue Reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


3D Presentation: 94

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Depth (Onscreen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Dimension (Beyond the screen): attachment.php?attachmentid=109945&d=1210373699

  • Realism: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Clarity/Detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Monster’s University 3D comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p MVC encoded video and lossless Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel audio that has an average bitrate 5.8 Mbps.

Knowing Disney I had high hopes for this native 3D presentation and of course I wasn’t disappointed. I must admit that while I don’t mind gimmicky in your face 3D effects I much prefer to view 3D that takes advantage of the depth and dimension that can bring images onscreen to life in a visually involving and natural way. Monster’s University incorporates its share of fun pop out of the screen 3D however its implementation isn’t overplayed. This is a stellar 3D presentation that features superlative onscreen dimensional correlation. A great example can be seen in the sequence where the prospective Scare Program students meet for the first time in the main lecture hall. The shot is seen from various angles as the rows of students sit in the staggered seating. The various sizes, shapes and heights of each person within the group as well as their respective places within the tiered seats are drawn out in terms of visual depth. Textures abound as the richness of the digitally created objects onscreen are incredibly nuanced and lifelike regardless of their placement within the frame. Sully’s flowing blue hair looks about as lifelike as it comes. Detail is impeccable as the video retains a high level of clarity that is enhanced by the bolstered reproduction of color and contrast. This isn’t an effects laden spectacle however there are enough floating, flying and screen popping objects to keep 3D zealots happy. As for me, this is 3D entertainment that literally brought a smile to my face.

The 7.1 channel Dolby TrueHD audio is in a word, awesome. Lossless audio’s higher resolution brings out the superbly crafted and sometimes delicate nature of the soundtrack. Subtle nuance in both the sound effects and music is readily apparent. Excellent dynamic range and crystal clarity enable the shifts from moments of quiet to visceral action to shine equally. This is an active surround mix that features superb directional correlation/imaging which expertly combines the events onscreen with the integration of the front/rear soundstages. The two rear channels aren’t consistently engaged but effectively provide discretely placed effects and ambient detail on cue. Where applicable there is an enriching and solid feel to low frequencies. This isn’t the deepest bass response that I have experienced but it has palpably rich presence that occasionally energizes the room. The voices of the cast are reproduced with good tonal delineation and crystal clarity even during more active sequences. This is an entertaining home theater presentation that compliments this wonderful family film



2D Video Quality:

Video: 100

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Black level/Shadow detail: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Color reproduction: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Fleshtones: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699

  • Compression: attachment.php?attachmentid=109948&d=1210373699


Monster’s University comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney/Pixar featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps.

This is a beautifully crafted digital film that looks amazing in high definition. From start to finish this presentation is nothing short of mesmerizing in its depiction of the film’s animated images. The video is exquisitely detailed, incredibly three dimensional and never left me wanting for fine degrees of subtle delineation and texture. The attention to detail in the construction of the animated characters physical features as well as objects within each frame is superb. Looking at Sully I could see the varying lengths/uneven texture and natural flow of blue furry coat. The same was true of the aged fabric of Mike’s MU baseball cap. Other examples can be seen in the textural nuance in the walls and floor in the lecture hall, interior of frat house, and physical characteristics in the wooden surfaces in the scare Hall of fame. The chromatic palette is an extensive one as colors appear vivid and bold with an enriching level of saturation that exhibits subtle degrees of separation and eye pleasing depth. Contrast is exemplary and blacks are inky with extended dynamic range and deep gradational highlights.

The film’s low level sequences (there are many) look just as stunning as the dark and shadow filled backgrounds exhibit a near infinite level of dimension, with superb contrast and visible shading that draws out lots of detail. The sequence that takes place in the human world where Mike and Sully are near the lake looks incredibly lifelike. As Sully stands in the shadows Moonlight is streaming through the spaces between the canoes he is hiding behind. He steps out into the moonlight and the transition from dark shadow to shadowy light is spot on. The moon reflecting off the rippling water is one of the most realistically created animated details I have ever seen. Those with high contrast displays can fully appreciate how superlative this film looks. I was blown away by this flawless high definition video presentation from Pixar. Bravo!



Bonus Features:

  • Audio commentary wit the creative team behind Monster’s University

  • (HD) Campus Life – What's it like being on a production crew at Pixar? Get a look at a day in the life of the “Monsters University” crew through their own eyes – 15 minutes

  • (HD) Story School – This documentary examines the challenges of creating a prequel as well as themes that run through the story, and the change in focus from Sulley to Mike. We'll also look at how gags are developed – from writing jokes to brainstorming a million ideas, only 5% of which actually end up in the movie – 9 minutes

  • (HD) Scare Games – At Pixar, we play hard while we work. The same people who keep the film production moving - producers, managers, coordinators and artists - are also the ones who bring spirit and excitement to some of our extracurricular activities. We check out the MU production teams as they go head to head in the mostly playful Pixar Scare Games competitions – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Welcome to MU – Sets aren't just buildings, they are the worlds our characters live in and explore. This look at the Monsters University campus and its development is told from the perspective of the artists who created each piece of the campus from the architecture to the ivy leaves – 6 minutes

  • (HD) Music Appreciation – Randy Newman's scores are a mainstay of Pixar films, and this documentary will give you a privileged look at his creative process. We follow the “Monsters University” scoring process from spotting to writing and on to the scoring session including special college-themed recording sessions – 7 minutes

  • (HD) Scare Tactics – Animators are actors who digitally bring the characters to life. In this look at how the MU animation team worked, you’ll see their process of how they channeled their own monster-selves and created moments on screen that were really funny, really scary and also really serious, sometimes all at the same time – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Color and Light – How can a single painting set the tone for an entire scene? We'll look at the creation of the colorscripts and how they were realized technically in the final film. Along with the process, this piece explores the many layers of technical innovation required to produce such a naturalistic feel – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Paths to Pixar - MU Edition – When one door closes, sometimes another door opens – one with an even more exciting opportunity behind it. Members of the MU crew tell their own compelling backstories and share the challenges they overcame along their paths to Pixar – 8 minutes

  • (HD) Furry Monsters: A Technical Retrospective – Explore the difficulties in creating characters that are 20 years younger with tools that are 10 years more advanced in this contrasting look at the differing technical challenges that arose when making “Monsters, Inc.,” and “Monsters University.” – 5 minutes

  • (HD) Deleted Scenes – Four separate scenes – “Rivalry,” “Recon,” “Movie Night,” and “Drama Class” - are highlighted with an introduction from director Dan Scanlon – 22 minutes

  • (HD) “The Blue Umbrella” (3D & 2D) – This animated short film from Pixar Animation Studios, directed by Saschka Unseld and produced by Marc Greenberg, played in theaters in front of "Monsters University." “The Blue Umbrella” tells the story of an evening commute in which the rain starts to fall and the city comes alive to the sound of dripping rain pipes, whistling awnings and gurgling gutters. And in the midst, two umbrellas—one blue, one not—fall eternally in love – 7 minutes

  • (HD) Monthopology – Character design featurette

  • (HD) Set fly throughs

  • (HD) Art galleries

  • Additional Bonus Features - Promo Picks, College Campaign, Theatrical Campaign and more…¬

  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy




Final Thoughts:

I enjoyed Monster’s University. It may not resonate as deeply as it predecessor or ring the “classic” chimes as some of the more popular films to come from Disney/Pixar but it is charming, fun and makes for resounding family entertainment that is a great addition to the Disney/Pixar canon. Speaking of entertaining and fun, Monster's University represents one of the finest animated high definition presentations I have seen on Blu-ray. This is true of both the 3D and 2D experiences. Couple that with reference quality Dolby TrueHD 7.1 lossless surround sound and a boatload of bonus material and this is a highly recommended and must have release for Pixar fans.






attachment.php?attachmentid=109949&d=1210373731






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Reference Review System:


JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
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Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
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System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
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SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
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post #2 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for the review Ralph. Never saw this one in theaters but am looking forward to it at home with 3D blu. Oh, and you put "Brave" in your final thoughts.

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post #3 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 10:14 AM
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Nice one for the kids...........I will buy this one.
Thanks for the review Mr. Potts.......
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post #4 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 10:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terminal33 View Post

Thanks for the review Ralph. Never saw this one in theaters but am looking forward to it at home with 3D blu. Oh, and you put "Brave" in your final thoughts.


Greetings,

Got it. Thanks terminal33... smile.gif


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post #5 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 04:03 PM
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Ralph thanks for this very thorough review! My kids are all grown up so I might have to buy this one for me. Also it seems some of the best rated 3D movies are animated.
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Thanks Ralph great review! So excited for this one on 3DBD. Im a HUGE Pixar fan and I loved this one in theaters. My wife and I double dated and we all laughed and had a great time at the theater seeing this. Glad it scored well as I knew it prolly would.

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post #7 of 97 Old 10-22-2013, 05:32 PM
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Day One for me Ralph!!
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post #8 of 97 Old 10-23-2013, 06:58 AM
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Thanks Ralph
I haven`t seen this but am looking forward to getting it.
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I absolutely loved this one in theaters. Even in theaters the animation looked so life-like at times that I knew that this one was going to be equally impressive on Blu-ray!

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post #10 of 97 Old 10-23-2013, 01:46 PM
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This is the first Pixar movie that I am going to skip. The first Monsters, Inc. was ok but I didn't think that it needed a sequel. Where is The Incredibles 2?

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post #11 of 97 Old 10-24-2013, 12:07 PM
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Thank you Ralph for yet another great read! I'm ready for Tuesday release day. Looking forward to it.
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post #12 of 97 Old 10-24-2013, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

This is the first Pixar movie that I am going to skip. The first Monsters, Inc. was ok but I didn't think that it needed a sequel. Where is The Incredibles 2?

IMO, NO movie 'needs' a sequel, but some movies we WANT a sequel because of great characters/story. Unfortunately, it's become a cash grab
nowadays for studios. I'd love an Incredibles sequel like you, but only if it would be worthy of its successor. They can't all be gems, and studio greed
makes that more common than ever. And that's sad. Sorry for going off topic. I will enjoy Monster's University regardless.
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post #13 of 97 Old 10-24-2013, 01:56 PM
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Thanks again, Ralph! Great to see the 3D holds up mighty fine! Saw this with our 5-yr-old and he's been begging for me to buy it for him since leaving the theater! I know I'll be getting the 3D combo if only for me to watch! cool.gif
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Thanks again, Ralph! Great to see the 3D holds up mighty fine! Saw this with our 5-yr-old in 2D and he's been begging for me to buy it for him since leaving the theater! I know I'll be getting the 3D combo if only for me to watch! cool.gif
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Day 1 for me Ralph!!

BTW, will be picking up Cars 3D as well. Glad to see it got a 3D release too!
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post #16 of 97 Old 10-28-2013, 05:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

Great guys! Enjoy it and be sure to post back with your thoughts after viewing. smile.gif


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Quote:
Originally Posted by stepyourgameup View Post

This is the first Pixar movie that I am going to skip. The first Monsters, Inc. was ok but I didn't think that it needed a sequel. Where is The Incredibles 2?

Well I will be watching this movie, but I have to agree that a sequel to The Incredibles would be great, if they can make it equal to the quality of the first. The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar film.

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+1 on sequel to Incredibles! One of my favorite PIXAR movies and the ending just begs for a sequel.

Anyway IM getting real excited counting down the minutes to go get Monster's University on 3DBD at Walmart. Got the glasses all charged up.

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Wow!! After viewing this at home twice now, once in 3D and once in 2D, and I can absolutly confirm what Ralph said about this movie. Once again Pixar has outdone themselves. The audio was just awesome. The mixer did a spot on job with practically every element of the sound design. The way the surrounds are used is incredible and the score of the movie being lots of college band music and the like really shined on my horn speakers. It was like a college band was playing in my room! So much dynamics even in the music. Dialogue was spot on and moments that deserved bass had it and I just loved it. The only thing I can think of would be more ULF but it doesn't bother me cause whats there is great.

And the video quality was some of the best animation I have ever seen. Pixar is king in that area. The 3D was great but I think I was even more blown away with the 2D like Ralphs score of 100 suggests. Just spectacular. My system has never looked or sounded better. The movie itself is great too. One of the best Pixars to come out in a while IMO.
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post #20 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Reddig View Post

Wow!! After viewing this at home twice now, once in 3D and once in 2D, and I can absolutly confirm what Ralph said about this movie. Once again Pixar has outdone themselves. The audio was just awesome. The mixer did a spot on job with practically every element of the sound design. The way the surrounds are used is incredible and the score of the movie being lots of college band music and the like really shined on my horn speakers. It was like a college band was playing in my room! So much dynamics even in the music. Dialogue was spot on and moments that deserved bass had it and I just loved it. The only thing I can think of would be more ULF but it doesn't bother me cause whats there is great.

And the video quality was some of the best animation I have ever seen. Pixar is king in that area. The 3D was great but I think I was even more blown away with the 2D like Ralphs score of 100 suggests. Just spectacular. My system has never looked or sounded better. The movie itself is great too. One of the best Pixars to come out in a while IMO.

Greetings,

Glad to hear it Reddig! Thanks for posting your impressions... smile.gif


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post #21 of 97 Old 10-30-2013, 06:58 PM
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Hope this isn't a bad place to ask this, but is any one having trouble with the audio skipping after the movie has been playing for a while? It's starts with minor skipping then it gets really bad and unbearable. If I stop the movie and restart it it's fine for a while then it starts again. I'm playing the movie via PS3 which is connected to a Pioneer VSX-521 connected with a HDMI. Then another HDMI from the receiver to the TV. I tried it on my PS3 in another room which is just hooked up to a TV and it works fine. I've tried several other Blu Ray's on my set up and those work fine as well, watching cable isn't a problem either. Monsters University seem's to be the only problem. Hope some one can help or point me in the proper direction.
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post #22 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 12:13 PM
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Hi Ralph smile.gif

Great review! first I must report my Netflix copy had the skipping or audio dropouts that caught me off guard towards the end ( first for me from Disney) and switched to Lpcm and it solved the problem. Prior to this little discovery the wife daughter and I were enjoying great video and audio along with tons of laughs from this latest Pixar release. It's a worthy follow up to the first and look forward to a BF purchase. wink.gif
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post #23 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Hi Ralph smile.gif

Great review! first I must report my Netflix copy had the skipping or audio dropouts that caught me off guard towards the end ( first for me from Disney) and switched to Lpcm and it solved the problem. Prior to this little discovery the wife daughter and I were enjoying great video and audio along with tons of laughs from this latest Pixar release. It's a worthy follow up to the first and look forward to a BF purchase. wink.gif

Greetings,

Thanks audiofan1. smile.gif

Yes, the Dolby TrueHD audio dropout issue is a strange bug that seems to affect a handful of titles and players. My Oppo exhibited it but my Panasonic played flawlessly.

Regards,
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post #24 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thanks audiofan1. smile.gif

Yes, the Dolby TrueHD audio dropout issue is a strange bug that seems to affect a handful of titles and players. My Oppo exhibited it but my Panasonic played flawlessly.

Regards,

I guess the Oppo's have to have something to work towards as they do 99% of what they do so well, to date only the isolated score from Oblivion and what seems to be a more universal one from the Total Recall have caused it to stumble. Good thing there's a work around wink.gif
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post #25 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 02:41 PM
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Thanks for the heads up Ralph/Audiofan. I have this coming today and will just switch my Oppo over to PCM from the start.

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post #26 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toe View Post

Thanks for the heads up Ralph/Audiofan. I have this coming today and will just switch my Oppo over to PCM from the start.

Greetings,

No problem Todd. Enjoy! smile.gif


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post #27 of 97 Old 10-31-2013, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

Hi Ralph smile.gif

Great review! first I must report my Netflix copy had the skipping or audio dropouts that caught me off guard towards the end ( first for me from Disney) and switched to Lpcm and it solved the problem. Prior to this little discovery the wife daughter and I were enjoying great video and audio along with tons of laughs from this latest Pixar release. It's a worthy follow up to the first and look forward to a BF purchase. wink.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Greetings,

Thanks audiofan1. smile.gif

Yes, the Dolby TrueHD audio dropout issue is a strange bug that seems to affect a handful of titles and players. My Oppo exhibited it but my Panasonic played flawlessly.

Regards,

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiofan1 View Post

I guess the Oppo's have to have something to work towards as they do 99% of what they do so well, to date only the isolated score from Oblivion and what seems to be a more universal one from the Total Recall have caused it to stumble. Good thing there's a work around wink.gif

Now that you mention this I had two small audio dropouts on the 2D version using the DolbyTrueHD 7.1 track on a PS3 Slim. No probs on the 3D version. I actually forgot it happened cause the two times it did was at the beginning of the movie and I just quickly rewound the scene and it played thru the skiped part fine. Funny thing.

JBL Pro Cinema
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post #28 of 97 Old 11-01-2013, 12:38 PM
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Thanx for the review. Awesome looking and sounding movie...BUT..
I have an Oppo 103 and am having audio issues with this film. As the movie progressed, the audio would get out of synch with the video. I would turn the player off..turn it back on and the audio would be fine. About 30 minutes later, the audio would be out of synch again. Same process...turn the player off..back on...and all would be well.

Thoughts on this issue?
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post #29 of 97 Old 11-02-2013, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by borninusa View Post

Thanx for the review. Awesome looking and sounding movie...BUT..
I have an Oppo 103 and am having audio issues with this film. As the movie progressed, the audio would get out of synch with the video. I would turn the player off..turn it back on and the audio would be fine. About 30 minutes later, the audio would be out of synch again. Same process...turn the player off..back on...and all would be well.

Thoughts on this issue?

Greetings,

This is related to the same issue associated with the audio dropouts using the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack bitstreamed from the player to your decoding device. It doesn't affect every brand of player so it's hard to know where to root the cause but solving it is simple enough. Set your Oppo to internally decode the signal (meaning set it the LPCM) while watching this film.


Regards,
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post #30 of 97 Old 11-02-2013, 06:19 PM
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I am very glad people posted that the LPCM fixed the drop outs. We had a family over and it did start to drop out. I have an Oppo 93. Many thanks to this forum.
The movie itself actually surprised me. We had seen The Croods and Epic this week and were underwhelmed. This was actually pretty good and on par with the first one.
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