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post #181 of 242 Old 10-21-2013, 12:29 PM
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I just started watching Downton Abbey. I love the show. It is so good. My favorite character are Thomas and Matthew. smile.gifsmile.gif
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post #182 of 242 Old 10-21-2013, 12:36 PM
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I just started to watch Downton Abbey. I love the show it is so good. I on the last episode on season one. My favorite characters are Thomas and Matthew. This is my new favorite show. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif
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post #183 of 242 Old 10-22-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Last Sunday PBS here ran a special on all the series along with frequent donation requests--or buying a DVD package for $200 that'll include series 4. Believe that starts in Jan (USA). Amazon offers lots of Blu-ray options, (MPEG-4 1080p) Blu-ray formats, including series 1-3, plus the 4th series separately, Guess I missed the Christmas special on TV; not sure if it appears on the Blu-ray series packages. I'll invest in the discs one of these days. -- John
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post #184 of 242 Old 10-22-2013, 01:48 PM
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The DVD and BD box sets are released in the UK right after the season ends,(November) and thus do not include Christmas specials. The US box sets are released in Jan and DO include the Christmas specials. Bonus content is the same in both sets, however the US sets have "sped up" audio due to frame rate conversion and sometimes are edited for time. The show is produced in 1080/50i. Season 4 is available now for pre-order from Amazon.uk.
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post #185 of 242 Old 10-22-2013, 02:57 PM
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A proper framerate conversion doesn't result in faster audio and video, but many PAL-NTSC conversions are sadly not done properly.
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post #186 of 242 Old 10-22-2013, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

A proper framerate conversion doesn't result in faster audio and video, but many PAL-NTSC conversions are sadly not done properly.

25p "PAL" to 60i "NTSC" is almost always done by blending frames (hint: if your player shows 60i content it was done this way, if its 24p then it was a slow-down); there is no audio speed up. 24p to "PAL" is most often done by a 4% speed up. I use quotes earlier because the terms PAL and NTSC are antiquated and not really correct.
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post #187 of 242 Old 10-22-2013, 03:57 PM
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They don't really apply to HDTV, but people do still associate the terms with the different framerates used in different regions. Converting 24p to 25p can be done through a speed increase, but adding one duplicate frame per second would perhaps be the better solution to avoid altering the feature's running time.
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post #188 of 242 Old 10-23-2013, 12:18 PM
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I just started to watch season 2. This the best show. I love. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif
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post #189 of 242 Old 10-24-2013, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashley Rowen View Post

I just started to watch season 2. This the best show. I love. smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

If you like this show, you might want to try 'Call the Midwife', it's set in the 1950's, but you might want to give it a shot when you get through with Downton Abbey. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and I loved Downton Abbey.
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post #190 of 242 Old 10-25-2013, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rebkell View Post

If you like this show, you might want to try 'Call the Midwife', it's set in the 1950's, but you might want to give it a shot when you get through with Downton Abbey. I enjoyed it quite a lot, and I loved Downton Abbey.

I like the very fine Midwife show too, but it can be a bit hard to take with all the screaming and gore in the many birth scenes. Glad I never became an MD.
/ thread hijack
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post #191 of 242 Old 10-27-2013, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post

The DVD and BD box sets are released in the UK right after the season ends,(November) and thus do not include Christmas specials. The US box sets are released in Jan and DO include the Christmas specials. Bonus content is the same in both sets, however the US sets have "sped up" audio due to frame rate conversion and sometimes are edited for time. The show is produced in 1080/50i. Season 4 is available now for pre-order from Amazon.uk.

Surely the US sets have slowed down audio if anything?

The show is shot 25p (like most European TV drama). This will be shown 50i in the UK with 2:2 pull-down. Historically US versions would have been a straight 50i to 60i conversion, in real time, with no speed change, but interpolated frames would have been used, reducing picture quality. Some US releases of UK shows have instead converted the 25p to 24p using slow-down, so there is no frame interpolation (and no quality loss in picture terms) but there is a speed change.

In the UK the first series of Downton was released 24p as a 25p to 24p slow-down - and presumably the US release was similar. No idea if the PBS broadcast was a 24p to 60i conversion from the 24p slowed down master, or a separate 50i to 60i conversion (with no speed change)
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post #192 of 242 Old 10-27-2013, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

A proper framerate conversion doesn't result in faster audio and video, but many PAL-NTSC conversions are sadly not done properly.

That depends in your definition of "proper". For "film look" progressive material the best image quality is usually delivered if you 1:1 frame-map 24p and 25p frames both ways - as you don't end up needing to interpolate frames. It's how Europe has watched 24p content at 25p (or 50i) for decades. As a result you end up with a speed change - but clean pictures. If you do a standards conversion in real-time (or with no duration change) you end up with the same speed - but reduced picture quality as you have to interpolate frames.
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post #193 of 242 Old 10-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

They don't really apply to HDTV, but people do still associate the terms with the different framerates used in different regions. Converting 24p to 25p can be done through a speed increase, but adding one duplicate frame per second would perhaps be the better solution to avoid altering the feature's running time.

No - repeated frames are really obvious to many of us - particularly those not brought up watching 3:2 content.

I can't watch 3:2 material - when Blu-ray launched in Europe my HDTV only supported 50 and 60Hz video - and all my movie Blu-rays were output with 3:2 at 60Hz. Unwatchable for someone who grew up watching 2:2 content. Ended up replacing the HDTV after less than a year with one capable of handling 24p material with symmetrical refresh (48Hz I think in the case of my Sony) .
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post #194 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 08:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Here's an interesting, fairly detailed summary of season 4 in today's (Jan.2) NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/arts/television/downton-abbey-returns-to-pbs.html?hp&_r=0
--John
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post #195 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Here's an interesting, fairly detailed summary of season 4 in today's (Jan.2) NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/arts/television/downton-abbey-returns-to-pbs.html?hp&_r=0
--John

Thanks for link to the NYT's piece about Series 4 of Downton Abbey, it was fun. I bought the BDs of Series 4 from Amazon.uk as soon as they became available last month. I will watch them again as Series 4 runs of PBS so that I can contribute with everybody else. Don't worry, though, I'll be careful to avoid spoilers as we go along. I will say, though, that I had as much fun watching Series 4 as I had with the first 3, which is to say, a lot!

NOTE: Unfortunately buying BDs from Amazon.uk can be an adventure for those who do not have an all regions chip for their BD player, Alas, the version of the Series 4 BDs of Downton Abbey being sold by Amazon.uk is Region B only. Thus, unconverted US players couldn't play them. But the Series 2 BDs of Sherlock, which I also bought from Amazon UK were all regions and play just fine on unmodified US Players. Go figure.
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Here's an interesting, fairly detailed summary of season 4 in today's (Jan.2) NY Times:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/05/arts/television/downton-abbey-returns-to-pbs.html?hp&_r=0
--John

Thanks for link to the NYT's piece about Series 4 of Downton Abbey, it was fun. I bought the BDs of Series 4 from Amazon.uk as soon as they became available last month. I will watch them again as Series 4 runs of PBS so that I can contribute with everybody else. Don't worry, though, I'll be careful to avoid spoilers as we go along. I will say, though, that I had as much fun watching Series 4 as I had with the first 3, which is to say, a lot!

NOTE: Unfortunately buying BDs from Amazon.uk can be an adventure for those who do not have an all regions chip for their BD player, Alas, the version of the Series 4 BDs of Downton Abbey being sold by Amazon.uk is Region B only. Thus, unconverted US players couldn't play them. But the Series 2 BDs of Sherlock, which I also bought from Amazon UK were all regions and play just fine on unmodified US Players. Go figure.
One hot summer found myself standing in a long post-office line to ship my Amazon UK copies of Dickens' Little Doritt back to them. Learned my 'fat' Sony PS3 Playstation, used only for Blu-ray movies, wouldn't load the Dorrit series. Amazon US apparently ships only region-A compatible discs--unless otherwise listed. But sure agree it's an adventure to sort out all the ad copy. Guess I'll wait a bit and order all four Downton series in one shipment. -- John
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post #197 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

One hot summer found myself standing in a long post-office line to ship my Amazon UK copies of Dickens' Little Doritt back to them. Learned my 'fat' Sony PS3 Playstation, used only for Blu-ray movies, wouldn't load the Dorrit series. Amazon US apparently ships only region-A compatible discs--unless otherwise listed. But sure agree it's an adventure to sort out all the ad copy. Guess I'll wait a bit and order all four Downton series in one shipment. -- John

The problem you described with Amazon.uk copies of Little Doritt you had to return almost certainly wasn't the fault of the discs. I have a PS3 Fat too and the same thing happened with it on Series 2 of Sherlock, although it played just fine on my daughter's Region A only Panasonic BD player. The PS3 was so hedged about with non overridable copy protection schemes, it's enough to drive you nuts. For example, I bought the DVD of the 10th anniversary concert of Les Miserables from Amazon.com but it wouldn't play on my PS3 because it was neither a universal nor Region 1 DVD. Most DVD players default to Region 0 so they will play DVDs from anywhere, but not PS3s. That was one of the things that convinced me to buy an Oppo 103 and a JVB Digital all regions chip. It's not a cheap way to go but neither was the PS3. *Sigh* Rant over, thanks for the use of the hall. smile.gif
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post #198 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 01:15 PM
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That was one of the things that convinced me to buy an Oppo 103 and a JVB Digital all regions chip. It's not a cheap way to go but neither was the PS3. *Sigh* Rant over, thanks for the use of the hall. smile.gif

What is this JVB Digital chip of which you speak? Some external device inserted in the chain? Doesn't the Oppo 103 play all regions all by itself, perhaps with a hack code?
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post #199 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 02:52 PM
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What is this JVB Digital chip of which you speak? Some external device inserted in the chain? Doesn't the Oppo 103 play all regions all by itself, perhaps with a hack code?
JVB Digital code-free modification kits.

I've used JVB Digital for years going all the way back to my Denon DVD-5900 that I had them modify for region-free and SDI.

The kit I bought for my Oppo BDP-83 was simply to install, took about all of 10 mins, now it will play any disc in the world. I programmed my Harmony remote to automate the region changes with a press of the button. I believe some late model mods are automatic region changing.

They can do the modification for you as well, although that does run more money. JVB Digital also sells already modified players.

Excellent company to deal with, I have no qualms about recommending them.
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post #200 of 242 Old 01-02-2014, 07:11 PM
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What is this JVB Digital chip of which you speak? Some external device inserted in the chain? Doesn't the Oppo 103 play all regions all by itself, perhaps with a hack code?

The Oppos do play all DVDs, regardless of region, or at least that's my impression. The problem arises with BDs. No unmodified BD player sold in the US will play BDs that aren't universal or Region A specific. Region B BDs, which include many if not most BDs sold in the UK, require the installation of an all regions modification chip, such as one of those sold by JVB Digital. These days most but not all BDs sold in the US are universal and will play on any BD player but a few, most notably Criterion BDs are Region A specific.
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Just to prove that I can post on topic, at least once in a while, let me say that in preparation for the upcoming season, I rewatched my BD of Episode 1 of Series 4 earlier tonight. It was terrific, even the second time through. I have come to know and love these characters so well that while what they do is usually unsurprising, it is still a lot of fun.
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post #202 of 242 Old 01-03-2014, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

The Oppos do play all DVDs, regardless of region, or at least that's my impression. The problem arises with BDs. No unmodified BD player sold in the US will play BDs that aren't universal or Region A specific. Region B BDs, which include many if not most BDs sold in the UK, require the installation of an all regions modification chip, such as one of those sold by JVB Digital. These days most but not all BDs sold in the US are universal and will play on any BD player but a few, most notably Criterion BDs are Region A specific.

All region DVD does require the owner to download and burn to a CD a modification file. A link is found early in the 103 thread. I used the one I burnt for my previous 83 and it worked.
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post #203 of 242 Old 01-03-2014, 12:49 PM
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All region DVD does require the owner to download and burn to a CD a modification file. A link is found early in the 103 thread. I used the one I burnt for my previous 83 and it worked.

My 103 has played DVDs from all regions from the get go. That may be because I installed a JVB Digital all regions mod in it when my 103 was brand new.
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post #204 of 242 Old 01-05-2014, 06:35 PM
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Is anyone watching tonight's show live?

We are on PBS/Brighthouse HD. Terrible, terrible smearing in moving portions of the screen and overall bad motion blur.

Anyone else seeing this on their broadcast?
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post #205 of 242 Old 01-05-2014, 08:36 PM
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Is anyone watching tonight's show live?

We are on PBS/Brighthouse HD. Terrible, terrible smearing in moving portions of the screen and overall bad motion blur.

Anyone else seeing this on their broadcast?

Nothing like that here via local PBS feed on DirecTV.
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post #206 of 242 Old 01-06-2014, 09:01 AM - Thread Starter
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There's a review of the two opening Series-4 shows in today's (1/6) NY Times. Plus, likely more than you'd want to read, lots of comments as a review follow-on from Times readers. The con remarks seemed to outweigh the pros a bit. PBS here (NYC) ran the hour-long documentary about the actual Downton estate just before the fictional show, pointing out many of the links between them. Despite the fast-paced jumping around between characters, enjoyed the series opening here. Superb PQ via FIOS from local PBS (channel 13). -- John

review: go to nytimes.com then check the arts section (today) or search for something like downton season 4. They seemed to have rigged things so a copy of the review URL here takes you to a subscribe to the Times page.
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post #207 of 242 Old 01-06-2014, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killthepoodle View Post

Is anyone watching tonight's show live?

We are on PBS/Brighthouse HD. Terrible, terrible smearing in moving portions of the screen and overall bad motion blur.

Anyone else seeing this on their broadcast?

OTA here was crystal perfect audio and video.
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post #208 of 242 Old 01-06-2014, 11:15 AM
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According to IMDb, the show was originally shot in 1080p25, which is an unusual format and not compatible with the usual 3:2 film pulldown that is used in 60Hz countries. That may account for the unusual motion artifacts that some have complained about.

I recorded last night's broadcast from Wisconsin Public Television, which broadcasts 720p59.94, and was more annoyed by the compression artifacts myself. Here's a look at the MPEG specifics from MediaInfo:
Code:
Format                           : MPEG-PS
FileSize/String                  : 9.44 GiB
Duration/String                  : 2h 0mn
OverallBitRate_Mode/String       : Variable
OverallBitRate/String            : 11.2 Mbps

Video
ID/String                        : 224 (0xE0)
Format                           : MPEG Video
Format_Version                   : Version 2
Format_Profile                   : Main@High
Format_Settings_BVOP/String      : Yes
Format_Settings_Matrix/String    : Custom
Format_Settings_GOP              : Variable
Duration/String                  : 2h 0mn
BitRate_Mode/String              : Variable
BitRate/String                   : 10.6 Mbps
BitRate_Maximum/String           : 20.0 Mbps
Width/String                     : 1 280 pixels
Height/String                    : 720 pixels
DisplayAspectRatio/String        : 16:9
FrameRate/String                 : 59.940 fps
Standard                         : Component
ColorSpace                       : YUV
ChromaSubsampling                : 4:2:0
BitDepth/String                  : 8 bits
Compression_Mode/String          : Lossy
Bits-(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.192
TimeCode_FirstFrame              : 09:40:13:56
TimeCode_Source                  : Group of pictures header
StreamSize/String                : 8.93 GiB (95%)
Not bad, as TV broadcasts go, but not great.

The Blu-ray version may give full 1080p resolution as shot, but would still have the 25fps problem. Top of the line US market HDTV sets may be able to do true 24fps, but aren't likely to do the same for 25fps. All the region code hacks in the world aren't going to solve this time base issue! IME with video converted from 50Hz countries without the benefit of a (24fps) film intermediate, the results can vary widely from fair to awful. IME with PBS, I'd think they'd be the ones to do the best possible conversion. I doubt that a DIYer could do any better.

For the golden-eyed viewer, the most straightforward solution would be to order the true 25fps (BBC, not PBS) Blu-ray discs from a 50Hz country, and play the material on equipment that is completely 50Hz compatible--either a hacked or European spec Blu-ray player and a TV that supports "PAL" frame rates of 25/50fps.

You get what you pay for.  For professional advice, pay the professional rate.
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post #209 of 242 Old 01-06-2014, 04:55 PM
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I watched it last night on the local PBS station (KLRU-HD) via AT&T uverse and the compression was horrible.

 

It was muddy and large regions of the screen would 'float' disconnected with the rest of the screen. It was clear it was over compressed and it was really distracting.

 

Ahh well.

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post #210 of 242 Old 01-07-2014, 08:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Noticed at the PBS site they've opted to deliver 5th season of Downton, having started the 4th just this Sunday. Lots of other snippets from various seasons at this URL.

Too bad the PQ is getting messed up at some local PBS stations. Hard to follow how PBS national, putting out 1080i for the U.S., is screwing up conversion of the U.K.'s 1080p25 original production, assuming the U.K. didn't do the conversion before delivery. Can see how local conversion of 1080i to 720p, presumably to squeeze more subchannels into a main local PBS channel, might spoil PQ. That's because repeated conversions of an original have a multiplying degradation effect. -- John
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