Originally Posted by Fredrik
Quite possible, it's just that it seems a poor way of doing it.
Same thing with Gladiator, a high profile movie that will bring in the money and they come up with this.
I just don't understand why a version for TV, at least in the DNR department, looks better than a BD-release.
Many problems with AV Quality stem from "this dial goes to eleven" syndrome. Another way to think of it is that many engineers feel that they need to do *something* to picture and sound in preparation for home-video to "do a good job". Just leaving a transfer as-is seems like cheating, or being lazy or not caring. So they opt to "improve" things by a little digital processing. Most of these guys were not trained in an environment that emphasized fidelity-to-the-source, rather they were trained in the art of fixing things via manipulation. That's the basic problem with most of the discs we see with compromised AV quality IMO.
If you look at some discs from independent houses, it's sometimes shocking how *true to film" and incredible crisp, detailed, and natural those BDs look. That's because most of those facilities just scan and compress (oversimplifying) without as much energy going to "fixing things".
Think of how many soundtracks have been mucked up in the name of "fixing". Mary Poppins and Hello Dollo both had fantasic sounding multichannel PCM masters already on the shelf... yet in both cases for the most recent DVD editions the studios (FOX and Disney) thought that they could improve things by filtering out "tape hiss" which was barely audible to begin with. The result? the soundtrack lost every trace of high-frequency naturalness and openness and now sound like a towel was wrapped over the speakers. The degredation to the sound was dramatic, and comparing to the previous Dolby Digital mixes available on home-video revealed just how tragically ruined the sound had become on the new "improved" DVDs.
Similar things happen with video... some techs just can't leave well enough alone. Of course, review sites that give low ratings to discs bcs of film-originated artifacts like grain and occasional scratches don't help things, because it just gives the studios more reason to try to "fix" things via digital tools that, when used improperly, can do more harm than good.
Honestly, I'd rather have my Blu-ray look like a sparkling 35mm print with an occasional scratch mark than have the whole thing be scratch-free but look like an airbrushed, digitally processed video. Yet of those two examples, the former would elicit hordes of negative BD/DVD reviews, and the later would only garner criticism from the handful of HT-worthy review sites we know and trust. When all is said and done, the balance of review praise/criticism tips much farther in favor of the studios applying processing tools, and when that happens, there's always a risk.