Originally Posted by Fang Zei
Not only that, but aren't most new tv's set to torch mode / high DNR out of the box anyway? The vast majority of the ignorant consumers aren't gonna realize this and - even if they do - won't bother to change it unless they realize what it means. Why then are the studios getting so many complaints about noisy/grainy picture? Aren't the settings on people's televisions scrubbing it away before they can even see it? How would the old predator disc look on your average hdtv on its out-of-the-box settings?
If sharpness isn't maxed out from the factory, many consumers max it out first thing, dramatically magnifying any natural video noise into an unsightly mess and even exacerbating relatively minor compression issues into something worse than they should appear. Why Sony choses to hide their calibration patterns instead of including a primer leaflet telling people how to use them, I can't figure out.
Consumers need to be educated not pampered. And I'm sure that's what most would want, considering there are directors like Spielberg who hold grain in such high regard as comparing it to brushstrokes in a painting, who will probably never let a studio butcher their work like Fox has with this title. If they want to ever be able to enjoy certain films on the format they will need to develop an understanding of, if not an appreciation for the nature of film, or they need to learn how to adjust their equipment on their own to achieve the desired look they want.
Its a little disheartening to read customer reviews on Amazon and see people returning their BD of SPR on the grounds that the disc is defective, citing grain and light smearing effects, that are innate to the photography and extremely well documented as such online, as their reason instead of the widely reported lip-sync issue. Nothing much has changed since the early years of DVD when people ignorantly and quite arrogantly complained about losing part of the picture with widescreen on their 4:3 displays.
I understood filtering grain with DVD. The format is too lossy and too compromised to be able to effectively preserve it. But with BD that process has got to go and recycling masters that were created with DVD in mind (filtered and artificially enhanced) isn't helping the format; it's teaching educated consumers to be leary of catalog films on the format, at least until the reviews are out. Sadly, there are many reviewers who don't bother to try to learn any thing about film or disc authoring that you can't trust either. They seem content in their un-researched opinions of movies themselves as being qualification enough to write a review. Some even have their own popular
Hopefully, this was a very poorly gauged experiment that won't happen again. Or at least with time and enough negative feedback, we can hope it'll sort itself out like the widescreen thing did. Though I suspect that had a lot to do with the shift toward 16:9 displays, so maybe getting bigger displays in the home is the answer, where the loss of detail will be more evident. But studios still have to treat it just as they did widescreen and try to educate consumers with packaging inserts or info spots on the discs and have faith in peoples desire to learn.
Sony used to include an insert justifying their superbit philosophy inside every single superbit disc. Maybe the same needs to be done for Blu-ray. But, currently, many studios, Fox in particular, aren't putting any effort into their BD packaging, printing on only one side of the cover despite the fact that the case is practically transparent and other studios have set a better standard. And the only inserts included (aside from generic disclaimers that some features may not work in older players) are for digital copies, movie rewards codes, and video cable advertisements. I don't think I've even seen a single D-box promo insert, despite far more discs supporting D-box than movable subtitles, when far more consumers could benefit from the later. Sony includes a semi-informative advertisement promoting the most obvious merits of BD, but it's hardly educational. It's like an instruction manual troubleshooting guide that only suggests making sure the power is on and the player is plugged in if something isn't working.