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CHRONOS HD DVD impressions

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
CHRONOS HD DVD

The HD DVD's audio is great with 24bit/96khz DTS-HD 5.1 soundtrack, 24bit/48khz Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 soundtrack, and 24bit/48khz PCM stereo soundtrack. Personally I would have canned the DTS-HD and PCM soundtracks and instead offered lossless Dolby TrueHD5.1 24bit/48khz, but I can't complain as the audio is excellent

Video is MPEG2 but surprisingly sharp, likely due to the short 40 minute runtime of the film allowing for ample breathing room. I got up nice and close to the TV and did not detect any significant compression artifacting at 1080i (disc is encoded at 1080p24). Colors are beautiful in this release! It may have been even better in VC-1, but with this type of flick I really can't complain either here.

This HD DVD completely destroys the prior standard DVD version I had. It literally is like the difference between VHS and DVD. I believe this is both due to superior mastering and superior encoding technologies.

Finally, interactivity makes the film even more cool on HD DVD. Don't forget to play around with the Locations and Annotations menu options while the film is running; they allow you to toggle locational information where each shot was taken as well as detailed information about the location and things being shown in the film, all in popup windows you can turn on/off at will.

Overall, for this type of film OUTSTANDING effort to the people who made the HD DVD. Often these type of movies get crap treatment but Chronos on HD DVD had some TLC put into it. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for fans of nature/landscape movies - or plain anyone who would like to see some gorgeous forces of nature put to Vangelis-style music! IMO, this is one of those films you should see at least once in your life - and what better way to do so than on HD DVD?!

http://www.amazon.com/Chronos-HD-DVD...?ie=UTF8&s=dvd

P.S. - My viewing device is a ISF calibrated Sony WEGA 56" CRT RPTV @ 1080i. Feel free to add your own impressions with other playback devices
post #2 of 29
Considering the disc was originally slated to street shortly after the initial HD-A1 launch - towards end of April/early May - they better have put some extra work and TLC into it. JMHO.


I have had it on pre-order - since 4/24 - so should get it a day or two after BBOS gets its stock (12/5), unless they either delete pre-orders after a certain point or whatnot - don't think I'd be all that upset if didn't get it (at least right away).
post #3 of 29
I watched it last night.
I forgot to try the Locations and annotations.
I did have a few problems with the disc though. It took a while to start up, as if it froze at start-up (stayed at 00:00 for a bit). I also had a faint blue glow/tint at the bottom for the first few minutes. Anyone else have this problem? I'll check it again tonight to see if its the disc, or some technical fluke.
I'm a fan of some of Micheal Sterns' music. I bought the soundtrack years ago, before I even knew it was a soundtrack.
J
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big J View Post

I did have a few problems with the disc though. It took a while to start up, as if it froze at start-up (stayed at 00:00 for a bit). I also had a faint blue glow/tint at the bottom for the first few minutes. Anyone else have this problem? J

I too am having problems. When I fire it up via the 360HDAO, I see the FBI warning screen, and then nothing. Tried hitting play while the FBI screen was up and got to the menu. Hit play again, and again....nothing.

Big J, what are you using to view this disc? A Toshi' HD player or 360 HDAO?
post #5 of 29
Video is MPEG-2??? Not VC1?
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iguana Man View Post

I too am having problems. When I fire it up via the 360HDAO, I see the FBI warning screen, and then nothing. Tried hitting play while the FBI screen was up and got to the menu. Hit play again, and again....nothing.

Big J, what are you using to view this disc? A Toshi' HD player or 360 HDAO?

I'm using an A1. I did confirm a slight blue glow at the beginning, and slow start-up. I haven't seen the SD DVD, so I cannot compare, but I thought the picture was OK, but not killer. Lower/middle tier 2 is about right.
J
post #7 of 29
Maybe expectations were a little too high on this one because it left me slightly disappointed. The PQ was okay mostly, but it didn't "wow" me. The time lapse techniques caused some strobing with lighting and I didn't like the music. Sorry. Overall, I'd give it a B-.

The best "video" based docu-style HD DVD I have is One Six Right -- a documentary about the Van Nuys Airport. Beautiful photography and wonderfully authored. Music was excellent as well.
post #8 of 29
It's a nice-looking disc, but there's some persistent edge ringing. You'll notice it stand out in the shots of Stonehenge. The complaints about "flickering" or "strobing" I find absurd. Much of the movie was shot in lime-tapse and shadows will move in and out of the frame. That's not a transfer flaw.

My full review here.
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

It's a nice-looking disc, but there's some persistent edge ringing. You'll notice it stand out in the shots of Stonehenge. The complaints about "flickering" or "strobing" I find absurd. Much of the movie was shot in lime-tapse and shadows will move in and out of the frame. That's not a transfer flaw.

My full review here.

Okay . . . let me update about the strobing.

Update: "The time-laspe effect that they used caused shadows to move in and out of the frame which made the lighting almost appear to strobe. I found it rather distracting."

Better? Personally, I don't find that to be "absurd." It's not a transfer flaw, but inherent in a time-lapse filming technique. Neverthless, it diminished the experience somewhat for me. PQ was also very inconsistent. Some shots were clear and rather stunning while others were not. Overall, it was a fairly weak title, but not as bad as, say, Guitarscape Planet

By the way, Josh, I certainly would be interested in your opinion of One Six Right. But I guess you didn't see it. I thought it was excellent.
post #10 of 29
I love the disc. Transfer looks better than what was on INHD, hands down.
post #11 of 29
I would like to thank Ruined real quick....he helped me setup my wireless adapter for the 360 HDAO and Chronos played fine thereafter (after the online patch).

Thanks dude!

(sorry to derail fellas since I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but will!)
post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iguana Man View Post

I too am having problems. When I fire it up via the 360HDAO, I see the FBI warning screen, and then nothing. Tried hitting play while the FBI screen was up and got to the menu. Hit play again, and again....nothing.

Big J, what are you using to view this disc? A Toshi' HD player or 360 HDAO?

I watched it last week on my 360HDAO. No problems, but I didn't think to try the extras. I got bored after a few minutes and sent it back to Netflix the next day. I did figure out the strobing was due to the time lapse. Just a few clouds in front of the sun and strobe city.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

...Better? Personally, I don't find that to be "absurb." It's not a transfer flaw, but inherent in a time-lapse filming technique. Neverthless, it diminished the experience somewhat for me. PQ was also very inconsistent. Some shots were clear and rather stunning while others were not. Overall, it was a fairly weak title, but not as bad as, say, Guitarscape Planet :eek ...

This is not the 1st time Josh Z accusing others being absurd while the flickering/wavering/strobing issue was pointed out. Instead of providing a constructive feedback, he found it necessary to belittle other's opinion. What's really absurd is to accuse other making stuff up, when it turns out that it's just the OPPOSITE.

I posted in another thread (http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post9529944 ) about my experience watching Chrnos, hope it is helpful:
Quote:


A couple of tips, based on my experience, when watching this remarkable film:

1. Don't forget to turn on locations/annotations if you are not familiar with the scenes. This feature is very helpful.

2. Due to the nature of time-lapse photography and natural lighting, you will experience some flickering due to variation in brightness. If you find it distracting (some section is a bit to me), I find viewing it under bright condition (day time) significantly minimizes the flickering. This is not your average Hollywood production, it's not particular dark, you don't need to watch in a light-controlled room.

3. As said already, don't worry about 1080i label. Rich is an honest guy and tries to be technically correct. Watching on a 1080p60 TV using 1080i input, it's simply stunning, no interlace artifacts: no surprise here since it is really 1080p24 on disc.
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricwhite View Post

Better? Personally, I don't find that to be "absurd." It's not a transfer flaw, but inherent in a time-lapse filming technique. Neverthless, it diminished the experience somewhat for me.

In that case, it's not the disc that you have problems with. It's the movie itself that you don't like.

Quote:


By the way, Josh, I certainly would be interested in your opinion of One Six Right. But I guess you didn't see it. I thought it was excellent.

Haven't seen it.
post #15 of 29
The photography was nice but the noise was really bad, well at least bad compared to all the HD-DVD VC1 movies I have watched. Don't know if it was because it was a 20 year old film, a bad transfer or mpeg-2 encoding, but it was quite noticable and distracting on many scenes. Do the BD guys have this sort of issue with mpeg2 movies?

-Craig
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rare-air View Post

The photography was nice but the noise was really bad, well at least bad compared to all the HD-DVD VC1 movies I have watched. Don't know if it was because it was a 20 year old film, a bad transfer or mpeg-2 encoding, but it was quite noticable and distracting on many scenes. Do the BD guys have this sort of issue with mpeg2 movies?

Don't confuse film grain with noise. Not the same thing.
post #17 of 29
This release (HD DVD) is not OAR.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

Don't confuse film grain with noise. Not the same thing.

No I know film grain and while there was a very little grain it didn't bother me. But there was very noticeable noise random fairly large rain drop like dots that came and went. On the worst scenes early on you can see a half dozen spots suddenly appearing and as quickly disappearing. Almost like they didn't clean the print when the did the transfer.

-Craig
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Z View Post

In that case, it's not the disc that you have problems with. It's the movie itself that you don't like.



True. I didn't like some of the filming techniques and the music choices. I don't have many complaints about the "disc" itself or the authoring. I expected a little more "stunning" experience. Overall, it left me rather disappointed.
post #20 of 29
I knew what to expect (more or less) of the movie and soundtrack, but I was disappointed in the disc itself. I thought the PQ could have been better.
J
post #21 of 29
Found what appeared to be the last copy at Fry's today and I am glad I went ahead and bought it.

There is some noise, some dirt and a little wobulated flicker/judder or time lapse somthin or other but it is definitly high def eye candy.

This will get more air play than any traditional "movie" at my house. I will substitute my own choice of music as what is on the disc is not really not what I
want to hear repeatedly.

viewd on a Sony 60 XBR1/ Toshiba A1
post #22 of 29
After, being involved in the last thread where the Chronos owner was posting. I thought I had better get it and check it out now he satisfied me it is actually 1080p24 on the disk.

Well, I am not impressed.

The odd part is the it seems there is a very small amount of edge enhancement

Strangley enough, bright/dark transistions within the frame on the disk seem very sharp. But the detail in the picture within solid objects (like a brick wall) doesnt seem to be there.

Has anyone else noticed this??

Fine detail seems missing, but transistional edges look sharp.

IMHO it looks like an average MPEG2 transfer. Poorly controlled noise encoding.

Anyone want to buy it ??
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham Johnson View Post

After, being involved in the last thread where the Chronos owner was posting. I thought I had better get it and check it out now he satisfied me it is actually 1080p24 on the disk.

Well, I am not impressed.

The odd part is the it seems there is a very small amount of edge enhancement

Strangley enough, bright/dark transistions within the frame on the disk seem very sharp. But the detail in the picture within solid objects (like a brick wall) doesnt seem to be there.

Has anyone else noticed this??

Fine detail seems missing, but transistional edges look sharp.

IMHO it looks like an average MPEG2 transfer. Poorly controlled noise encoding.

Anyone want to buy it ??

That sums up my impressions quite well. If this is what this maker thinks is good, I'll probably pass on the rest of his stuff.
J
post #24 of 29
If you want to see how something like this is SUPPOSED to look -- go get a copy of One Six Right. Filmed in 1080P, it is stunning. This title was lackluster and I was disappointed. Of course it's not nearly as bad as Guitarscape Planet.
post #25 of 29
I was hoping to add my impressions. Chronos arrived from Netflix, but ... It came in a Netflix Blu-ray sleeve, but the adhesive descriptive label said HD DVD, as did the disk itself. It wouldn't play in my HD-A1 (firmware upgraded to 2.0). Tried 4 times - twice the A1 thought it was a CD, twice an HD DVD. But the disk never really played. A FBI warning screen, a few notes and then nothing. The A1 hung each time. Only solution I found -- pull the power. Luckily the A1 has a detachable power cord.
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by R Johnson View Post

I was hoping to add my impressions. Chronos arrived from Netflix, but ... It came in a Netflix Blu-ray sleeve, but the adhesive descriptive label said HD DVD, as did the disk itself. It wouldn't play in my HD-A1 (firmware upgraded to 2.0). Tried 4 times - twice the A1 thought it was a CD, twice an HD DVD. But the disk never really played. A FBI warning screen, a few notes and then nothing. The A1 hung each time. Only solution I found -- pull the power. Luckily the A1 has a detachable power cord.


Ok thats not good as I just got an email from netflix saying its on the way. im hoping it plays in my 360 ok
post #27 of 29
I loved the presentation - it was natural film grain btw. But there seemed to be a ripple like effect on the film at times, sort of image instability - this may be from improper telecine. Also, the EE was pretty distracting at times, especially with the landscape shots.

Audio was wonderful, especially the swells - truly an awesome experience
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by HD-DVDwonder View Post

I loved the presentation - it was natural film grain btw.


It isnt the film grain that is the problem. I know what film grain looks like. It is how the Mpeg2 encoder chooses to encode the grain that is the issue.

I didnt feel it was handled very well
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
I would have loved to see Chronos in VC-1 or MPEG4 AVC. Unfortunately, though, its MPEG2. TrueHD 24/48 would have been bits better spent than the disc's 3500kbps DTS 24/96+PCM2.0 soundtracks, too. Still, compared to the DVD releases this transfer is amazing; every past iteration of Chronos I have on DVD has looked like a VHS tape. While this may not be the best HD, for this particular movie it is beyond outstanding.
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