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My "What is going on with PQ" rant!!

post #1 of 196
Thread Starter 
What is going on with PQ. Im disappointed with the last batch of titles Ive purchased. Im scared to buy anything anymore without renting it first.
I own both formats and my rant is not just for HD DVD its for both camps but Im posting here because I hold higher standards and expect more from HD DVD.

First and foremost: Banding banding banding. Who is at the dashboard authoring these things. Is there anyone checking for this before the final sign off. Lately its been rearing its head on everything in at least a few spots even on reference titles.

Anyone else notice that reference transfers are getting far and few. Almost as if they dont care about quality anymore and preference is focused on getting qty to market.

I am watching these on an 8 foot wide screen with a 3 chip DLP so I am aware the additional screen size and brightness will make any shortcomings more reveling then someone watching on a 50" display but from where I am sitting the quality is going down hill. After all the format is marketed as the best of the best and from the few reference titles it clearly has the potential but for the most part the majority of titles I would rate a 5 to 7 on average with many blow that.

I have more titles that I am disappointed in then titles I call reference. No excuse.
I just screened The Mummy. Could not wait for this one. While its not a bad transfer it suffers from EE in the bright desert scenes and the CGI work in the back ground is very soft and blurry from use of NR. I find the title all over the map

I hope the use of EE and NR doe not become the norm. Studios please listen.

This format has so much potential but unfortunately its not being used. Please take all the hype and marketing and put that same effort into producing stunning transfers to go along with thew hype.

Rant off
post #2 of 196
Could you give some specific examples of titles and chapters.
post #3 of 196
I also have both formats. and I agree. It is like Hit, Miss, Miss, Miss, Hit. PQ wise.
post #4 of 196
But is the PQ what the director intended???
post #5 of 196
I have to agree. I am going to start being more netflix active before just buying these newer HD titles. The Mummy I do not intend to get because I already have it on DTHEATER. Hope they fix this soon...
post #6 of 196
In regards to what the director inteded. somwhat that may indeed be the case but as we have seen in other cases some transfers look somwhat different.


It's like they rushed the process. some scenes have dirt on the film. some are sharp... others are fuzzy.
post #7 of 196
Alan,
Could you be title and scene specific ?

art
post #8 of 196
Not knocking anyone but we have to ask ourselves are these formats designed for such large screens. Given the number of variables going into each title from source to master to encoding we have to accept that all titles will not be reference. It maybe Hit, Miss, Miss, Miss, Hit as opposed to Hit, Hit, Hit , Hit if we expect all titles to be reference. DVD taught us that image quality will improve and that we can make a difference at studios but it also taught us that reference titles will still be few and far between, which is the way it should be because they are REFERENCE, at the top.
post #9 of 196
It reminds me of broadcast HIDEF. It's Hit, and Miss witht that also.


Some Shows like CSI-Miami that are filmed for HD. and Enhanced. look gorgeous!.

Thats what I like to use to show off my Display.
post #10 of 196
I think they are being authored on computer monitors, which probably explains the anomalies.

This early in the format I'm just glad that SOME titles are knocking it out of the park, on both formats. I'm not going to let a little EE and the occassional banded sky bum my trip. I'm just so damn glad HD is finally here!
post #11 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_W View Post

Could you give some specific examples of titles and chapters.

As far as banding even reference titles have banding and its been covered in other areas so I will not get back on that topic.
I can only list titles that I am disappointed in that I have purchased and viewed that are not reference and proved a disappointment. Here is a list of titles that I would never show anyone to show off my system or brag about the HD DVD format.

Fast Times at RMH
Superman the movie
the mummy
Waterworld
mutiny on the bounty
Army of darkness
house of wax
caddyshack
The rundown
Animal house

Keep in mind I also have titles I am proud of but lately it seams reference titles are far and few with most just mediocre. Really disappointing, not living up to the format. This is HD, lets have it look like HD and not just marginally better then NTSC.
Every title should wow us to some extent.
post #12 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_W View Post

Not knocking anyone but we have to ask ourselves are these formats designed for such large screens. Given the number of variables going into each title from source to master to encoding we have to accept that all titles will not be reference. It maybe Hit, Miss, Miss, Miss, Hit as opposed to Hit, Hit, Hit , Hit if we expect all titles to be reference. DVD taught us that image quality will improve and that we can make a difference at studios but it also taught us that reference titles will still be few and far between, which is the way it should be because they are REFERENCE, at the top.

I would bet that one of the variables is a six- or seven-year old master being used (discs like The Mummy and Waterworld, for example). These titles are not getting brand-new transfers for HD; they're using whatever HD master happens to be the latest. Then, you have cases like Christmas Vacation, where the master is only a few years old, but apparently not much work went into cleaning it up or whatever they have to do to make it look great.
post #13 of 196
Alan,
I haven't seen one of those titles......sorry.
In all honesty I would have been surprised if MotB, FTaRH ,Caddyshak, Superman the Movie etc would have been up to the level of Aeon Flux,Serenity,King Kong, etc however.

Have you compared The Rundown to Dtheater ? That would be telling.

Art
post #14 of 196
Alan, it is definitely possible these banding and EE issues exist in the master used to author the VC-1 encodings. IIRC MPEG-2 compression is used for the master which easily could have introduced banding, noise reduction and EE.

However I would side with you and say these issues are not acceptable. If these publishers are serious about the format, then maybe it is time to look at the chain of technologies used to store and reproduce these movies.
post #15 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by hammer99 View Post

But is the PQ what the director intended???

yeah can't wait for the artistic license apologists to come in. j/k

This is the rant I think alot of us have. There is a format war going on and neither side is willing to throw out the big guns or their front line soldiers (movies).

I did watch Army of Darkness last night. I agree it was hit or miss. Some scenes looked awesome while others looked bleh.
post #16 of 196
Thread Starter 
Regardless how old or new a title I want to be able to buy blindly with confidence any title in hope it represents a certain reference level in the same way THX and ISF assure a certain quality level is meet. More then 50% of the title are average and thats a pour % in my opinion especially when its marketed to knock our socks off and we are spending good money on what turns out to be a crap shoot.
EE on older and new titles are no excuse because it did not originate on the negative. Someone decided to add it. As far as banding I do not know where that comes into play but the more technical then myself have talked about this one.
post #17 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

As far as banding even reference titles have banding and its been covered in other areas so I will not get back on that topic.
I can only list titles that I am disappointed in that I have purchased and viewed that are not reference and proved a disappointment. Here is a list of titles that I would never show anyone to show off my system or brag about the HD DVD format.

Fast Times at RMH
Superman the movie
the mummy
Waterworld
mutiny on the bounty
Army of darkness
house of wax
caddyshack
The rundown
Animal house

Keep in mind I also have titles I am proud of but lately it seams the reference titles are far and few and just mediocre. Really disappointing. Not living up to the format. This HD, lets have it look like HD and not just marginally better then NTSC.
Every title show wow us to some extent.


Well dang, I can't even check, I don't own any of those.
post #18 of 196
The problems with Waterworld I noticed were EE and damaged master. Otherwise, it was very nice, PQ-wise
post #19 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by ManiG View Post

Alan, it is definitely possible these banding and EE issues exist in the master used to author the VC-1 encodings. IIRC MPEG-2 compression is used for the master which easily could have introduced banding, noise reduction and EE.

However I would side with you and say these issues are not acceptable. If these publishers are serious about the format, then maybe it is time to look at the chain of technologies used to store and reproduce these movies.

Hello MPEG 2!

post #20 of 196
Would MPEG2 introduce banding? Unless the bands look like macroblocks and the edges fall on macroblock boundaries, I would be surprised the codec is the cause. Often banding is an artifact introduced during scanning or perhaps caused by some fancy production house filtering.

Or sometimes, a cheesy renderer in the CGI that somehow got stuck with 16bit RGB instead of 24bit RGB can also cause this. The conversion from RGB888 to YUV4:2:0 can also introduce unexpected side effects if it was done wrong. This last one I seriously doubt because noone familiar with digital video would make this sort of mistake.

It is possible that once we get used to the highdef titles, our expectations go up and our quality bar just become significantly stricter. A lot of titles I thought looked great don't look as good as it did the first time I saw it, and I think the wow factor for HD-DVD is no longer that significant. You put in a title like KingKong and you always compare parts against other segments and think --- well, I don't see the pores on Naomi Watt's face. Why does PotO look clearer than this? Or is it just a good first impression? Is it just thick makeup or is the camera just not sharp enough to pick it up? Did the director deliberately choose to make us think Naomi just has better skin than Eric Bana?

How does this compare against Alice Cooper or those soldiers in Black Hawk Down?

Nowadays, I also thought Riddick look less detailed and reference than I thought it did the first time. But that's still a good movie though.
post #21 of 196
It's tough to notice EE on my displays, but banding has been an issue on a lot of HD DVDs. It's definitely a concern.

I try to think back to 1997-1998 and remember how awful some of the initial DVDs looked to put things in perspective. And then if I really want a reality check, I start throwing in laserdiscs.

We all need to be more discerning with our purchases for sure. I'm optimistic that authoring will get much better before it gets any worse. I do hope that banding in particular is addressed in a major way, because it seems to be on every disc. The EE has to stop too, there is just no reason to use it. The Mummy has lots of it, and I can imagine those with big display areas can see it. AOD is another title with EE. The EE is distracting, but the banding is a much greater concern because it is a flaw, not a choice.
post #22 of 196
I know LCDs have a problem with banding.
post #23 of 196
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fettastic View Post

I know LCDs have a problem with banding.


yea, mine does, especially w/ fine textures like sports coats
post #24 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCrawn View Post

but banding has been an issue on a lot of HD DVDs. It's definitely a concern.

I do hope that banding in particular is addressed in a major way, because it seems to be on every disc. The EE has to stop too, there is just no reason to use it. The Mummy has lots of it, and I can imagine those with big display areas can see it. AOD is another title with EE. The EE is distracting, but the banding is a much greater concern because it is a flaw, not a choice.

Agreed.
There are those with smaller displays that may not see what we are seeing and there are those that say "I see it" but Im still happy. If we do not complain no further progress will be made thinking we are happy and will take what ever is thrown at us.
It seams a lot of titles are being introduced as fillers and picture quality seams to be suffering. I have plenty of stuff recorded of satellite at lower bit rate and resolution that looks better then some titles on HD Disc.
post #25 of 196
i don't know what you guys are watching, but the mummy on hd dvd looks freaking great
post #26 of 196
Thread Starter 
Different displays handle artifacts in different ways. CRTs handle banding very well and this should not be visible on a good CRT. SXRD also shows a cleaner picture then DLP and LCD. I have both a 3 chip DLP and the Sony 1080 Ruby and I cannot get past the banding on ether set. Same with EE. The banding you are seeing on your LCD is in the source unfortunately. Also LCD is not as forgiving. Maybe they need to start authoring using LCD.
post #27 of 196
Am I the only guy who doesn't expect everything to be 100% perfect 100% of the time?
post #28 of 196
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by talbain View Post

i don't know what you guys are watching, but the mummy on hd dvd looks freaking great

Watch out, we all may come knocking to come over and watch it on your system

Quote:
Originally Posted by slider33 View Post

Am I the only guy who doesn't expect everything to be 100% perfect 100% of the time?

From where I am sitting Id say they are batting less then 50%. Every title I buy lately has been disappointing.
But its important to speak out so progress continues to better the format.
post #29 of 196
Alan, sir,
You of all people probably have the greatest "Right to Rank", of anyone on this forum. Thanks for all your work here & thanks for starting this thread.
Agree 100%
(Suckup done, back on topic!!! ;-) )
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Gouger View Post

Keep in mind I also have titles I am proud of

I would greatly wish to see a list of "your" reference titles as well.
Hopefully, it would also be beneficial to others. Especially to bring home your point that not all transfers are measuring up to "The Best".
Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon_W View Post

Not knocking anyone but we have to ask ourselves are these formats designed for such large screens.

Are you suggesting "banding" isn't an issue on smaller screens?
Thanks.
post #30 of 196
I honestly think on a lot of the these movies we are seeing the best the movies are going to look.

Disappointing as it may be some movies like Excalibur, Fast Times, Dazed and Confused, Animal house, are not ever going to look any better than they do now even if you stole the master reels from the studio.
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