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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 369

post #11041 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

The movie wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. I found myself laughing at some fairly good one liners sprinkled throughout the movie.

Again, I hope I haven't built up too much hype on this title, but it was SO consistently sharp and detailed (except for a few isolated shots) and one is rarely treated to a visual feast like this.

I should have added that I would put in right under Baraka, for like I had said many scenes rivaled those of Baraka. It definitely lacked the superb "human" facial close-ups of Baraka, but other virtues made up for that (especially the amazing black levels and shadow detail that you don't get in Baraka).

Did anyone watch this on a PS3? I ask since we tried to watch it last night and I kept getting the disc unplayable error.
post #11042 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post

Did anyone watch this on a PS3? I ask since we tried to watch it last night and I kept getting the disc unplayable error.

Looks like Netflix sent it last night so I should get it later on today. I'll be using a PS3 and will let you know.
post #11043 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post

Did anyone watch this on a PS3? I ask since we tried to watch it last night and I kept getting the disc unplayable error.

They are really picky about dirty discs
post #11044 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by wmwilker View Post

They are really picky about dirty discs

I could tell it was a brand new disc (it just was released Monday) and I did take it out three times to 'clean' it 'just in case' and still got the error (even powered the PS3 down).
post #11045 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post

I could tell it was a brand new disc (it just was released Monday) and I did take it out three times to 'clean' it 'just in case' and still got the error (even powered the PS3 down).

Perhaps this title will need a firmware update on the PS3. As you know, I use a Panasonic BD30 and obviously I had no problem whatsoever.
post #11046 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Perhaps this title will need a firmware update on the PS3. As you know, I use a Panasonic BD30 and obviously I had no problem whatsoever.

I have a BD35 and was going to try it in that tonight to see if it 'is' the PS3.
post #11047 of 21407
Robbie Williams: Live At The Albert (UK import)

recommendation: Tier 1.0

A concert that was originally performed in 2001, this region-free Blu-ray came out from EMI in the U.K. and will play on all U.S. BD players. Released back on December 3rd of 2007, the main feature runs for 71-minutes. Presented at a resolution of 1080i (most likely the native resolution of the cameras used for the shoot), the video is encoded in AVC on a BD-25.

The video encoding stays mostly within a range from 14.4 Mbps to 25 Mbps. While not an exact figure I would estimate the average video bitrate to be 18.5 Mbps for the main feature. The low parameters do not seem to affect the transparency of the encoding, with nary an artifact visible. I would attribute that to the incredibly clean looking source material and lack of motion inherent in the original photography.

Shot on HD-video cameras at the Royal Albert Hall, the image appears excellent throughout the concert. This is not a rock concert per se, with Robbie Williams singing a set of swing songs in front of a 58-piece orchestra in formal attire. Without the trappings of a modern rock concert in place, the visuals are simple yet very clean looking and revealing. Contrast is crisp without any blooming or crushing. Black levels are consistently great, with Mr. William's black suit resolved down to the the most minuscule level of detail. Colors are quite vibrant without reaching the point of over-saturation. Flesh tones have a very naturalistic look and appear better than many concerts I have seen on home video.

The master used for the transfer must be in spectacular condition. The image is absolutely flawless and looks like it was filmed yesterday. There has been no digital post-processing of any kind done to this Blu-ray. The image looks razor-sharp and perfectly in-focus with no hint of edge halos. Some brief footage inserted into the concert from the 1960's that runs four minutes long is the only exception to the quality of the image.

High-frequency information is very nice and ranks well alongside other tier one titles. Tight close-ups of Robbie singing reveal every pore of his face and skin. I would not rank it though in the lofty heights of tier zero, as shadow detail is just a touch below the best transfers. The depth and dimensionality of most shots are very good.

Having owned this on dvd I suspected this would be a good looking Blu-ray. My supposition was correct as this concert release has beautiful picture quality. For those interested, the included audio tracks are a stereo PCM track and a 5.1 DTS-HD MA track.
post #11048 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wryker View Post

I have a BD35 and was going to try it in that tonight to see if it 'is' the PS3.

Ok - didn't work on either of my 2 PS3's nor my BD35 (gave a copyright protection error)..so a replacement is on the way.
post #11049 of 21407
Blu Rays are VERY sensitive to fingerprints and scratches.

My Get Smart from Netflix had a hard time loading at first. It finally did, got about halfway through it would skip and freeze. It had a few very small scratches on it so I got a replacement.

Then just recently Face/Off starting doing the same thing, and I noticed fingerprints on the very edge of the disk. Wiped em off and it was fine.

99% of the time it's the disc.
post #11050 of 21407
Yeah, it's gotta be the disc. My Chihuahua copy works well on my PS3. Will report back in a bit, but so far Djoberg's right on.
post #11051 of 21407
Beverly Hills Chihuahua

We are chihuahuas, hear us roar!

I concur - this has some of the finest black levels and shadow details I've seen. The night scenes in Mexico City are quite impressive; same with El Diablo's and Delgado's coats. The colors are indeed vibrant and full of life. The pastel colors on the iguana are very pleasing to the eyes, for example.

Details on close-up's are exceptional. Check out the scene when Delgado...



(I know, I know, but you never know!).

Medium shots of the supporting cast of dogs are very detailed as well. As for the panoramic shots, when depth of field is at infinity, we see very good details all the way through. Maybe an exception was the one scene (western-looking scene) in the dessert when the fake background looked, well, fake. On the flip side, there were a number of fine bokeh moments starting with scenes in the Beverly Hills backyard and a notable few in the dessert scenes.

One thing lacking for me (or not as pronounced) is 3D pop. There's great depth on a number of scenes, but not the pop I've seen in other titles. I also found some minor pixelation in the introductory scene to Puerto Vallarta. Aside from that, a very clean picture. Very fine grain was present throughout.

Now, where to place...I would say slightly better than Live Free or Die Hard and The Host...

Tier Recommendation: Middle Tier 0

Coincidentally, Baraka arrived with this Blu-Ray from Netflix so I'll be able to judge the two. Baraka is next...

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 8'
post #11052 of 21407
Oh lord...it's tempting, but I don't know if I can bring myself to watch the talking dog film.
post #11053 of 21407
^

deltasun,

I see we are on the same page regarding Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Even the areas that didn't impress you were the same as mine, for I believe the desert scene you referred to was the same one I alluded to in my review (where I said one desert scene lacked detail) and I too wasn't all that impressed with the 3D pop factor (though there were a few scenes that had fantastic dimension to them).

I'm glad to see you will finally be viewing Baraka. You are in for another visual treat my friend. Like BHC you will see GREAT DETAIL throughout, especially in the MANY sweeping landscapes and in facial close-ups, which, IMO, are as good as they come. What you won't see this time around are the amazing black levels and shadow detail. All things considered, I believe these two are on the same level.
post #11054 of 21407
Baraka

Wow! Definitely a visual (and really, aural) feast. I think anybody viewing this collection of images will agree this is tier blu material. What really struck me the most is the dynamic range of colors, contrasts, and cinematography techniques.

Djoberg is right - the first thing I noticed (specially after just watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua) are the black levels. While we do get some fairly decent blacks here and there, they are not as impressive or consistent as BHC. But, what it lacks in black levels, it makes up for in everything else. There is fine and coarse detail. Same with depth - it is maximized when that makes sense. Super shallow when needed. Oh, and the lighting is superb. I wonder how much the cinematographer(s) staked out each location to get as much punch into each scene?

Shadow details, for the most part, were excellent. Contrast was properly controlled for the majority of the scenes. That one scene in the burning oil fields in Kuwait where the raging flames seem to be jumping off the screen was gorgeous. Rock and statue details were stunning. So were the details inside the basilica in low light.

Overall, it's difficult to find any faults in this film. Dark levels may be its only weakness. Some of the eclipse and backlit shots could have been better. But then again, the scene at the 1hr 27min mark showed decent levels. I also spied a few digital "dancing" noise during the Kuwaiti oil fields and the time-lapse sequences with the starry night sky scenes.

Tier Recommendation: Agree with current placement in Tier 0

ln46a650 - 1080p/24 - 8'
post #11055 of 21407
To sum up the 3 current titles I've seen in Tier Blu. I still believe Domino belongs just below Man on Fire. Baraka should stay where it is and is still superior to Beverly Hills Chihuahua.
post #11056 of 21407
King Kong: Recommendation: low Tier 0

I think this title looks phenomenal on BD and should be used as demo material. Stunning!

Passion of the Christ: Recommendation: tier 2.0

Dr No: Recommendation : tier 1.75


I cannot believe how good this looks on BD. I think it looks better than many of the newest releases coming out. I could easily have gone tier 1.5 it is that good. No one will be disappointed with this transfer. WOW!

Changeling: Recommendation tier 1.75

John Mayer: Where the Light Is: Recommendation tier 1.75

Police: Certifiable: Recommendation tier 2.0

I don't know why, but the use of HD cameras falls short of their potential. This and Elton John both look like there are some soft filters used and mainly on the facial closeups. Not DNR, but something is not right. There is no reason HD capture shouldn't render a much more detailed and better PQ than we are seeing with this BD, Chris Botti and Elton 60. These could easily be low tier 0 or tier 1.0 BD's IMO.

Elton 60: Live at Madison Square Garden Recommendation: Tier 1.75

What Just Happened: Recommendation: Tier 1.5

Miracle at St Anna: Recommendation: Tier 1.75

Madagascar 2: Recommendation: low Tier 0


Bourne Identity: Recommendation: Tier 1.75

Bourne Supremacy: Recommedation : Tier 1.5

Bourne Ultimatum: Recommendation: Tier 1.5


Sony A3000 60 Inch @ 7.5 ft. from PS3 thru HDMI
post #11057 of 21407
Damn Hugh you've been doing a lot of blu ray watching.
post #11058 of 21407
^

Hugh,

Good to see you back in action again! Thanks for all the good recommendations.

I'm glad to see your praise of Dr. No, for I have been a fan of the James Bond series all my life, and especially those with Sean Connery as 007. I'll be checking that one out as soon as they stock it locally.
post #11059 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughmc View Post


Dr No: Recommendation : tier 1.75


I could easily have gone tier 1.5 it is that good.

But, you didn't because... ?
post #11060 of 21407
[quote=djoberg;15964365]Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Ladies and gentlemen....We have a WINNER!! Translation: This is a Tier Blu title if ever there was one!

Just a noob, but I concur! Fine grain and excellent color rendition throughout, and the tight shots equal or excede Kung Fu Panda for detail.

My Panasonic BD35 Blu-ray Disc player kept displaying a message that BD-Live needed to be active(the first time this has occurred.) Changed my player's BD-Live Internet Access setting to Allow(All) and the problem went away.
post #11061 of 21407
Crank

Shot on HD Video, persistent ringing and some instances of stair stepping noted. Crank is a concept driven action movie that has been lit and shot to reflect the emotional state of the main character who must keep his adrenaline pumping at all costs in order to stay alive.

This is revealed very early in the story so I don't believe I am giving anything away.

Since Crank is shot on HD video, there is no grain.

Style seems intended to approximate the effect of following the frantic main character with a hand held video camera, struggling to maintain correct light and focus.

This is interspersed with segments that are shot from main character's POV, which are intended to imitate his distorted vision or from the POV of a low quality surveillance camera and there is a segment where, along with the main character, we get our (degraded) picture from watching the plot unfold on a flat panel display.

Action sequences (most of the film) are stylized with missing frames to speed things up, lending a herky-jerky quality to the proceedings. When main character's vision distorts, sometimes the action from our POV resembles an image reflected in a fun house mirror. Other times, picture becomes over-saturated and posterized with various vibrant colors.

Due to the intended look; shot fast and cheap, contrast is often too hot or too dim and focus appears difficult to maintain. Title is not lit, shot or costumed to reveal intricate texture in clothing.

Title's main strength is the grain free razor sharp HD Video close-ups scattered throughout. Many are of Jason Stratham where every strand of close cropped hair and every individual strand of stubble is very well resolved (cranked up contrast helps make it pop), some are of Dwight Yoakam and there are a few others.

One's appraisal of Crank's PQ will likely depend heavily on the quantity of intentionally degraded picture one is willing to tolerate (or appreciate) in order to see these close-ups.

A sampling of previous reviews from this thread reveals that Crank has been a controversial title, with some seeming to regard it highly due at least in some measure to the HD Video look and lack of film grain while others seem far less impressed for various reasons mostly having to do with the HD video look and lack of film grain along with all of the other PQ issues.

Awhile back, we had a lengthy debate about facial close-ups. At the time, someone remarked that while these types of shots are very nice to have, they are not adequate compensation if the rest of the PQ is lacking. Personally, I have never felt this as strongly as I did while watching Crank. I simply am not bothered enough by film grain that the prospect of a title without it is enough to make these PQ issues palatable.

Experience has shown that it is not necessary to avoid film or grain to get either a sharp picture or reference quality close-ups. IMO, the close-ups in Domino are superior to these and Domino is a film based title with grain left intact. IMO, the same is true of Youth Without Youth, which is an HD Video based title. Bottom line is that one can find reference quality close-ups with either medium.

At one time, viewers may have been limited by a small enough universe of blu-ray titles that it was necessary to tolerate all of these PQ issues in order to get sharp close-ups for a demo.

This is certainly no longer the case. One can now get count-the-pores-and-pieces-of-stubble close-ups in silver tier titles like Step Brothers, The Visitor, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Sopranos, Elvis Costello Live and others. In tier 1.75 there are titles like Henry Poole is here, 2001, A Space Odyssey, or The Matrix, where you can see every pore and pock mark in Lawrence Fishburn's face, every strand of peach fuzz on Cary Anne Moss.

In closing, I believe we need to consider the universe of titles and weigh this title's virtues against its issues to see where it should currently rank. Based on the current marketplace, I believe it is fair to rank Crank....

Recommendation: Tier 1.75

Sim2 C3X1080, 13' From 126" Screen


.
post #11062 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsbeck View Post


One's enjoyment of Crank's PQ will depend heavily on how much intentionally degraded picture one is willing to tolerate or appreciate in order to see these close-ups.

... that is, if one suffers some strange affliction whereby the only kind of PQ they can enjoy is the kind outlined by this thread's criteria.

Just because it does not correlate to the priorities of this thread does not mean it is necessarily "degraded". While I would call that an apt descriptor for some of the qualities you describe, I would not say that all of these effects produce a lesser picture- just a different one.
post #11063 of 21407
"David Straitham"?
post #11064 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

"David Straitham"?

Be nice patrick....you know he meant "Jason Statham."
post #11065 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

"David Straitham"?

Illegitimate (and implausible!) spawn of Jason Statham and David Strathairn.
post #11066 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

... that is, if one suffers some strange affliction whereby the only kind of PQ they can enjoy is the kind outlined by this thread's criteria.

Just because it does not correlate to the priorities of this thread does not mean it is necessarily "degraded". While I would call that an apt descriptor for some of the qualities you describe, I would not say that all of these effects produce a lesser picture- just a different one.

I think the thread criteria are a guide for the majority of what would make up good PQ. I do agree that good individual elements do not necessarily equate to a correspondingly good sum. We have to also judge based on how the sum looks to really discern a better or worse picture.

I have yet to see Crank on blu-ray so cannot speak specifically to this title, just the overall concepts.
post #11067 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

I think the thread criteria are a guide for the majority of what would make up good PQ.

I could not disagree more completely.
post #11068 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by spectator View Post

I could not disagree more completely.

One possible question might be why someone who feels that way would be interested in participating in this thread?
post #11069 of 21407
Excellent detail and sharpness in most scenes, especially facial close-ups. This another of those films like Changeling where the color balance has a slightly tinted look to give a greater sense of the mid-1920s time period. Overall a pleasing picture, not reference quality but a very solid Tier 1. Recommend Leatherheads Tier 1.25.

The movie itself doesn't have great reviews, with a Rotten Tomato rating of 51%. I wasn't expected much but Leatherheads turned out to be better than anticipated from the reviews. The movie is a lightweight piece of fluff but OK if you don't take it seriously. A couple of adult beverages will help. I gave it 3 Netflix stars on their 5 star rating.

Panasonic 50" 720p plasma, Panasonic 10a player, 7 1/2'
post #11070 of 21407
Quote:
Originally Posted by patrick99 View Post

One possible question might be why someone who feels that way would be interested in participating in this thread?

It's a possible question. Probably not a very interesting one.
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