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The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 679

post #20341 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBloggz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I wasn't aware before this shootout that esteemed video calibrator, D-Nice, has applied some sort of custom software that enhances the KURO even further than is possible with factory controls. It's a real shame that Pioneer got out of the plasma market when they did, considering several-year-old technology is still successfully competing against the newest premium displays. I figured if the new Panasonic plasmas had any weak point, it would be light output in a lit environment.

I'm a BIG fan of D-Nice and was glad to see that he was one of the three main calibrators at the Shootout. Did you know he has numerous KUROs throughout his house? He still believes it's THE REFERENCE DISPLAY to beat. If he did tours in my area I would most certainly hire him to do a calibration on mine. Until he does, I have to be content to use the multiple settings he has listed for the 9G KUROs. I saw a noticeable improvement after implementing those settings, though I must say the KURO Elite looked amazingly good "right-out-of-the-box" with it set on Pure Mode.

Custom software? You guys talking about controlcal and the like or something different? This software is readily available to any trained ISF calibrator in the country. I don't think its solely the work of one individual. Personally I've had my Kuro calibrated by Jeff Meier, better know as umr here on avs. He does travel tours and has a vast in depth knowledge regarding Pioneer plasmas, kuro included.

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier
No, what D-Nice has done with the KURO goes beyond a regular ISF calibration. Read the threads about the shootout, some were calling it a cheat since D-Nice has come up with a custom firmware (for lack of a better word) for the KURO that goes beyond its intended limitations. It's a software hack of the KURO's image processor.


Safety Not Guaranteed

recommendation: Tier 2.75*


A charming little indie dramedy from Sony, the picture quality is fairly uninspired for a newish release. While the clarity is normally consistent, something went horribly wrong in a handful of shots. I can't tell if the scenes were botched in post or shot on an inferior camera, but the poor scenes look like video from a cheap, handheld DV camera. The color palette has been left untouched by any obvious push towards one particular color.
post #20342 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBloggz View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I wasn't aware before this shootout that esteemed video calibrator, D-Nice, has applied some sort of custom software that enhances the KURO even further than is possible with factory controls. It's a real shame that Pioneer got out of the plasma market when they did, considering several-year-old technology is still successfully competing against the newest premium displays. I figured if the new Panasonic plasmas had any weak point, it would be light output in a lit environment.

I'm a BIG fan of D-Nice and was glad to see that he was one of the three main calibrators at the Shootout. Did you know he has numerous KUROs throughout his house? He still believes it's THE REFERENCE DISPLAY to beat. If he did tours in my area I would most certainly hire him to do a calibration on mine. Until he does, I have to be content to use the multiple settings he has listed for the 9G KUROs. I saw a noticeable improvement after implementing those settings, though I must say the KURO Elite looked amazingly good "right-out-of-the-box" with it set on Pure Mode.

Custom software? You guys talking about controlcal and the like or something different? This software is readily available to any trained ISF calibrator in the country. I don't think its solely the work of one individual. Personally I've had my Kuro calibrated by Jeff Meier, better know as umr here on avs. He does travel tours and has a vast in depth knowledge regarding Pioneer plasmas, kuro included.

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier
No, what D-Nice has done with the KURO goes beyond a regular ISF calibration. Read the threads about the shootout, some were calling it a cheat since D-Nice has come up with a custom firmware (for lack of a better word) for the KURO that goes beyond its intended limitations. It's a software hack of the KURO's image processor.


Safety Not Guaranteed

recommendation: Tier 2.75*


A charming little indie dramedy from Sony, the picture quality is fairly uninspired for a newish release. While the clarity is normally consistent, something went horribly wrong in a handful of shots. I can't tell if the scenes were botched in post or shot on an inferior camera, but the poor scenes look like video from a cheap, handheld DV camera. The color palette has been left untouched by any obvious push towards one particular color.

Link?

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier
post #20343 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I forgot to post this earlier today, but the 9th annual HDTV shootout from V alue Electronics was streamed at 6 PM today, here:

http://new.livestream.com/accounts/632436/hdtvshootout/archives

I believe there might be another live stream of the event at 6 P.M. EST on Saturday night. The results so far are being discussed on this forum and elsewhere. I don't believe a definitive winner has been announced yet.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1472028/which-display-wins-the-shootout-lets-have-some-fun-make-your-predictions-here/0_60

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBloggz View Post

Link?

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier

You really have to follow multiple forums for a complete picture of the Shootout, some of which are not allowed to be linked on AVS. Try the link in the quoted post. I don't really know too many of the details about D-Nice's method, but it goes far beyond a program like ControlCal. I suspect it's driving the KURO panel beyond its intended limits, which is why Pioneer wouldn't have made it available for the public.
post #20344 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBloggz View Post

Link?

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier
Here is another long thread on the 9th Annual Display Shootout.

http://forum.blu-ray.com/showthread.php?t=216626
post #20345 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBloggz View Post

Custom software? You guys talking about controlcal and the like or something different? This software is readily available to any trained ISF calibrator in the country. I don't think its solely the work of one individual. Personally I've had my Kuro calibrated by Jeff Meier, better know as umr here on avs. He does travel tours and has a vast in depth knowledge regarding Pioneer plasmas, kuro included.

Sent from the Nodes of Ranvier

Phantom is right; D-Nice uses software that no one else uses.

Having said that, none of the displays in the Shootout were able to best the black levels in the 9G KUROs that were calibrated with software other than that used by D-Nice. In other words, Kevin Miller and David from CNET were also there and and they compared the measurements from the three top displays with measurements they have taken on 9G KUROs calibrated by them. If memory serves me the two Panasonic plasmas were EQUAL to the 9G KURO measurements. So, forget about D-Nice and his special software resulting in even better black levels than those measured in the Shootout. The bottom line is measurements don't lie and Panasonic had proudly proclaimed that their new ZT60 would be the "KURO Killer"....and it wasn't.

But as I stated before, I was very impressed with the outcome of the top three displays and I would, without hesitation, buy either the Panny VT60 or the ZT60 if my KURO died tomorrow (I would more than likely get the VT60 and save some bucks, for it performs just as well as the ZT in a dark room).
post #20346 of 21406
The software that D-Nice uses, as I understand it, comes from PIoneer engineers. Furthermore, it does not drive the panel further than the specs allow. Apparently, the Kuros had a bit of headroom built into them in regards to black levels. The 9.5G 500M will get the darkest, but I have been assured that a 151 and a 141 can be made considerably blacker using the software but not as dark as a 500m. We will see. Also, the 500M was not set as blacks as D-Nice could make it for the shootout as he clearly stated Friday night when I attended. He took it half way from the factory preset to where he could actually take it. I just wish that Pioneer released the 10G model I saw at CES all those years ago, which still put today's models to shame. There is 1 real lucky Pioneer employee somewhere with an incredible 60" display.
post #20347 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWhip View Post

The software that D-Nice uses, as I understand it, comes from PIoneer engineers. Furthermore, it does not drive the panel further than the specs allow. Apparently, the Kuros had a bit of headroom built into them in regards to black levels. The 9.5G 500M will get the darkest, but I have been assured that a 151 and a 141 can be made considerably blacker using the software but not as dark as a 500m. We will see. Also, the 500M was not set as blacks as D-Nice could make it for the shootout as he clearly stated Friday night when I attended. He took it half way from the factory preset to where he could actually take it. I just wish that Pioneer released the 10G model I saw at CES all those years ago, which still put today's models to shame. There is 1 real lucky Pioneer employee somewhere with an incredible 60" display.

Your post makes me desire, all the more, a calibration by D-Nice. Perhaps *someday* he will venture into my little corner of the world (160 miles northwest of Minneapolis, MN).

I too wish that Pioneer had continued making plasmas and in addition to a 10G model, I was hoping they would eventually make a 70" or larger. I'm not the biggest fan of projectors and in time I'd be willing to pay a pretty price for an 80" plasma/OLED.
post #20348 of 21406
Hellsing Ultimate: Collection Volumes I - IV

recommendation: Tier 2.25*


The animation was first produced back in 2006, so it is starting to show its age in 1080P. Fantastic character designs and fluidity, but like a lot of cheaper animation from that period, has a number of questionable lighting effects from the comparatively primitive digital paint tools of the time. Some moderate banding and posterization in the image, though not as much as I expected. Funimation gave this set a credible effort on Blu-ray and the ranking is more a reflection of the source material than anything else.
post #20349 of 21406
Shanghai Noon

Some tough grain caused by some very slight sharpening is a bother, and color saturation is overdone, back to the DVD era. Great black levels are truly awesome facial detail save the flick from visual mediocrity.

Tier 2.0*



Shanghai Knights

Now, the sharpening is a bother. Edges are coarse, and contrast is blown out. Grain is a bother again, and colors carry the same hyper saturation. Some vintage-styled cinematography creates fuzzy edits that rob definition. Still great facial detail.

Tier 2.75*
post #20350 of 21406
Brubaker

recommendation: Tier 3.75*


Fox serves up a satisfactory effort for 1980's Brubaker, starring Robert Redford. The transfer looks a tad dated in terms of fine detail and resolution, though the video encode handles the coarse grain structure with ease. If someone argued for a placement in Tier 4, I wouldn't really protest it.
post #20351 of 21406
Resident Evil Retribution 3D

Detail disappointment aside, this one is pleasing with a lot of variety. Black levels are strong and overall sharpness is tight. Great contrast too.

Tier 2.0*
post #20352 of 21406
My apologies, see below until I learn how to delete a post.
Edited by chupra - 5/17/13 at 12:41pm
post #20353 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

WOW!! The results are in and the Samsung F8500 was declared the champion of the Shootout (by a very small margin). Panasonic is going to have to eat some "humble pie" after touting their new ZT60 as the new "reference" Flat Panel. They even bragged it would be the "KURO Killer," which was proved wrong by the measurements of the calibrationists at the show.

Even though the KURO was not bested by any of the three top contenders, they came very close and any one would be a fine choice for a plasma lover. I was surprised that Samsung stepped up to the plate and won and it was reported by ALL that it had the best "brightness" level which means it would do well in a living room environment where light (from windows) is an issue. The ZT60 and VT60 would do better in a darker room and their blacks levels were a tad better than the Samsung.

One final thought. The LCDs fared poorly at the Shootout (in comparison to the plasmas) and with OLED being at least 3-5 years from being marketable and affordable, it looks like plasma is here to stay in the foreseeable future. As a plasma lover I'm elated, for if my KURO meets its demise, I want to know that there will be an excellent plasma to replace it with, and right now there's at least three that would fit the bill. cool.gif

I looked at the scores for both the audience vote and expert vote and it looks to me that the final average score is faulty. The Panny ZTand VT models come out ahead or close in most attributes.
It's the high ambient light score, or day mode, where Samsung wins by a large margin and this results in a higher score.
Based on these results , this is one more reason why I'll be buying the Panny ZT ASAP.
post #20354 of 21406
Jack Reacher

This one is most definitely a LOOKER! It's dripping with details from beginning to end (including facial close-ups which were always in the top two tiers). The many night scenes featured exemplary shadow details. Depth was also amazing in many scenes. Sharpness and clarity abound. Flesh tones are spot on. Black levels were superb. The only gripes I would note were in a few of the opening scenes where outdoor daytime scenes were a bit too bright (overblown contrast, I suspect) and some nasty orange/yellow hues reared their ugly head. But these were rare so I won't be penalizing this too much on their account. I guess I could also mention the color scheme wasn't anything to write home about, though at times primaries rose to the occasion and made you appreciate their appearance.

Tier Recommendation: 1.25*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20355 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by chupra View Post

I looked at the scores for both the audience vote and expert vote and it looks to me that the final average score is faulty. The Panny ZTand VT models come out ahead or close in most attributes.
It's the high ambient light score, or day mode, where Samsung wins by a large margin and this results in a higher score.
Based on these results , this is one more reason why I'll be buying the Panny ZT ASAP.

The three moderators (Kevin, David, and D-Nice) all chose the Samsung as the winner (by a very slim margin), though they all said they would personally choose one of the Pannys for their own viewing environment. They emphasized how close this Shootout was and thus there was, in essence, three winners. Your choice would be based solely on your particular environment. If I were buying one for my living room and I was prone to watch programming/movies during the day, the clear choice would be the Samsung F8500 where the brightness levels are unparalleled for a plasma. But in a dark room, where you don't need that much brightness, either Panny would fit the bill (though I'd save myself some money and get the VT60).
post #20356 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

The three moderators (Kevin, David, and D-Nice) all chose the Samsung as the winner (by a very slim margin), though they all said they would personally choose one of the Pannys for their own viewing environment. They emphasized how close this Shootout was and thus there was, in essence, three winners. Your choice would be based solely on your particular environment. If I were buying one for my living room and I was prone to watch programming/movies during the day, the clear choice would be the Samsung F8500 where the brightness levels are unparalleled for a plasma. But in a dark room, where you don't need that much brightness, either Panny would fit the bill (though I'd save myself some money and get the VT60).

From the results listed, the Samsung won the audience vote while the Panasonic won the expert vote(D-Nice, Kevin, David)by a small margin, 8.9 to 8.8. I only saw the shootout from the live stream.
post #20357 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Famouss View Post

From the results listed, the Samsung won the audience vote while the Panasonic won the expert vote(D-Nice, Kevin, David)by a small margin, 8.9 to 8.8. I only saw the shootout from the live stream.

I stand corrected! I had thought the calibrators selected the Samsung as the winner based on their scores and that after it was selected they made it known that personally they would choose either of the Pannys for their own viewing environment. But the following article makes it clear that their scores ended up favoring the Panasonic by, as you say, the smallest of margins.

http://www.twice.com/articletype/news/samsung%E2%80%99s-f8500-series-pdp-wins-2013-shootout/106912
post #20358 of 21406
In The Name of The King

Very detailed and crisp resolution. Great close up detail of pores and skin texture, clothing and hair and fine details in the soldiers armor. Shadow detail is good, Black levels seems elevated and greyish not very deep. Grain is abundant in dark scenes. I am going to place it in Tier 1.75. Anybody else review this one?

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 6.5' using the equipment listed below...

Samsung PN51D6500, Samsung BPD 2550 blu-ray player

Sorry first time posting here and I didn't do it in the proper format frown.gif
Edited by hungro - 5/20/13 at 8:57am
post #20359 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungro View Post

In The Name of The King

Very detailed and crisp resolution. Great close up detail of pores and skin texture, clothing and hair and fine details in the soldiers armor. Shadow detail is good, Black levels seems elevated and greyish not very deep. Grain is abundant in dark scenes. I am going to place it in Tier 1.75. Anybody else review this one?

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 6.5' using the equipment listed below...

Samsung PN51D6500, Samsung BPD 2550 blu-ray player

Sorry first time posting here and I didn't do it in the proper format frown.gif

Welcome to the PQ Thread Hungro! This was an excellent post, especially for your first time. I'll be looking for "more to come" from you. cool.gif
post #20360 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungro View Post


Sorry first time posting here and I didn't do it in the proper format frown.gif
Welcome and don't worry so much about the format of each recommendation, if you want to post your opinions here. We are always looking for Tier scores of discs that have not been ranked. Even with 2500 entries and growing, there are literally thousands of unranked Blu-rays in the Tiers. The suggested format was mostly intended as a way to make actual recommendations stand out from the regular discussion that goes on in the thread. You seem to have figured the format out pretty quickly. I actually own that Blu-ray and intend to watch it sooner or later.tongue.gif

If I get the time, I hope to have another update to the Picture Quality Tiers within another week or two. Users can look forward to all the dead HDDB links finally being pruned.
post #20361 of 21406
Viva Zapata!

recommendation: Tier 3.25*


Fox has given the 1952 black & white film starring Marlon Brando a refreshingly strong video treatment for what is likely a very marginal seller these days. The film-like transfer does not have the benefits of a lavish restoration, but it has been left untouched by significant digital processing. My score might be a tad high, but it is comparatively much better looking than a lot of the other vintage, catalog film transfers that Fox has recently dug up for Blu-ray. The review's screenshots tell the story as well as words can.
post #20362 of 21406
Broken City

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamereviewgod View Post

Broken City

Miserable black levels are damning to this piece no matter how much detail it pushes out. There is some noise and smoothing at work too. Sharpness is generally high and the compression work is good, but lacks the dead on quality of most new releases.

Tier 2.25*

What he said....and MORE! Flesh tones were pushing towards orange in way too many scenes (due, no doubt, to the "orange hues" wink.gif). Facial details were average, at best. This lacked depth with the exception of a few rare scenes. Yes, there was sharpness at times, but softness reared its ugly head all too often. I'm going lower than my colleague on this one....

Tier Recommendation: 2.75*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20363 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Broken City

Tier Recommendation: 2.75*
Did you like the movie itself? Most Blu-ray purchases these days for me are blind on new releases, so it helps to know if something is decent. In a completely different genre...

Beautiful Creatures

recommendation: Tier 2.75*


Slipshod cinematography for a new release. The Twilight crowd must be very accepting of gimmicky and cheap-looking CG elements in their movies. Shot on actual 35mm film, the movie lacks the visual polish of other major Hollywood productions. The budget must have all gone to the veteran stars like Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson. Inconsistent levels of facial detail and a somewhat smooth appearance, though I can't really determine if DNR has been applied in this case. Digital color grading goes wild in a few scenes, altering the color palette. Some aliasing is evident in the bigger set pieces using digital composites.
post #20364 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

Did you like the movie itself? Most Blu-ray purchases these days for me are blind on new releases, so it helps to know if something is decent.

I *usually* like most movies starring Mark Wahlberg, but this was bad....really bad! Even Russell Crowe couldn't save this one. The plot was SO predictable and it came across as very disjointed.
post #20365 of 21406
That is disappointing to hear about the plot, though I find Wahlberg's movie career very hit or miss.
post #20366 of 21406
The Words

Ah, back to "demo" territory!

CLEAN, NATURAL, and DETAILED are the three words that kept coming to mind throughout this film. By CLEAN, I mean it was void of anomalies as well as post-processing effects, including color-timing. By NATURAL, I mean there was no trumped-up contrast or saturated colors. By DETAILED....well, by "detailed" I mean what I always mean, the definition of clothing, foliage, facial close-ups, etc. was phenomenal. Every close-up of Jerermy Irons was especially rewarding, revealing every pore, facial hair, and wrinkle. Mr. Irons has aged gracefully and the "leathery" texture of his face/neck is the epitome of High Definition EYE CANDY! Blacks were also pleasing, though quite limited. Sharpness was evident during outdoor, daytime scenes, but interior shots faltered occasionally.

There were a few drawbacks, namely a lackluster color scheme and several *flashbacks* that were rather "flat" and lacked detail. Overall this was a LOOKER that deserves a place on one's "demo" shelf, though personally I would consign it near the bottom of Tier 1......

Tier Recommendation: 1.75*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20367 of 21406
Sinister

Okay, this is obviously in the "horror" genre which is known for "blacks" and I'm happy to say the black levels are, for the most part, stellar (i.e. deep and inky). Details during those dark scenes are also very good, especially facial close-ups. Daytime scenes, though limited, exhibit excellent clarity, sharpness, and details. The real *downside* is there is a lot of "stock footage" of films depicting the murders of various families and as expected they contain heavy grain, limited detail, and muted colors. All things considered this would still rank up there with Blu-rays in Tier Silver and the excellent black levels are good enough to put it at the top of that tier....

Tier Recommendation: 2.0*

Viewed from 7.5' using the equipment listed below....
post #20368 of 21406
The Verdict

recommendation: Tier 4.0*


The Verdict is a great movie that has been graced with a lousy transfer by Fox. The dated transfer has all the signs of being an older, processed master intended for DVD, and not the higher clarity of Blu-ray. Both edge enhancement and DNR make their presence visible, though The Verdict was never meant as eye candy. As someone laughingly said in the included extras, the courtroom was intended to have 500 different shades of brown.tongue.gif

Tier 4.0 might actually end up being a generous placement for this disc. It's definitely not poor enough to land in Tier 5, but it's not far from the bottom.
post #20369 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

The Verdict

recommendation: Tier 4.0*


The Verdict is a great movie that has been graced with a lousy transfer by Fox. The dated transfer has all the signs of being an older, processed master intended for DVD, and not the higher clarity of Blu-ray. Both edge enhancement and DNR make their presence visible, though The Verdict was never meant as eye candy. As someone laughingly said in the included extras, the courtroom was intended to have 500 different shades of brown.tongue.gif

Tier 4.0 might actually end up being a generous placement for this disc. It's definitely not poor enough to land in Tier 5, but it's not far from the bottom.

Phantom, thanks for reviewing this. It seems that older catalog titles usually don't get reviewed often. I agree about it being a great movie. If I remember correctly it revived Paul Newman's career. I may end up buying this when it's bargain basement priced as I only have it on LD.

Fox isn't the only studio giving short-shift to older catalog titles. I was really disappointed with Warner's release of Little Shop of Horrors and Cabaret.
post #20370 of 21406
Quote:
Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

The Impossible

A nice-looking Blu that should make its way easily into Tier Silver. Sporadic soft shots and many daytime scenes with a washed-out look will keep it out of the reference/demo tiers.

This is, IMHO, destined for Tier Silver, and with the amazing details I'm inclined to put it at or near the top....

Tier Recommendation: 2.0* or 2.25*

To the PQ Tier thread court, I present this review that clearly shows my colleague is out of his gord. wink.gif

The color palette is yellowed, but a stunning contrast doesn't wash anything out. In fact, it is some of the most brilliant contrast I have ever seen. And the level of detail? Absolutely exquisite. Beautiful grain structure and deep blacks where needed. Tier Blu.

Tier 0.75
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