Originally Posted by cybereality
I think this just highlights...
I agree that it is hard to come up with one hard and fast rule for comparisons of different films, but I think that Francesco's methodology for this test is quite sound.
It may not be perfect, but in practice, dropping the res will eliminate any detail that is of a higher frequency than what a 108op master may have been able to carry. If a lot of detail disappears in this test, then one can be reasonably sure that the film had a great 1080p master.
However, some studios may be upscaling lower res master for these releases. During the upscaling, some processes can actually inentionally add additional noise (ie "grain") to give the appearance of greater resolution. In these cases, you may see some of the "noise" dropped in this test, but no difference in real detail of object in the frame.
It's a tough one to call, but by and large, this test can have it's benefits, IMO.
It would be interesting to see a side-by-side comparison with the DVD release and/or HDnet and SD-cable broadcasts. Some of the posts suggested that the BD/HD versions were just upscaled DVD, but I have a feeling that the quality is still noticeably better than SD even at 480P.
As long as we realize that we'll see much bigger chunks of noise or artifacts which can make the picture look very different. The Traffic example above, however, is one example that really seemed to match the lower res source.