DU Test screenshots thread (big files!) for HD DVD and Blu-Ray - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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This thread is a companion thread of the 2 great Xylon's threads:

Blu-ray, HD-DVD & SD DVD Comparison Screenshots

Blu-ray, HD-DVD & HD Broadcasts (H.264 & MPEG-2) Screenshots

We use some of the great Gooki's hdmovies database screenshots too:
http://www.hdmovies.co.nz/screenshots.html

In this thread we try to rank the original master picture definition of the HD DVD and Blu-Ray video transfers.

To do this we use a simple test, called the Downscaling-Upscaling Test, DU Test for short.

Not all HD DVD and Blu-Ray movies are transferred from a true 1080p master. Many titles are made using old masters at less resolution, sometimes even DVD resolution, upscaled or bobbed to 1080p with some algorithm, or truly 1080p but from an originally soft master.
The resolution of the final video has noting to do with the amount of details in it. You can take a 32x32 clip and upscale it to 1920x1080, and still say on the cover that it's fullHD, and nobody can dispute it.
But the master can have lower details for a variety of reasons. For example:

- low resolution film to digital scan (ie. Traffic)
- 1080p master but bad digital scan (ie. Fifth Element)
- soft look due to artistic choice (ie. Sky Captain)
- aged film stock (ie. old movies)
- small film negative gauge (gauges range from 8 mm to 70 mm, the resolution is proportional)
- high ISO film stock (a bigger ISO equals a bigger size of the silver crystals in the emulsion. The smaller the crystals, the finer the detail in the photo and the slower the film).
- digital filters that reduce details applied in post processing
- optical lens filters that reduce details
- lots of zoomed or out of focus scenes
- noise reduction filters applied on the master (used to eliminate the grain, they also soften the image)
- cropping and resizing done in post-processing to change the framing, zooming or to fit the aspect ratio
- etc.

Whatever the reason, the DU Test can determine the amount of definition in the master simply revealing the lowest resolution needed to preserve all details.

A DU image is an image that simulates an upscaled lower resolution master or a master with lower definition.

A DU Image can simulate any X resolution, with X less than 1080p (1920x1080), just downscaling the original to X and upscaling it back to 1080p.

If when downscaling the original 1080p image to an X resolution and upscaling it back to 1080p it doesn't loose any details compared to the original, then the X resolution is likely to be near the original master definition. You can do it yourself with Photoshop using the screenshots posted by Xylon. Just remember to use the best upscaling/downscaling algorithm available in Photoshop.

DU Test theory is based on the assumption that the more difference and detail loss between the DU image and the original 1080p, the more the master must be better than the tested resolution (for example 720p or 480p).

For pratical reasons, we'll test two different resolutions with the DU Test:

720p (1280x720)
480p (853x480)

This way we can divide all the movies in 3 tiers:

1080p
.
.<- Full HD quality master
.
720p
.
.<- HD Ready quality master
.
480p
.
.<- DVD quality master
.


Method:
First we compare the Xylon's screenshots with the DU 720p version. If the difference is very noticeable, the master definition must be between 720p and 1080p (Full HD quality). If the difference is negligible, instead, the master definition must be equal or below 720p. So we compare the original Xylon screenshots with the DU 480p version. If the difference is very noticeable, the master definition must be between 480p and 720p (HD Ready quality). If once again the difference is negligible, then the master definition must be equal or below 480p (DVD quality master).

How to create a DU Image
If you use Photoshop CS3, you can create a DU Image following this steps:

1 - choose an image from the Xylon threads (or a direct feed 1920x1080 screengrab of your own)

2 - Open the image in Photoshop

3 - Go to the "Image" menu, and select the "Image Size..." option.

4 - The checkbox "Scale Styles", "Constrain Proportions" and "Resample Image" must be checked

5 - in Pixel Dimensions choose pixel as the unit, and type width 1280 and height 720 for the 720p DU test, or width: 853 and height: 480 for the 480p DU test.

6 - in the menu at the bottom choose "Bicubic (Best for Smooth Gradients)" as the resampling algorithm

7 - click on OK to downscale

8 - now again to upscale: Go to the "Image" menu, and select the "Image Size..." option.

9 - The checkbox "Scale Styles", "Constrain Proportions" and "Resample Image" must be checked

10 - in Pixel Dimensions choose pixel as the unit, and type width 1920 and height 1080

11 - in the menu at the bottom choose "Bicubic (Best for Smooth Gradients)" as the resampling algorithm

12 - click on OK to upscale

13 - Save the image from the File menu, using "Save as..." and giving the file a different name from the original Xylon one

14 - Done! Now you have your DU Image to compare.

How to create a 2X lossless ZOOMED DU Image

Because PC monitors are 17 inches and not the 50 inchers we are used to watch the movies, you need to zoom the images, but in a lossless way, not using resampling. So, you cannot use viewers. You can do a lossless 2X zoom with Photoshop CS3 this way:

1 - Open the image in Photoshop

2 - Select with the mouse a region you want to zoom, and crop the image going to the "Image" menu and selecting "Crop".

3 - Go to the "Image" menu, and select the "Image Size..." option.

4 - The checkbox "Scale Styles", "Constrain Proportions" and "Resample Image" must be checked

5 - in Pixel Dimensions choose "percent" as the unit, and type width 200% and height 200%.

6 - in the menu at the bottom choose "Nearest Neighbor (Preserve Hard Edges)" as the resampling algorithm

7 - click on OK to 2x zoom

13 - Save the image from the File menu, using "Save as..." and giving the file a different name from the original Xylon one

14 - Done! Now you have your 2X lossless zoomed image to use for comparison.


AUTOMATED PHOTOSHOP CS3 SCRIPT
I've made a script for Photoshop CS3 that automates the process of creating the DU Tests for 720p and 480p, 2X zoom included. You can download it from here:

http://www.momoshare.com/file.php?fi...537ce5ffa9a953

To use it:

- Load photoshop CS3
- Open the original 1080p image
- Select the region of the image to compare
- Run the downloaded DUTest.jsx script from "File" menu, selecting "Scripts", and "Browse.."
- add the text labels (for example the name of the movie on the left, "1080p->720p->1080p" on the right)

Note: the script doesn't save anything, you need to save the resulting images manually.

DU Sharpen TEST
This is an optional and additional test that you can do after the standard DU Test. To compensate for the loss of sharpness due to the Downscaling-Upscaling process, a sharpen filter can be used on the DU Image before the 2x zoom. This is also useful to test the presence on the master of EE (edge enhancement) artifacts. Sometimes the studios add some EE to give the illusion of an higher definition master.
Here is the "DUTest sharpen.jsx", the version of the above script that adds a sharpen filter (unsharp mask parameters: Amount 0.50, Radius 0.5, Threshold 0):

http://www.momoshare.com/file.php?fi...901cda1cbe3520

DU Sharpen TEST Mouseover
This is a very useful test, made possible by the php cript written by horn.
You can compare two DU images directly, flipping between them, so the smallest differences in the image becames noticeable. This test requires the DU Sharpen Test, because without the sharpen the softness of the DU image will make difficult to distinguish the real differences.

This is how you do it:
1 - open Photoshop CS3
2 - load any DU Image test previously made with a script (see above)
3 - load this script in Photoshop: http://www.momoshare.com/file.php?fi...40bbd51e7eb1a1
4 - save the two resulting images (those with the white background)
5 - upload the 2 images on Imageshack and write down the direct urls
6 - write the direct urls as parameters hd and sd in this bigger url:
Code:
http://horn.hdtvtotal.com/hdtvtotal/scripts/waggle/waggle.php?hd=

+

original 1080p url

+

&sd=

+

DU sharpen test image url
7 - paste the resulting url in your post
8 - done!

NOTE: DU Test is a simple test, and does not account for all things that contribute to picture quality. The overall quality of an HD DVD or a Blu-Ray movie is due to many factors, like compression artifacts, grain, codec used, and so on. The only thing that the DU Test is useful for is to determine the definition of the original source. An excellent high definition master can still produce an awful transfer if the codec adds a lot of compression artifacts. And the sharpness of the master can be useless if the movie is originally out of focus or uses a grainy film stock. You still get a low definition image, with less details.

SHOT SELECTION CRITERIA:

a) Always choose the shoots with the sharpest details

b) Always choose the more detailed area in the shoot

c ) If you can, choose screenshots with static scenes. Movements can add motion blur and temporary reduce the true definition of the master.

d) If you can, choose screenshots with clothes and fabrics. The fabrics details are the best revealer of the original resolution

e) Better contrast does not equal to more defined images. You need to choose images with a lot of small and sharp details. Better if mechanical than organic, because the latter are soft. If a detail disappear in the DU image, then you get a true difference in definition. A more contrasted detail means nothing. The DU process itself reduces the contrast a little.

f) Avoid scenes where the director had to significantly zoom and crop from available footage to frame the subject should be avoided (if you can deduce that this is happening for a particular scene) (thx SlashBatre for the suggestion!)

g) Always choose a scene with a sharply focused subject. Avoid the out of focus parts of the images.

Some other suggested procedures:

1) For DU comparisons please use a crop about max 250x400 pixels, so the 2X zoomed image will be at max 500x800 (and the DU comparison side by side around 1000x800)

2) post only 2x zoomed images (many people have only 17 inchers connected to their PC, not the 50 inchers they use to watch the movie.. so we have to compensate for give a true comparison)

3) use only lossless PNG format

4) I will save all the picture comparison in a dedicated dir and I suggest you to do the same. Imageshack free bandwidth consumes very fast, so if you see a picture disappeared, just PM me and I will upload it again or PM the poster to upload it again.


Master Definition Ranking:

Full HD Quality Master (between 1080p and 720p)
King Kong (HD DVD) *** link
Casino Royale (Blu-Ray) *** link
Serenity (HD DVD) *** link
X-Men The Last Stand (Blu-Ray) ** link
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (HD DVD) ** link
Chronicles of Riddick (HD DVD) * link
Kingdom of Heaven (Blu-Ray) *** link
POTC: Dead Man's Chest (Blu-Ray) link
POTC: CotBP (Blu-Ray) link
Happy Feet (HD DVD) ** link
The Wild (Blu-Ray) *** link
The Brothers Grimm (Blu-Ray) *** link
Underworld Evolution (HD DVD) link
Underworld Evolution (Blu-Ray)
Planet Earth (HD DVD) link
Lord of War (Blu-Ray) link
Aeon Flux (HD DVD) link
Mission Impossible (HD DVD) link
A Scanner Darkly (HD DVD) * link
The Frighteners * (HD DVD) link
Children of Men (HD DVD) ** link
Mission Impossible III (HD DVD) ** link
Mission Impossible III (Blu-Ray) ** link
Hellboy (Blu-Ray) * link Kram's correction: link
Dirty Dancing (Blu-Ray) ** link
Flags Of Our Father (Blu-Ray) ** link
Flags Of Our Father (HD DVD) ** link
The Prestige UK (HD DVD) ** link
The Prestige (Blu-Ray) ** link
World Trade Center (Blu-Ray) ** link
World Trade Center (HD DVD) ** link
Brokeback Mountain (HD DVD) * link
300 (HD DVD) ** link
The Deer Hunter (HD DVD) * link
Hot Fuzz (HD DVD) link
Heroes - Season 1 (HD DVD) ** link
The Matrix Reloaded (HD DVD) * link
The Matrix Revolutions (HD DVD)* link
Transformers (HD DVD) ** link

HD Ready Quality Master (between 720p and 480p)
Troy (HD DVD) ** link
Fifth Element Remastered (Blu-Ray) ** link
Terminator 2 Director's Cut (HD DVD) ** link
Terminator 2 (Blu-Ray) ** link
Batman Begins (HD DVD) ** link
Fantastic Four (Blu-Ray) ** link
Stargate (Blu-Ray) link
The Matrix (HD DVD) *** link
Scorpion King (HD DVD) ** link
Black Hawk Down (Blu-Ray) *** link
V for Vendetta (HD DVD) *** link
Grand Prix (HD DVD) *** link
Into The Blue (Blu-Ray) link
Total Recall (HD DVD) *** link
Adventures of Robin Hood (HD DVD) ** link
Blood Diamond (HD DVD) ** link
We Were Soldiers (Blu-Ray) *** link
We Were Soldiers (HD DVD) *** link
Training Day (Blu-Ray) ** link
Training Day (HD DVD) ** link
Superman (HD DVD) ** link
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (Blu-Ray) link
Army of Darkness (HD DVD) * link
Bullit (HD DVD) ** link
Casino (HD DVD) ** link
The Mummy Returns UK Uncut (HD DVD) ** link
Dog Day Afternoon (HD DVD) ** link
Van Helsing (HD DVD) ** link


DVD Quality Master (equal or below 480p)
Traffic (HD DVD) link
The Big Lebowski (HD DVD) link
Lost in Translation (HD DVD) link
Spartacus (HD DVD) link
House Of Flying Daggers (Blu-Ray) link
Full Metal Jacket (HD DVD) link


Where:
* - Small differences, barely above the last tier
** - Noticeable differences, well above the last tier
*** - Huge differences, top definition for his tier
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post #2 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 06:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Casino Royale (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:





The difference is very noticeable. Full HD Quality ***.

UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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post #4 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Fifth Element Remastered (Blu-Ray)

DU Tests for 720p:







No noticeable difference. Let's try the 480p DU test:








Definitely above 480p. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire (HD DVD)

DU Tests for 720p:





Noticeable differences. Verdict: Full HD Quality **.

UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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X-Men The Last Stand (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:





Difference noticeable, especially on the dress lines. Full HD Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Underworld Evolution (Blu-Ray)

DU Tests for 720p:






No noticeable differences, just some artifacts. Let's try the 480p DU Test:





Definitely above 480p. HD Ready quality.

UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Underworld Evolution (HD DVD)

DU Test for 720p:



No noticeable difference. We proceed with the 480p test:



Noticeable difference. Verdict: HD Ready Quality.

UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Terminator 2 (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:



Difference barely noticeable. Let's test the 480p:



Noticeable difference. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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post #10 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 06:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Terminator 2 Director's Cut (HD DVD)

DU Test for 720p:



No noticeable differences just as in the Blu-Ray version. Let's try the 480p test:



Noticeable differences. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Troy (HD DVD)

DU Test for 720p:





No noticeable difference. I proceed with the 480p test:





The difference is noticeable. So the master must be between 480p and 720p. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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post #12 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Fantastic Four (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:





No noticeable difference. We proceed with the 480p DU test:





Noticeable differences. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Batman Begins (HD DVD)

DU Tests for 720p:







No noticeable difference, maybe the master is just a little more soft. I proceed with the 480p tests:







The difference is noticeable. So the master must be above 480p and below 720p. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Stargate (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:





No noticeable difference. I proceed with the 480p test:





The difference is very noticeable, especially in the upper part of the mask. So the master must be above 480p and below 720p. Verdict: HD Ready Quality **.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Serenity (HD DVD)


DU Test for 720p:







The difference is very noticeable on all comparisons. Verdict: Full HD Quality ***.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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post #16 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 07:25 AM
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This is a really interesting comparison

thanks for the work

While your at it how about you do this every week for all the new releases
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post #17 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 07:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jiffylush View Post

This is a really interesting comparison

thanks for the work

While your at it how about you do this every week for all the new releases

I still have to cope with all Xylon's screenshots, and it will take a while. But as soon as I finish with the old ones, I'll begin adding the new ones.

Of course, any help is appreciated. As I said, creating the DU Image is very simple.
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Chronicles of Riddick (HD DVD)

DU Test for 720p:





Some noticeable differences. Verdict: Full HD Quality *.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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post #19 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 08:16 AM
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Greetings

I see more texture on the rocks in 1080p than the converted one. Also more crisp in the armor the guy is wearing.

regards

Michael Chen @ The Laser Video Experience
ISF/THX/TLV Video Instructor
The Video Calibration Education Hub - www.TLVEXP.com

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Well Batman Begins is S-O-F-T.

Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.
-George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four
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Kingdom of Heaven (Blu-Ray)

DU Test for 720p:





Very noticeable difference. Verdict: Full HD Quality ***.


UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steeb View Post

I'll let the readers draw their own conclusions about this method of testing...

First of all, I'm not the author of the DU Test. The Downscaling Upscaling Test is an old trick known to anybody working in the computer graphics industry.

Second, the digital resolution of the master is important, but what is more important is the process of acquisition of the film. Stock reels have an average resolution equivalent to 1400 lines, up to a maximum of 2400 lines. Much better than 1080p. If the digital scanner is labeled 2K or 4k but is not able to resolve from the film more than 720p amount of details, then is useless to store them at 1080p and sold them as such.

Whatever the excuses, if the 720 version of a movie is not distinguishable from the 1080p one, something must be wrong. Being it the master, the digital transfer, or bad film stock, the result is the same. If the picture definition of a movie, in other words the amount of details per inch, is lower than the other movies, I'd like to know that when buying something labeled "HD". HD is all about "more definition" after all.
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post #23 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 08:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael TLV View Post

Greetings

I see more texture on the rocks in 1080p than the converted one. Also more crisp in the armor the guy is wearing.

regards

Yes, you are right about Riddick. I updated the ranking. Thx!
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post #24 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 09:02 AM
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Liked the pictures. It is possible that the better details come out from 4K (or maybe 2K) DI than from direct scans to 1920x1080. Just like a 2.1MPel camera does not always give 2.1Mpel of resolution, scanning anything, film included will not give the entire pixel resolution.

In some cases, if the film was deliberately soft, 720P or 1080p would be hard to tell.

As for CG, older CG may not look as good as newer CG, especially if the CG was put on film, processed to achieve the 'film-look' and then scanned back to digital from the final printed film. (Is this how it is done, looking at some movies in the theatre and on HDM, this has been my theory for a long time).

The pictures confirm my nagging suspicion about a few movies. Troy especially on the bad side, and KoH and CR in terms of detail.
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post #25 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 09:59 AM
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This is a clever test- nice topic, FrancescoP!

I think it needs reiteration that the results of this test do not necessarily detect the technical format of the master, rather indicate the available hi-frequency information in the encoding/master/nature of the material. The testing could be done further to really pinpoint a resolution number by applying the same process, except use even finer resolution increments (480, 600, 720, 800, 900, 1080, for example), but alas, it is acknowledged that this can be a time consuming process. I think we are already getting a lot of information out of this, as is, of course.

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post #26 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 10:04 AM
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Cool thread

I'm definitely disappointed at the way Batman Begins turned out.
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post #27 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Hanky View Post

The testing could be done further to really pinpoint a resolution number by applying the same process, except use even finer resolution increments (480, 600, 720, 800, 900, 1080, for example), but alas, it is acknowledged that this can be a time consuming process. I think we are already getting a lot of information out of this, as is, of course.

Maybe for some contested or important movies we can do that. Of course, the finer the increments of the scale, the more subjective it becomes. Let me know if you want some more increments on a particular movie. I'll do my best to do it in my free time (and any help is appreciated).
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post #28 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 10:25 AM
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Test Traffic! lol

"Well Traffic 1080p HD DVD is finally better than the 240p comparison..."
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post #29 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 10:37 AM
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To take the subjectivity out of the process, I was thinking maybe a difference filter could be implemented somehow? Then if the difference image can somehow be summated to a single number that is below a certain threshold (naturally, even very similar images can have a different summation number), then we can say the images are "visually equivalent".

I agree, though, that pinning it down to a single resolution number is far too process intensive to do for every movie. It might be interesting to apply the process to select "full HD" titles, just to illustrate how far beyond 720p or how far below 1080p they really are.

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post #30 of 498 Old 07-10-2007, 11:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Traffic (HD DVD)

Let's start with the DU Tests at 720p:





Definitely no difference. Let's see the 480p comparison:





No difference. So the master must be below 480p. Very soft.

Let's try 320p:



Well Traffic 1080p HD DVD is finally better than the 320p comparison. Below DVD Quality.



UPDATE: The Upscaling-Downscaling test images have been updated with the new method estabilished in post #179.
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