The New PQ Tier thread for Blu-Ray - Discussion - Page 424 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #12691 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 03:21 AM
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After searching this thread, I found a review and recommendation for Tier 1. Please explain why it is in Tier 2. DVDTalk rates the video as 5 star.
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post #12692 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by tmavs View Post

After searching this thread, I found a review and recommendation for Tier 1. Please explain why it is in Tier 2. DVDTalk rates the video as 5 star.

Bottom line: The PQ is too inconsistent to be in the two top tiers. Some of the footage is horrible (probably filmed with SD camera) and would fall somewhere in tier 3 or 4. And yes, some footage is breathtaking and is no doubt reference quality. All things considered the average rating lands Planet Earth in tier 2.

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post #12693 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 08:30 AM
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Ok, it's surprising that DVDTalk didn't notice that. Can you recommend a better BD review site?
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post #12694 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 09:01 AM
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If I were rating the Planet Earth blu-ray, I would give it a 5/5 as well. However, this thread goes into a lot more detail, and because of the extensive length of the series a person will find many flaws and it does deserve Tier 2. Still my favorite blu-ray I own. You can try www.blu-ray.com, they gave it a 4.5/5 for video.

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Originally Posted by tmavs View Post

Ok, it's surprising that DVDTalk didn't notice that. Can you recommend a better BD review site?

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post #12695 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tfoltz View Post

If I were rating the Planet Earth blu-ray, I would give it a 5/5 as well. However, this thread goes into a lot more detail, and because of the extensive length of the series a person will find many flaws and it does deserve Tier 2. Still my favorite blu-ray I own. You can try www.blu-ray.com, they gave it a 4.5/5 for video.

Try Into the Wild for some near reference PQ nature scenes. My mom stayed with it from beginning to end last night. Wish they would have used a little more depth of field on the facial close ups, but otherwise I can find little to complain about. It's currently at Tier 1.25 which I'm fine with.
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post #12696 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tmavs View Post

Ok, it's surprising that DVDTalk didn't notice that. Can you recommend a better BD review site?

I have my preferences, such as http://www.hometheatermag.com/moviereviews/ or http://www.cinemasquid.com/home or reviews by AVS Forum member Ralph Potts. But for reviews on PQ only, you can't beat the site you're on now.

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post #12697 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 08:03 PM
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I watched A Bug's Life yesterday. While I am not ready for a formal recommendation and may not even write one, it does not appear to me to be the best tier zero title ever. Remember the movie originally came out in 1998, which is ancient in CGI animation-terms. The computer tools used to create the CGI were comparatively crude at that point.

Do not get me wrong, this Blu-ray looks incredible and easily qualifies in the upper half of tier zero. But textures and light-shading are relatively simple and lack the intricate detail later seen in more recent Pixar work.

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post #12698 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:14 PM
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Phantom, I was about to post that A Bug's Life is the sharpest thing I've ever witnessed - it feels like my blu-ray player is rendering the whole thing on the fly from a supercompuer. It's amazing.

And of course I was also going to mention it isn't the most complex of titles in terms of computer graphics, but what is there is 100% sharp as a tack. Just because something doesn't have the latest CGI effects shouldn't have any bearing on its placement. If it does, that's a whole can of worms I don't think you want to open. It would mean any older Pixar would never be placed higher than a new one, which just isn't the case and can't be. That would mean when Toy Story comes out it will have zero shot at #1, no matter what.

This is IT for CGI BD's as of 6/11/09 IMO. This is the reference BD. It's the most 3-D pop (not most realistic) you will find, and that's what this thread is about.
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post #12699 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:32 PM
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Gran Torino

Before I comment on the PQ, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. If you are a Clint Eastwood fan (as I am), you will NOT be disappointed. This is, IMHO, his best performance. I found myself laughing sporadically at his crude one-liners and grunts (you will LOVE his grunts!!), and I was touched by the change in his character as the movie progressed. A class act, to be sure!

I have been spoiled as of late by several "demo-worthy" titles, and if it were not for that I may have been tempted to nominate Gran Torino for a spot in Tier 1. This was a decent transfer with much to commend it, but it falls a notch short of Gold in my book.

It reminded me quite a bit of the PQ in Defiance....with a subdued color palette yet very sharp with strong contrast, better-than-average blacks, good shadow detail, spot on flesh tones, and impressive detail in facial close-ups (though not nearly as good in this department as in Defiance). I would say the most striking virtue of GT was its depth and dimensionality. There were some scenes where I thought I was wearing those weird 3D glasses that G3 was talking about recently! Seriously though, you will be amazed at the incredible depth sprinkled throughout the film.

I didn't notice any anomalies, but there were a few isolated shots that were somewhat soft, and as I intimated earlier the color palette left much to be desired.

It's late, so I must finish up with the last note. As I stated at the outset, this falls a notch below Tier Gold, so the obvious rating is:

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

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post #12700 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

Phantom, I was about to post that A Bug's Life is the sharpest thing I've ever witnessed - it feels like my blu-ray player is rendering the whole thing on the fly from a supercompuer. It's amazing.

And of course I was also going to mention it isn't the most complex of titles in terms of computer graphics, but what is there is 100% sharp as a tack. Just because something doesn't have the latest CGI effects shouldn't have any bearing on its placement. If it does, that's a whole can of worms I don't think you want to open. It would mean any older Pixar would never be placed higher than a new one, which just isn't the case and can't be. That would mean when Toy Story comes out it will have zero shot at #1, no matter what.

This is IT for CGI BD's as of 6/11/09 IMO. This is the reference BD. It's the most 3-D pop (not most realistic) you will find, and that's what this thread is about.

+1

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post #12701 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:47 PM
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I'm completely spoiled now.
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post #12702 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by djoberg View Post

Gran Torino

Before I comment on the PQ, I want to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. If you are a Clint Eastwood fan (as I am), you will NOT be disappointed. This is, IMHO, his best performance. I found myself laughing sporadically at his crude one-liners and grunts (you will LOVE his grunts!!), and I was touched by the change in his character as the movie progressed. A class act, to be sure!

I have been spoiled as of late by several "demo-worthy" titles, and if it were not for that I may have been tempted to nominate Gran Torino for a spot in Tier 1. This was a decent transfer with much to commend it, but it falls a notch short of Gold in my book.

It reminded me quite a bit of the PQ in Defiance....with a subdued color palette yet very sharp with strong contrast, better-than-average blacks, good shadow detail, spot on flesh tones, and impressive detail in facial close-ups (though not nearly as good in this department as in Defiance). I would say the most striking virtue of GT was its depth and dimensionality. There were some scenes where I thought I was wearing those weird 3D glasses that G3 was talking about recently! Seriously though, you will be amazed at the incredible depth sprinkled throughout the film.

I didn't notice any anomalies, but there were a few isolated shots that were somewhat soft, and as I intimated earlier the color palette left much to be desired.

It's late, so I must finish up with the last note. As I stated at the outset, this falls a notch below Tier Gold, so the obvious rating is:

Tier Recommendation: 2.0

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I watched this last night as well. I was more than pleasantly surprised, but I think it has to do with a bit older generation mindset as things were said like that more in our time. Most younger people like my children might find it offensive and derogatory and not politically correct. Enough said, I thought it was a great film and very funny and emotional at the same time.

I thought the PQ wasn't going to be all that from some reviews I had read, but I was very impressed. While I thought The International was a tier 1.0 or low tier 0(but not really) film, I thought Gran TOrino was really not that far worse in terms of PQ. I am going to recommend 1.5 or even slightly higher, but want to watch it again.
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post #12703 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I watched A Bug's Life yesterday. While I am not ready for a formal recommendation and may not even write one, it does not appear to me to be the best tier zero title ever. Remember the movie originally came out in 1998, which is ancient in CGI animation-terms. The computer tools used to create the CGI were comparatively crude at that point.

Do not get me wrong, this Blu-ray looks incredible and easily qualifies in the upper half of tier zero. But textures and light-shading are relatively simple and lack the intricate detail later seen in more recent Pixar work.

I think the contrast and colors are the most powerful and incredible I have seen on ANY BD and that is what lends itself to being at the top of tier 0. Even KFP as good as it is doesn't have the contrast and colors. THe contrast renders a virtual 3-D image that really exceeds other top tier 0 movies. The colors alone are the most I have seen so beautifully rendered on ANY media format.

I also have to agree with b_scott and his comments.
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post #12704 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 11:07 PM
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Originally Posted by geekyglassesgirl View Post

Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

Despite being a huge Trek fan, I actually didn't own any of the various versions of Trek until the other night when my husband came home with the Blu Ray box set of the Star Trek original series cast movies and season 1 of TOS. So I can fully admit, I do not have any comparison to the DVD releases.


All week long we've been working through the Star Trek movies, and tonight is the first time I feel comfortable actually writing a quick review.


I was fairly impressed with ST6. Some of the clarity and detail is downright phenomenal in this Blu. It's almost to the movie's detriment to be honest; the make-up on everyone was extremely noticeable almost to the point of ruining suspension of disbelief. Very pan-cakey; similar to how it bugged me a bit in the Twilight Blu.


I watch on the THX mode on my Panasonic Plasma, and the colours were okay but somewhat inconsistent. I found myself wishing they were a little more vibrant, but I do tend to like a more vibrant presentation of colours to a subdued one. At times they would impress, and then other scenes things seemed to fall flat.


I did notice some minor edge enhancement in a few places, but as most of you who've read my posts know, I am extremely sensitive to EE. In this particular movie, I had to actually LOOK for the EE, so I suspect it's not very bothersome to those of you who don't notice it usually.


All in all, I think this movie presented fairly well on Blu. Not reference, but not horrid.

Recommendation for Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country: Tier 2.50

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LOL thats not make up thats DNR!!!
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post #12705 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 11:32 PM
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Gran Torino

It appears we are all in the same rental pattern. Just got done watching this as well. This time, I DID have to buy the wife her bike.

Anyway, I enjoyed this film in the theatre and enjoyed it even more the second time around on my home theatre. Hey, did you guys have to really crank up the volume on this one? It easily had to be the highest dB's I've had to pump out to get adequate sound.

On the to the PQ. While the film was still on the soft side, it was softer in the theatre - so that was an improvement (though it's probably the theatre equipment). Still, a lot of the medium shots were on the soft side. Close-up's, however, were decent, though most of the cast did not have too many facial imperfections, texture for scrutiny.

The stylized look definitely set the tone for the movie and did not prove bothersome to me. In fact, it enhanced it somewhat. Black levels were above average, but not that impressive. Contrast helped achieve the subdued look.

Depth and dimensionality were decent and were used to great results. It gave a feeling of being in the film, in the period. I say "in the period" even though the period was the present. However, the tone of the film created an atmosphere that felt like a period unlike the present. Hard to explain, but the d&d seemed to teleport me to said period.

Overall, I liken the PQ to Mr. Eastwood's last movie, Changeling at 2.0. I would vote this one a tad bit below...

Tier Recommendation: 2.25

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post #12706 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ooms View Post

LOL thats not make up thats DNR!!!

How could it be DNR when I could see the make up caked into creases & wrinkles in old Shatner's face as well as the pores, and the individual facial hair? Such detail would be lost in a smear if it was all DNR's job. They looked like the texture of old leather; and there was plenty of detail in fabrics and materials all around.

To each their own. Write a review and tell me your ranking for it & your equipment.
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post #12707 of 26097 Old 06-11-2009, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ooms View Post

LOL thats not make up thats DNR!!!


No denying the DNR and it has been discussed sufficiently in this forum, but GGG is correct. The makeup on some of the actors, particularly in the later films as they aged, was horrendous. Add in the DNR and you got the mess that everyone is seeing as it exacerbates the clown makeup, pancakey as GGG put it. That is something in the DNR discussions of the Trek films that hasn't been given enough attention to with discussion of that look due to makeup is more than bad DNR.
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post #12708 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 12:17 AM
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Yes Hugh... I didn't review the other 4 movies that I've watched in the boxed set (Haven't watched the first one yet), they all (II-V) had much worse PQ than Star Trek VI with visible & annoying EE and more obvious DNR. In rereading my above reply I should have said "How could it ALL be DNR when..." etc, as I can't claim they haven't put DNR, but moreso am commenting on the quality and detail that I did see when watching it.


Do I think that the PQ on them could be better? For sure, but I am comfortable with ST VI ending up in mid to low tier 2, which is why I voted for 2.5. I don't think it needs to be in tier 3 or lower as it's nowhere near as bad as the others in the set; other opinions will vary of course as they tend to do.
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post #12709 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hughmc View Post

I thought the PQ wasn't going to be all that from some reviews I had read, but I was very impressed. While I thought The International was a tier 1.0 or low tier 0(but not really) film, I thought Gran TOrino was really not that far worse in terms of PQ. I am going to recommend 1.5 or even slightly higher, but want to watch it again.

It was definitely a SHARP transfer, but to me it was a notch or two below the quality of Defiance, which I rated at 1.75. That was the measuring stick I ultimately used. But I am open to being persuaded if a strong enough case can be made.

I'm sure you noticed that deltasun gave it a 2.25, so making the case for 1.5 or higher is going to be a challenge.

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post #12710 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by b_scott View Post

And of course I was also going to mention it isn't the most complex of titles in terms of computer graphics, but what is there is 100% sharp as a tack. Just because something doesn't have the latest CGI effects shouldn't have any bearing on its placement. If it does, that's a whole can of worms I don't think you want to open. It would mean any older Pixar would never be placed higher than a new one, which just isn't the case and can't be. That would mean when Toy Story comes out it will have zero shot at #1, no matter what.

This is IT for CGI BD's as of 6/11/09 IMO. This is the reference BD. It's the most 3-D pop (not most realistic) you will find, and that's what this thread is about.

I would not expect the original Toy Story to be the top-ranked Pixar Blu-ray for picture quality due to the factors I listed previously. Categorizing reference-quality Blu-rays in an ordinal ranking system like we attempt here is sometimes like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They have to be differentiated in some magnitude and this criteria is how I make that determination, particularly on the titles of pure CGI. I suspect the people at Pixar would most likely agree that their newer movies are more advanced than their older work in terms of animation modeling and microscopic detail.

A Bug's Life looks awesome, I just do not agree it deserves the highest ranking over every other tier zero title.

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post #12711 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I would not expect the original Toy Story to be the top-ranked Pixar Blu-ray for picture quality due to the factors I listed previously. Categorizing reference-quality Blu-rays in an ordinal ranking system like we attempt here is sometimes like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They have to be differentiated in some magnitude and this criteria is how I make that determination, particularly on the titles of pure CGI. I suspect the people at Pixar would most likely agree that their newer movies are more advanced than their older work in terms of animation modeling and microscopic detail.

A Bug's Life looks awesome, I just do not agree it deserves the highest ranking over every other tier zero title.

Phantom, I agree with you in theory and I agree that Pixar would probably say their newer movies are more advanced. However, more advanced doesn't necessarily equate to better PQ. In fact, the more realistic they get, the more they tend to be controversial in this thread. I think, it's because it doesn't necessarily translate to better PQ.

Bolt is a good example. I definitely prefer its style and "realism" to, say, A Bug's Life. But, I voted it closer to 2.0 than Tier Blu. I have no doubt that the technology advancement and level of PQ will eventually intersect, but I don't believe it's there yet. We'll see how Up looks in a few months.

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post #12712 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I would not expect the original Toy Story to be the top-ranked Pixar Blu-ray for picture quality due to the factors I listed previously. Categorizing reference-quality Blu-rays in an ordinal ranking system like we attempt here is sometimes like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They have to be differentiated in some magnitude and this criteria is how I make that determination, particularly on the titles of pure CGI. I suspect the people at Pixar would most likely agree that their newer movies are more advanced than their older work in terms of animation modeling and microscopic detail.

A Bug's Life looks awesome, I just do not agree it deserves the highest ranking over every other tier zero title.

I'm with you on this PS, and hope SS won't put it on top(mid Tier 0 is fine with me.)
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post #12713 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

I would not expect the original Toy Story to be the top-ranked Pixar Blu-ray for picture quality due to the factors I listed previously. Categorizing reference-quality Blu-rays in an ordinal ranking system like we attempt here is sometimes like debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. They have to be differentiated in some magnitude and this criteria is how I make that determination, particularly on the titles of pure CGI. I suspect the people at Pixar would most likely agree that their newer movies are more advanced than their older work in terms of animation modeling and microscopic detail.

A Bug's Life looks awesome, I just do not agree it deserves the highest ranking over every other tier zero title.

I will keep it simple. I know we have our first page criteria and standards we use and apply and expect for PQ for a title to be placed. Throw them all out the window...

For me simply looking at ABL, forgetting all the parameters etc. it looks better than any other title.
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post #12714 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 01:04 PM
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agreed. it truly looked 3D, more than any other title. It did not look the most REALISTIC - but that's not a criteria or we'd have no CGI movies on the list.
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post #12715 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 01:51 PM
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The opening outdoor scenes had a flat, grainy, very DVD look but once the movie switched to the soundstage PQ improved markedly, with good detail, depth and contrast. Facial close-ups bordered on Tier 1.75 to 2.0. I got caught up in the movie and didn't observe black level closely but given how much black was in the movie I didn't notice anything off-putting.

IMO, the movie is anywhere from 2.75 to 3.25 so I'll suggest 2010: the Year We Made Contact Tier 3.0.

For a 1984 movie the special effects held up well and it was fun seeing Helen Mirren as a Russian spaceship captain and John Lithgow with hair, although every time Roy Scheider appeared I kept expecting to hear the Jaws theme.

The movie lacked the sense of awe of 2001 but is still enjoyable.

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post #12716 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 02:39 PM
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Hey guys, I'm from New Zealand and we have PAL region. My question is will the PAL version of the Blue and Gold tiers be just as good?
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post #12717 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom Stranger View Post

...debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

I find this thread interesting, but "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" is exactly what I think when I read the reviews as well as a dvd's exact ranking. To be honest, I can't really tell the minute variations that so many claim to see in each dvd. To me a dvd either looks great, very good, good, ok, or crappy. That's it, and I guess that is what your average person would think unless they are part of the videophile elite. It would be a grand joke if you were just having us ordinaries on, but most of you seem so deadly serious so I would guess not.

I guess I am just not that discerning and very easily pleased and satisfied, but then I started out this life by watching the radio and then a very small b&w tv (with tinfoil on the rabbitears) so I've learned to be easily amazed and unpretentious in my views. PQ is great to consider, but ultimately content is why I watch or buy dvds.

I look forward to more discussion of how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how they are dressed, and if they are flatulent.
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post #12718 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 05:36 PM
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Knock. Knock. SuprSlow / AustinSTI. Are you guys there ?

Blu-ray : 340
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post #12719 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elocs View Post

To me a dvd either looks great, very good, good, ok, or crappy.

Yes, that would be Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 or Tier 5. You will find though that as you start to insert a BR in each of those categories, you're suddenly presented with the dilemma of, "well, this Tier 1 movie is certainly much better than this other Tier 1 movie." Hence, the minute gradations.

I don't think the OP set out to create such gradations, but over time it evolved naturally.

You see me reaching for my f****** wallet?!?
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post #12720 of 26097 Old 06-12-2009, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasun View Post

Yes, that would be Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 or Tier 5. You will find though that as you start to insert a BR in each of those categories, you're suddenly presented with the dilemma of, "well, this Tier 1 movie is certainly much better than this other Tier 1 movie." Hence, the minute gradations.

I don't think the OP set out to create such gradations, but over time it evolved naturally.

To me most of those top 3 tiers look good to me. I can't really tell much of a difference. There are some that are just amazingly good and other BRs that are really no better than the standard dvd and so if buying it would be good to save the money. The tiers are only meaningful to me if they are something that I would actually want to watch because as I said I watch for content. PQ is only important to me if it is noticeably bad.

So I do look at the tiers and glean out the ones I would really like to watch or buy. Baracka is a good one that I did not know about and I was able to get it on Netflix in a couple of days (I use Netflix to preview if I really want to buy a BR). I've been lucky on Netflix so far because I can get nearly anything in a couple of days. I've been averaging 1 new BR dvd at a time and getting one on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
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