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post #1 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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The Revenant Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Ralph Potts reviews this Academy Award winning drama about a frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820s that fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.



The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )

Film:

Extras:

Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )

94



Details:

Studio and Year: 20th Century Fox - 2015
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 156 minutes
Genre: Drama

Disc Format: BD-66
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, Spanish/French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Directed by: Alejandro G. Inarritu
Written by: Alejandro G. Inarritu & Mark L. Smith based on the novel by Michael Punke
Region Code: A


Blu-ray Disc release Date: April 19, 2016


"Revenge is in God's hands"


My Take:

The Revenant follows the story of legendary explorer Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) on his quest for survival and justice. After a brutal bear attack, Glass is left for dead by a treacherous member of his hunting team. Against extraordinary odds, and enduring unimaginable grief, Glass battles a relentless winter in uncharted terrain.

I took in The Revenant during its theatrical run earlier this year. The film is based on the novel by Michael Punke and is based on a true story. From what I gather although primarily based on Glass the character and some of the events depicted in the film are a composite of more than one. Co-written by the film's director Alejandro G. Inarritu and Mark L. Smith The Revenant is epic in scope, drawing upon a dark narrative that encapsulates the early 1800's period depicted in the story, as it tells of a father's love, loss, struggle for survival and the indomitable power of the human spirit when motivated by the desire of revenge.

As I watched the film a second time my reaction to it was nearly identical to when I frist saw it. In terms of story I found The Revenant to be good but not wholly gratifying. In context it's character driven which serves it well while the mix of frontier elements (adventure, peril, battling nature) is engaging to say the least. The subplots involving the French and the Indian Chief searching for his daughter didn't seem a cohesive fit, being seemingly interjected to add thematic tension and melodrama. True story or not I couldn’t help but find myself raising an eyebrow every time Glass managed to extricate himself from yet another impossible bid for survival.

Having said that I wouldn't want to give the impression that I found The Revenant lacking as a film experience. It's truly an amazing film to watch. From start to finish it's visually effecting, drawing you in with the vastness of its scope, high production elements, Emmanuel Lubezki's breathtaking cinematography, Alejandro G. Inarritu's masterful direction and compelling performances, highlighted by Leonardo DiCaprio's Oscar winning turn in the title role.

Taking home three Oscars including Best Actor, Best Director and Best Cinematography, The Revenant a memorable and effecting film that for me rises to the top due to the total sum of its parts. In addition to the honors at the Academy Awards, it also garnered, three Golden Globes, five BAFTA Awards, a DGA Award for Best Director (Iñárritu) and SAG Award for Best Actor (DiCaprio). The Revenant is justly deserving of the accolades it has received and is among the most talked about films of the year.


Parental Guide:

The rating is for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity.


AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Dynamics:
  • Low frequency effects:
  • Surround Sound presentation:
  • Clarity/Detail:
  • Dialog Reproduction:
  • Low frequency extension * (non-rated element): NA
  • DSU/DTS Neural:X Rating * (non-rated element):



UHD Presentation: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • HDR: Dark Highlights:
  • HDR: Bright Highlights:
  • HDR: Expanded Color:
  • Resolution:
  • Visual Impact:



Ultra HD Blu-ray has finally been released and eager enthusiasts are ready and willing to see what it has to offer. For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:

Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

For those not willing to refer to the article linked above, I have included some comments here. The implementation of High Dynamic Range or HDR (HDR10 is the system currently being utilized for Ultra HD home video releases, and in conjunction with that, display manufacturers) as it stands currently, doesn't appear to have exacting standards and no calibration tools to allow for a foundational threshold for setting up a visual system. This leaves us to do the best we can to determine what appears to be accurate, at least for the time being. With that in mind, my approach to reviewing Ultra HD Blu-ray will be to assess the elements observed which I find to generate the most significant visual impact when compared to standard high definition Blu-ray.

For me, HDR, with its broader spectrum of colors and emboldened highlights in the areas of contrast and brightness, is where the potential lies in the format. The increase in resolution, while an important component, isn't going to be definitive in every case, especially given that currently many of the Ultra HD Blu-ray releases are derived from 2K Digital Intermediates that are up-converted to 4K. This shouldn't be strictly construed to mean that such up-converted images won't look noticeably better than their 1080p counterparts. Conversely, a release finished on a 4K Digital Intermediate isn't a guarantee that it will be heads and shoulders above the rest. So, what can you expect to hear from me when discussing what I observed from Ultra HD Blu-ray? I will hit upon the things that struck me, the impact, or lack of impact, of HDR and the improvement, if any, in resolution when compared to 1080p Blu-ray. The outcome will be a rating as seen above.

Front projection for home theater is just stepping through the door with respect to the reproduction of HDR. My goal is to present readers with a reasonable expectation of what they can expect when viewing the same content that I have. There may be variables that differ slightly however I believe that in general the outcome will be close. As we are exposed to more and more content and calibration tools come onboard we will have better perspectives from which to gauge. Thanks for reading!


The Revenant comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.5 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD The Revenant (derived from a 6.5K and 3.4 K source) was rendered from a 4K DI. With the limited exposure to Ultra HD sourced from 4K Digital Intermediates we are left to judge based upon what we have seen thus far. In this case the results are marvelous.

The 1080p transfer looks superb and this Ultra HD rendering takes it to the next level with a discernible increase in detail, emboldened highlights, both light and dark, and a noticeably sharper and vibrant image. This is readily apparent in the opening sequence as Glass and Hawk make their way through the flooded forest sneaking up on their intended prey. The shimmering/flowing water, the scaly bark on the trees and contrast of the seemingly black water against the overlooking gray sky look amazing. Close ups reveal oodles of fine detail and abounding textures. Wide angle shots of the gorgeous shooting locations and breath taking cinematography are pure eye candy. The scene in chapter 14 features a long range shot of Glass floating along the river on a log as seen from above. The waning sunlight illuminates the landscapes while the seemingly small ripples in the water's current are visible.

One of the best examples of the presentation's combination of HDR and detail comes at the beginning of chapter 18 as Glass awakens and emerges from the shelter made by his Pawnee companion. The shot is taken from near ground level looking toward the shelter which is surrounded by trees with the sun/sky in the background. The shadows of the trees set against the snow covered ground as the sunlight beams off of the glistening flakes of ice/snow looks stunningly beautiful and lifelike. The variety of scenes shot at night or in the low light of dawn or dusk, some set to firelight or natural light are equally rewarding. I could go on and on. At times the level of minutia is amazing as even the finest nuance in the physical features, clothing and the rough textures in the rustic landscapes or manmade shelters is visually resolvable. The film utilizes sepia, autumn schemed color and an overall cooler chromatic aesthetic that appears faithfully reproduced in Ultra HD.

The difference between viewing The Revenant in high definition and Ultra HD isn't quite night and day but at times I found myself marveling at the image quality. It literally looked THAT good.


Blu-ray Video:


Video: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)


  • Resolution/Clarity:
  • Black Level/Shadow Detail:
  • Color Reproduction:
  • Fleshtones:
  • Compression:



The Revenant comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 25 Mbps.

This film utilizes a stylized visual design that has a limited color scheme that works aesthetically well for the subject matter. The color range is limited to shades of dark blue, gray and black with splashes of crimson red and forest green hues. Warm golden accents are used throughout to break up the film’s monochromatic essence. This comes in the form of glowing firelight or alternating flesh tones that have lifelike complexional color as opposed to the ashen/blue that is predominant the majority of the time. What enhances the effect is its presence amidst the other dark blue/gray/black elements within the same shot. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. Resolution is excellent as images are crisp, delineated and dimensionally strong. The visual design isn’t such that it offers high gloss, razor sharp quality but that doesn’t keep this presentation from looking great.


Bonus Features:
  • The Revenant Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • The Revenant Blu-ray Disc (with Bonus Features)
  • (HD) "A World Unseen": A Documentary of The Revenant – 44 minutes
  • (HD) Gallery
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

Based on the novel of the same name by Michael Punke The Revenant is an epic, award winning frontier adventure that rewards on multiple levels, including Alejandro G. Inarritu's masterful direction, Emmanuel Lubezki's superb cinematography, and Leonardo DiCaprio's compellingly committed performance. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Blu-ray Combo Pack from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring excellent Ultra High Definition video, engaging lossless surround sound, and a minimal but worthwhile documentary that offers an inside look at the making of the film. The Revenant is one of the most talked about films of the year and deserves serious consideration for inclusion in the video collections of film enthusiasts.






Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



Reference Review System:

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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 05-01-2016 at 10:55 AM.
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post #2 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 08:45 AM
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Ralph,
Thx for the updated review. I hope I am able to jump on the UHD train next year, so it's great to have all these reviews of yours to pick the right movies when the time comes.

To me the movie was ok, not great, story wise. The craft was great of course. It is nice to see that some film makers go the extra mile to achieve a certain feel/look.

One negative that can't be ignored is the constant teal look of almost every movie that came out over the last three years. What is up with that? Why even bother to adjust your TV to perfect colors when everything looks teal anyways?
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post #3 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 08:52 AM
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Thanks Ralph for great review. Could you include the screenshot comparison between UHD and blu ray? I understand you did give UHD score but I am also keen to see the video difference visually. Thanks.
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post #4 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 09:03 AM
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And how are you going to see that ?

It's almost impossible to capture the benefits of HDR at this time

Plus I doubt your PC display is HDR

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post #5 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 09:58 AM
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This, in my opinion is the best looking UHD blu ray to date. Video score for me would have been a 98. Probably a 100 had I watched it on an OLED or full array local dimming LED. I thought the movie looked almost 3D without glasses. Truly exceptional.
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post #6 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 10:42 AM
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Unhappy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillietalls View Post
This, in my opinion is the best looking UHD blu ray to date. Video score for me would have been a 98. Probably a 100 had I watched it on an OLED or full array local dimming LED. I thought the movie looked almost 3D without glasses. Truly exceptional.


No Atmos!
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post #7 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 10:50 AM
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Thanks for the great review. I also agree that there is a lack of tools to properly adjust even the basic picture settings for UHD. Every UHD disc should have a basic set of tools for adjusting your tv or player properly. Guessing at what brightness, contrast, etc, is not the best way to set up tv for UHD.
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post #8 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 11:58 AM
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Decent movie overall. Hollywood changed so many facts from what actually happened that it should just be a work of pure fiction. Cinematography is the best thing about this movie and that is only because they changed the topography and season from where and when the true events took place.

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Precisely . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillietalls View Post
This, in my opinion is the best looking UHD blu ray to date. Video score for me would have been a 98. Probably a 100 had I watched it on an OLED or full array local dimming LED. I thought the movie looked almost 3D without glasses. Truly exceptional.
That is how I describe 4K to people - like watching 3D without the glasses.

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post #10 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 01:26 PM
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Brother Ralph, Thank you for your thoughtful review.I am amazed by both the depth and width of your reviews and the time that you so generously invest on our behalf. The only think holding me back on UHD is waiting for OPPO to introduce their player. Thank you for taking a hit for the team buying the Samsung player so that you can do these reviews.I am acquiring these titles based on your reviews because,I know that we agree on 98% of what hits the screen and what in-turn hits us....
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post #11 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 01:44 PM
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Great review Ralph but It sucks that this doesn't include an Atmos or DTS-X track. This crap reminds me of the days when Warner's first blu-ray releases didn't include a truehd or dtshd track.

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post #12 of 47 Old 04-26-2016, 02:21 PM
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Very nice review, this was a very good movie but not a Great movie, the plot was a little off on my account.
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My first UHD Blu-ray.
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Ralph,

quick question, what kind of cord (and length) are you running from the 8802 to your rs500? any issues with pushing 4k from your bluray player to the receiver to the projector?
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post #15 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 02:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by davisnub View Post
Ralph,

quick question, what kind of cord (and length) are you running from the 8802 to your rs500? any issues with pushing 4k from your bluray player to the receiver to the projector?
Greetings,

After much frustration in the early going with "18 GPS" high speed HDMI cables I wound up trying an older 9 Meter Better Cables Silver Serpent HDMI 1.4 rated cable that I had on hand. Works like a charm..

This is the cable:

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Cables-...ent+HDMI+cable

Regards,
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post #16 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 05:32 AM
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I just kept using my old trusty BJC FE series HDMI cables!

As far as this movie, IMO it was the best performance I have seen from a flat panel yet. I kept having the feeling they filmed this movie with HDR in mind and timed the disc release perfectly. Reminded me of when Crank hit blu-ray. Digitally filmed the detail was outstanding.

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post #17 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 07:21 AM
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This UHD bD looked better to me on my FALD LED/LCD screen than this movie did in the theater.

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post #18 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 08:35 AM
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Thanks for the review.

However, as I said in the review of San Andreas, I think to make a more accurate and credible review, the projector to be used should be native 4K.
The downside is that it is not yet possible because, one, the Sony VPL-VW520ES (665 in U.S.) is not compatible with existing players (Panasonic 900 and Samsung 8500).
Sony expect the update scheduled for 12 May impatient.

Greetings.

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post #19 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 09:02 AM
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This movie puts the "blue" in Blu-Ray, that's for sure. It has to be the most color-adjusted film I've ever seen. Even the blood looks blue.
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post #20 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

After much frustration in the early going with "18 GPS" high speed HDMI cables I wound up trying an older 9 Meter Better Cables Silver Serpent HDMI 1.4 rated cable that I had on hand. Works like a charm..

This is the cable:

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Cables-...ent+HDMI+cable

Regards,
interesting, so a older high end cable not rated for 18 GPS gave you better results than others? do you think that this was because it's an active cable?
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post #21 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post
Greetings,

After much frustration in the early going with "18 GPS" high speed HDMI cables I wound up trying an older 9 Meter Better Cables Silver Serpent HDMI 1.4 rated cable that I had on hand. Works like a charm..

This is the cable:

http://www.amazon.com/Better-Cables-...ent+HDMI+cable

Regards,
All my cables are from bettercables.com. However, not on this thread but others, you are called a snob for extolling their virtues. Glad to know you appreciate their worth.
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post #22 of 47 Old 04-27-2016, 04:06 PM
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Do all Ultra HD Blu-rays have some sort of HDR? What about WCG or Rec. 2020?
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post #23 of 47 Old 04-28-2016, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drdig View Post
Thanks for the review.

However, as I said in the review of San Andreas, I think to make a more accurate and credible review, the projector to be used should be native 4K.
The downside is that it is not yet possible because, one, the Sony VPL-VW520ES (665 in U.S.) is not compatible with existing players (Panasonic 900 and Samsung 8500).
Sony expect the update scheduled for 12 May impatient.

Greetings.
I couldn't disagree more. The projector accepts a 4K signal, does HDR, and WCG. Sure, it uses e-Shift to get to 4K, but I would be willing to bet using double-blind tests with a native 4K panel versus the JVC showing identical material, you'd be hard pressed telling the difference in resolution sitting the proper distance away. I believe Kris Deering did this type of test with the Sony versus the JVC and people couldn't tell the difference. Frankly, HDR and WCG (10 bit) of UHD Blu-ray are a much bigger difference than the added resolution of 4K.

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post #24 of 47 Old 04-28-2016, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Vaughn View Post
I couldn't disagree more. The projector accepts a 4K signal, does HDR, and WCG. Sure, it uses e-Shift to get to 4K, but I would be willing to bet using double-blind tests with a native 4K panel versus the JVC showing identical material, you'd be hard pressed telling the difference in resolution sitting the proper distance away. I believe Kris Deering did this type of test with the Sony versus the JVC and people couldn't tell the difference. Frankly, HDR and WCG (10 bit) of UHD Blu-ray are a much bigger difference than the added resolution of 4K.

Greetings,

Thanks Dave and of course I agree. I have covered this ground with him before..


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post #25 of 47 Old 05-01-2016, 06:23 AM
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Ralph Potts , I was scratching my head in your review when you said, "Having said that I would want to give the impression that I found The Revenant lacking as a film experience. " Maybe it's just me waking up, but is this sentence the way you wanted to write it? Just curious....
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post #26 of 47 Old 05-01-2016, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KBMAN View Post
Ralph Potts , I was scratching my head in your review when you said, "Having said that I would want to give the impression that I found The Revenant lacking as a film experience. " Maybe it's just me waking up, but is this sentence the way you wanted to write it? Just curious....

Greetings,

Nope! The word "Would" should be "Wouldn't. Corrected to read properly now. Thanks!


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post #27 of 47 Old 05-02-2016, 01:01 PM
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Hi again.
This is the wrong place to ask, but: My whole HT is run by a HTPC, which means any film or BD comes from that HTPC. Does anybody have information about players being available to be installed into a PC? I checked around but didn't find any info. My office monitor is already 4k, so it would be nice to have a player here and when upgrading my HT to UHD it would be nice to simply put a player in that PC as well.
Any link or info is highly appreciated.
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post #28 of 47 Old 05-18-2016, 03:43 PM
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I don't have a UHD display nor player as yet but I bought this anyway. Saw this in theaters and new I would be adding the UBD to my collection.


Thanks for the review, Mr. Potts.
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post #29 of 47 Old 06-04-2016, 11:42 AM
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Ralph could not agree more, the 4K looked really sharp and a definitive improvement over the Bluray.
HDR does make the difference and compared to HD, 4K showed more depth as well.
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Last edited by Ralph Potts; 06-05-2016 at 04:15 AM. Reason: No need to quote the entire review
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post #30 of 47 Old 06-04-2016, 12:11 PM
 
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Dude. Don't quote the whole post!
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