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post #1 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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The Da Vinci Code Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Join symbologist Robert and cryptologist Sophie Neveu in their heart-racing quest to solve a bizarre murder mystery that will take them from France to England - and behind the veil of a mysterious ancient society, where they discover a secret protected since the time of Christ.

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



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



Studio and Year: Sony Pictures - 2006
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 148 minutes
Genre: Thriller/Drama

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

Audio Format(s): English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible), Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish
Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jurgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany
Directed by: Ron Howard
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by: Akiva Goldsman based on the novel by Dan Brown
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: October 11, 2016

"Uncover the Secret"

My Take:

I Reviewed The Da Vinci Code when it was originally released on Blu-ray and have included my comments from that review here. The ratings for the 1080p audio/video will be the same as they are identical to the original release. New comments and ratings for the new Ultra HD video, Dolby Atmos mix and additional supplements have been added. It should also be noted that this release, unlike the original, does not contain the extended cut of the film, only the theatrical version.

Noted symbologist Robert Langdon and French police cryptologist Sophie Neveu go on a heart-racing quest to unearth the biggest cover-up in human history. Langdon is summoned to the Louvre Museum late one night after the curator (Jacques Sauniere) is found murdered. Sauniere leaves behind a series of symbols and clues that appear to lead to the identity of his murderer, or does it? The French authorities are under the belief that Langdon had something to do with the murder. With his own survival at stake and with Sophie’s help, Langdon unveils a series of stunning secrets hidden in the artwork or Leonardo Da Vinci. The clues point to a covert society dedicated to guarding an ancient secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years. The pair set off on a frantic quest through Paris, London, and Scotland, collecting clues as the desperately attempt to crack the code which could ultimately shake the very foundation of mankind.

I like thrillers that deal with lost treasures, code breaking and the like. I am a big Tom Hanks (and Ron Howard) fan so when I saw the combination in 2006’s The Da Vinci Code I expected something special. Looking at this strictly in terms of its cinematic appeal I found it to be a fairly rewarding and capable thriller. I think that the theatrical cut is paced a little slow but works well enough. The plethora of twists and turns is fine and I like the ending. Ron Howard is a smart director and I rarely have issues with his films. The cast is solid and in addition to Hanks, features two of my favorite actors in Ian McKellan and Jean Reno (honorable mention to Paul Bettany who was terrific). Much has been said about the story which was written by author Dan Brown. It draws very definitive lines that some have found inappropriate and offensive. I will avoid offering personal opinion regarding that other than to say that I think that is it important to keep things in proper perspective. When all is said and done I find The Da Vinci Code to be a decent watch.

Parental Guide:

The film contains language, violence, disturbing images and thematic material.

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.**

UHD Presentation: 78
(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:

Dolby Atmos Rating: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Level of immersion:
  • Soundstage integration:
  • Audio object placement:
  • Effectiveness:
  • Entertainment factor:

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 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, Ultra HD’s high dynamic range/wide color gamut, 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 Da Vinci Code comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) sound.

Sony remastered The Da Vinci Code from the original 35mm film elements, and Its presentation in Ultra HD is derived from the 4K Digital Intermediate.

It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. A film like The Davinci Code has an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won't result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.

This is a decidedly dark film with the first two hours taking place in low lit environs with only natural or artificial lighting. Looking at the film's opening sequence the improvement in depth and definition was noticeable. I could detect the finer details present in the museum interior and backgrounds. The nighttime exterior shots of the various cityscapes didn’t offer a marked improvement in dimension but sharpness was stable. The color range in the film is limited but the rendering of primary colors looked a tad punchier here than on the Blu-ray.

The addition of high dynamic range added a pleasing visual element that enriched both natural and artificial light. During the sequence where Robert and Sophie make off with the armored truck while being shot at by the crooked bank manager, the ricocheting gun shots against the trucks armor popped against the enriched dark background. The same was true of the streaming sunlight that cascaded into the dimly lit churches during the search for the Holy Grail. I also felt that the monochromatic flashback sequences benefited from the application of HDR which emboldened their black and white elements. The film’s few brightly lit scenes make the differences between the 1080p video and this rendering easier to detect, especially in terms of resolution and sharpness.

While I would say that this Ultra HD presentation improves upon the Blu-ray release, I think that due to the innate quality of the source, those differences, depending on your interest, may not be significant enough to warrant an upgrade.

In listening to the Dolby Atmos soundtrack I was pleased with its implementation. The use of overhead sound objects elevates proportional correlation. When compared to the 5.1 channel mix it offers a noticeable improvement by opening up the soundstage, elevating the perception of low level detail. During the various sequences that take place in the large churches, or the confined space of an elevator or armored truck, etc. the track brims with environmental cues and discrete sound effects that when applied using the freedom of object based placement adds an enriching layer to the soundtrack. This is noticeable right from the opening sequence with noteworthy examples being found throughout.

This Atmos mix took a subtle and more active approach when appropriate, and conveyed the spirit and overall feel of the original soundtrack while adding a complimentary element. I didn’t feel let down by it and ultimately had lots of fun.

Blu-ray Video:

Video: 84
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

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

Audio: 86
(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): [img] [/img]

The Da Vinci Code comes to Blu-ray Disc from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.8 Mbps.

This is a good video presentation that appears to faithfully replicate the source. This first two hours of the film take place at night and in dark environments where uneven/streaming light and shadows prevail. I thought that overall these scenes held up well with strong contrast, deep blacks, and gradational stages that gave them appreciable depth and dimension. Contrast was stable and bold during the brightly lit daytime sequences. Images were resolute with noticeable textural nuance and above average visual acuity in long range shots. I saw some softening in both close up and mid-level camera angles that appeared to be innate to the photography. I didn’t fine it to be overly distracting. The color palette isn’t extensive but I found them tonally balanced and pleasing to the eye. Fleshtones are on the bland side but not to the point of looking washed out or unnatural. Grain is preserved in fine even layers that takes on a noticeably heavier presence during the monochromatic flashback sequences.

The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is a good one that makes excellent use of the entire surround platform. It is led by Hans Zimmer’s rousing music score that sounds fantastic as it sets the tone that drives the story’s elements. This is a fairly active and at times dynamic surround mix that employ’s the subwoofer and rear channels to stimulate the senses and draw you into the film. This creates a believable and enveloping sound field that replicates the film’s various interior/exterior environments as well as the feeling of riding in an elevator or the rear of an armored truck. Low frequency effects have substantial weight and presence. The front and rear soundstages combine perfectly as sounds emanating from both during panning and dimensionally spaced sequences are seamless. Dialog and sounds within the recording are highly detailed and clearly articulated throughout the course of the presentation. I think it sounds great.

Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: The Da Vinci Code Ultra HD Blu-ray
    Disc 2: The Da Vinci Code Blu-ray
    Disc 3: Bonus Features
  • (HD) NEW Launching a Legacy: Interviews with Tom Hanks, Ron Howard, Dan Brown and Brian Grazer about The Da Vinci Code
  • (HD) NEW First Look at Inferno
  • (HD) Deleted / Extended / Alternate Scenes
  • (HD) Select-Scene Commentary with Ron Howard
  • (HD) 17 Featurettes
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailers
  • Digital HD Copy

Final Thoughts:

The Da Vinci Code is an engaging and reasonably good thriller that is based on the controversial book of the same name by author Dan Brown. I think that Ron Howard and the cast did a credible job with the material, but the subject matter isn’t for everyone. It comes to Blu-ray in this Ultra HD Combo pack from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that features fair Ultra high definition video, complimentary Dolby Atmos sound, and a fan friendly supplemental package, which includes two brand new features, that provide a well-rounded look at the production, as well as offering a look at the upcoming release Inferno. Depending on how important incremental improvements to the video presentation and the inclusion of Dolby Atmos (both found on the Ultra HD version) are, this offering may or may not warrant purchase consideration. If possible I would suggest a rental first.

Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews

Reference Review System:

JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player
Samsung UBD-K8500 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
SVS SB-13 Ultra (Piano Gloss finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Ralph C. Potts
Blu-ray Reviewer
My Home Theater
Follow me on Twitter @RalphAVSreviews

Last edited by Ralph Potts; 10-18-2016 at 08:55 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 08:52 AM
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glad I never owned the no double dip here...

nice picture quality and solid ATMOS...worth having in UHD 4k if you dont already own it!

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post #3 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 10:26 AM
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I lean towards Ralph's opinion on the UHD vs BD. Its really only in the last 50 min of the film that the increased resolution is apparent. At that point I think its very obvious. I would give the UHD video higher marks though, I thinks its as good as some titles that have gotten higher marks. But the dark scenes just don't show it as well.
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post #4 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 11:47 AM
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Always enjoy the Uhd reviews top work.
I Get the 2 movies next week from they shipped.
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post #5 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 06:00 PM
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Awesome movie!

I just didn't like the way the blu-ray version looked on a 65" - soft and grainy looking.

I hope the UHD helps in this regard?
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post #6 of 8 Old 10-18-2016, 08:37 PM
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A warning to those who aren't familiar with the book or the movie: "inappropriate and offensive" means outright blasphemous to many Christians. (I am not one.)

Excellent direction and fine acting couldn't completely redeem the plot, which required a bit more willing suspension of disbelief than I could muster. (And I watch any number of fantasy and SF films.)

I doubt that I'll ever invest in a UHD/HDR copy, unless they start showing up in bargain bins.
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post #7 of 8 Old 10-19-2016, 06:32 AM
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I loved the book, but couldn't handle Hanks as the main actor. He's a great actor, but didn't fit the role.
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post #8 of 8 Old 10-22-2016, 11:49 AM
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Just seen it not the best Uhd movie out there in quality but i still enjoy the movie n its mystery. Angel n demons up next.
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