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post #1 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 12:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Interstellar Ultra HD Blu-ray Review



Check out our review of the Ultra HD Blu-ray release of this epic sci-fi adventure from director Christopher Nolan, that tells the story of a team of explorers that undertake the most important mission in human history; traveling beyond this galaxy to discover whether mankind has a future among the stars.




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

Film:

Extras:


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

97



Details:

Studio and Year: Paramount - 2014
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 168 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Adventure/Drama

Disc Format: BD-100
Encoding: HEVC
Video Aspect: 2.40:1/1.78:1
Resolution: 2160p/24

Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Mackenzie Foy, Casey Affleck, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, Topher Grace
Directed by: Christopher Nolan
Music by: Hans Zimmer
Written by:Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan
Region Code: A,B,C

Release Date: December 19, 2017


"Mankind’s next step will be our greatest"


My Take:

I reviewed Interstellar’s 2015 Blu-ray release, and have included my comments from that review here. Ratings for film, audio, and bonus content will be the same, as they are identical to that release. New comments and ratings for the Ultra HD video are below.

From director Christopher Nolan (Inception, The Dark Knight trilogy) comes the story of a team of pioneers undertaking the most important mission in human history. Set in the near future, crop blight has caused civilization to regress into a failing agrarian society. Former NASA pilot Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) lives on and maintains a working farm with his, 10-year-old daughter Murphy, 15-year-old son Tom, and father-in-law Donald. Murphy who is extremely bright and close to her father, believes her room is haunted by a “ghost” that is trying to communicate with her. What they discover at the heart of the matter is a gravitational anomaly that when examined reveals binary coordinates that direct them to a secret NASA installation led by Professor John Brand.

Brand reveals that a wormhole, potentially created by an alien intelligence, has opened near Saturn and leads to new planets in another galaxy that may offer hope for survival. NASA's "Lazarus missions" have identified three potentially habitable worlds: “Miller”, “Edmunds”, and “Mann”, named after the astronauts who left earth to survey them, orbiting a supermassive black hole they have named Gargantua. Professor Brand recruits Cooper to pilot the spacecraft Endurance, and along with scientists Dr. Brand (Prof. Brand’s daughter) and Dr. Romilly, set out on a mission to recover the astronauts' data; if one of the planets is habitable, humanity will follow on space stations.

This is the basis for the story of Interstellar. Co-written by director Christopher Nolan and brother Jonathan Nolan, Interstellar is far from what you might consider your average sci-fi film. Epic in scope and narrative this is a multi-genre experience that at least for me, required more than one viewing to thoroughly digest. I saw it in the theater with my family and came away from it feeling as though I hadn’t fully gleaned its elements. Not so after this second viewing. I love the story which to me as its heart is truly about the love between a father and his daughter. Aside from that remains the texture of the narrative’s body which an intelligently crafted story with enriching elements of adventure that revolve around a science based foundation. I appreciated the incorporation of the historical reference to the Dust Bowl and thought that it worked quite well in the plot’s construct.

Meant to be thought inspiring but not preachy, Christopher Nolan’s typical approach to filmmaking, enhanced by visual expression, is fully realized as the world of Interstellar has a tangible aesthetic that is captivating thanks to outstanding production elements and spot on direction. Underscoring the film’s sci-fi/adventure is an emotional center which is a derivative of the fundamentally rich character design which flows through the performances of the ensemble. I wouldn’t say that I am a big Matthew McConaughey fan but I generally tend to enjoy his films. I think that he has come into his own as a dramatic actor and his performance here is another example of that. Mackenzie Foy (10 year old Murphy) stole every scene she was in and wound up as my favorite character in the film.

Interstellar reaches for the stars and doesn’t always hit its mark, but it’s a marvelous film experience that warms the heart and excites the senses. I look forward to sitting down with it again.


Replay Value:


Parental Guide:

The rating is for some intense perilous action and brief strong language.


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:
  • DSU Rating * (non-rated element):



UHD Presentation: 100
(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

Interstellar comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Paramount Home Distribution featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 66 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 3.8 Mbps.

For its presentation in Ultra HD, Interstellar was derived from a mix of 35/70mm IMAX film sources, and rendered from a 4K DI.

This video presentation incorporates two different aspect ratios, 2.40:1 and 1.78:1, to incorporate the sequences that were shot using IMAX cameras. Both have been integrated here with some scenes/sequences having one AR and the next the other. The result doesn’t infringe upon fidelity or interrupt the visual flow of the movie in any way.

This is an excellent Ultra HD presentation that looks great on my large screen. This is a sci-fi/drama, set in the future, that features elements that make use of rich, earth toned colors, boldly applied contrast, and a distinctive visual aesthetic. With a discernible increase in detail and emboldened highlights the UHD image appears noticeably detailed and vivid when compared to the 1080p version. The IMAX shots look terrific throughout the presentation. The sequences around the Cooper farm, like the one where Coop and the kids chase down the drone, or later at the ball field, show off the video’s superb combination of color and fidelity.

The use of sepia is beautifully reproduced, while whites and grays appear gradational and vibrant. In chapter 9, the wide-angle shots of the Endurance making its approach to the wormhole and then venturing through it, look terrific, as the deep, interstitial blacks, sepia tones, and flashes of brilliant light show off the spot-on application of HDR.

The wide color gamut and crisp, bright, imagery, enrich the sense of realism when looking at differing environs, whether lit by natural or artificial lighting. Examples can be seen during the launch sequence, followed by the beautiful shots of the Endurance approaching Saturn, illuminated by the Sun’s touch. Fleshtones are on the pallid side, while appearing predominantly lifelike, and falling in line with the film’s overall aesthetic. I found the IMAX footage of the terrain on Dr. Mann’s frozen planet to be among my favorites. The rendering of detail is excellent, as the finest minutia in the film’s variety of textures, as seen in the Cooper home, on the ship’s interiors, or in the landscapes, on Earth or beyond, are reproduced with stark realism.

This Ultra HD presentation is marvelous, adding a lustrous visual element to the experience of watching Interstellar. Ultra HD renderings like this should give fans contemplating the switch to an Ultra HD capable set up, the nudge they need.

I often hear from enthusiasts who rate the quality of movie soundtracks by the amount and depth of the bass it produces. There are select titles that are considered to be the “go to” for reference quality bass. I suspect that after experiencing this lossless 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack there will be a new addition among them as this presentation rocked, literally. The film’s opening moment features a flash of a nightmare where Cooper is involved in an aircraft crash. It is abrupt but jarring as it provides a glimpse of the soundtrack’s dynamic range and deep, authoritative bass. Later during the crew’s liftoff headed toward boarding The Endurance the room literally comes alive with rich, tactile, low frequency energy.

As they approach for docking the short bursts of the engines thrusters in the silence of outer space result in ostensible LFE thumps that sound and feel great. The response in my room during several sequences attained infrasonic depths that could easily be classified as skin tingling. A few that stood out other than those mentioned are the entering of the wormhole, entering Miller’s atmosphere/landing, Cooper and Gargantua. Bass heads will have a great time with this one.


In addition to the noteworthy bass response this is an active sound design that makes great use of the entire surround platform. The surround mix eschews prominent use of discrete effects in favor of extending the soundstage via atmospherics/ambient related effects that envelope and revolve around the listening position. It generates a sound field that is aurally stimulating as you are transported into the events onscreen. Hans Zimmer’s beautiful music score is a perfect mate for the spirit of the film as it is often blended with action sequences and sounds superb.

Occasionally I found myself struggling to hear dialog especially when blended with an active sequence shared by effects and music. In all other respects I didn’t have any issue with dialogue perceptibility although frankly it could have been mixed to a more prominent position overall. Otherwise I had nothing to complain about and found this audio mix to be engaging and primarily what I recalled from its theatrical presentation.



Bonus Features:
  • Disc 1: Interstellar Ultra HD Blu-ray
  • Disc 2: Interstellar Blu-ray
  • Disc 3: Interstellar Bonus Features
  • (HD) The Science of Interstellar—Extended cut of the broadcast special – 50 minutes
  • (HD) Plotting an Interstellar Journey—Discusses the film’s origins, influences and narrative designs – 7 minute featurette
  • (HD) Life on Cooper’s Farm—Bringing Americana and the grounded nature of a farm to a sci-fi space movie – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Dust—Learn how cast and crew avoided sand blindness, and see how to create, and clean up after, a catastrophic dust storm – 2 minute feature
  • (HD) TARS and CASE—Designing and building these unique characters and how they were brought to life on set and in the film – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Cosmic Sounds—The concepts, process, and recording of Hans Zimmer’s unforgettable score – 13 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Space Suits—A look at the design and build of the suits and helmets, and what it was like to wear them – 4 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Endurance—Explore this massive set with a guided tour by production designer Nathan Crowley – 9 minute featurette
  • (HD) Shooting in Iceland: Miller’s Planet/Mann’s Planet—Travel with the cast and crew to Iceland and see the challenges they faced in creating two vastly different worlds in one country – 12 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Ranger and the Lander—A look at the other two spaceships in the film – 12 minute featurette
  • (HD) Miniatures in Space—Marvel at the large-scale models used in the explosive docking sequence – 5 minute featurette
  • (HD) The Simulation of Zero-G—Discover the various methods that the filmmakers used to create a zero gravity environment – 5 minute featurette
  • (HD) Celestial Landmarks—Explore how the filmmakers used practical special effects informed by real scientific equations to give the illusion of real space travel for both the actors and the audience – 13 minute featurette
  • (HD) Across All Dimensions and Time—A look at the concept and design of the Tesseract, which incorporated a practical set rather than a green screen – 9 minute featurette
  • Final Thoughts—The cast and crew reflect back on their Interstellar experience – 6 minutes
  • (HD) Theatrical Trailers
  • Digital HD Copy



Final Thoughts:

From visionary director Christopher Nolan, Interstellar is an epic, multi-genre piece that rewards via an intelligently crafted screenplay, outstanding production value and excellent performances. It may not be wholly gratifying to everyone, but it’s a marvelous film experience that is capable of warming the heart and exciting the senses. Speaking of exciting the senses Interstellar comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Combo Pack from Paramount Home Distribution featuring top notch video quality, excellent lossless sound, and a comprehensive supplemental package. If you’re a fan of Interstellar and are set up for Ultra HD Blu-ray, this is a must have for your collection.





Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews



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post #2 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 12:26 PM
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Thank you for the review Ralph!

I pre-ordered this a while back and look forward to seeing this film again in 4K. After reading your review of the video I am sure that this will be a welcome addition to my movie collection.

I expect to get this next week along with Dunkirk.
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post #3 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Potts View Post

Occasionally I found myself struggling to hear dialog especially when blended with an active sequence shared by effects and music. In all other respects I didn’t have any issue with dialogue perceptibility although frankly it could have been mixed to a more prominent position overall. Otherwise I had nothing to complain about and found this audio mix to be engaging and primarily what I recalled from its theatrical presentation.

I remember reading that Nolan actually wanted this effect! Some moments he wanted us to be caught up in the chaos and not be able to actually understand what's going on and being said!
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post #4 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 01:17 PM
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Curious if they fixed the elevated black scenes. Most noticeably the scene where the ship passes Saturn. The original blu ray version, the blackness of space is more milky grey than black when viewing on an OLED tv.

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If you're a man who has a daughter and you can keep it together through this entire movie, you're not human.

"Because my dad promised me."

Lost it.

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Wow. Superb review Ralph. Fully pumped up for Nolan's collection. Do you know if the dialog levels and ULF clipping issues have been fixed?

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post #7 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 02:41 PM
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Wow. Superb review Ralph. Fully pumped up for Nolan's collection. Do you know if the dialog levels and ULF clipping issues have been fixed?

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From what I've heard, if you stay above -20dB, you're good. It's when you get close to reference that clipping becomes an issue, and that's WAY too loud for me.

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If you're a man who has a daughter and you can keep it together through this entire movie, you're not human.

"Because my dad promised me."

Lost it.
+1 What a powerful movie.

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Thank you for the review Ralph!

I pre-ordered this a while back and look forward to seeing this film again in 4K. After reading your review of the video I am sure that this will be a welcome addition to my movie collection.

I expect to get this next week along with Dunkirk.
Me too. Thanks for the review Ralph.
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post #10 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgans316 View Post
Wow. Superb review Ralph. Fully pumped up for Nolan's collection. Do you know if the dialog levels and ULF clipping issues have been fixed?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erod View Post
From what I've heard, if you stay above -20dB, you're good. It's when you get close to reference that clipping becomes an issue, and that's WAY too loud for me.
Greetings,

It's the same audio encode found on the original Blu-ray release lgans316. Erod offers "sound" advice about listening levels. Sorry, couldn't resist.


Regards,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wxman View Post
Curious if they fixed the elevated black scenes. Most noticeably the scene where the ship passes Saturn. The original blu ray version, the blackness of space is more milky grey than black when viewing on an OLED tv.
Also curious.
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I'm not surprised, yet very happy to see the video get a 100 rating. This is one of my favorite films and I've been waiting impatiently for the 4k version to come out. Next week can't get here soon enough. I'm looking forward to the whole Nolan collection, but this was my most anticipated title.
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post #13 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 04:25 PM
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Loved this film, but I'm a fan of all Nolan's films. A must buy for me. I've been buying 4K movies in these combo packs expecting my 10 year old plasma to fail at some point and giving away my old BRD only discs to friends. 27 4K's so far. Glad to see 4K's releasing along side the BRD copies on new films so it's only on the older films being re-worked and that I'm interested in that I take the hit to wallet for the double dip. I went to Walmart to pick up the final (I hope) POTC on just BRD, but the 4K & BRD combo pack was only 3 or 4 dollars more!
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Does the blu-ray in this pack have the same video transfer as the original blu-ray or is it an improved version?
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post #15 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 07:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Does the blu-ray in this pack have the same video transfer as the original blu-ray or is it an improved version?
Greetings,

Yes, its the same as the original Blu-ray release.


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post #16 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 08:57 PM
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Thanks Ralph! And not to stray off topic, but does that also apply to the new Batman Trilogy? I'd like to get a better blu-ray version, but haven't taken the plunge into a 4K projector yet. Thanks again for the great review(s)!!
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post #17 of 114 Old 12-14-2017, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erod View Post
If you're a man who has a daughter and you can keep it together through this entire movie, you're not human.

"Because my dad promised me."

Lost it.
Haven't seen the movie in a while and I now have a 3+ month old daughter (first child) so I'll see how your challenge goes.
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The Nolan box just keeps looking better and better
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Nolan is a treasure man, excellent movies.
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post #20 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 12:12 AM
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Since you're emphazising on the sound so much:
Does the sound mix on the UHD BD differ from that on the regular BD in an way?

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So far I've noticed no difference between the BRD's in the 4K combo packs and the individual issues I had. I suspect if they were to do new transfers or something like that they would toot their horn about it on the packaging.
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Quote:
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Since you're emphazising on the sound so much:
Does the sound mix on the UHD BD differ from that on the regular BD in an way?
Greetings,

As stated in my review (as well as asked and answered in this thread), the audio encode is the same one found on the original release.


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post #23 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 06:53 AM
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If you're a man who has a daughter and you can keep it together through this entire movie, you're not human.

"Because my dad promised me."

Lost it.
Ditto. Multiple times too. I get sad simply by thinking about it. I loved this movie.

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post #24 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 11:53 AM
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If you're a man who has a daughter and you can keep it together through this entire movie, you're not human.

"Because my dad promised me."

Lost it.
agreed, I remember the scene when he gets back to the ship from the water world and now his little girl is all grown up and all I could think about was missing my little girls entire life....lost it.

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post #25 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 02:03 PM
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WOW. A full 100 (!) % score by Ralph Potts.. Now isn't that a rare sight!


Interstellar on regular 8 bit SDR 1080p bit709 blu-ray is still among my top 5 best-ever blu-rays for picture quality; being only surpassed by movies that have a huge advantage; 4K,HDR,WCG,10bit... like Transformers 5: LK, Planet Earth II and Pacific Rim.


So I can only imagine the UHD release of Interstellar is nothing less than spectacular and easily one of the best looking movies out there!
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post #26 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 02:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SnellTHX View Post
WOW. A full 100 (!) % score by Ralph Potts.. Now isn't that a rare sight!


Interstellar on regular 8 bit SDR 1080p bit709 blu-ray is still among my top 5 best-ever blu-rays for picture quality; being only surpassed by movies that have a huge advantage; 4K,HDR,WCG,10bit... like Transformers 5: LK, Planet Earth II and Pacific Rim.


So I can only imagine the UHD release of Interstellar is nothing less than spectacular and easily one of the best looking movies out there!

Greetings,

Hope you enjoy it!


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post #27 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 04:34 PM
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Looking forward to this. Inception and Dunkirk will also be in my collection. Maybe The Prestige as well. I need to think about the Batman series if I really want to double dip on those. But this is a very powerful movie and I loved every second of it. I can't wait to check this out. Emotional on many levels. Can't wait to see how good it looks, even though I have a small screen.
P.S I fully understand how people with children feel when they watch this movie, but I got the emotional reaction the first time I saw it. To me, when he is in the ship, watching his daughter saying now would be a good time for you to come back was equally powerful. It's just a great film all around.

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post #28 of 114 Old 12-15-2017, 05:01 PM
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I just bought a new 4k uhd player. Not sure if this is ok to ask here but I am new at buying dvds. Where will I get the best price or does anyone have a favorite ordering source? I do have a Walmart but I am assuming the source is like Amazon? I have no real collections since for me once I see a movie I am more or less done but I like the idea of having some 4K movies to show off my new big screen 4k UHD TV. I pull out my LOTR every once in a while for instance.
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post #29 of 114 Old 12-16-2017, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by kauaidoug View Post
I just bought a new 4k uhd player. Not sure if this is ok to ask here but I am new at buying dvds. Where will I get the best price or does anyone have a favorite ordering source? I do have a Walmart but I am assuming the source is like Amazon? I have no real collections since for me once I see a movie I am more or less done but I like the idea of having some 4K movies to show off my new big screen 4k UHD TV. I pull out my LOTR every once in a while for instance.
Do you have any place near you that sells used DVDs, Blurays, 4k, etc? If you're buying more for demo matrial that might be a good way to pick some 4k's up.
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post #30 of 114 Old 12-16-2017, 03:07 PM
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Thanks Ralph!

Once again you have succeeded in "whetting my appetite" for another UHD release. And once again I may have to deal with the infamous WAF for "Double-dipping!"

My only regret in this release is that there won't be an Atmos or DTS:X audio mix.
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