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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Greetings,


I would like to take a moment to introduce myself. There are some who know me here at AVS but there are many who don't. I have been a member here since 2002 and until last week my user name was "placidman".


I have been writing about and reviewing A/V gear in one form or another since 1999. In late 2006 I began reviewing DVD and then Blu-ray disc. I don't claim to be an expert in the field of film making, cinematography, sound design, and the like. I do know my equipment and my room. I have had plenty of hands on experience with various A/V hardware and software. I am confident in my ability to know the differences that can exist between them.


Like all of you I love this hobby and I love movies. It is my job to provide the membership here with my impressions of the overall quality of the software that I am reviewing. That would include an overview of the audio, video, bonus content (if any), and the film itself. This is so that you have a good idea of how this film will look and sound (depending somewhat on your system configuration), its bonus content and my thoughts on it as a movie in general.


The template/system that I use is one that I have been using for some time now. I think that it provides a quick synopsis of the above along with a straight forward layout. I don't have a degree in technical writing but I try to present it using descriptive enough terminology so that it drives home the point I am making. I have received some very nice comments from some of the members and it is much appreciated. I also welcome any feedback good or bad as long as it is constructive and in proper form. I try to be accurate in my writing but from time to time I make mistakes. If you notice something please bring it to my attention and I will look at it and address any errors.


I will not tolerate any posts that are attacking in nature either against myself or another member. Please refer to the site rules regarding posting etiquette.


I have noticed that some feel very strongly about films that they like and any negative reporting regarding those films can sometimes be taken personally. Please keep in mind that I will report my findings and make every attempt to do that from an objective stand point. If you disagree with a review there is nothing wrong with that as everyone is entitled to an opinion and I respect that.


I set up an alphabetized database in this section which will remain stuck at the top. This listing will contain links to all the reviews which will help members locate reviews that are no longer on the front page.

**Film ratings and Scoring:**

I have received a few inquiries regarding film ratings and the total audio/video rating in the reviews. I rate films by genre. In my opinion lumping all films into one rating category would not be appropriate or practical. This is why I include the genre category in the reviews. The score which is located in color at the top of the review is not reflective of the film itself but only of its technical merits (audio/video quality). If you look at the score it indicates in parenthesis Total Audio/Video rating. The film rating is subjective which is why I don't factor it into the scoring. I feel that we all have varying tastes so it would be unfair to calculate that into the overall quality rating of a video review.


I have no agreement with the studios releasing Blu-ray Discs other than to cover the titles sent to me. I am not compensated by them. I will report my findings both good and bad. To date I have never been contacted by a studio or its representative to complain about the content of a review. As an AVS member and Blu-ray reviewer I have an obligation to be as accurate as possible in my reporting. I take that responsibility very seriously.


I am excited to be here in this capacity and I thank David for his confidence and trust. I look forward to seeing all of you and I hope to help you make good decisions when choosing which Blu-ray discs to add to your collection.




Thanks for listening.



Best regards,
 

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I'm a new member but this is the reason I love this forum - so much good information. Thanks for taking the time to do this - I particularly liked your review of Saawariya (a movie I didn't like, incidentally) because it gave me such a different perspective. I look forward to your reviews.
 

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Ralph!


You're the man! Thus far, your blu ray reviews have been excellent!

I hope that everyone else recognizes your contribution to the website!


All the best to you!


Regards!
 

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love your work.....any chance of adding if the title is region free and will play in playstations down under (aussie)

we are being starved with very little release's down here.
 

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I'm happy to see the reviews being posted. One thing I would like to encourage is not to rate everything so high. Sure BD looks beautiful, but with 100 a/v points to distribute, if all the titles are being scored in the 80's and 90's then it's hard to differentiate quality. I'd much rather see the titles spread out over the spectrum more evenly. So a rating of 0-10 should be given to the poorer looking titles, even though they still may look fantastic by DVD standards.
 

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FANTASTIC reviews!


Thanks Ralph.

When there comes a time to buy a Blu Ray, your reviews will be my main resource for eye-candy.


Thanks again!
 

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Ralph- I noticed in your reviews that you comment on the data-transfer rate of the disc. Could you please go into more detail in an upcoming post on why you include this info, what the typical and maximum capability of Blu-ray is in this area, and how you feel this correlates (if at all) to the quality of the audio/video presentation. I've noticed wildly different transfer rates between various Blu-ray titles and it seems to have little bearing on the quality of the final result (IMHO). Thanks,. Lon
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by facesnorth /forum/post/13857356


I'm happy to see the reviews being posted. One thing I would like to encourage is not to rate everything so high. Sure BD looks beautiful, but with 100 a/v points to distribute, if all the titles are being scored in the 80's and 90's then it's hard to differentiate quality. I'd much rather see the titles spread out over the spectrum more evenly. So a rating of 0-10 should be given to the poorer looking titles, even though they still may look fantastic by DVD standards.

Greetings,


Thanks very much to everyone for their input and comments. It is much appreciated.


facesnorth,


The reviews posted here so far (with the exception of Butch Cassidy) had been previously written and posted prior to my coming over to AVS. I re-published them here and as it happens they are of high quality and rated as such. I will take what you point out into consideration over the next couple of reviews and see how things shake out. Thanks !

Quote:
I wish you the best of luck. I've read afew of your reviews and they seem very thorough and objective.


I think your work will be extremely valuable and appreciated.


Will you keep an archived area of past reviews after release ?


Art

Art,


There will be an alphabetized database thread in this section which will contain direct links to the reviews. This will make them easier to find once they are no longer on the first page.


Quote:
love your work.....any chance of adding if the title is region free and will play in playstations down under (aussie)

we are being starved with very little release's down here.

falconba,


Thanks you for mentioning the inclusion region encoding. I will begin to include that info in my next review. I won't be able to say for sure whether it will play in your PS3 but I will include the data from the rear of the disc.




Best regards,
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by lont12 /forum/post/13857649


Ralph- I noticed in your reviews that you comment on the data-transfer rate of the disc. Could you please go into more detail in an upcoming post on why you include this info, what the typical and maximum capability of Blu-ray is in this area, and how you feel this correlates (if at all) to the quality of the audio/video presentation. I've noticed wildly different transfer rates between various Blu-ray titles and it seems to have little bearing on the quality of the final result (IMHO). Thanks,. Lon

Greetings,


Great question Lon. I include the data transfer rate for both audio and video because I feel that this information may be pertinent to some readers. The issue of lower bitrates have a definitive impact on fideility is something I have yet to determine for sure.


I have seen some lower bitrate video encodings that exhibited minor blocking and mosquito type video noise. I can't positively attribute that to the encoding's lower bitrate but the link is strong. I have seen bitrates ranging from 9 mbps up to 40 mbps. It has been my experience that the majority of the "reference" high definition video presentations have had average bitrates starting in the 22 to 23 mbps and higher ranges. I can't say that is gospel but that is a solid starting point. The bitrates ebbs and flows during the film but those that maintain numbers in those areas and up generally have not had symptoms related to bit starvation.


Lower transfer rates for audio encodings is something that I am still comparing. For example, the bitrate for the Dolby TrueHD soundtrack of Untraceable was 1.4 mbps. The Dolby TrueHD mix on Youth without Youth had an average bitrate of 3.6 mbps. These are essentially both dialog driven films but both have dynamically potential elements within the mix. There was a distinct and measureable (I'm sure) difference in these two mixes. The Youth without youth mix sounded cleaner, deeper, and livelier (for lack of a better word) that Untraceable. Is this due to the higher bitrate? I can't say because there are other variables that could explain it I guess. I will begin to compare some of these and see if there is any real patterns.


I am not an expert Lon but I hope that I have at least provided some useful information in response to your question.



Cheers,
 

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Ralph, great to have you doing reviews for AVS. Loved reading your reviews at the Spot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by horrorfan2112 /forum/post/13858454


Hiya Ralph, Nice to see you again. LOL....

Greetings,


Same to you Ray. Hope to see more of you around here...




Best,
 
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