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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


Checked Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within DVD last night. NOT reference quality IMO. Picture has a fine grain look and detail is lacking. Bit rate is VERY low at around 4Mbps. Also EE in many scenes. Check this image:

http://lion.telhope.com/~lion/temp/ffee.jpg


Audio is quite good with SUPER HEAVY BASS FROM START TO END!!! You BASS FREAK should be VERY HAPPY!!!


regards,


Li On
 

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Nooooo!!! I was really looking forward to this. Thanks for posting the early screenshot.


Soft with EE, looks like the usual Col/Tri effort. Also shows that a 'direct digital' transfer doesn't solve these issues, like some people falsly assumed.


Oh well. It looks more and more like i am anticipating a Superbit version on every Col/Tri release :(


Thanks again,

Bjoern
 

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oh no!!!


the good part is the soundtrack as all sites report to be thunderous and bassy, which the film itself asks for ( the opposite would have surprised me). widescreenreview had a tiny concern when playing the disc as dialnorm was again screwed up but not much (2dB).


but EE, grain, softness? ouch!


considering the movie has been a flop at the BO ($135M budget, $25M BO in the US?), C/T should have used the opportunity, especially since it's a 2 dvd set, to do a superbit on dvd 1 and the extra on dvd 2.


anyway, I'll get it too. I more and more love this movie.
 

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Question - what software did you use to check the bitrate?


Personally I'll wait for the R2 Japanese release anyway as the Japanese tend to maximize bitrate usage (about equivalent to superbit) for all their releases.


I am rather curious about the R1 though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Frode,


I kept the bitrate counter running in the upper right corner on the RA71 Panasonic player. The bitrate did go to 6-8Mbps from time to time but stay at around 3-4Mbps most of the time.


The screenshot was via WinDVD.


regards,


Li On
 

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4mb ps is simply not enough to produce reference quality. Had they made this a Superbit title, we'd all be blown away. But the film was a bomb, so I am not surprised they wouldn't go the distance and produce a 2 disc version.
 

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Li On,


The bitrate meters on DVD players are not good indications of bitrate. The sampling frequency is way too low to give reliable results. It's basically useless for anything except CBR encoded discs. Also - far more important than actual bitrate useage itself is the resulting quantization factor. With a good VBR encode you can have low bitrate, but very good quantization. Of course it can also go the other way round. If you can rip the DVD to disk then it's possible to use an advanced bitrate viewer such as the one found here - www.tecoltd.com . It' will give you much more reliable results.
 

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Wait, it's a 2 disc set with a low bit rate? OK, that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Are there extras on the movie disc?
 

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Check out this review at www.dvdtown.com - the reviewer gave this movie straight 10s, including PQ. I need to see this one for myself, like everyone else.


Here's a question - why have a bit rate counter on while you watch? Don't you trust your own eyes? Having the counter on will only bias you one way or the other - why not try and confirm what you see with the counter later - or maybe this is how it was done? Frode might me right - the counter might not be accurate.


Kind of disappointing - I find that the reviews on this forum are more accurate than the real reviewers' reviews. Peter Piper picked...


Cheers,


Grant
 

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I never look at a counter until I see the film first. I only break thatrule if the picture quality is either so good I wonder how the bit rate is (Terminator) or so bad, I wonder how it could be so terrible (Highlander).


High bit rates do not actually mean a clean transfer. I like the SHIRI 2 disc SE from Korea, which has a 16x9 transfer and a bit rate that averages 7mbps, but there is artifacting throughout and the image is nowhere near as stable as many other DVD's that average a 6 to 7mb bit rate.
 

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Quote:
Kind of disappointing - I find that the reviews on this forum are more accurate than the real reviewers' reviews.
For one thing, a lot of us here have:


1. Better equipment/gear.

2. Better equipment setup and tweaking.

3. Better knowledge--we know what to look for.

4. Are generally far more critical.


In the end, as critical as I am, I still enjoy movies for what they are. Especially when I watch the movie with friends who are generally oblivious to the finer points of the technical presentation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Grant Smyth
Here's a question - why have a bit rate counter on while you watch? Don't you trust your own eyes? Having the counter on will only bias you one way or the other - why not try and confirm what you see with the counter later - or maybe this is how it was done? Frode might me right - the counter might not be accurate.
As others said, I first watched the DVD WITHOUT the bitrate counter! Then I think the picture should be much better so I show the counter for more info. The Panasonic player counter change/update the display value around 3 times per second. IMO it's a pretty good sampling frequency. I've no experience with PC bitrate counter. One day if WinDVD/PowerDVD/ATI DVD has bitrate counter, that would be great.


From the DVD picture, it seems either Col/Tri purposely add film gain to the direct digital transfer or the transfer was actually from a film stock. On the other hand, I remember the movie looked super sharp, clean and detail when I watched it in a theater.


I like the movie as a fantasy story.


regards,


Li On
 

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Just finished watching this one. I agree the video presentation wasn't as amazingly detailed as it could have been, particularly considering the digital source. Still, it is far from being an overly soft transfer and was quite pleasing in this regard. I wonder if Columbia will start dumbing down their initial dvd releases, now that the superbit line is out, to qualify the repurchase of a later superbit release. That would be much more compelling for me than Universal's "Ultimate Editions". Though, I hope they don't stoop to that type of marketing strategy, ahd give us the goods the first time around.


I was dissappointed to see EE rear it's ugly face. Fortunately, most of the presentation appears to be relatively free of this inexcusable artifact.


Chad
 

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I knew that I was right and this movie looks bad. I was expecting Toy Story type of PQ but no where near, heck even regular film looks better. I can see lots of noise, or mosquito effect, or whatever its called but I can see it.

Regarding this forum having better reviewers I also think that since many members have FP systems its easier to see problems than it is with smaller displays. In my case many dvds I thought were reference quality when I saw them on my 36" Toshiba weren't that good when displayed at 8' wide.

Regards
 

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I got my Final Fantasy 2 days ago. I wouldn't say the transfer is bad, but its not really good, either.


This is a typical non-Superbit Col/Tri transfer and it shows:


- The picture is slightly soft, the improvement with a SB release would be identical to all the SB titles i have reviewed.

- EE. Usually, the 1.85:1 transfers from them have less EE than the 2.35:1 ones. But this one has at least as much as the usual 2.35:1 transfer from Col/Tri. Similar to the non-SB Crouching Tiger, to give you an idea.

- Heavy grain. Its obvious that this is rendered on purpose in post-production to give it a film look. I don't remember it being this strong in the theater, though, but its doubtful they deliberately increased it on the DVD release. It would have looked much better on a low resolution format like DVD, if they used the digital frames prior to adding grain for the transfer.

- This is mostly a dark movie. A strong amount of grain, especially in dark parts, increases the entropy considerably. This is turn means heavy MPEG artefacts, if the bitrate isn't high enough. And unfortunately, on this title, the bitrate is rather low, both peak (due to multiple soundtraks) and average (due to extras on the disc, although they could have placed on the second disc!). This yields heavy MPEG artefacts (blocking and mosquito noise) in a lot of scenes. My biggest complain about the transfer.


Its like the opposite of a Superbit transfer. Lets call it 'Bitstarve DVD'(TM) :laugh:


The nice part is that all the problems mentioned would be eliminated with a Superbit transfer:

- They open the detail throttle on SB discs, removing the slight softness.

- Less EE, see 5th Element.

- The higher bitrate would handle the grain much better, thus reducing the amount of MPEG artefacts considerably.


Ok, when is the SB version out ;)


This is by no means a 'bad' transfer. But it could have been much better.
 
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