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Star Wars - Episode 1 DVD Comments

3584 Views 63 Replies 41 Participants Last post by  Jon S
I just received my Star Wars DVD last night and I forgot how visually appealing is the movie. The picture looked really good but the Dolby Digital sound was so awesome! Very enjoyable watching.
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I got mine last night after midnight and then watched it til the end of the pod race, which is when i could no longer keep my eyes open ;)

Anyway, i was very pleased with seeing this movie on the big screen, i too had forgotten how "visual" this movie was. Some of the scenes just popped off the screen almost, that's how 3D they looked. And the colors are all very nice and natural i think.

There was some SERIOUS ege enhancement going on here and there unfortunately. Normally i'm not that sensitive to it - i have to really look for it to see it in most cases - but with a few scenes in this movie it just jumped right out at me. Big fat halos. Fortunately it seems it's not consistent throughout the movie (or at least the part i've seen this far), it's just with some scenes that it gets this bad.

The extra footage that was editted into the movie did not disrupt the movie for me this far. I think it was very cool to get to see all the extra CG eyecandy of the pod race and Coruscant.

Overall i was very pleased and was drooling over the picture :)

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The anamorphic transfer is definitely a step up from the laserdisc, in resolution...but the edge enhancement is a pretty big detriment also. Given the choice, I will pop in the dvd before the laserdisc to demo my system for people...but there were tradeoffs in both the video and audio in these versions.
:( I was very dissapointed with the audio. Although there where some nice effects I thought the was something missing.

Especially bass seemed to be lacking. Even using more db wouldn't change things.......

Am I missing something here ? After all the positive reviews I was expecting much more.


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I too watched this DVD last night. I also watched the LD the night before so it was very clear in my mind for comparison.

The DVD does beat out the LD in resolution and lack of grain but that is the difference between LD and Anamorphic DVD. DVD will win every time with its greater color resolution and greater vertical resolution.

I would have to say that the black level was a bit better in the LD than the DVD. But this LD is considered one of if not the finest LD's ever produced.

I really didn't get distracted with EE though it does appear at times.

As far as the sound, I know this may bring on some comments...but I liked the DVD over the LD. The sound effects are "cleaner" and can be distuinguished better than the LD which seems to be so "pumped up" that it just sounds loud. There is less bass on the DVD than the LD but again I attribute this to the lower sound levels.

I weas not aware that there was extra footage on the DVD until I watched it which came as a pleasant surprise.

The 2nd DVD is chock full of extras and has what I consider the best 3D animated menus i have ever seen on a DVD. There are also some "funny" extras added if you don't respond fast enough to making a choice.

I will now be selling off my TPM LD as I do not see myself revisiting it again. Anyone interested can e-mail me or send me a message. I am willing to entertain any reasonable offer.

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I enjoyed the DVD. Last night I watched the documentary "The Beginning". It's very good!! I wish more DVDs had such great extras. I like the fact that you get to see the making of the film from the perspective of a fly on the wall rather than seeing studio tripe filler material. As for PQ, it could have been better, but I felt it was very good. Don't worry, we'll have a new version soon enough.

Thanks for listening to our petition Lucas! Just please get rid of the EE next time.
Sound effects with plenty of rear panning were very nice! Deep, tight bass but I have heard better: Vertical Limit, The Replacement Killers, The Fifth Element, SPR. And the forementioned movies also beat Star Wars in video quality hands down. Star Wars was grainier, with more edge enhancment and lower in resolution than many of my references. The video quality is not bad, I was just expecting more from the first SW DVD release and from THX. But THX has disappointed me before!
"All-New Hour-Long Documentary Film culled from over 600 hours of footage..."

You know what that means, right? A special edition of special will soon be there, probably with 4, 5, 6 and with 10 hours extra from rest of 599 hours...hahaa, anyway, I enjoy it.

Got it today, haven't watched it, go watch it now.
I just watched this disc today. I would say the picture is one of the best, but definitely not reference quality. I noticed film grain and also the edge enhancement in some scenes, which to me caused the scenes to appear to pop out as very digital as opposed to filmlike. Not so bad to be incredibly distracting though. The Dolby Digital EX was great too, but I've definitely heard much better - I thought the dialogue level was incredibly distracting too.

Last week I got The Mummy Returns DVD and was incredibly impressed with both the audio and video. I think this disc just replaced my previous reference quality (both video and Dolby Digital sound) which was The Fifth Element. I guess I was expecting The Phantom Menace to either equal or surpass The Mummy Returns in both video and audio, but it didn't come close. On the contrary, overall I think it's still one of the best DVD transfers I've seen out there.
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Okay folks, you gotta let me know if I'm nuts here, 'cause other than the great sound imaging/pinpointing, I think this has to be one of the most horrible, horrible discs I've ever owned (and I'm not talking about the script ;))!

Let me preface by saying I just started using a new DVD player this past weekend. The Panasonic RP56, which (while there are no overall reviews on the player yet from the Secrets folks), was reviewed quite favorably for it's progressive scan capabilities in the new progressive player Shootout .

My monitor is a month-old Tosh 50H71 HDTV that is still breaking in, but has been tweaked using both VE & Avia as well as a 56-pt convergence. Okay, on to the disc...

Simply horrible, horrible moire/jaggies and shimmers throughout the disc -- on buildings in Courescant (sp?), in the bleachers before the pod race, close up of control panels, the horizontal part of the stick holding the skinned "frog" that Jar Jar pops in his mouth at the Tatooine bazar, even on people! (check out the scene where Palpatine meets with Amadila in the room just after they land in Courescant. As he walks from right to left in front of her at the start of the scene, her face shimmers!). Is this all due to edge enhancement?

I found the colors are simply drab and pretty lifeless throughout and the damn thing just plain looks like it was shot on video, no filmlike quality to it at all! I know there's tons of digital effects and that parts of the film were shot digitally, but I gotta tell you, it may work on the big screen, but it ain't working at home for me. And yes, I know that Lucas has purposefully tried to make the whole Tatooine thing an "absence of color" with the beige's throughout, but it just didn't strike me as real life-like.

Now, I don't have a ton of experience with this player yet (it replaced a 1998 2nd gen interlaced Tosh DVD), but the RP56 has handled a ton of other material well that I've auditioned on it including Toy Story (except for a single 2-frame color jitter), Jurrasic Park, Fifth Element, Saving Private Ryan, Gladiator, Mummy Returns, A Bugs Life and of course Avia/VE and VE's excellent test programming.

Am I nuts here? Is it my player because this is a "demanding" disc? Or has anyone else noticed the distractions like I have? After the first quick viewing tonight, I was pretty disapointed.
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Anyone who's see alot of EE in this transfer has something wrong with their display system. 90% of this transfer has no EE whatsoever. Out of the other 10%...7% is very minimal, and I've seen worse than the other 3%.

For those that are seeing "EE hell" what are you using???

Also very little grain, smaller displays may not even see it!

The sound was one of the best STs I've ever heard, everything super clean and located with pin point accuracy! Bass was deep and forceful, and only when it should have been. (Bass heads won't be happy)

Experiencing this in my HT vs the commercial theater is a completely different feeling, and I must attribute that to the soundtrack, and being in the sweet spot. :)

This was one fun ride...way more than I expected!

System: NEC xg110lc, Radeon/ M-audio based HTPC, 80" screen, 6 12" subs in Mains, 400 watts per channel mains, 250 center & surr.
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Is it just me or do the pod races in the supplemental disc look better than in the movie? As far as the sound goes, one of the best in my collection.:)
I noticed quite enough EE to make it a bit annoying, at least when projected on my 96" screen. Otherwise I thought the transfer was pretty good. Good color balance, contrast and very little noise. For me it was really the EE that made some of the wide shots (such as the ground troups) not very clear. Unfortunately, these are the scenes it was used the most.

I'm surprised anyone finds the bass lacking in this DVD, unless we're not including the LFE channel. One of the things that stood out for me was the extensive use of this channel. In fact I even had to turn down my bass shakers from their usuall setting! The roar of ships flying by, the tanks, the light saber fights or anytime the force was used in a fight scene was all phenomenal. I never heard the LD, but can't imagine wanting more bass than this.

The first thing I noticed was that the overall DD sound was lower than most DVD's, so I did need to crank it up a bit and still the dialog could have been a tad higher. For now this DVD will do fine until the superbit version comes out with DTS :).

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Just got the DVD today. My god! Is the edge enhancement bad!!!


(The pixellation is caused by my camera and JPEG compression, but the ringing is still pretty dramatic and obvious.)

Are you guys seeing this too? What was George Lucas thinking?? Or does it not look so bad on a regular TV instead of a front projector?

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Gertan and Tony
I've posted a more thorough review at The Spot. But, I must strongly disagree with the above. EE severely handicaps 100% of this transfer. And if you're not seeing it either your display is small enough to be VERY forgiving, you are useing an lcd projector or similar device that tends to mask EE, the blue crt in your RPTV is defocused thus masking it as well, or your player has substantial roll-off.

As noted above the deleted scenes offer a vast improvement in video quality over the feature presentation itself, as they contain virtually no EE whatsoever. Affording the image not only improved depth and clarity that is never fully realized in the feature itself, but also a more resolved level of fine detail. If the transfer looked as good as the deleted scenes, I would have no complaints. But, I haven't seen EE this bad since Die Hard with a Vengeance.

My video components: Mitsubishi 65" 16:9 HD RPTV, EAD Theatervision P progressive player, BetterCables Silver Serpent component interconnects.

By the way, the soundtrack gave my dual SVS subs a very nice workout too. Though, I have never heard the ld, I didn't find the bass lacking in the least as far as depth and quantity of output.

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I'll also agree that the level of the DD recording was low and so was the dialog. I solved the dialog problem by turning off dialog norm on my Meridian processor. The picture was very soft in many scenes (although colors and black level did look nice), and EE was everywhere!

But I'll state again: given the high expectation of SW I on DVD, and with THX processing, I would have expected reference quality from this DVD. Sadly it just isn't there.
Yup...lots of it.Visible on my 28 inch as well.The soundtrack was very good though,in my opinion and bass didn't seem to be a problem.There was actually too much for me and i had to turn down the bass.But then again i've got 5 (250watt) subs in my system.The dialouge was a tad low as well forcing me to turn up the volume in the centre channel.The bonus disc was great,but i was told there are allot of easter eggs in this DVD and try as i might i couldn't find any.Anyone got the answer with a link to the info?Lastly i'm a movie freak and have been for 25 of my 35 years and in all that time i've never wanted to see a movie again right after viewing it,but i couldn't help myself and watched it right after viewing it once.I've never done that till now!So there has got to be allot of positive things to say about this one.
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Originally posted by coug7669
Is it just me or do the pod races in the supplemental disc look better than in the movie? As far as the sound goes, one of the best in my collection.:)
Sadly, you're correct! :(


Li On
I just watched this flick and found the sound to be totally insane! :eek:

Bass seems to go very low in frequency reach (Bjorn, have you measured it yet?) and, boy...is there impact galore (but yet in occasions like this one is when I wish I had horn speakers like Dave600's)!

The SVS 46/16 OCTET subwoofers literally shook the whole house playing at reference levels; air moving capabilities are such that I not only felt my shirt's sleeves flop and flutter under the pressure being generated, but caused things not glued, tied, or nailed down to drop and fall down from their perches, while the concrete floor experiencing a miniature earthquake! I nearly soiled my shorts...

Bass quantity and low end reach (apparently dropping below 20 Hz by a good marging) are simply awesome (too bad I don't have the LD, though; I think that it would make quite an interesting exercize in direct comparisons).

The surround sound is as busy and detailed as anyone can wish for. One of the best sound mixes around; is definitely of reference caliber.

My take on the image? Well...I leave that for another time... :p

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