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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
rather grainy. a little dark

and seeing some motion jutter.

I'm pretty sure it's not my player since I don't see it on other titles like this.

But pretty un-impressed with this title. Glad I only rented it.
 

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I haven't yet bought any of the Sopranos seasons. Is this HD version is not much better than the DVD's or is it just not the = of other HD-DVD's?


I was considering this one in HD, but it sounds like I may just end up with the DVD's and save some $.


Sopranos & Deadwood are on my wish list. Second season of Rome starts tonight, and the 1st season looked great on DVD.


ss9001
 

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I remember from watching on HBO HD that some episodes looked better than others. The opening montage always seemed blurry but some episodes looked really good once it got going. Maybe you need to sample a few episodes.
 

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Saw a "reference" quality review on one of the review sites. Bought it and it's very nice. Looks very good to me. Whenever saw the grain was not intrusive. However, because I think the sd versions are also very nice anamorphic widescreen, on my A1, I wouldn't go back and replace the sd versions with hd dvd versions.


Here's the review:

Video:

As long as I can remember, HBO has always delivered the best picture quality possible for all its DVD releases. I'm glad to report that that attention to quality has translated to HD-DVD as well. The video on this set is presented in 1080p anamorphic widescreen, measuring in at a ratio of 1.78:1, filling in the entire screen of a 16x9 widescreen TV. In terms of clarity and detail, "The Sopranos" is right up there with the best that HD-DVD has to offer, namely Peter Jackson's stunning "King Kong".


http://www.dvdtown.com/reviews/sopra...son6part1/4141
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Menoni /forum/post/0


I remember from watching on HBO HD that some episodes looked better than others. The opening montage always seemed blurry but some episodes looked really good once it got going. Maybe you need to sample a few episodes.

Opening montage was really the worst of the showing honestly.

I'm giving it a chance. But again it's a rental so I'm not worried too much about it. If I'd spent $99 bux on this i'd be wicked pissed. But overall not bad, I guess since I saw these episodes in HBO HDTV it's not a huge step like I expected.
 

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Well I don't know about the judder, but I remember people have always complained about the darkness and grain in the programming forum the last few seasons.


I don't own the HD-dvd (yet), but I've always thought HBO's presentation was some of the best film HD i've scene (along with their others series). It was never too dark for me though, but my tv is ISF calibrated.


Regarding the opening, the last season or so (might just be the last season) I noticed the credit font was extremely blurry. I didn't remember this from previous seasons though. When they redid the credits for the opening year they messed it up... while watching with friends I've always complained some intern was given this job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I rented it. Didn't buy it.

Yeah It's the worst season but it's the only on on HDDVD.
 

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And not mention what a rip-off at that price anyhow. Wish HBO would overhaul their pricing scheme.


Greg
 

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It looked fine, it doesn't have the "pop" of some modern movies but there was definitely a decent amount of detail. As for the grain, well thats intended, it sets the mood.


The only thing that was lacking was the intro which was noticeably softer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by azmodien /forum/post/0


It looks significantly better than the broadcast version.


What did you want?

Actually it doesn't look that different from the broadcast version I saw on HBOHD.

but after watching it more the intro is what was skewing me more than anything else
 

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Quote:
Un-impressed with Sopranos HD-DVD

rather grainy.

Errrm - wasn't the film stock this was shot on grainy?


You wouldn't want them to Noise Reduce it and introduce all sorts of Temporal NR artefacts, surely? Besides, most HDTVs have that as a video processing option anyway...
 

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I think that Season 6 was shot with HD camera's which would explain the background noise that is prevalent on darker painted walls. Also, posterization is a big problem as well on Season 6. It is a big improvement over DVD, but it isn't a reference video presentation at all. Maybe 4 out of 5. The audio though is extremely well done with great ambiance, especially the scenes in "The Bing" with the muffled sounds of the strip club in the backgrounds. Extremely lifelike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I've watched a few episodes now.

It's better than originally thought.

Most of the PQ problem was the intro anyway.
 

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My review which I posted on Amazon:


The Audio


Audio is in Dolby Digital Plus and is sublime. As a drama series, dialogue is paramount and every syllable can be clearly discerned. Tony's signature laboured breathing comes through crystal clear. Background dialogue adds atmosphere and sounds like actual conversation, not just noise.


Surround information is not a strong point of this series, however, when needed it is there. In episode 2 the helicopter (of Tony's subconscious) utilizes all channels to great effect.


A strong point in the series is it's use of modern classic music. This is used to great effect and on the HD-DVD release is output evenly through all channels. The music here is better than any SA-CD or DVD-A I have heard and really gets me excited as to the possibility of music through the new format.


The Picture


I am a big fan of television on DVD having collected many series. That said, I am usually disappointed with the transfers afforded television series. Most suffer from artefacts due to over-compression to fit as many episodes on a disc as possible. So with that in mind I'll discuss the bad first.


There is some moiré effect in the background of some scenes. Early in the first episode I had one instance of a freeze which put the audio out of sync. Pausing and un-pausing fixed this and I could not replicate this effect so rather than blame the set, I suspect it is one of those bugs that comes with early technology and Gen 1 machines. There is some grain in the image, however, given the previous season's, this is an intentional decision on the makers part (it will be interesting to see what the advent of HD in the home will do to this practice as it is not very HD friendly). At one stage on the first episode the Picture quality faulted for a period of about ¼ of a second where in a dark scene it became almost SD standard. This was very quick but noticeable.


Now for the good, and boy is it good. The detail is spectacular (almost too good - these guys are getting on in age, and they never were the most attractive people, and that hole in Tony's stomach - I though it looked bad before but this is truly disgusting). I have never seen TV look this good - not even the so called HD broadcasts of these very same episodes on Australian TV came close to this. Most of the action is in the foreground of this series and as such the detail in background shots is not as sharp as some film releases, however, when the background is relevant all that detail comes back. Again I think this is a conscious decision on the makers part to keep the focus up close and on the characters.


Final Thoughts


Is this release perfect - no, it has some slight issues that could be improved upon. Was it worth getting in HD - absolutely. Even at a premium price over the SD release I will happily pick up more of my favourites on HD-DVD. Universal has given a tentative commitment to Battlestar Galactica on HD-DVD, BBC has stated a HD-DVD release of Torchwood is in the works (which means we will probably also see Dr Who as well). MGM has hinted at a release of Stargate: Atlantis on Blu-ray and I would highly suspect the 2 new SG-1 movies (in lieu of Season 11) will be released on Blu-ray around April/May. It is almost inevitable that Paramount will release Star Trek to High Definition (especially the re-mastered and re-worked High Def Original Series).


I collect more Television series than movies these days (well, television and anime) and I gotta say, if this is the future of serialized programming, then I am happy to have a HD-DVD player and should Blu-ray get their format specific series out, I'll be grabbing one of those machines too (you listening on those Stargate movies and series?).


As far as comments regarding opening being poor quality - it is 6 years old from the SD days.


Regarding the price. Season 1 of the SD version was the same price for at least 3 years after its release.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky042 /forum/post/0


Actually it doesn't look that different from the broadcast version I saw on HBOHD.

but after watching it more the intro is what was skewing me more than anything else

I think the discs look a lot better than the HD broadcast versions...I had an ep saved on my PVR and did a back to back comparison, the HD DVD version beats it hands down... I thought the eps looked great and it was well worth the money for the set IMO.
 

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This is a great looking disk and FAR better than the HD cable version. I did an A/B between the HD cable and the HD DVD, the difference is night and day. The picture is highly detailed and has the same saturated/contrasty look as MI3.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by J.H. /forum/post/0


I agree this is the first HD-DVD that really plain and simply sucked. I don't know what the problem is but it really is not good at all. J.H.

I thought it looked fantastic. Shrug.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Menoni /forum/post/0


I remember from watching on HBO HD that some episodes looked better than others. The opening montage always seemed blurry ....

I think it's "supposed" to look that way; i.e., it was shot intentionally grainy and film-like. Having grown up along that route out of the Lincoln Tunnel, I think the "look" of the montage is supposed to match the grittiness of the area. You notice things look better when Tony gets to his house.
 
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