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I doubt if it has much to do with my player (Toshiba HD-A2), or my projector (JVC RS-1), but I watched Blood Diamond and The Prestige on the last tqwo nights. Both are recent mainstream, big-budget films. Blood Diamond was grainy and looked very SD, with grain, low sharpness, and very obvious digital artifacts around the occassional subtitles. The Prestige, on the other hand, looked very nearly HD - incredibly crisp and clean. What gives?


Kevin
 

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Well.....like all movies, it depends on a number of things. They each may have been shot to film, but using different stock/cameras. Or one could be shot to film and the other to HD video, then downconverted to SD. Then there's the intent of the director's visual-style.


There's also the issues of compression/encoding methods used. So it's kinda hard to say, actually.
 

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What was already covered. There are also other considerations to take into account, despite the "quality" of the mastering itself. The big one is how much "extra crap" is being crammed onto a disc, instead of say putting the extras on extra discs. Even with competent mastering, if you don't have much space for the actual movie and have to starve the bitrate, it's not going to look good. Arguably this could also fall under the category of "incompetence" since the best way to do it would be to put the extras on an extra disc if they start to infringe on what's needed for the movie.


That all being said, I ahven't seen either of these movies and have no idea what they look like. Some people confuse grain or inherent noise in the film with "crappy mastering" when that may not at all be the case. So be careful when attributing things to the mastering or things like that when the "noise" of "grain" may be accurate and is supposed to be there. See especially grainy films like Miami Vice or others that a lot of people complained about the transfer "noise" because they didn't know any better.
 

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Bad transfers don't create grain, and there is nothing wrong with grain.


The problem is that SD-DVD just doesn't have enough resolution for a 60"+ screen and at least half of them have mediocre transfers. Even so, once you get used to x264/hd-dvd/bluray, even the "great" DVD's start to look like crap.
 

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Motion picture film is inherently grainy, so some is to be expected. But if a big-budgeted movie seems overly-grainy, you can believe it was by artistic design.
 

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Okay, I'll bite... If you have an RS-1, why are you watching movies on SD-DVD that have HD counterparts? An RS-1 is a 1080 projector. You can only do so much upconverting 480 lines of information on a standard DVD.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse S /forum/post/0


Bad transfers don't create grain, and there is nothing wrong with grain.


...

But bad transfers can cause mosquito noise which looks similar to grain.


And IIRC, I have heard of digital "grain" being added to CGI effects and to stuff that was shot with HD cameras to make it look more like film (although that happens before the transfer stage).
 

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Well Prestige looks like it was a shot on Hollywood Sound stages, and hence it has that fake stage look.


Blood Diamond looks like it was shot on the streets of Africa ... or somewhere realistic, maybe that has something to do with the differences? Dunno.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickster904 /forum/post/0


So how do one tell whether a movie is intentionally grainy or just a result of poor quality? Example of grainy movies I remember: Traffic, 24 grams, Man on fire, Bournes, Irreversible.

You can know by having seen the film in the theater, so you have an appropriate reference.
 
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