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  1. #1
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Wizard of OZ: Image and sound oh my!

    I just got back from Blu con 2.0 just a couple of days ago, and just got a chance to watch The Wizard of OZ with my kids. Having owned the Wizard of OZ on VHS, Laserdisc, and DVD, this Blu-ray release is by far the best presentation of this classic I have seen yet. Scanned at 4K from the original reels of the film, Wizard of OZ is just beautiful. WHE went back to the original reels when they could find them, or used negatives when they could not to create this classic title not seen like this ever. Audiences back in 1939 never saw the original grain structure on this film, as the film and camera processing did not allow it. Here on this Blu-ray disc we are seeing this as it has never been seen before, original grain structure and all.

    Granted with a 1080p/VC-1 encoding in a 1:37:1 window frame, this is as good as it gets for this release. Clarity is greatly improved, as is color rendition and saturation, black levels, and contrast over all previous releases. All is not perfect though, as you can see the occasional print damage, scratches, pops, and vertical lines - but in the grand scheme of things, these are all minor issues in comparison to the overall quality of the presentation. Thank the mother there is no DNR applied to the release, so we have to thank Warner for not trying to make this film look like video.

    While not quite as thrilling as the video, the films lossless Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track sound terrific. Dialog is always clean and intelligible, the music has beautifully rendered textures and timbre, and every little sound effect sounds fresh, and is well prioritized within the mix. The LFE is strong at times, supporting the sound effects perfectly, and providing an excellent foundation for the musical numbers. The surrounds are subdued, but are used to support the musical parts of the film quite effectively.

    I got the 3 disc version, and there is plenty of extra material to view. This is probably the most thorough exploration of the backstage of the Wizard of Oz I have ever seen. There is as much extras to view as the movie is long.

    This is a must have for any film collector. This is by far the most exquisite presentation of this film we will ever see. Some will object to the amount of grain on this film, but this is real film, and not digital video we are seeing here. This is the most accurate representation of the film seen on any previous format.
    Sir Terrence

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  2. #2
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    How did they make a 5.1 mix from mono? I guess adding LFE would help the overall sound but most older movies I've seen transferred to DVD still has that old sound, you know what I mean, it's more tinny or hollow sounding. Even some of the old Disney classics you can tell the new from the old parts of the movie audio. Is Wizard like this? I did hear the video was a reference for older movie mastering. I'm really curious to take this movie in.
    Mark Levinson #512
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  3. #3
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Peabody
    How did they make a 5.1 mix from mono? I guess adding LFE would help the overall sound but most older movies I've seen transferred to DVD still has that old sound, you know what I mean, it's more tinny or hollow sounding. Even some of the old Disney classics you can tell the new from the old parts of the movie audio. Is Wizard like this? I did hear the video was a reference for older movie mastering. I'm really curious to take this movie in.
    When you want to repurpose a soundtrack from mono to 5.1, you have two choices. You can go back to the original music stems, or go through the Chace system. In this case, they went back to the original music stems (which were multitracked but mixed mono) and created a stereo track by placing the different instruments into a left, center, and right configuration. Ambience was taken from the left minus right out of phase information from the left and right channels, and mixed into its corresponding left/right surround.

    The hollow and tinny sound comes from using Dolby digital at 448kbps. When you hear the 2005 DVD remaster versus this one (they're from the same master tapes), the difference is striking. This new one sounds more full and warm, with higher highs and lower lows. This is what happens when you don't throw audio data away during compression and encoding. The soundtrack still sounds dated by todays standards (it sounds dynamically compressed in comparison), and some of the highs can approach distortion, but it sounds quite a bit better than the Dolby Digital encoded releases.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  4. #4
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    Thanks. it's a shame they don't do that more often some good sound quality was achieved in the 50's & 60's. I have a Count Basie CD live in Vegas that has excellent sound as well as some older vinyl. As we are talking about movies one good sounding LP is the soundtrack from Pennies From Heaven done by Louie Armstrong. it's even mono. Movies are probably like music recordings in the way that some will stand out and some just suck, speaking of the quality.
    Mark Levinson #512
    Pass Labs XP-10 & X250
    Clearaudio Performance DC, Dynavector 10x5, AcousTech Ph-1p
    Clarus Crimson loom - AC outlet to speaker terminal
    Revel Performa F52 main/center & S30's
    SVS PC13 Ultra (sub)
    Marantz BD-7003 > AV-8003 > LINN 5125
    Transparent cables / Tributaries HDMI
    PS Audio Quintet

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