• 08-26-2010, 03:01 PM
    RGA
    Buying the blu-ray version when you already have the DVD...
    So i just bought the PS3 and with a lot of DVD's I am now in a process of determining which ones I might want to sell off and buy the Blu-Ray.

    Though I have been told that some Blu-Ray discs are not all that much of an upgrade and have disappointed some people.

    What kinds of movies have you found were not really worth the change. I am temted to get the Genesis Arc of Star Trek because I only have IV on DVD and 2,3,4 and 6 were the only ones I cared for. The First was boring and the 5th was pretyt bad. Even 3 wasn't that great. (Odd numbers for Trek). I read a tepid review of the picture quality of IV though and so now I'm wondering about it.

    John Carpenter's The Thing I saw cheap which tempted me. I have the LD and the DVD and the VHS of that movie so may as well buy it yet again. Man Caprenter did well off me.
  • 08-26-2010, 06:23 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    So i just bought the PS3 and with a lot of DVD's I am now in a process of determining which ones I might want to sell off and buy the Blu-Ray.

    Good luck with selling your DVD's, they don't seem to be worth a thing these days with bargain basement prices already pushed by the stores. I have given up trying to sell mine, and are now just giving them away to friends who have not upgraded to Blu ray as of yet. With over 2700+ DVD's, I have a loooooong way to go giving them away!

    Quote:

    Though I have been told that some Blu-Ray discs are not all that much of an upgrade and have disappointed some people.
    I think all are worth upgrading, as all Blu ray's have better sound and picture than their DVD counterparts. I have compared dozens and dozens of my DVD's to their Blu ray counterparts(probably closer to 120+ based on my reviewing notes), and all look better on Blu ray than they do on DVD. For new releases, you are pretty much garanteed first rate picture and sound. Catalog titles are a hit and miss, with stunning examples of restoration(my fair lady, Blade runner, Close Encounters for example) and then there has been very sloppy releases (such as Gladiator and the Crouching Tiger hidden dragon come to mind) that can sometimes hit the streets. Gladiator has been since fixed, and the fix is jaw dropping good!. Some catalog titles are never going to look that great because of how they were shot in the first place. But for all that I have seen, everyone of my Blu's look far better than my DVD's - even when they are upconverted.

    Quote:

    What kinds of movies have you found were not really worth the change. I am temted to get the Genesis Arc of Star Trek because I only have IV on DVD and 2,3,4 and 6 were the only ones I cared for. The First was boring and the 5th was pretyt bad. Even 3 wasn't that great. (Odd numbers for Trek). I read a tepid review of the picture quality of IV though and so now I'm wondering about it.
    A lot of reviewers are not that well educated on film presentation, processing, shooting and encoding, so take their reviews with a grain of salt. I have IV, and while it does not look as good as V, it used different film stock which gives it a little rougher of a presentation than V. The sound on all of the Star Trek movies is a 100% improvement over their DVD counterparts, and the PQ is as well.

    Quote:

    John Carpenter's The Thing I saw cheap which tempted me. I have the LD and the DVD and the VHS of that movie so may as well buy it yet again. Man Caprenter did well off me.
    I have a ton of movies that I own on LD, DVD, and now Blu ray. I got rid of every VHS I owned, players and all years ago. Thanks to DVR's they are no longer needed, and I had replaced everyone of my VHS with DVD anyway. I say good riddance to that format!
  • 08-26-2010, 07:46 PM
    eisforelectronic
    upgrade them all for the sound alone.
  • 08-26-2010, 08:04 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Good luck with selling your DVD's, they don't seem to be worth a thing these days with bargain basement prices already pushed by the stores.

    There are probably some stores in your area that might still buy them. Two months ago I sold over 300 of my DVDs to store call Game-X-Change for $1 a DVD. Not too bad considering most of them were from Walmart Bargain bin :D
  • 08-27-2010, 06:56 AM
    Johnny B. Galt
    I only recently purchased a blu-ray player. Yep, I went hard into HD-DVD a couple years ago and still wince at the thought of it. Anyway, I've not purchased any BR movies as I'm waiting until my new setup is complete. However, I noticed Deep Discount DvD had a bunch of Warner titles as buy-one-get-one. I've never seen North by Northwest, so I think that may be my first...
  • 08-27-2010, 07:15 AM
    GMichael
    I would upgrade the ones you like to rewatch the most first, but all are worthy.

    Good choice on the PS3. It keeps getting free upgrades.
  • 08-27-2010, 08:52 AM
    Worf101
    One word
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny B. Galt
    I only recently purchased a blu-ray player. Yep, I went hard into HD-DVD a couple years ago and still wince at the thought of it. Anyway, I've not purchased any BR movies as I'm waiting until my new setup is complete. However, I noticed Deep Discount DvD had a bunch of Warner titles as buy-one-get-one. I've never seen North by Northwest, so I think that may be my first...

    One word bro... OUCH!!!!!! I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed but even I stayed out of that one till the fight was over and the referee raised a hand.... I feel for ya though. On the question of the OP. I've not bought a single BR disk yet. I've RENTED nothing else but BR but as far as purchase is concerned nah.... I'll let someone else do that.

    Worf
  • 08-27-2010, 09:29 AM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    So i just bought the PS3 and with a lot of DVD's I am now in a process of determining which ones I might want to sell off and buy the Blu-Ray.

    Though I have been told that some Blu-Ray discs are not all that much of an upgrade and have disappointed some people.

    Yep, it will vary quite a bit by title. But, in general, you'll still get a considerable upgrade in picture quality over the DVD, even if a particular BD title is less than stellar compared to other BD titles.

    The big debate right now among videophiles is with the film grain and noise reduction. Because of its higher bandwidth, BD is capable of displaying more of the film grain from the original print. To many movie buffs, the film grain is part of the cinematographer and directors' collective vision, and the original look from a theatrical presentation.

    However, studios have been overly scrubbing the transfers on some releases, eliminating the film grain as well as a lot of the fine detail that makes a film image look more organic. Part of the problem is that you have a generation of moviegoers raised on digital projection (which looks clean, but actually has lower resolution than 35mm) and indifferent megaplex presentations. They'll take a look at the film grain and think there's something wrong with the BD, when in actuality, the BD is reproducing the full image integrity from the original film print.

    On other releases, the BD transfers were done using the same masters used in the original DVD transfer. The scanning technology has greatly improved in recent years, so the transfers done using newer scans will generally look a lot better.

    This issue was discussed earlier.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/news-rumors/tale-two-blu-ray-remasters-gladiator-fixed-predator-ruined-34746.html

    Best bet is to go review the review sites. But, as T pointed out, sometimes they get it wrong as well (e.g., Bram Stoker's Dracula was panned by some review sites, but it the transfer was approved by Coppola himself, and actually looks close to the original film print).

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    What kinds of movies have you found were not really worth the change. I am temted to get the Genesis Arc of Star Trek because I only have IV on DVD and 2,3,4 and 6 were the only ones I cared for. The First was boring and the 5th was pretyt bad. Even 3 wasn't that great. (Odd numbers for Trek). I read a tepid review of the picture quality of IV though and so now I'm wondering about it.

    Among the movies in the Genesis trilogy, only Wrath of Khan got a brand new transfer and the difference is striking. I've seen Khan in theaters in 70mm, and the BD does a great job of capturing the look of that presentation. III and IV look soft by comparison because they used the old masters that presumably had to have heavy noise reduction applied to order to filter out most of the film grain (necessary for DVDs because excessive film grain will create mosquito noise and macroblocking on a DVD). But, they still look much better than the original DVD.

    The go-to must buy on BD for me is Blade Runner. Video and audio quality are incredible here. Again, I saw Blade Runner multiple times in theaters (mostly in 70mm), and this is as close to 70mm as I've ever seen outside of a movie theater.

    Here's the previous thread on this topic.

    http://forums.audioreview.com/favorite-films/star-trek-ii-blu-ray-nice-30904.html
  • 08-27-2010, 10:21 AM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Johnny B. Galt
    I only recently purchased a blu-ray player. Yep, I went hard into HD-DVD a couple years ago and still wince at the thought of it. Anyway, I've not purchased any BR movies as I'm waiting until my new setup is complete. However, I noticed Deep Discount DvD had a bunch of Warner titles as buy-one-get-one. I've never seen North by Northwest, so I think that may be my first...

    North by Northwest got a great restoral and encoding that makes it look pretty darn good - the best I have seen it since viewing it at the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood. That is a good start.

    You should have been around here when the Blu/HD DVD war was going in full blast. I would have warned you against investing in HD DVD because many of us knew which direction the war was going before the public knew. I bought four HD DVD players and still use them to play DVD's. I got rid of all my HD DVD movies just before Warner made their announcement, so I got top dollar for my discs, and actually made a little profit.
  • 08-27-2010, 10:24 AM
    RGA
    Yes I have an eye on the Blade Runner but I won't spend more than $20 on a movie. The prices always end up coming way down and I am going to be patient. Ever since I got screwed over on Schindler's List DVD boxed set I have learned my lesson. I bought it for $75 when it came out. A month and one day later it was $26.99. Blu Ray is coming out at near double the price of DVD. There is no excuse for one movie to be $12.99 and another one like Blade Runner to be $36.99. It is a cash grab IMO.

    Thanks for the information. Next summer I may do a review of a surround sound system for the "2 channel guy." The folks that like an amp that has a power knob and a volume knob and a control knob. The thing that was frustrating about my Pioneer Elite reciever was the vocal track. You would have to turn it up to hear the dialog and then an explosion would blow you into next week.

    If you have to fiddle with the bloody remote the entire movie - it's a crappy system IMO. Things are better now I hear so I may look into Arcam/Rotel and others that have some semblence of clarity - the Pioneer also sounded like complete mud until I brought in a Bryston. I have to say with all my complaints of Bryston - I would consider them first and foremost in a home theater application - which may sound contradictory but 20 year warranty and the ability to have slam and a low noise floor with a lot of separated sound on a sane budget - Hmm.

    EDIT
    Just a note because I didn't want to unfairly knock Pioneer:

    Sorry take no stock in my comment about Pioneer Elite - my Elite was back in the mid 1990s VSX-95 - new receivers are entirely different animals compared to back then. My current marantz 4300 which is $300 sounds better than the $2000 VSX 95 I had. The VSX 95 was their top of the line model with the rosewood side panels but it sounded dead. In fact the first one I bought was D.O.A. Pioneer was not as good then. The new flagship models are something like $7000 and are apparently serious beasts.
  • 08-27-2010, 11:38 AM
    RGA
    1 Attachment(s)
    Here is the VSX 95 - it sure was the sexiest looking amp I ever owned. With the Bryston 3B hooked up it was a lot lot better but the cost outweighed the sound.
  • 08-27-2010, 11:47 AM
    RGA
    1 Attachment(s)
    Here's the rear
  • 08-27-2010, 11:51 AM
    RGA
    1 Attachment(s)
    And specs - this was my first amplifier so it brings back some memories.
  • 08-27-2010, 12:15 PM
    Sir Terrence the Terrible
    That beast is old. When is the last time anyone saw a rear and center amps at 40 watts, while the L/R channels are at 125 watts. That the old prologic days for sure!
  • 08-27-2010, 12:48 PM
    pixelthis
    There is a 60 watter from the seventies at work, works fine.
    35 years old, don't make em like that anymore.
    I HAVE REPLACED several DVD's with BLU, all to the good, except for total recall.
    Some BLU are redone dvd versions, with upgraded menus.
    TERMINATOR II BLU is a modified version of the edition done for the short lived computer based Microsoft HD format. SAME MENU, etc, just upgraded.
    THE PICTURE IS SUPRIZINGLY GOOD, and the disc is cheap.
    A must buy.WORST VALUE? THE MATRIX.
    Worst quality? Total recall, you are four for five, Arnold.:1:
  • 08-27-2010, 04:48 PM
    RGA
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sir Terrence the Terrible
    That beast is old. When is the last time anyone saw a rear and center amps at 40 watts, while the L/R channels are at 125 watts. That the old prologic days for sure!

    Yes the interesting part was I added the 120watt rated Bryston and it greatly improved the front left/right. The center and rears were probably enough. Hey it was AC-3 capable. LOL
  • 08-27-2010, 04:54 PM
    RGA
    So HMV was selling the 3 pack Star Trek movie set for $39.99 and BestBuy charges $57.99 - WTF. Anyway, I go to Best Buy and ask them to price match. They look it up and HMV is advertising $26.99. Best Buy matches it at that price less 10% so I got the set for $23.89.

    Long story short - check prices guys. Many people could have paid $57.99 when with just a quick check at another store I got the same thing for $23.89. $34.10(plus 12.5% tax I would have paid on that difference) saved. I mean it's crazy how different the prices are at different stores.

    American Werewolf in London at HMV $14.99 at Future Shop $26.99. I don't mind paying a dollar or two more from one store to the next but 80% more is idiotic. And HMV is usually the place where prices are terrible. But almost every title was cheaper at HMV. The exceptions seemed to be TV series. But $14.99 for Kill Bill one and Two as a combined set and Future shop was $16.99 for each of them. Yikes.
  • 08-27-2010, 05:56 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Yes I have an eye on the Blade Runner but I won't spend more than $20 on a movie. The prices always end up coming way down and I am going to be patient. Ever since I got screwed over on Schindler's List DVD boxed set I have learned my lesson. I bought it for $75 when it came out. A month and one day later it was $26.99. Blu Ray is coming out at near double the price of DVD. There is no excuse for one movie to be $12.99 and another one like Blade Runner to be $36.99. It is a cash grab IMO.

    Blade Runner has been out for almost three years now. There's a reason why that set remains expensive -- it's a FIVE DISC set. It's about as extensive and thorough a BD set as you will find for any single movie. If the price goes down in the future, it will only be because a single-disc movie-only edition came out.

    The BD set has the five different complete versions of Blade Runner -- the new final cut that Ridley Scott put together in 2007, and the four different versions that came out in theaters at some point. This includes the American and International voice-over versions from 1982, and the "director's cut" that was widely released in 1992 and for years remained the only version out on DVD. The BD set also includes the rare workprint version that was only shown to test audiences in 1982, and to audiences in LA and SF in 1991 during limited week-long releases (I was there), which got the whole Blade Runner revival going by showing the movie for the first time in public without Harrison Ford's voiceover and the happy ending.

    The set also has a brand new documentary that clocks in at over 3 1/2 hours, commentaries galore, audio recordings with Philip Dick, 48 minutes of deleted and alternate scenes, more documentaries on the technical stuff, and yet another documentary that summarizes all of the changes made between the different versions of the movie.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    The thing that was frustrating about my Pioneer Elite reciever was the vocal track. You would have to turn it up to hear the dialog and then an explosion would blow you into next week.

    Starting point would be level matching all of the speakers with a SPL meter. I use a +3.5 db offset for my center speaker.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    If you have to fiddle with the bloody remote the entire movie - it's a crappy system IMO.

    Or that's the original intent of the soundtrack. The receiver has no say in how the audio engineer chooses to mix the various sound elements in a 5.1 mix.

    Plus, if your previous system was a Prologic setup, and you were feeding it a downmixed 5.1 soundtrack rather than a dedicated 2.0 Dolby Surround track, the dialog is not going to sound right. In order for the center channel to be properly balanced (assuming you've level matched your system), you need either a discrete 5.1 playback on a 5.1 receiver, or a dedicated 2.0 playback on a Prologic or 5.1 receiver. Playing a 5.1 soundtrack through the L/R analog outputs on a DVD player will ensure that the sound effects from the L/R/LS/RS channels drown out the center channel because of how the downmixing by the DVD player is done at fixed levels.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RGA
    Sorry take no stock in my comment about Pioneer Elite - my Elite was back in the mid 1990s VSX-95 - new receivers are entirely different animals compared to back then. My current marantz 4300 which is $300 sounds better than the $2000 VSX 95 I had. The VSX 95 was their top of the line model with the rosewood side panels but it sounded dead. In fact the first one I bought was D.O.A. Pioneer was not as good then. The new flagship models are something like $7000 and are apparently serious beasts.

    A few years ago, I A-B'd a midlevel Pioneer Elite receiver against the similarly priced Denon AVR-38XX models, and the Pioneer sounded noticeably better. I know that with that particular series, Pioneer made a serious effort to upgrade their receivers and challenge the established players in the mid and high end receiver market. Someone did a teardown on those Pioneer's receivers and indicated that there was no way they could have made much money with the components they were using. I have no idea if they subsequently decontented their receivers in their more recent releases, but the ones they made a few years ago were very well executed.
  • 08-27-2010, 06:19 PM
    Woochifer
    Also, I think you can get some indication on which BDs to buy by looking at which studio releases them.

    In general, I think you can bank on any of the Pixar or classic Disney animation titles. Disney has done some stunning work with their transfers and painstaking restoration. A lot of their other titles feature repurposed audio mixes that are better optimized for home 5.1 setups.

    You also have pretty good odds with the library titles from Warner. In addition to its own movies, Warner owns the rights to the classic MGM film library and other holdings that Turner acquired during the 80s and 90s. If you see a Warner BD title with a hardcover booklet packaging or with a long list of bonus features, this is one of their showcase releases and the odds good are that it's a stellar transfer. For their movie-only releases, the video quality can still be quite good, but you will find a lot of them selling for very low prices.

    Universal and Paramount have the worst reputation for their BD releases. Indications are that a lot of their releases were done using older scans that looked fine with DVDs, but don't stand up very well in 1080p. Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits interviewed some of Universal's technical staff a couple of weeks ago, and it seems that they are now doing fresh scans for their BD releases. But, he speculates they still don't look as good as other releases because the masters are being scanned right at 1080p resolution (this is close to what's referred to as "2k" resolution). Other companies like Sony and Warner apparently archive their HD masters using 4k resolution or better, which comes closer to capturing all of the details from a 35mm print. Hunt thinks that the BD transfer will look better if it comes from a higher resolution scan, since the BD transfer involves a lot of data compression.

    Sony and Fox have been more hit and miss. Both of them have done some excellent releases, but also botched their fair share as well. If you look at the Predator BD image captures from a previous thread, you'll see how Fox recently ruined that release.

    In general, the BDs on newer releases from the last few years will look fine, because more and more of the post production is now done using a digital intermediary. This means that the the BD transfer will bypass the film scanning step altogether.
  • 08-28-2010, 08:07 AM
    pixelthis
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Also, I think you can get some indication on which BDs to buy by looking at which studio releases them.

    In general, I think you can bank on any of the Pixar or classic Disney animation titles. Disney has done some stunning work with their transfers and painstaking restoration. A lot of their other titles feature repurposed audio mixes that are better optimized for home 5.1 setups.

    You also have pretty good odds with the library titles from Warner. In addition to its own movies, Warner owns the rights to the classic MGM film library and other holdings that Turner acquired during the 80s and 90s. If you see a Warner BD title with a hardcover booklet packaging or with a long list of bonus features, this is one of their showcase releases and the odds good are that it's a stellar transfer. For their movie-only releases, the video quality can still be quite good, but you will find a lot of them selling for very low prices.

    Universal and Paramount have the worst reputation for their BD releases. Indications are that a lot of their releases were done using older scans that looked fine with DVDs, but don't stand up very well in 1080p. Bill Hunt of The Digital Bits interviewed some of Universal's technical staff a couple of weeks ago, and it seems that they are now doing fresh scans for their BD releases. But, he speculates they still don't look as good as other releases because the masters are being scanned right at 1080p resolution (this is close to what's referred to as "2k" resolution). Other companies like Sony and Warner apparently archive their HD masters using 4k resolution or better, which comes closer to capturing all of the details from a 35mm print. Hunt thinks that the BD transfer will look better if it comes from a higher resolution scan, since the BD transfer involves a lot of data compression.

    Sony and Fox have been more hit and miss. Both of them have done some excellent releases, but also botched their fair share as well. If you look at the Predator BD image captures from a previous thread, you'll see how Fox recently ruined that release.

    In general, the BDs on newer releases from the last few years will look fine, because more and more of the post production is now done using a digital intermediary. This means that the the BD transfer will bypass the film scanning step altogether.

    Actually Wrath of KHAN was quite good, as was the Abrams Trek, of course.
    One thing not to consider is the DVD version, sometimes the Blu is better,
    sometimes not, sometimes its hard to tell a difference between the two pics( the sound is almost always better).:1:
  • 08-28-2010, 08:20 AM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    OFF TOPIC for a minute, a small company tried to make a go of selling SVHS
    pre-recorded videos, and I bought Wrath of Kahn. Great format for recording, but
    the pre-recorded business was doomed.
    But the TAPE was quite good, lacking the noise that plagued some of the recording,
    and color saturation was fine, kinda between broadcast and laser in quality.:1:
  • 08-28-2010, 08:14 PM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    Actually Wrath of KHAN was quite good, as was the Abrams Trek, of course.
    One thing not to consider is the DVD version, sometimes the Blu is better,
    sometimes not, sometimes its hard to tell a difference between the two pics( the sound is almost always better).:1:

    Wrath of Khan got the full restoration treatment and a brand new scan, and the results show. For all the other Star Trek movies, Paramount simply recycled the HD masters used in the original DVD releases (these are the theatrical cuts that date back to 2000). Apparently, that's common practice for Paramount's BD releases, and that's why Trek III and IV look softer and lack the fine detail that's visible on Trek II.

    This is an issue for any movie where the original source is scanned from 35mm film, since Blu-ray's higher resolution will reveal more flaws in an older HD scan originally done for DVD release. Paramount and Universal have a spottier track record with their BD releases than the other studios.

    It's hard for Paramount to muff the new Star Trek movie, given that all of the post production work was done digitally, and Blu-ray was in the plans from the beginning.
  • 08-30-2010, 03:01 AM
    pixelthis
    1 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Wrath of Khan got the full restoration treatment and a brand new scan, and the results show. For all the other Star Trek movies, Paramount simply recycled the HD masters used in the original DVD releases (these are the theatrical cuts that date back to 2000). Apparently, that's common practice for Paramount's BD releases, and that's why Trek III and IV look softer and lack the fine detail that's visible on Trek II.

    This is an issue for any movie where the original source is scanned from 35mm film, since Blu-ray's higher resolution will reveal more flaws in an older HD scan originally done for DVD release. Paramount and Universal have a spottier track record with their BD releases than the other studios.

    It's hard for Paramount to muff the new Star Trek movie, given that all of the post production work was done digitally, and Blu-ray was in the plans from the beginning.

    I would say that I can't believe that they didn't redo first contact, but then again, the DVD version was nice.CERTAINLY makes sense to rescan Khan, its one of, if not the best of
    the lot, IMHO.:1:
  • 08-30-2010, 07:49 AM
    3LB
    I'm so glad I haven't collected that many DVDs. I think I own 30 or 40 titles with most of those being bargain bin stuff. I'll wait a year or two before I delve deep into BD and if rumors start up about yet another format...
  • 08-30-2010, 09:01 AM
    Woochifer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pixelthis
    I would say that I can't believe that they didn't redo first contact, but then again, the DVD version was nice.CERTAINLY makes sense to rescan Khan, its one of, if not the best of
    the lot, IMHO.:1:

    The primary reason why they did the restoration work on Khan was because the negative was in a deteriorated condition. Star Trek: The Motion Picture already had some work done previously when the director's cut was created.