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Anyone here succumbed to 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray?


1977

Do you own or plan to acquire a UHD Blu-ray capable home cinema system?  

99 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you own or plan to acquire a UHD Blu-ray capable home cinema system?

    • Yes, I do
    • No, 1080p Blu-ray is good enough.
    • No, I'll miss my 3D Blu-ray too much.
    • No, I've only got 720p capability and it looks mighty fine.
    • No, DVD rulez!
    • No, I'm still rocking a Laserdisc player!
    • No, VHS will return (just look at vinyl)!
    • What's UHD Blu-ray?


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48 minutes ago, Slipperman9 said:

Agreed, @filmmusic, but the chances of any JWfaner getting their mitts on that, are about the same as the chances of anything coming from Mars :lol:

 

That's a million to one, they said.

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  • 2 months later...
On 29/11/2022 at 6:01 PM, filmmusic said:

I was waiting for years for this (now if anyone could do the same for Little Buddha):

 

14197958-6485007607398531.webp

 

  • New 4K restoration of the original theatrical version

 

I just noticed this (I think). The extended version is not restored, right? And it looks okay? 

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3 minutes ago, A24 said:

 

I just noticed this (I think). The extended version is not restored, right? And it looks okay? 

I don't know. I haven't watched it. I watched only the theatrical version.

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I would actually buy Andor. That was a good series.

 

I got my Conan Chronicles set from the US Arrow store this week. The bonus disc is region locked but, fortunately, my Blu-ray player can override that. Really chuffed about that as there is a lot of Basil Poledouris goodness on there.

 

Karol

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1 hour ago, Yavar Moradi said:

I'm in for both Andor and Moon Knight for sure. Andor was not a good series. Andor was a f'ing AMAZING series... particularly the prison arc with Andy Serkis. Holy shit... I think that's honestly my favorite Star Wars, EVER. Like...better than Empire, even. (And no, musically it's not better than Empire of course but I actually do love most of the scoring for Andor even though most Star Wars fans seem to hate it.)

 

Yavar

 

With you on all points there.

 

If the prison arc had been a film in its own right, it'd be one of the most memorable SF films in the past decade, at least. 

 

My wife - who very rarely watches any genre material and has never seen any other Star Wars - began watching Andor over my shoulder midway through the series because I was rhapsodising about it. She became intrigued and watched it from episode 1, afterwards describing it  as "a straight drama show about the nature of fascism that happens to be set in the Star Wars universe." Which is her way of saying she loved it.  

 

And Moon Knight was just huge, huge fun. 

 

I'll be buying both! 

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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if you guys have followed the debate and arguments in blu-ray related forums about the new UHDs of James Cameron films (namely Aliens, True LiesThe Abyss, Titanic).

They have been degrained and AI upscaled resulting in controversial results.

Here's an interesting article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/13/movies/ai-blu-ray-true-lies.html

 

Spoiler

In 1998, Geoff Burdick, an executive at James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment, was hunched in front of a 12-inch monitor at a postproduction house, carefully preparing “Titanic” for release on LaserDisc and VHS. A state-of-the-art computer process had made it possible for Burdick and his team to scour the film frame by frame, removing tiny imperfections embedded in the original negative: little scratches, flakes of dirt, even water stains that smeared the image. The computer could erase these blemishes using a kind of copy-paste tool, concealing the defects with information from another frame.

Burdick, now a senior vice president at the company, told me that this process “seemed like freaking magic at the time.” And yet the results were not entirely well-received. “There were a lot of people who said that this was the most beautiful VHS they’d ever seen in their life, because we’d gotten rid of all that gobbledygook,” he recalled. “But there were a lot of folks who said, ‘This is not right! You’ve removed all of this stuff! If the negative is scratched, then we should see that scratch.’ People were really hard-core about it.”

In the decades since, home video formats have reached higher and higher resolutions, with VHS and LaserDisc giving way to DVD and Blu-ray, and eventually to ultra high-definition 4K discs, known as Ultra HD Blu-rays. As the picture quality has improved, restoration tools have evolved with them, making it easier than ever for filmmakers to fine-tune their work using computers. Several of Cameron’s films, including “The Abyss,” “True Lies” and “Aliens,” were recently released on Ultra HD Blu-ray in newly restored versions that are clearer and sharper than ever before — the product of painstaking attention from Lightstorm and Cameron himself. “I think they look the best they’ve ever looked,” Burdick said.

But as with the old “Titanic” home video, these restorations have proved controversial, with many viewers objecting strenuously to their pristine new look. What has caught the particular ire of critics is the fact that these versions have been restored, in part, using artificial intelligence. Park Road Post Production, the New Zealand company owned by the filmmaker Peter Jackson, helped clean up Cameron’s films using some of the same proprietary machine-learning software used on Jackson’s documentaries “The Beatles: Get Back” and “They Shall Not Grow Old.” The images in Cameron’s classic blockbusters were refined in a way that many felt looked strange and unnatural.

The level of detail is eye-popping. Water looks crystalline; colors are bright and vivid, while blacks are deep and inky. Some surfaces, however, do look a little glossy, with a buffed sheen that appears almost lacquered. It can be hard to pinpoint what is changed. But there does seem to be a difference, and depending on the viewer, it can feel slightly uncanny.

“It just looks weird, in ways that I have difficulty describing,” the journalist Chris Person said of these releases. “It’s plasticine, smooth, embossed at the edges. Skin texture doesn’t look correct. It all looks a little unreal.”

Person is among a number of viewers who are skeptical of the need to use A.I. to “enhance” the appearance of films that seemed to look fine to begin with. Although he said that there were “legitimate use cases” for A.I. in restoration, such as when a film’s original negative has been lost or badly damaged, he suspected that with something like “True Lies,” they were “using it just because they can.”

The recent Cameron releases, and particularly “True Lies,” have become the subject of intense scrutiny and fervent debate online. Home video reviewers have described it as an overly sanitized presentation, with one faulting its “routinely odd-looking images” and another arguing that it appears “almost artificial.” Web forums are teeming with complaints, often vicious, while social media posts criticizing it have spread widely.

Dan Best, the general manager at Park Road Post, acknowledged the debate around remastering movies. “The thing is, technology is changing,” he added. “People are viewing things at a lot higher resolutions at the moment. Therefore, a lot of recent films are being enhanced for these new viewing platforms.” Traditional home video releases were adequate for the days of tube TVs and 1080p video, in other words. But in the era of OLED screens and 4K smart TVs, restorations need a little more to meet increasingly high standards.

Burdick, who has been dealing with this kind of criticism since the “Titanic” days, seemed resigned to the fact that “you can’t please everybody at the end of the day,” though he accepted that the response to these Ultra HD Blu-rays was especially heated. The dissenters, he argued, were mainly just disappointed that “Aliens,” “True Lies” and “The Abyss” no longer look like they did in the VHS or DVD eras.

“People love these movies, which I think is great,” he said. “And they take that love to heart. So when the movie suddenly doesn’t look like they remember it looking, or the way they think they remember it looking, or it just doesn’t look the way they think it should, they get upset. What can you do?”

It doesn’t help that there is a stigma around the technology: Dissenters not only bristle at the appearance of these restorations — they are also unhappy that it is A.I. being used to make them appear that way.

But, Burdick said, that disapproval is based partly on misconception: “People hear, ‘Oh, they’re using A.I.,’ and they’re thinking about pirate ships and the cup of coffee,” — a reference to a recent viral video of a miniature ship sailing in a coffee mug, all generated with A.I. — “and they’re like, ‘What are you doing to it?’ But nobody is doing that to these movies,” he explained. “It’s not the same A.I., conceptually. It’s more like, this piece of negative looks kind of cruddy, and we can use some software to improve it, carefully.”

Best, at Park Road, said that this kind of A.I. upscaling was “definitely not the same” as the kind of generative A.I. used in apps like Midjourney or ChatGPT. Generative A.I. is a type of machine learning model that creates information, including images and videos, from users’ prompts. A.I. upscaling is subtler and less intrusive, using machine learning to refine an image without inventing new material from scratch. Generative A.I. could, say, add more aliens to “Aliens.” A.I. upscaling just adds more pixels, polishing the pre-existing images.

Eric Yang, the founder of the A.I. upscaling company Topaz Labs, said that one of the main differences between A.I. upscaling and generative A.I. was fidelity to the original source: With upscaling, “the enhancement that you get does not measurably change the meaning or the content of the image.” Nevertheless, he said that misunderstandings about the technology have given the whole enterprise a certain ignominy.

“People try not to talk about it,” he said. “Nobody likes to say that their film was A.I. upscaled or that a certain release had A.I. applied to it.”

The reluctance to admit to using A.I. is understandable given some recent controversies. In 2021, the filmmaker Morgan Neville came under fire when it was revealed that his documentary “Roadrunner” used A.I. software to create a deepfaked version of Anthony Bourdain’s voice for narration; last month, the horror film “Late Night with the Devil” was criticized for using A.I.-generated imagery, with some critics going so far as to call for the film’s boycott.

Although “Get Back” and “We Shall Not Grow Old,” which involved footage from World War I, made extensive use of the same A.I. processes, they did not receive as much criticism. That’s partly because of the condition of the source material: Both films took damaged archival images and appeared to reverse the deterioration, and in one case, to also colorize it. By contrast, the recent Cameron restorations were based on new 4K scans of the original negative, none of which needed extensive repair of that kind.

“It’s not a question of the negative being damaged,” Burdick conceded. “But back on the set, maybe you picked the shot that had the most spectacular performance, but the focus puller was a bit off, so it’s a bit soft. There could be a million reasons why it’s not perfect. So now there’s an opportunity to just go in and improve it.” The A.I. can artificially refocus an out-of-focus image, as well as make other creative tweaks. “You don’t want to crank the knob all the way because then it’ll look like garbage,” Burdick said. “But if we can make it look a little better, we might as well.”

For viewers like Person, the problem is what those minor enhancements entail: That uncanny smoothness, though perhaps more in focus, can look oddly fake. “I don’t want to sound anal, but it really is egregious,” Person said. “It’s the same thing as TV motion smoothing — they say it’s better, so you feel like you’re the one person cursed with vision who can see that it looks bad.”

 

The 2 sides are those that like this new re-visualization look, including the esteemed film preservationist Robert Harris who has given the releases a 10/10 for picture/audio quality over at hometheaterforum and the so-called "purists" side.

If you ask me, I prefer the original look of the films with grain, and in no way I'm gonna support this travesty by buying these discs.

What is your side?

Both sides have become the object of hot arguments and sarcasm from the other side, and generally there is a heated debate in the internet.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 13/04/2024 at 7:43 PM, filmmusic said:

I don't know if you guys have followed the debate and arguments in blu-ray related forums about the new UHDs of James Cameron films (namely Aliens, True LiesThe Abyss, Titanic).

They have been degrained and AI upscaled resulting in controversial results.

Here's an interesting article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2024/04/13/movies/ai-blu-ray-true-lies.html

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 

The 2 sides are those that like this new re-visualization look, including the esteemed film preservationist Robert Harris who has given the releases a 10/10 for picture/audio quality over at hometheaterforum and the so-called "purists" side.

If you ask me, I prefer the original look of the films with grain, and in no way I'm gonna support this travesty by buying these discs.

What is your side?

Both sides have become the object of hot arguments and sarcasm from the other side, and generally there is a heated debate in the internet.

 

I've heard that the AI enhanced Aliens still has a bit a grain and that it looks stunning. Would love to check it out but I'm not going to buy the movie again. To be honest, I've seen Aliens enough by now. The only Cameron movie that I'm not yet tired of is T2

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8 minutes ago, A24 said:

 

I've heard that the AI enhanced Aliens still has a bit a grain and that it looks stunning. Would love to check it out but I'm not going to buy the movie again. To be honest, I've seen Aliens enough by now. The only Cameron movie that I'm not yet tired of is T2

What version of The Abyss would you prefer?

https://imgsli.com/MjU2MjM3

the grainy one or the DNRed one?

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10 minutes ago, A24 said:

 

I've heard that the AI enhanced Aliens still has a bit a grain and that it looks stunning. Would love to check it out but I'm not going to buy the movie again. To be honest, I've seen Aliens enough by now. The only Cameron movie that I'm not yet tired of is T2

 

You should try watching other films. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

GMj5y-Sz-XYAAs-Em6.jpg

 

"To mark the 50th anniversary of Francis Ford Coppola’s (The Godfather, One From the Heart) seminal 1974 neo-noir thriller, The Conversation, Studiocanal has announced that a brand-new 4K restoration of the Palme D’Or winner will return to UK cinemas on 5 July 2024. The film will then be available to own via a special 2-disc 4K UHD Collector’s Edition and on digital from 15 July."

 

"The Conversation has been scanned in 4K from the original camera negative, using a director-approved reference print as a color grading reference. The 5.1 sound mix created in 2000 by Walter Murch will be included, as will the original mono audio track. American Zoetrope restoration supervisor James Mockoski was involved in this work, which was approved by Coppola.

The 2-disc UHD Collector’s Edition package (which is apparently all region) will include audio commentary with Coppola, a second commentary with editor Walter Murch, a Q&A with Walter Murch (filmed at Curzon Soho in 2017), a behind the scenes gallery, screen tests for Cindy Williams and Harrison Ford, Coppola script dictations, a 1973 interview with Hackman, an interview with composer David Shire by Coppola, 2 featurettes (Close-Up on The Conversation and Harry Caul’s San Francisco: Locations Then & Now), Coppola’s 1956 short film No Cigar, the film’s theatrical trailer, and the new 50th anniversary trailer.

The packaging will also include a 64-page booklet with essays, the soundtrack on cassette tape, and a pair of posters with original artwork. You can see the opening packaging below ..."

 

conversation4k_open.jpg

 

https://thedigitalbits.com/columns/my-two-cents/050224-1500

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I wonder how it compares the the other release. I've got that one.

 

Karol

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4 hours ago, crocodile said:

I wonder how it compares the the other release. I've got that one.

 

Karol

The Kino one?

That one had wrong color space for the first reel (the first 20 minutes or so), and no original stereo track (the 2.0 is a downmix of the 5.1).

And I bet the Arrow will have better encoding too.

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I couldn't be the only one here who finds some movies in Dolby Vision practically unwatchable. I had Ghostbusters Afterlife on last night, and certain scenes featuring a lot of proton beams and spectral activity were so goddamn bright, I had to close my eyes or look away.

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Some of you follow this 4K remastering stuff so much more than I do.

 

What are some notable examples of classic films (say pre-2000) that are sort of unanimously agreed to be top tier 4K UHD releases?

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16 minutes ago, Jay said:

Some of you follow this 4K remastering stuff so much more than I do.

 

What are some notable examples of classic films (say pre-2000) that are sort of unanimously agreed to be top tier 4K UHD releases?

 

Poltergeist

Godzilla 1998

Star Treks 1 to 10

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

Some of you follow this 4K remastering stuff so much more than I do.

 

What are some notable examples of classic films (say pre-2000) that are sort of unanimously agreed to be top tier 4K UHD releases?

 

To name but a few at the present moment:

 

It's a Wonderful Life

Frankenstein

Bride of Frankenstein

Lawrence of Arabia

Psycho

Vertigo

Rear Window

The Birds

Jaws

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

E.T.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Home Alone

Hook

Jurassic Park

The Lost World

Schindler's List

Saving Private Ryan

Titanic

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4 minutes ago, Jay said:

That Spielberg knows how to oversee and approve a remaster it seems, eh?

 

Oh, yes indeed.

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CE3K doesn't look any better than the standard Blu-ray.

 

JP got very mixed reviews and is generally considered a disappointing 4K transfer.

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I find it bewildering all the talk about OLED TVs not being bright enough. My arse they're not. Those bright bits in Dolby Vision on my OLED TV are friggin blinding. I need to figure out how to turn off that overrated HDR format.

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HDR can't be manually turned off on my set, but I can turn it off in PS5 games. It's way too bright and I can't be arsed to adjust my set.

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1 hour ago, Jay said:

That Spielberg knows how to oversee and approve a remaster it seems, eh?

Ι wouldn't buy the Indiana Jones ones, because he changed things from the original presentations.

Ok, they are very minor things, but I prefer no changes.

Close Encounters too has some "improvements/changes".

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3 minutes ago, Brock Lovett said:

HDR can't be manually turned off on my set, but I can turn it off in PS5 games. It's way too bright and I can't be arsed to adjust my set.

 

We'll beam aboard to stop it

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1 hour ago, filmmusic said:

Ι wouldn't buy the Indiana Jones ones, because he changed things from the original presentations.

Other than the color looking great, what?

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I think if anything they made it look better and fixed some extremely tiny “issues” that anyone would have, it’s nowhere near as strange as the CGI truck from Raiders that randomly popped up in a tv version of the movie in the late 2000’s and wasn’t on any home release that I’m aware of.

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Yes it was only on cable and never on a theatrical, home video, or streaming release

 

 

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3 hours ago, Brando said:

Other than the color looking great, what?

https://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=247468

https://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=596106

https://www.movie-censorship.com/report.php?ID=823965

It's mostly goofs they corrected, but I like goofs! ;)

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Suspiria (1977) is jaw dropping

 

Creepshow is flawless 

 

The Shining is well regarded

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4 hours ago, filmmusic said:

I’ll have to look at this on my laptop tomorrow, but are you talking like continuity errors? If so, one that I wish they fixed was the shot in the first sacrifice during the drum solo in the shot leading into Mola Rams entrance, you can see the glowing stones in the skull. I believe this is taken from later in the film because Indy can also be seen standing on the left, but they could easily black out the stones.

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