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Pride & Prejudice (BBC) (UK Blu-ray)

Discussion in 'Blu-rays, DVDs & Streaming Services' started by Rasczak, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. Rasczak

    Rasczak Active Member

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    DVD Times is reporting that 2Entertain have confirmed the UK Blu-ray release of the BBC's Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth) on 20th October 2008. RRP is £34.99.

    A 'must buy' for me - by far the best version IMHO. Looks like UK Blu-ray is finally picking up. :thumbsup:
  2. Rasczak

    Rasczak Active Member

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    This title seems on track for it's 20 Oct release date - Play.com have just sent me the shipping notifiction. :thumbsup:
  3. BrianPK

    BrianPK Member

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    This is wonderful news. IMO this was the best ever effort by the BBC ....wonderful story,acting and costumes.So many outstanding scenes especially the ball at Netherfield Hall,the showdown between Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth and ultimately their reconcilation.
    However the Dvd was probably the worst ever from the BBC...washed out and colourless......a huge disappointment.I just hope the Blu ray is as good as the Bleak House effort.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  4. remlap

    remlap Member

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    Anybody who's interested in getting this set, buy it, the quality is fantastic, really great considering it was on Super 16 negative, even has little feature on how it looks compared to the film print.

    Well worth the money.
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  5. DJ Mike

    DJ Mike Member

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    Just got mine today - haven't had a chance to watch it yet but the packaging says the transfer is 1080i - can someone confirm this or is it a mislabeled 1080p transfer?
  6. BrianPK

    BrianPK Member

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    Excellent news:thumbsup:This, plus the news of Highlander will bring forward my entry into Blu ray. BTW excuse my ignorance but why is Super16 a limiting factor and what actually (in laymans terms) is it?:) Oh! and how much was the disc?
  7. remlap

    remlap Member

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    Im no technie when it comes to these matters, but it was explained that the film negative gives better results and a printed film copy gives really bad grainy image, and really not so defined.

    They had the split screen effect thingy off the same scene between the new negative transfer and the film transfer, the results are amazing.

    Well worth watching the special feature on disc 2.

    Also of note there is a visually impaired menu on both discs, a women's voice ask you to press enter at the start to take you into it if you want, where there's a woman's voice telling you what's in the menu and text is very large.

    If you dont press enter you get the standard Blu-Ray type menus :thumbsup:

    Was £23.95 or something with 1st class delivery at Amazon, we did order a few weeks ago though.
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  8. DJ Mike

    DJ Mike Member

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    Had a chance to watch it this evening! The restoration is absolutely incredible! I grabbed my old DVD and watched it to compare, and there really is no contest - the restoration is absolutely beautiful, and shows up just how dire the original transfer was. All you have to do is watch the opening shots and you can see how much dirt was in the original transfer, not to mention being totally devoid of colour, oversaturated (outdoor shots bleed light all over the place), and more critically the picture is even warped in places (if you watch carefully you see shots of faces which bow in places, very strange).

    The only thing that seems off with the BD is the framing of the picture - comparing the original to the remaster, it seems like the picture has been cropped on all sides. It's particularly noticeable at the top of the frame - the tops of everyone's heads have a tendency to be chopped off slightly, leading to a rather cramped feel to the picture, and one which wasn't an issue with the older DVD - the picture there seems to have more in frame. Perhaps a problem with the original negative?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  9. MortenR.

    MortenR. Member

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    Could anyone tell which region coding the disk have!:smashin:
  10. BrianPK

    BrianPK Member

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    Amazon UK has it as R2:)
  11. MortenR.

    MortenR. Member

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    But Amazon Uk is not that reliable when it comes to region coding....:lesson:
  12. remlap

    remlap Member

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    Considering that's not a Blu-Ray classification anyway, R2 is not Region B :smashin:
  13. MortenR.

    MortenR. Member

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    Dear Remlap You seem to have the new blue ray. Does it indicate region B or region free?:lease:
  14. remlap

    remlap Member

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    Hi, nothing to indicate its Region B because there is no actual marking on the back of the case.

    Good luck, sorry I cant help more, I only have a Region B player
  15. MortenR.

    MortenR. Member

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    Okay. Thanks. I guess this might mean that the DVD is in PAL and therefore only viewable in region 2 and with not region B indication my guess is that the blue ray is region free. I might take my chances. I currently own a Hong Kong PS3 (region A) and is planning over the next months to buy the new oppo 83 region B. :)
  16. steverobertsbbc

    steverobertsbbc Member

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    I was across the transfers for the second DVD version released by the BBC and there certainly were big problems with the film, especially for the first episode. They had taken the transmission print and given it some kind of treatment when they projected it at a festival. Whatever they had done to it had affected the print badly though - it was so warped that the film was turning over 180 degrees and back again between the rollers on the Spirit telecine we transferred it on. We also found that generally the prints of all six episodes had deteriorated quite badly in the few years between the original telecine work for transmission and our transfers, with a lot of highlight detail bleached out of the prints - particularly visible in skies, where colour and clouds had disappeared.

    Which version are you comparing it to? The series was shot on Super-16, which has an aspect ratio of 15:9. On original transmission it was telecined to 14:9 letterbox for transmission on the 4:3 analogue service - so they could keep all the original negative height, but they lost a bit at the sides. Conversly, for the 16:9 aspect ratio of the second DVD release and the BD, they would have been able to keep the original width, but would have to crop off some height.

    Getting back to the new BD, I think it's terrific and 2entertain should be applauded for commissioning this new remaster. I imagine it cost a pretty penny, but it's well worth it. I wrote a quick review on another forum, which may be of interest here:

    Just had a look at this (only a quick spot check) and they have done an excellent job. As you might have heard, the original negatives have been scanned and a new high-definition master produced, along with a remix of the soundtrack into 5.1.

    The first thing to say is that, despite the packaging proclaiming this as 1080i, this is a 1080/24P release. Although this means that the programme runs slightly slower than the intended 25fps, it gets round 2e's nasty habit of presenting Blu-ray releases as HD standards conversions to 60i - I for one applaud this move.

    Picture quality is excellent, considering the Super-16mm source material. There are high levels of grain in some shots, but resolution and colour fidelity is excellent. On very close inspection there may be some signs of grain reduction at work, but from normal viewing distance it looks extremely good.

    There is some very slight splice bounce and defocusing of the image across cuts, but you would have to be either extremely picky or jogging through frame by frame to spot it. Locked off shots show a very small amount of float and sometimes a bit of rotational movement - I suspect this is as much a camera than a scanner artefact.

    Opening titles have been remade in HD using a standard-def clean background master. It's supposed to be soft focus anyway, so this isn't too bad. However, the aspect ratio of the background isn't right - it's stretched sideways. I imagine they took the 14:9 letterbox clean background and stretched it sideways to 16:9 to try to maintain as much of the underlying resolution as possible, at the expense of the aspect ratio. Unless you do a direct comparison it isn't really obvious though, just the shape of the hand holding the needle might give it away. The text is a reasonable match to the look of the original, but they could have taken more care to match the semi-opaque nature of the originals, these being fully opaque.

    Closing titles have been remade also. A much nicer font has been used actually, but whereas the original background faded to dark red (at least on ep2 where I was checking), the new ones fade to black.

    It sounded very nice too! I don't know if they have bothered to do any pitch correction, but I suspect not.

    If you are a fan of this series then I heartily recommend buying this release - it has never looked or sounded better!
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  17. Axel40

    Axel40 Active Member

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  18. BrianPK

    BrianPK Member

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    :thumbsup:Look ok but great price
  19. DJ Mike

    DJ Mike Member

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    I was comparing to the first DVD release from a few years ago, which appears to be in 15:9 aspect ratio (i.e. almost 16:9 but with thin bars down the sides, but not quite as thick as the bars on 14:9 releases such as Dr. No or Nightmare Before Christmas).

    It's interesting that you mention the series was shot at 15:9 - is there any reason they chose not to present it in this way on the Blu-ray? I ask only because framing the picture at 16:9 doesn't appear to have had much regard for the fact that characters' heads very frequently appeared right at the top of the frame, meaning on the Blu-ray their foreheads/hair are cropped noticeably, giving a somewhat cramped feeling to the picture. These problems were not in the original DVD release where at taller 15:9 aspect ratio appears to be intact.

    However, the sheer improvement in picture quality makes this a release worth treasuring. It's only a tad disappointing that either the 15:9 aspect ratio couldn't be preserved, or the 16:9 crop couldn't have used more from the top of the picture frame rather than staying in the middle.
  20. steverobertsbbc

    steverobertsbbc Member

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    Hmmm. I thought the first DVD release was simply taken from the original broadcast masters, so it was 4:3, with a small amount of letterboxing to 14:9? I'm sure it wasn't pillarboxed into a 16:9 frame anyway.

    15:9 (ie 1.66:1) is the standard gate aperture on a Super-16 camera. However, being a TV series, the show would have been shot for 16:9 with a 4:3 protected area. So they would never have intended the very top and bottom of the picture to be used and they would have tried to limit the main action to the 4:3 area in the middle. It would certainly have been possible to reframe the 16:9 area on a shot-by-shot basis during the remastering if they felt that the headroom was getting tight. Are you watching on a display that is fully pixel mapped, or have you lost a bit of picture to the overscan?
  21. DJ Mike

    DJ Mike Member

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    The release I have is from late 2001, when the series was given its first ever DVD release. The picture is anamorphic 16:9 widescreen, not 4:3 with 14:9 letterboxing at the top and bottom. I haven't done a great deal of comparison with the sides of the frame (I'll go home and cap some frames tonight perhaps), but there's definitely more at the top and bottom of the picture than is on the Blu-ray.

    Certainly the picture feels very much like all the action is in the centre (i.e. with 4:3 in mind), but it felt this way on the DVD as well. I'm definitely watching with full 1:1 pixel mapping, so there's nothing being overscanned out. Again, I'll take some like-for-like shots tonight (although the Blu-ray shots will have to be with my camera as I don't have a PC BD drive).
  22. steverobertsbbc

    steverobertsbbc Member

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    Ah, OK - I'm obviously mistaken about the number of DVD releases. I thought our 16:9 anamorphic version was the second one, but I think I'm getting mixed up with 'Persuasion', which was one of the very first BBC DVD releases.

    You mentioned that there was a small pillarbox on the DVD version. This isn't really a pillarbox, it's just standard blanking - 9 pixels each side of the picture. This is because the true 16:9 part of a standard def picture occupies the centre 702 pixels of the full 720 pixel width. It's more usual these days to relax the picture and let it go right to the edges, producing a 16.4:9 picture, but back then we stuck to the specs!

    It's likely that when we telecined it for DVD we would have reframed to give more headroom on difficult shots. It sounds like the scanning for the BD version was probably just locked off to centre frame.

    The DVD version was a bit problematic. As mentioned previously, the print of episode one was terribly warped and the others hadn't aged well. We didn't have budget to remake end rollers, so we had to drop back to a zoomed in version of the original 14:9 composite transmission master for the end shot of each episode where it mixed across to the roller - and in some cases these lasted rather a long time! There's a considerable reduction in image quality at these points. Also, we found out after grading that, due to a monitoring fault in the suite, the pictures were considerably less saturated than they appeared to be in the suite. Hence the somewhat washed out colour!
  23. DaveCheltenham

    DaveCheltenham Member

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    I have just got the this BD version and like many others applaud the fantastic picture quality and sound.

    The only drawback is as already mentioned, is the head chopping which as steverobertsbbc mentioned was probably due to centre locking from the 14/15:9 aspect ratio rather than taking a bit more care and reframing some scenes. Seems a big oversight to me.

    Currently it can be bought for just under £18 and is well worth the money.

    Regards
  24. BrianPK

    BrianPK Member

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    Finally entered Blu ray and purchased this disc to celebrate....Absolutely wonderful compared to the ghastly DVD disc.
  25. pommy999

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    I read in a review that the US BD has a LPCM 2.0 track, whereas the UK BD has English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track. :confused:

    Anyone know if it would be worth buying the US version, since I believe it is Region Free?
  26. DaveCheltenham

    DaveCheltenham Member

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    Many BD's are region free including the UK version of Pride & Prejudice according to this comprehensive list.

    As per other posts on this thread, prepare for a bit of head chopping as the transfer did not appear to have any frame adjustment in the transfer to 16:9.

    Regards
  27. DJ Mike

    DJ Mike Member

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    I'd be curious to find out if the US release is a different picture transfer, and therefore also if it fixes the framing issues (since I presume they could redo this just by adjusting the framing).
  28. Jeff B

    Jeff B Member

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    Seconded! I don't care which of the two audio options I receive, but losing picture at the top would really annoy me.

    I'd love to watch this on blu ray. I watch it before Christmas each year. Why couldn't the studio release it at 15:9? It's always better to have bars than lose picture.

    Any further information would be appreciated. :)
  29. andreasy969

    andreasy969 Member

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    If you compare shot #8 in this US blu-ray review with shot #2 in this UK blu-ray review, I think it's pretty safe to say, that both transfers use the same framing. I think both transfers are the same.
  30. Jeff B

    Jeff B Member

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    You're probably right, but I wouldn't judge on the basis of these pictures. I'd need to someone attempting a direct comparison.

    EDIT: They look slightly different to me anyway, but it's not the same frame.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009

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