Are Standard DVD's deliberately being nobbled?

After watching Superman Returns on Standard DVD, I am beginning to wonder if SD DVD will be nobbled to make Hi-Def look better than it really is. I have already read that Combos (With both versions on a hi-def dvd) have a bad quality SD DVD on the back. What do you think?

EDIT: Superman Returns by the way has a terrible picture on SD DVD, almost as bad a SD Broadcast TV.
 

paulst10

Distinguished Member
i must admit i thought that very same thing when i tried out the SD side on my combo version of superman returns .. coincidence ??
 

Racquel Darrian

Distinguished Member
Slightly off topic but I've noticed this on the Xbox 360 too.

Set it to 480p and it looks awful then set it to 720p and it looks amazing.
So why then does my modded Xbox (original) look amazing in 480p and why isn't the 360 480p output of equal quality?

Are things being nobbled here too?
I say yes.
 
I've posted about the PQ on SR a couple of times since it came out and I to was wondering wether or not they had done it on purpose...
I found the PQ on MI:III to be sub standard as well...another disc released on HD DVD...coincidence...?
 
Slightly off topic but I've noticed this on the Xbox 360 too.

Set it to 480p and it looks awful then set it to 720p and it looks amazing.
So why then does my modded Xbox (original) look amazing in 480p and why isn't the 360 480p output of equal quality?

Are things being nobbled here too?
I say yes.
360 games are made in HD...
 

Racquel Darrian

Distinguished Member
360 games are made in HD...
I was talking about original xbox games (sorry for not being clear).
Why does a xbox game look great at 480p on my modded xbox but awful when played on my 360 at 480p?

Shouldn't they be of similar quality?
 

rebel_scum

Distinguished Member
The reason original Xbox games look bad,(and I must say, that it isn't all of them, check out Halo 2), is because rather than running off the original hardware, and chip,(which the 360 dosen't have), they are running off emulation programs, which throw up unusual quirks. Taking the proper time to convert titles would've been okay, but given the vocal outcry over the lack of backward compatible titles, these have have been fired out quite quickly. With regards to HD-Combo discs, isn't it true, that the SD side is only the equivalent of a DVD-5? SD being nobbled for HD? Hardly, considering the user base. And yes, I own both M:I:III, and Superman Returns. SR certainly isn't the sharpest transfer in the box,but with the exception of the Vatican scene, M:I:III, has one of the best video transfers I've seen in a while,(still dosen't beat The Matador, though, that was gorgeous). Maybe it's the problem that current LCD televisions can't properly upscale standard definition material properly,(no matter how expensive the model). Way of the future? As Jim Royale would say, "My arse!!"
 

Will Scarlet

Well-known Member
The idea that the studios would deliberately put out inferior DVD's to try and encourage HD-DVD uptake seems a bit daft to me. DVD is a massive market in comparison to HD-DVD and will be for a long time to come.
I'm also bemused by the assertion that Superman Returns is a terrible picture, granted it is a little softer than I would have liked but overall I think it is a fine presentation.
Regards MI:III, as Rebel Scum said, it has a superb picture, so I'm afraid the fault may well lie with your equipment.
 
The idea that the studios would deliberately put out inferior DVD's to try and encourage HD-DVD uptake seems a bit daft to me. DVD is a massive market in comparison to HD-DVD and will be for a long time to come.
I'm also bemused by the assertion that Superman Returns is a terrible picture, granted it is a little softer than I would have liked but overall I think it is a fine presentation.
Regards MI:III, as Rebel Scum said, it has a superb picture, so I'm afraid the fault may well lie with your equipment.
Superman Returns.....
So you think that Superman's cloak is red not brown?
And you don't see that all of the colours in the movie are tinted brown?
and you can't see that the movie has poor contrast levels?

Show me a photo of your DVD picture on your tv.

EDIT: You don't need to send me a photo, I have looked on other sites, and they all say that the cloak is brown, and the picture quality is terrible.
 
The idea that the studios would deliberately put out inferior DVD's to try and encourage HD-DVD uptake seems a bit daft to me. DVD is a massive market in comparison to HD-DVD and will be for a long time to come.
I'm also bemused by the assertion that Superman Returns is a terrible picture, granted it is a little softer than I would have liked but overall I think it is a fine presentation.
Regards MI:III, as Rebel Scum said, it has a superb picture, so I'm afraid the fault may well lie with your equipment.
I'll give you the one ref MI:III - through my old (£1000) Pioneer 868, the picture was very ropey, particularly in the Vatican scenes...however, in my newly purchased (£200) Denon 1930, the picture is very stable all the way through and the de-interlacing on my Sagem 50" DLP set is pretty good...both have Faroudja chips...the Picture on Superman returns from all 3 regions however remains garbage. The de-interlacing is perfect, but there's so much solarisation, artefacting and just general horrible things still there I'm afraid.
I've already pointed out the scene with the kryptonite bomb...another scene is near the beggining when Clark Kent is lyeing down and there's a close up of his face...his face a a funny shade of essence of brain and it looks like the skin is trying to remove itself from his body.
My kit is calibrated monthly useing DVE and no other disc is showingany signs of general crappiness.
The transfer I have seen on R1, R2 & R3 is crap...as confirmed by Pincho...
 

inzaman

Moderator
the Picture on Superman returns from all 3 regions however remains garbage. The de-interlacing is perfect, but there's so much solarisation, artefacting and just general horrible things still there I'm afraid...
I have rented this out over the weekend so will have to check it out later.

Rented MI3 out this weekend as well and i thought the picture was okay tbh, the main issue i could see was to me some of the darker scenes appeared to lack contrast, or detail if that makes sense :confused:
 

the_pauley

Banned
Superman Returns.....
So you think that Superman's cloak is red not brown?
And you don't see that all of the colours in the movie are tinted brown?
and you can't see that the movie has poor contrast levels?
The colour and contrast on this disc are fine, in that they reflect the look of the original print. It has a "softish" look to it, but so did the cinema release. I saw it on opening day on a top quality Imax print and it looked just like it does on the DVD. The picture has a slightly artificial, somewhat processed look in many parts -particularly scenes featuring Superman- but this was done in post production and has nothing to do with the quality of the DVD transfer. Indeed I seem to recall reading at the time that almost every shot of Brandon Routh as Superman had been digitally tinkered with - and I'm not refering to The Sun's "bulge" story!

Similar accusations of a poor quality DVD transfer (grainy, washed out colours) were levelled at the War of the Worlds DVD release last year, when these were deliberate choices made by Spielberg to give the movie a particularly "gritty" look.

The formerly bright red parts of the costume were darker in the cinema print as well. This was widely commented on when the first pictures of the new costume debuted. It was a deliberate choice by Singer to darken the tones of the costume. It may not be to your taste (I prefer the classic brighter red and blue look as well) but the DVD release accurately reflects the colour palette of the movie.
 
The colour and contrast on this disc are fine, in that they reflect the look of the original print. It has a "softish" look to it, but so did the cinema release. I saw it on opening day on a top quality Imax print and it looked just like it does on the DVD. The picture has a slightly artificial, somewhat processed look in many parts -particularly scenes featuring Superman- but this was done in post production and has nothing to do with the quality of the DVD transfer. Indeed I seem to recall reading at the time that almost every shot of Brandon Routh as Superman had been digitally tinkered with - and I'm not refering to The Sun's "bulge" story!

Similar accusations of a poor quality DVD transfer (grainy, washed out colours) were levelled at the War of the Worlds DVD release last year, when these were deliberate choices made by Spielberg to give the movie a particularly "gritty" look.

The formerly bright red parts of the costume were darker in the cinema print as well. This was widely commented on when the first pictures of the new costume debuted. It was a deliberate choice by Singer to darken the tones of the costume. It may not be to your taste (I prefer the classic brighter red and blue look as well) but the DVD release accurately reflects the colour palette of the movie.
Maybe I should also ask... are cinemas also being nobbled to make Hi-Def movies look better than they really are???

So you are saying that the HD-DVD version is brown as well? And even if the costume was deliberately darkened by the costume designers, they would not take into account that the film would also have a brown hue, therefore the costume is still not the colour that it was supposed to be. And therefore the costume is far browner than it was supposed to be.
 

the_pauley

Banned
What scene? :confused:
 
What scene? :confused:
Doesn't my image work??

Well look at the pictures on this link then. They are all brown... Plus the reviewer also thinks that the standard DVD has been knobbled to make Hi-Def look better.

I'm very curious about the Blu-ray and HD DVD releases. Did Warner Bros. put all there effort into the next gen formats and dump on those of us still unable, or unwilling to shell out the cash for a next gen player, or do all the transfers suffer from these problems?

EDIT: Seems I'm not allowed to post links to other sites...
 

elicash73

Active Member
Maybe I should also ask... are cinemas also being nobbled to make Hi-Def movies look better than they really are???
Are you crazy?

I only see one similarity between the two films predominantly mentioned in this thread: that to varying degrees, they were both shot using digital video cameras. Superman was filmed entirely on video (aswell as a number of entirely synthetic shots) and MI3 was shot using both film and video cameras (this also correlates well with complaints about the varying PQ in the latter).

Now I haven't seen either in high defintion DVD but particularly with Superman I'd be interested to read an impatial analysis of digital to digital transfers in comparison to film transfers, with regards to HD-DVD and Bluray. With something like Superman Returns, at 1080p the film is being shown in its native resolution, whereas films shot on celluloid are being downsampled to (theoretically) half their native resolution.

As for the cape...like Pauley said; this was most definately a wardrobe and colour-timing decision. Now, red is a notoriously difficult colour in the digital domain and perhaps the more severe sub-sampling of SD DVD is having an effect to some degree....but I did not notice any difference between the palette in the cinema compared to the dvd.
 
I ask, are Cinemas receiving substandard prints?, and you say...

Are you crazy?
Then you go on to say.....

....but I did not notice any difference between the palette in the cinema compared to the dvd.

Ok.. so if the Hd version is better than the cinema.. does this answer your question? Because I have been reading a few threads that say that some HD films look better than the cinema.
 

the_pauley

Banned
Pincho, a SD disc -let alone a HD- on a good display and source looks (and sounds) better than the cinema. The picture does not have to fill a thirty foot screen for starters, thus sharpening the image considerably.

I've just watched all of Superman Returns this afternoon, having just browsed through the box set last night. The image on this movie is absolutely fine. As has been stated above, not the sharpest in the world, but then neither was the cinema image. And no brown capes to be seen. A very dark red / burgundy cape, yes, but brown no.

The image of this movie has been highly processed - a lot of it looks slightly unnatural, but that's how it looked in the cinema, nothing wrong with the DVD transfer. Just a creative decision by the film makers, just like the colour of the cape. If you're in doubt watch the "making of" on the disc where we see the costume outdoors in natural daylight, shot on a hand held camcorder. Colour is that same dark red. Indeed in one on-set shot in the documentary one of the other actors (the guy in the bullet in the eye scene) remarks when he sees Routh in costume "That's a funny shade of red - it's like it's rusted."

Pincho - can I ask you something? Have you actually watched this movie in the cinema and / or on DVD? It's just that you seem to be constantly refering to screen shots of the movie. The 007 Ultimate Editions thread has a link to a German website showing screen shot comparisons of the SEs and UEs of the movies. I own the UE set and until recently the SE set. Both the SE and UE screenshots are appaling quality and look nothing like the image quality of either edition.

You also asked Will Scarlet to take a photo of his TV image - I can't think of a more wildly inaccurate barometer of a DVD's image quality than a shot from a TV display.

If you're wavering on buying this disc then here's one professional review that seems fairly unequivocal:

Video:
As we might expect, one of the year's biggest blockbusters should be afforded a no holds barred transfer and that's exactly what has been created. Presented in its original AR of 2.35:1, this enhanced for widescreen transfer looks fantastic – one of the best of the year. The HD version comparison will no doubt be interesting as this is almost perfect.

First up, colors. Gorgeous, lush and vivid. Skin tones looked real and accurate. Shadow detail and contrast levels also looked perfect – although, the film has a slightly dark look to it. Image detail was excellent as sharp images emerged not only on close-ups but on wider and longer shots. The film also exhibited an impressive amount of depth and texture with virtually no film grain evident.

As we would expect, the print was absolutely immaculate and free of any marks or blemishes. Perfection was also performed in the authoring of the disc as compression errors were non existent – same with edge enhancement; none.

Another example of how well standard definition can look when done right. Full marks - fantastic.

Video: 5/5
 
It seems strange that you found the 1 good review, when most other reviews mention the brown colouring of the film. Yes I have the video..

I was one of the few people that said that The Matrix was brown, and other people argued with me..

Now The Matrix has been re-coloured!!! From BROWN to GREEN.

Which is why I don't understand why people disagree with me until in the end the film is re-coloured.

Also... Dark red is not brown.. you should look for the brown images of the cape. They are not there all of the time, but there is a lot of them.

You also asked Will Scarlet to take a photo of his TV image - I can't think of a more wildly inaccurate barometer of a DVD's image quality than a shot from a TV display.
Also.. photo of a screen comment.. what else do you expect? Want me to buy a big telescope?

Pincho - a SD disc -let alone a HD- on a good display and source looks (and sounds) better than the cinema. The picture does not have to fill a thirty foot screen area for starters, thus sharpening the image considerably.
So why did you say that the DVD looks like the cinema image that you saw? That proves that the DVD must be really bad.
 

Rob100

Novice Member
With regards to HD-Combo discs, isn't it true, that the SD side is only the equivalent of a DVD-5?
The SD side of Superman Returns HD-DVD combo is over 7 gigs, so it's definately not the same as a DVD-5.

However I have to say that I thought both the SD and DVD transfers of this film were cr*p. This is certainly not one to use to wow friends and family when demonstrating your system.
 

the_pauley

Banned
It seems strange that you found the 1 good review, when most other reviews mention the brown colouring of the film.
It's a review on Home Theater Forums. It exists - look it up. Nothing "strange" about it at all. On the other hand, I have not seen one professional review of the movie that mentions "...the brown colouring of the film..." Indeed the only mention I have seen of this is from you Pincho.

So why did you say that the DVD looks like the cinema image that you saw? That proves that the DVD must be really bad.
If you care to re-read the above in context, I was refering to the colour palette, softening of the image and general "processed" look of much of the film, all of which were common to the cinema screening and DVD.

And how exactly is simply stating that the DVD looks like the cinema image, proof that "...the DVD must be really bad"? :confused:

Also.. photo of a screen comment.. what else do you expect? Want me to buy a big telescope?
No, that would be pointless. Just as pointless as asking someone to take a photo of their telly to assess DVD image quality, which was my point.

At the end of the day Pincho it's as simple as this; you see "...the brown colouring of the film..." where others do not. If it pains you so much - don't watch it, or complain to Warner Brothers. or something... However, constantly posting messages asking "Can't you see it?" will elicit the same response from those of us that disagree - "No". So move on mate.

A thought. It might be helpful if you asked fellow forum member Mr D (a film industry professional) about this, as it might have been one of the many entertainments he has actually worked on. I seem to recall that on another thread he kindly corrected some other misconceptions you had regarding image/technical issues, so maybe he can put your mind at rest on this one too.
 
I'm gonna add something here...I actually found not a lot wrong with the colours on the disc. I remember there being uproar when BR was first photographed in the cape and tights...mainly about the size of the "S" on his chest...but also what was once red is now burgundy or claret. That's exactly what I'm seeing. I'm also seeing tons of artifacts and solarisation as well...which tells me, poorly mastered disc.
I did see the film at the cinema on opening night and can't remember the solarisation and murkiness in dark scenes there.
 
It's a review on
At the end of the day Pincho it's as simple as this; you see "...the brown colouring of the film..." where others do not. If it pains you so much - don't watch it, or complain to Warner Brothers. or something... However, constantly posting messages asking "Can't you see it?" will elicit the same response from those of us that disagree - "No". So move on mate.

A thought. It might be helpful if you asked fellow forum member Mr D (a film industry professional) about this, as it might have been one of the many entertainments he has actually worked on. I seem to recall that on another thread he kindly corrected some other misconceptions you had regarding image/technical issues, so maybe he can put your mind at rest on this one too.


I copied, and pasted a whole load of sites that said that the film was brown, but I deleted them because I thought that it was so obvious that the film was brown without me proving it.

Mr D did not correct me, he proved himself wrong actually by saying that The Matrix was originally green, and that the Watchowsky Brothers (Whatever the name) watched the processing as it was done. However I gave him a link to show that The Matrix was Brown, and has now been recoloured to Green.

If you see brown as red then you shoud re-callibrate your tv properly not me. You are in the minority not me.

I mean.. look at Luthors bathrobe, it is supposed to be white, but its brown/yellow
 

the_pauley

Banned
Mr D did not correct me, he proved himself wrong actually by saying that The Matrix was originally green...
Haven't seen that one (I'll look it up :) ). I was refering to this comment he addressed to you...
ABSOLUTE DRIVEL! : bluescreen despill processes do not work this way . The Matrix was mostly greenscreen anyway not that it makes any difference to your nonsense. The colour cast in the Matrix is intentional.
If you see brown as red then you shoud re-callibrate your tv properly not me. You are in the minority not me.
If I'm seeing the Superman cape as dark red then I'm seeing it in the colour it was created in. Trust me - Brian Singer did not dress Superman in a brown cape! :thumbsup:

My screen is perfectly calibrated using the DVE discs thanks. Er, correct me if I'm wrong, but two people on this thread say they see dark red, so far one says brown. Please define "...in the minority..." ;) You can't move past this can you Pincho? I fully accept that you see brown for whatever the reason. Why can you not accept the fact that I and others see dark red.

I mean.. look at Luthors bathrobe, it is supposed to be white, but its brown/yellow
Er, not on my screen it ain't! Just popped it in to check and it's a perfectly nice natural white. Not a hint of brown or yellow. Has it ever occurred to you Pincho that your set up might be at fault? Is that so beyond the realms of possibility?
 

the_pauley

Banned
Originally Posted by Pincho Paxton
Got the region 2 version today. The picture is horrible, and reminds me of The Matrix original version. It's brown, and nasty. Superman's cape is brownish, and the skin tones are like sand.
You seem to have a system calibration issue as original "The Matrix" was tinted green on purpose. Get the R4 release. It's the best version.

Also, I recommend "Digital Video Essentials" to resolve any system calibration problems.
Pincho - just found this post from Iain when I was searching the forums. I have the original R2 release of the Matrix and the film has the same greenish tint it had when I saw it in the cinema.

That's Mr.D, Iain, and myself all telling you the same thing. I really do think you need to look at your system mate.
 

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