Every so often I get a flood of emails asking why I'm saying a particular R1 DVD is better than the equivalent R2 DVD. The assumption on the emailer is often that because R2 is PAL and carries additional lines of resolution it should therefore be better. More lines being able to carry more detail. However this is often not the case. There are various reasons why a R1 DVD can be superior to a R2. The first and perhaps most common example is that the R1 disc may be created direct from the original negatives of the film. The equivalent R2 may however be created from an Interpositive or Internegative resulting in a slightly diluted print in terms of clarity. The second and worst approach is to use an NTSC Master and create a new PAL Master from it. This results in an even worse picture. The large spread dislike of R2 PAL The Abyss would indicate that something along these lines may have been done. Finally (and perhaps worst of all) some discs may be created from non-film prints. There's a certain Disc Producer who creates their R2 DVDs from imported Laserdisc, resulting it consistently bad releases that are no good in any shape or form. They can though be created extremely cheaply. The most common quotes occur across the major titles, and often the examples are not strictly correct. Unless you've done a true A/B comparison then you're not seeing the accurate picture. Here is one everyone can try: Buy yourself a copy of The Fifth Element on both R1 & R2. Many sites will categorically state that the R2 Anamorphic version is bound[/i] to be better... Play the film from the start paying close attention to the ways in which: a) the volume of dirt on the R2 is immediately in your face throughout particularly on the desert long shots, and all over the planet surface. b) When the Donkey walks from right to left carrying the young boy pay close attention to the sheer lack of detail on the Donkey's hind leg on the R2. This isn't because of crushed white levels, alter contrast and brightness to try and bring out the detail... it's just not there. c) similarly take a look at the robes of the three boys as they are set in the entrance. The R1 clearly shows the textures and folds on the whites and creams. The R2 does not. d) When the scene appears looking at the entrance from the inside note the extensive artefacts around the R2 doorway that are not present on the R1. And so the list goes on. I'm not suggestion that R1 wins on every title, no far from it. What I'm suggesting is that you should be aware that each disc has to be treated differently and questioned. Make sure you read proper A/B comparisons to get the proper picture <sic!>. Regards Neil.