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Comparing R1 vs R2 an Example Part 2

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by Jenz, May 3, 2001.

  1. Jenz

    Jenz
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  2. Confucius

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  3. adamhamilton

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    Excellent, if only there were reviews like this for every film!
     
  4. Mr.D

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    Whilst I agree with your conclusions on the whole Neil I do think you've made a couple of statements that fog the issue slightly.

    Think I've mentioned this last time but a region1 video master is no more likely to have been struck from the "original" negative rather than an interpositive or even an internegative (not much point though) than a region2 master. Neg is rarely scanned for video purposes. This is unlikely to account for any percievable difference between the two regions.(ie if both are derived from masters struck from a pristine interpos on similar equipment)

    It would be better if the image comparrisons related to the same frame in each case. The yellow cast on the region2 images doesn't help either.(how did this arise? Does the region2 exhibit this yellow cast on straight playback on your monitor or when you pull it into photoshop?)

    Looking at the images I'm suspicious of the whites in the region2 versions as they do appear to have been clipped somewhat.

    However as they stand whilst I'd say there does appear to be a bit more fine detail in the region1 there appears to be more intensity detail in the blacks on the region2 material (the interior ceiling in the third example) and it seems to exhibit less aliasing (top of the kid's hat on the right again on the third example and the text on the first example: although jpeging complicates this)

    I do realise these examples are probably just to illustrate the scenes in the film on the discs themselves where you've made your observations rather than for direct A/B comparrison so I'll try and get hold of a region2 copy of the film ( I have the region1) to do a direct disc comparrison.

    I will say that on the whole I do find that region1 is mastered to a higher level than region2 just not necessarily for all of the reasons you state.

    [ 03-05-2001: Message edited by: Mr.D ]
     
  5. adamtandy

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    Thanks for the detailed examination of R1/R2 differences, Jenz. This is the kind of information that really helps when making the call between purchasing either the UK or US versions of a feature release.

    It really annoys me when reviewers use inconsistent criteria for their approval or otherwise of the differences between releases in various territories. I've seen things as diverse as:

    • levels of censorship
    • lack of dts processing
    • quality of print
    • quality of MPEG encoding
    • aspect ratio/letterboxing
    • quality of color grading
    • quality of sound mastering
    • interactive menu 'cuteness'
    • additional commentary sound tracks
    • deleted scenes, trailers, material derived from EPKs
    • photo galleries, documentaries, technical material
    • quality of packaging :rolleyes:
    • price :mad:
    • copy protection

    Every consumer will rank these differently, just as each distributor/DVD producer will have their own priorities when deciding what to include/omit from each title, bearing in mind that every disc has a fixed storage capacity.

    Take the recent release of "O Brother Where Art Thou?". The R2 release has been praised for its picture quality and menus, but knocked for its lack of other extras. Personally, I can't see the point of including US TV ads, cinema trailers and extra menu interactivity, and would rather have had the documentary on the bleach-bypass and digital grade, but in this case it comes down to disc capacity and I'd rather have a low-compression picture at PAL resolution and a decent 5.1 soundtrack.

    Feature-poor R2 discs probably indicate a higher quality of picture than R1 releases. But as you say, qualitative differences in picture are often due to the materials available to DVD producers in local territories. The Fifth Element is a good example of this.

    If the R2 version was derived from an interneg of the original studio cut (US domestic theatrical release in the case of most Hollywood films) it will already have 'degraded' by one or two additional generations. This alone could explain the grading/colour/dirt issues you identified.

    But the MPEG master for region 2 probably came through an entirely different post-production chain to the R1 product, and could have started from a variety of technical sources (interpositives, theatrical distribution prints, low contrast TV prints, PAL video master from any of the above, etc.). Local versions get produced from local originals by local people, with local standards and local budgets.

    Sometimes, R2 product suffers from being rushed out without proper quality control. Directors/producers care passionately about domestic release, but less so for foreign territories. There's plenty of R2 product with glitches that shouldn't have made it to the pressing plant.

    So why do I continue to buy R2 discs?
    Ultimately, a R2 picture at the same compression rate has significantly higher resolution than a R1 picture. Look at the head of the boy in the entrance to the tomb. The R2 image is more defined than the R1 image.

    The artifacting is a function of MPEG compression on the disc, and will depend on stuff like prior compression, dirt, picture complexity, quality/speed of codec in your DVD player, etc, etc.

    There is a lot more data in a PAL-compatible picture, so compression may be higher and error correction more processor-hungry.

    Discs depend on the quality of the recording/playback chain to deliver the best possible picture, but this doesn't necessarily mean that better systems will mean better pictures, because ensuring satisfactory playback on 'most' systems could mean the MPEG data is more compressed (compromised) on PAL systems to keep the data-rate within limits. But as equipment and codecs improve generally, so will R2 picture quality.

    [ 12-05-2001: Message edited by: Adam Tandy ]
     
  6. Mr.D

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    You say some good things Adam but I totally dispute that the differentiation between masters struck from interneg compared with interpos play any significant role in the way the final image looks. A video master represents such a small subset of the intensity range present on either dupe its just not an issue. Two different operators would produce a more obvious difference at the telecine.

    I do agree with your observation regarding resolution on the region2 example, ( I point this out myself).

    Personally I will be sticking to region1 for pricing , assured quality , liklihood of less censorship.
     
  7. adamtandy

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    You're totally right to say that the difference between interneg and an interpos pulled from the interneg is negligable compared with the vaguaries and limitations of telecine. What I meant to say was that many major US features go through more than one generation of interneg/interpos before foreign territories are brought into the loop.

    And each major territory is likely to take its own safety before working on changes for the local market (for censorship, etc.). Then perhaps another generation of safety interneg/interpos before distribution prints are made.

    And even though the generational loss is small, it is a compound effect, so that regional prints for general release in the UK will be less sharp than those made for first-run in LA.

    My point is that for R2 DVD, a local producer is likely to turn to the localised version of the title, and therefore unlikely to have access to material at the same generational level as the R1 DVD producer.

    And local budgetary concerns may mean that the producer may even be tempted to use completely sub-standard material, and abandon even rudimentary QC. (Anyone who bought Defence of the Realm from Carlton's Silver Collection will know what I mean)

    But I agree that a lacklustre telecine transfer is the best way to ruin a good movie.
     
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    PHEW.........
     

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