Lord of the Rings: Extended Edition - 28 June

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
15.....FIFTEEN Discs In a massive cardboard carton?

This is vestige of the DVD generation and New Line should update their thinking.

In these years of on-demand, streaming, downloads and managed copies this isn't convenience, and minimalising the footprint of the product something the blu-ray brand should pushing? We aren't impressed with "MOAR DISCS MOAR VALUEEE!!!!" any more.

Small packaging, more layers and less discs. We don't want wheelbarrow full of behind the scenes DVD's thrown in that could fit in one or maybe two blu-ray discs. (I have no problem with them being SD)

A standard 50GB blu holds 23 hours of SD material, that means you can squeeze these 9 dvd's onto practically 1 blu. 2 at the most.

It's really not rocket science, it's just a company inconveniencing people because they are either cheaping out or have left over dvd extras discs.

As for the movies themselves being on 2 discs, I'm less annoyed but still surprised. Are we really out of space already? Is this exactly the same problem as Titanic and LOTR:E faced on DVD, but this time in HD?

Does blu-ray really not scale more than DVD? Are extra layers still the same cost problem they were with DVD?. I remember getting excited about Blu when I first heard of it. "Imagine getting a Season of TV on one or two discs" This kind of talk was thrown around, maybe I'm a fool for believing it. I remember HATING HD-DVD for the small space upgrade over DVD thinking "they would still have to use 2 discs for the likes of LOTR:E, I don't think that's a future disc format I can get behind."

What a disappointment. This box set should be a flagship blue-ray product. Again, it's more the overall product not being minimal, than the 2 discs per film thing.

Couldn't agree more :thumbsup:
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
As for the movies themselves being on 2 discs, I'm less annoyed but still surprised. Are we really out of space already? Is this exactly the same problem as Titanic and LOTR:E faced on DVD, but this time in HD?

Does blu-ray really not scale more than DVD? Are extra layers still the same cost problem they were with DVD?. I remember getting excited about Blu when I first heard of it. "Imagine getting a Season of TV on one or two discs" This kind of talk was thrown around, maybe I'm a fool for believing it. I remember HATING HD-DVD for the small space upgrade over DVD thinking "they would still have to use 2 discs for the likes of LOTR:E, I don't think that's a future disc format I can get behind."
When people were talking up the space of Blu-ray - including ye olde "one season of TV on one disc" thing - they were talking about it relative to DVD, i.e. SD material, to give joe public a general idea of its capacity.

But, as I've said over and over in this thread, Blu-ray is not a bottomless pit of storage space when it comes to HD. No matter if people don't want to believe it, it's a fact. The issue of layers is not the problem, nor was it with those split DVD 2-discers you mentioned, as they were made up of 2 dual-layer discs - just as these LOTR EEs will be on Blu-ray. 50GB is the maximum storage for a single commercially pressed BD at this time. So, instead of possibly compromising these lengthy fan-favourite films, Warners are playing it safe.

Still, I've done a few sums and maybe, just maybe, the EEs could've fitted onto one BD50 each with a video bitrate hovering around an average of 20 mbps (that's for ROTK, it'd be a little higher for the other two). Doesn't sound like a lot, but given that the Euro version of Gladiator (remastered) has the same average bitrate and looks STUNNING, LOTR would look just as good in the right hands.

What's done is done though, and these movies had better look spec-freakin'-tacular to justify the 100GB lavished on each one.
 

fade

Standard Member
My main problem is with the amount of extras discs. But.....

1) Fellowship Extended is 3.5 hours long, TT not much more.
2) None of these films are technically FULL-HD... they are wider than 16x9 - black bars at top and bottom means almost quarter of the video encoded is black bars...will take virtually 0 space.

Yes, I'm disappointed (and still don't believe) blu-ray can't encode 75% of the 16x9 screen for 4 and a bit hours (ROTK) at high quality, but I'm quite surprised it's necessary for Fellowship or TT to be on 2 discs considering those factors above.

Could we see some 3.0 hour FULL 16x9 releases in the future have to use 2 discs? What does this say for Blu's use for 3D movies (2 copies of each frame)

The way I see it is either Blu has more weaknesses as a format than I thought or New Line are flaking out with this release. I'm going to look into the aspect ratios and running times of some of the top tier blu's.
 

mentasm

Distinguished Member
Still, I've done a few sums and maybe, just maybe, the EEs could've fitted onto one BD50 each with a video bitrate hovering around an average of 20 mbps (that's for ROTK, it'd be a little higher for the other two). Doesn't sound like a lot, but given that the Euro version of Gladiator (remastered) has the same average bitrate and looks STUNNING, LOTR would look just as good in the right hands.
Just playing devil's advocate, how many language tracks (and in what format) does Gladiator have? Gladiator is also slightly shorter than these films. The available audio tracks eat into the total bitrate, so it's possible that the lossless tracks coupled with the silly amount of commentaries reduced the video bitrate to unacceptable levels. I know the lossless tracks are VBR and the commentaries are probably only low bitrate Dolby Digital, but still... I'm sure I'm teaching you to suck eggs Geoff, but people think BD has 50GB of space for the movie and it simply doesn't work like that.

As for the number and format of discs (as mentioned by others in the thread), there are probably a variety of reasons. I think expecting all of the SD supplements from nine DVDs to appear on one BD is, how shall I put it, hopeful. The economics of these things also have to be considered. It's probably still cheaper to produce the DVDs than BDs.

I still can't imagine them being reference titles though, simply due to the way they were post-produced. I hope I'm wrong though. The least they could do is cut back on the DNR. That alone would make for much better viewing...
 
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Just playing devil's advocate, how many language tracks (and in what format) does Gladiator have? Gladiator is also slightly shorter than these films. The available audio tracks eat into the total bitrate, so it's possible that the lossless tracks coupled with the silly amount of commentaries reduced the video bitrate to unacceptable levels. I know the lossless tracks are VBR and the commentaries are probably only low bitrate Dolby Digital, but still... I'm sure I'm teaching you to suck eggs Geoff, but people think BD has 50GB of space for the movie and it simply doesn't work like that.

As for the number and format of discs (as mentioned by others in the thread), there are probably a variety of reasons. I think expecting all of the SD supplements from nine DVDs to appear on one BD is, how shall I put it, hopeful. The economics of these things also have to be considered. It's probably still cheaper to produce the DVDs than BDs.

I still can't imagine them being reference titles though, simply due to the way they were post-produced. I hope I'm wrong though. The least they could do is cut back on the DNR. That alone would make for much better viewing...

What about mathematically working out the extra costs of extra discs? Say they are using two discs per film, so why not split the languages up instead? Use 1 disc for half the languages, and the other disc with the rest of the languages? Being as that costs the same.. no loss of profits.
 

darrenthebear

Well-known Member
What about mathematically working out the extra costs of extra discs? Say they are using two discs per film, so why not split the languages up instead? Use 1 disc for half the languages, and the other disc with the rest of the languages? Being as that costs the same.. no loss of profits.

:laugh:

So you're saying have disc 1 of the film with half of the languages and disc 2 with the other half of the languages, correct?

How on earth is that going to work then?
 

Johnny Dee

Active Member
Maybe if we all moan as much as possible, Warners will give us an individually tailored box set to suit what everybody wants and hand deliver it by a group of elves.
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
P.S. Do you think this Extended BD boxset will be thicker than the three Extended DVD editions as the latter came in quite thick "tome" style cases?

After seeing the artwork it looks like they are using 3 of those BD cases designed to house 5-7 discs, the type they used for Season 3 of Star Trek TOS which is about the same size as a standard UK BD case.

If that is the case then the set shouldn't be any bigger than your standard UK Trilogy set (ie The Matrix Trilogy/Spider-man Trilogy)
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
Just playing devil's advocate, how many language tracks (and in what format) does Gladiator have? Gladiator is also slightly shorter than these films. The available audio tracks eat into the total bitrate, so it's possible that the lossless tracks coupled with the silly amount of commentaries reduced the video bitrate to unacceptable levels. I know the lossless tracks are VBR and the commentaries are probably only low bitrate Dolby Digital, but still... I'm sure I'm teaching you to suck eggs Geoff, but people think BD has 50GB of space for the movie and it simply doesn't work like that.
That's why I specifically mentioned video bitrate in my post above, as I've taken the other variables into account as well. ;)

Gladiator actually has an even lower average video bitrate than I first thought, coming in at under 18 mbps. There's a staggering amount of audio tracks on that disc too; on top of the lossless DTS mix there's another six DTS 5.1 tracks at 768 kbps each. The audio totals 9 mbps alone! Considering all the branching & Java gubbins that was squeezed on as well, Gladiator's AVC video encode is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The LOTR:EE movies wouldn't have any branching concerns, and the audio (inc. commentaries and one extra language track, if at all) would come to roughly 6 mbps, both of which would leave more space for the video encode (compared to Gladiator). If my sums are right, then even the longest LOTR flick could've had a slightly higher video bitrate than Gladiator, which looks incredible.

Still, as I said before: what's done is done. Warners simply must knock this one out of the park, instead of doing their usual '30GB total encode on a BD50' schtick.
 
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:laugh:

So you're saying have disc 1 of the film with half of the languages and disc 2 with the other half of the languages, correct?

How on earth is that going to work then?

Easy.. You want to watch it in Spanish you put in disc 2, you want to watch it in English you put in disc 1. Now there is enough room for the whole film on 1 disc.. twice.
 

fade

Standard Member
After seeing the artwork it looks like they are using 3 of those BD cases designed to house 5-7 discs, the type they used for Season 3 of Star Trek TOS which is about the same size as a standard UK BD case.If that is the case then the set shouldn't be any bigger than your standard UK Trilogy set (ie The Matrix Trilogy/Spider-man Trilogy)

Dang, looks like you are right, cheers for the info... I guess it ain't SO bad then.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Maybe if we all moan as much as possible, Warners will give us an individually tailored box set to suit what everybody wants and hand deliver it by a group of elves.

As long as we're paying for it, we'll moan when its justified. If I was being offered a bluray upgrade on my exisiting set for free, I'd shut up and count my blessings (Hell, i'd write a thankyou letter to Warners in elvish). If on the other hand its costing me sixty notes, it needs to be worth it.

Remember we're not talking about a b-movie here; wer'e talking about arguably the most acclaimed fantasy series in history, on a set aimed squarely at dedicated fans and bluray/ film enthusiasts. So far the information suggests a product that doesn't offer any measurable benefit over the extended edition DVDs beyond the bluray transfers themselves ( which if Mentasm is right, wont (indeed cant) be reference quality anyway). So far, Warners aren't selling it to me and everyone ive talked to feels the same.
 

Johnny Dee

Active Member
As long as we're paying for it, we'll moan when its justified. If I was being offered a bluray upgrade on my exisiting set for free, I'd shut up and count my blessings (Hell, i'd write a thankyou letter to Warners in elvish). If on the other hand its costing me sixty notes, it needs to be worth it.

Remember we're not talking about a b-movie here; wer'e talking about arguably the most acclaimed fantasy series in history, on a set aimed squarely at dedicated fans and bluray/ film enthusiasts. So far the information suggests a product that doesn't offer any measurable benefit over the extended edition DVDs beyond the bluray transfers themselves ( which if Mentasm is right, wont (indeed cant) be reference quality anyway). So far, Warners aren't selling it to me and everyone ive talked to feels the same.

I get what you're saying, but the problem is is that some people want 2 discs per film to keep the bit rate up and others want 1 disc per film for the convenience, some want all the extras on blu ray, others don't want any extras at all because they have them already on dvd.

Puts Warner in a bit of a pickle, doesn't it?

Also, I don't get why they can't be reference quality? If they end up looking identical to how they looked in the cinema, then isn't that exactly what reference quality is?
 

mentasm

Distinguished Member
That's why I specifically mentioned video bitrate in my post above, as I've taken the other variables into account as well. ;)

Gladiator actually has an even lower average video bitrate than I first thought, coming in at under 18 mbps. There's a staggering amount of audio tracks on that disc too; on top of the lossless DTS mix there's another six DTS 5.1 tracks at 768 kbps each. The audio totals 9 mbps alone! Considering all the branching & Java gubbins that was squeezed on as well, Gladiator's AVC video encode is nothing short of a masterpiece.

The LOTR:EE movies wouldn't have any branching concerns, and the audio (inc. commentaries and one extra language track, if at all) would come to roughly 6 mbps, both of which would leave more space for the video encode (compared to Gladiator). If my sums are right, then even the longest LOTR flick could've had a slightly higher video bitrate than Gladiator, which looks incredible.

Still, as I said before: what's done is done. Warners simply must knock this one out of the park, instead of doing their usual '30GB total encode on a BD50' schtick.
That'll teach me not to reply at that time of night. My comments were partly based on the feedback Van Ling gave about T2 Skynet. I'm assuming these will receive VC-1 transfers again, as that's what the theatrical editions were. I've read a number of conflicting reports about which codec is better at lower bitrates, but to my eyes all of Warner's low bitrate VC-1 encodes have been less impressive than similar AVC jobs. The only conclusion I can come to is that they decided RotK looked unsatisfactory on a single BD50, and so decided to split all three of the films for uniformity. That would at least make sense, but hey I'm guessing as only they know the real reasons.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
I get what you're saying, but the problem is is that some people want 2 discs per film to keep the bit rate up and others want 1 disc per film for the convenience, some want all the extras on blu ray, others don't want any extras at all because they have them already on dvd.

Puts Warner in a bit of a pickle, doesn't it?

Also, I don't get why they can't be reference quality? If they end up looking identical to how they looked in the cinema, then isn't that exactly what reference quality is?

Neither do I frankly :)- for that info I defer to the superior knowledge of Geoff and Mentasm.
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
That'll teach me not to reply at that time of night. My comments were partly based on the feedback Van Ling gave about T2 Skynet. I'm assuming these will receive VC-1 transfers again, as that's what the theatrical editions were. I've read a number of conflicting reports about which codec is better at lower bitrates, but to my eyes all of Warner's low bitrate VC-1 encodes have been less impressive than similar AVC jobs. The only conclusion I can come to is that they decided RotK looked unsatisfactory on a single BD50, and so decided to split all three of the films for uniformity. That would at least make sense, but hey I'm guessing as only they know the real reasons.
Warners have started to use AVC, which is the great irony of them dividing up the LOTR flicks 'cause AVC would give them a fair tilt at fitting each film on one disc. Don't get me wrongo, I'm still for splitting the films up but the more I look at it the more I think that they could've worked on one platter.

Johnny Dee is on the money though: Warners would catch hell no matter how they presented the films. 1 disc = moaning about quality, 2 disc = moaning about 'ruining the experience', extras on DVD = moaning about getting the same ****, extras on BD = moaning about why the extras aren't in HD. And so on.

Lovely place, this 'internet'.
 
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fade

Standard Member
Sorry, but I see a separation between legitimate and non-legitimate "bitchy" internet non-complaints.There are just far too many unnecessary discs in this edition.

We can debate if 2 discs for the movies is necessary, I don't think, or at least I hope for the longevity of the blu-ray format that it isn't.If it's necessary, that's cool, just colour me suprised.

But including all those extras on 9 DVDs instead of 1 or 2 blu-rays is a big turn off and I won't be buying. That's all, I won't be buying, I'm not going to whine about it. I might just pick it up when it's £20 or something, or wait for a better edition in the future.

Also, if those extras were on blu-ray, for the record, I won't be complaining that they aren't high def. Just like I don't complain if my new car doesn't fly! :)
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
fade, you've hit the nail on the head when mentioning a "better edition in the future". It's worth bearing in mind that so little effort appears to have gone into this EE release precisely because an uber-boxset is on the cards once The Hobbit is done and dusted.
 

Johnny Dee

Active Member
Do standalone blu ray players upscale sd material on blu? The ps3 doesn't, which is why I'm happy for the extras to be on dvd's. Should end up looking slightly better that way.
 
Do standalone blu ray players upscale sd material on blu? The ps3 doesn't, which is why I'm happy for the extras to be on dvd's. Should end up looking slightly better that way.

The PS3 does upscale standard SD, and it does it very well.
 

Johnny Dee

Active Member
Pincho Paxton said:
The PS3 does upscale standard SD, and it does it very well.

I know it upscales DVDs but it doesn't upscale SD material on a blu ray disc, unless I'm missing something?
 

Geoff_D

Distinguished Member
You're right JD, the PS3 doesn't upscale SD material on Blu-ray. I don't know why that's a big concern with the LOTR flicks though, because camcordered SD on-set footage upscaled will still look like camcordered SD on-set footage.
 

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