R1 vs R2 on Projector

Discussion in 'Projectors, Screens & Video Processors' started by Alan Westy, Feb 14, 2001.

  1. Alan Westy

    Alan Westy
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    Jenz,

    I have noticed that region one are better in particular region two films seem darker which means less detail is visible. I intend to buy only region one if poss from now on.

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  2. Mr.D

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    Lots of reasons why this may be the case.
    Two versions of the same film may mean two different masters generated on two different sets of equipment calibrated slightly differently overseen by two different operators with their own aesthetic criteria.Being advised by someone who may not suggest the same thing at the same time during both sessions. Possibly from two slightly differing neg/interpositives of the same film perhaps created in different labs with slightly differnt bath characteristics. Then its the same all over again at the compression stage.

    It might be wrong to say one version is "better" than the other although personally you will have a preference for a particular look.

    There maybe slight differences in the way a given display handles the two different formats (the device may be built with a bias towards being more correct for one set of standards or the other (chances are it won't be "ideal" for both): thats why in post you have such things as NTSC and PAL differentiated monitors.

    Your source device again may have a different response to the different formats. The black set-up might be different (although in this example they should be the same: I can force my dvd player to apply the different set-ups even on RGB which should set-up for the same black level with either format regardless.)

    Some people actually prefer images which are technically incorrect: s-video is often described as being sharper than RGB by some people when in fact its just clippier and overly edge processed.

    Some discs are predominately 4:2:0 some are 4:1:1 some mix and max. When you bring MPEG2 into the equation its even more difficult to quantify the similarities between even two frames of the same film from different versions. In fact if you normalised the two frames relative to each other (ie: took things like the resolution differences away and then subtracted the two frames from each other on a pixel value basis you'd probably find the differences were so great you might as well be comparing two entirely different frames.

    The thing to bear in mind is that although the film itself may be the same on both discs in reality the two bear no relationship to each other whatsoever. Its like apples and oranges , do you prefer apples or oranges? What one is more perfect? A perfect apple or a perfect orange?

    As long as you end up with something thats acceptable on its own terms then fine.
    Say you have a film thats been forgotten for 100years and not stored properly and was never all that great looking in the first place.
    You could do a state of the art restore on it and a "perfect" remastering at every stage. And the end result would be a "perfect" master that looked like crap. But look at the clarity of the crap! This is going off a bit but you get the idea of the difficulties involved in actually qualifying something as "correct" when its been through such a convoluted generational process.

    Another example: a certain recent high quality film that is regarded as having an excellent transfer actually discloses artifacts inherent in its production process (visual effects in this case: think surfer dude trying to clear buildings in a single stride).

    On film these artifacts aren't apparent because they exist in an intensity range on the neg thats not transferred to the final print.(this is normal and not in any way a fault on the part of the operator who carried out the work) On the telecine where they have scanned the neg or a dupe most likely the settings chosen were such that these intensities disclosed (became visible) on the video master. So here you have a video master that is showing MORE than the film did in the cinema. Does that mean its superior? The stuff is on the neg. The aim of the game is to preserve as much detail as possible but is it correct? Course not , but it does illustrate how far away the physical film and the dvd are from each other and how dependent this difference is on so many variable decisions about what so many different people think is "correct".
     
  3. Jenz

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    Totally agree Mr D., except here I am commenting on a significant clarity in Image detail missing from the R2.

    As an example:
    The initial scenes of Gladiator in the Tent between Crowe and Harris exhibit a sharp, highly detailed look across all colour areas. Shadow detail is high. In comparison the R2 suffers a loss in Shadow Detail and a less sharp image. This is also very clearly scene at the start of the Chapter where Crowe appears to floating across the desert.

    In addition the first battle scene highights considerable pixellation/artifacts in the sky during the battles.

    My surprise was that this is not clearly scene on a normal TV (including my 46incher).

    For me the choice has moved away from the requirement for PAL extra res and more to price and features with the CRT setup.

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  4. Rob

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    I agree,

    I find R1 titles are that much sharper. R2 always seem to be a bit soft in comparisom, for CRT anyway. I have a friend who has a Davis DLP and he prefers the look PAL discs,on his unit. I would go for NTSC anytime. And your watching the film at the correct speed of course!

    Cheers Rob

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  5. LV426

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    I would make the same general observation with my LCD Sony VW10HT; PAL titles, on the whole, are softer than NTSC ones. The PAL version of The Abyss, for example, is almost completely devoid of fine detail, despite its THX labelling.
     
  6. HT Dude

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    Isn't there a difference in black level for PAL and NTSC? I.e. don't you need to tweak the pluge setting differently for PAL discs?
    So if you set up the system for the NTSC Video Essentials DVD, then it will be optimised for NTSC. Hence the various requests for a PAL version.
    Might this explain slight differences in brightness/contrast settings and therefore detail?
    Wouldn't explain sharpness details or artifacts, I don't suppose.
     
  7. Jenz

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    HC Dude,

    I'm not talking about contrast/brightness here. Literally image clarity. Even if I strip the discs to B&W it still looks sharper.

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  8. Jenz

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    Now here's an interesting thing. Those of you who know me know that I have done many reviews that compare the versions of films across the regions.

    I have recently had a CRT professionally installed and configured and have obviously begun to compare versions of the same film now on my new 7ft screen as opposed to the previous 46inch screen. The verdict is unusual to say the least.

    In my opinion comparing titles that are Anamorphic to those that are non-Anamorphic yields little if any gain. Particular examples so far would be R2 Armageddon vs Criterion and DTS Versions (both Letterbox).

    Secondly and perhaps most controversially I am beginning to see a definite pattern regarding NTSC vs PAL material. By comparing both Gladiator R1 to Gladiator R2 I see distinctly higher levels of detail, and sharpness on the R1. This was not noticeable on the smaller 46inch TV but was easy to see on the CRT. Note that R2 still looked good but that the R1 was a step above. This was almost agreed by the Installation engineer. Another disc that this applied to was Mission Impossible 2.

    I'd therefore be interested in hearing the feedback of other CRT owners as to the selection of disc you normally make. Is it R1 or R2, can you see a benefit in PAL over NTSC (I suspect the additional language support and subtitles affects coding bit rates here), and do you see Anamorphic over non-Anamorphic quoting examples where possible.

    For reference purposes display equipment is a HTPC using PowerDVD v3.0 build 11.16 through Hercules Geforce 2 MX scaling to [email protected] with Barco 708MM Line Doubler enabled.

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  9. Mr.D

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    The higher black level should only be applied for NTSC composite or s-video. Component RGB and PAL (be it PAL60 or regular) all set-up for 0IRE. I mention this above. There are discrepiancies between players though: some apply the 7.5IRE regardless some stick on 0IRE regardless (the latter isn't much of a problem as you are effectively clipping black to black although this isn't ideal as the intensity scale has been compressed the stretched back out for NTSC by virtue of the 7.5IRE black crush.). From a broadcast point of view its not a problem because it all clips at 7.5IRE (16 code values talking 8bit) However dvd exhibits useful detail below 7.5IRE. Its the introduction of the composite colour system that necessitates the clip.

    From the Video Essentials FAQ:

    Ideally you would want both NTSC and PAL to have a 0 black level. That's easy to accomplish from the point of view of what's recorded on the disc. The level of black is at 0 IRE. If it is at any other level, the player is making the change. If there aren't separate memories for the two rates and NTSC is at + 7.5 IRE and PAL is at 0 IRE then the single setting of the brightness control will be wrong for one or the other system.

    What color system is being delivered by the player? If the PAL color system is being used for both the NTSC and PAL rates, a single setting of the color control should be correct for both. The PAL system should not provide control over Tint and Sharpness.( it does do sharpness but its a nasty coarse Bodge:Mr.D)

    Since Brightness and Contrast are often interactive, a set with a single memory for both systems may also have a problem with these levels.

    Even gray scale calibration could be different between the two systems, although that is less likely if the PAL color system is being used for both signals.

    With these and many more factors going into "It depends..." the two systems are close enough together so that calibrating a set for NTSC from Video Essentials may improve the performance in PAL, even though PAL is still not correct. (thats his caveat to cover the vagaries of domestic TVs the theory is sound that caling for 0IRE black point and at the very least using a PAL colour signal over an NTSC one will yield correct results within the tolerances of domestic TVs and dvd players: Mr.D)

    Like I said its down to lots of things but if you follow the above advice you can at least minimise the differentiation resulting from innacurate calibration. Then you are just talking about the particular "flavour" of a given transfer.
     
  10. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    It could be down to something as obscure as slightly different filtering algorythms used in the mastering. Aperture correction ( sophisticated sharpening) being applied at one telecine and not the other. You may find there is more obvious detail in one version whilst the other has more subtle information in the darker parts of the picture. Its still very tricky to say what one bears the closest resemblance to the film. Think of the this example. Say you have a branch framed against the sky. The more intenity values you can represent the softer the fall off between the twigs and the sky will be. If you throw away some of these intensities you harden up this fall-off this will lose subtle details but the body of branch itself will appear "sharper" and more defined: actually its just crunchy and hard.

    Ideally what you want to retain is as many as those intensity ranges as possible to produce a smoother subtler look. (descriptions such as contrasty punchy and razorsharp are not really good attributes in any image and normally indicative of a loss in information rather than detail)

    Of course there is the distinct possibility that one version has simple been more skillfully compressed than the other. (I doubt that the same compressionist does both versions: the few compression houses I've seen over here have been distinctly unimpressive)
     
  11. HT Dude

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    Mr D - you know I don't know whether my HCPC is outputting NTSC or PAL. I you're feeding the VGA input into a projector at 72 (or 75) Hz, then isn't it NTSC for region 1 DVDs and PAL for region 2? On the whole?
    Certainly can't see any significant difference between them in terms of general image quality on my system (Barco 708).
    Not done Jenz's critical type tests though.
     
  12. charles

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    One explanation might be that the ntsc dvd`s are taken from the master-and the pal are not,rather copies of the ntsc discs?

    Though all the feedback re;-the r2 disc of braveheart,is that it is significantly better than the region 1 disc....

     
  13. rory29

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    How strange is this,
    i,ve just brought the little sanyo machine
    when playing R1 discs the picture is very
    sharp and smooth when playing R2 pal stuff
    i find the picture a little bit grainy
    could it be poss pal is more suitable fed
    via conpenent rather then s-video?
     
  14. Jenz

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    Not for me, I get the same result with S-Video, Component or HTPC scaled RGB.

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  15. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Thought I'd replied to this but its not appeared.

    Bear in mind that you are not viewing PAL or NTSC on your display. You are viewing 25fps scaled prog scanned images for region2 UK discs and 24fps scaled prog scan for region1 discs.

    You've taken the 3:2 pulldown out (I'd hope) of the 525/60 formatted material (region1). The only differences between the two types no is that one is running slightly faster 25fps relative to 24fps not that this is relevant if you are comparing still frames. The only other difference now is the slightly higher vertical resolution of the 625/50 material. Both images have been rescaled further limiting the obviousness (such a word?) of the differentiation between the two types.
    (again the scaling process of your kit may be slightly better for one format or the other)

    PAL and NTSC are only useful terms if you are using a composite based image path. The colour characteristics of the two discs mastering aside will be almost the same. Although the 525/60 may be encoded in 4:1:1 colourspace whereas the 625/50 may be 4:2:0 but I'd imagine it would be nigh on impossible to differentiate this eyeballwise on even high-end equipment. (Mpeg2 tries to minimise the realworld visibility of the downsample from 4:2:2 in both cases anyway)

    While Jenz is surmising that region1 looks better than region2 this may well be true in his case for a number of reasons previously mentioned in the thread. I'd prefer to say the two formats are differentiated from each other rather than one being an improvement over the other as I'd feel unable to clarify this from a technical perspective (excepting the most extreme examples) because of all the minutae at the seperate stages involved in getting it onto (and off) the disc and the inabilty to do a direct referal back to the original film material (apples and oranges again).

    Everyone will have a preference for one transfer over another though and thats only natural. This may be down to a personal bias an equipment bias or the fact that one transfer may actually be technically better than another. However not all these factors will necessarily be in agreement with each other!

    If initial responses to a given version are favourable on its own terms then don't worry too much about it.
     
  16. Richard Harnwell

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    Does anyone know of an online database that compares picture quality between R1 & R2 versions of the same DVD?
    http://www.dvdrumble.co.uk/ is useful, but it only seems to compare extras.
     
  17. Jenz

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    Richard, Best bet is to ask here. Which films in particular?

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  18. Richard Harnwell

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    Well, my main question (Gladiator) has already been answered earlier in this thread.

    Some others I am currently contemplating are:

    Bridge over the River Kwai
    The Great Escape
    Ghost Dog
    Angel Heart


    Cheers,

    Richard
     
  19. Jenz

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    Ghost Dog is definitely R1. I reviewed that at DVD Debate. Personally I found the quality of the DVD a little lacking. This was a controversial review in that I found this film was either loved or loathed.

    The R1 won out on having the Isolated Score.

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  20. Rob

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    Is there still a DVD Debate ?
     
  21. Jenz

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