SuperBit on it's way to UK R2.


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May 16, 2002
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Just Browsing on play and I noticed the vast majority of Columbia Tristar Superbit titles are going to be available from October. There are also some titles not available in R1 as these titles belong to other film companies there. If these are a true UK version or the French/Dutch Superbits are unclear but IMO it's good news.

For the Full list Search for Superbit on the Region 2 DVD page.

Here is a link to one of the titles.
I saw these yesterday on play and promptly pre-ordered Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

am i right in thinking we are also going to see R2 Superbit Deluxe releases?

It's a pity so many of the superbit releases (r1 and 2) are so pants tho.
Ordered Godzilla. Interested to see what a PAL Superbit is like for quality compared to the NTSC versions.:)
I went to check my facts about these titles on the Region 2 Project. These disks were supposed to have been available from April in the UK for the older titles. I wonder what went on there then. I fancy ordering The Mask Of Zorro myself was going to go for the R1 but might order the R2 now.

Edit: I just found out that you have been able to buy direct from the Columbia Tristar UK superbit website since April for £19.99 a film. Advertised that well didn't they. The site is very similar to the US version but it doesn't have the new releases listed.
yea the website's been up for sometime

and to be honest I thought these were already available... although the website originally stated that you would only be able to purchase them directly from CTHE. I imagine they've reconsidered this idea and the delay is due to that... probably.
Superbit is a con.

Columbia justify the 'super' by saying the space taken up by extras is used instead for the picture and sound of the movie.

That might have been true a year or two back but now most films have the movie on one disc and the extras on another.

Essentially they are all superbit!!!

If Columbia was so bothered about space, why do they include trailers, biogs and extra soundtracks on the R1 SuperBit edition of Panic Room?

Sure, re-issues of old dvds will have a better picture simply because encoders have improved with practice. That isn't always down to the bitrate.
Some superbit offerings are a tad questionable as to how much better they really are. Totaldvd did an article warning that, as Jonny1973 points, size isn't always important (where's Delphi when you need her?!) and that some are barely bigger - I think Dracula with Gary Oldman was one of the examples. Having said that, now I've got a plasma I'm a sucker (get it?!) for bits size - correct spelling
I don't know what's the trouble here with the Superbits.
People always have to complain about a good thing I mean we should be glad that now we have the chance to get Columbia titles with dts.
Don't get me wrong here, I would love to see them do Deluxe treatments instead but hey as long as I can buy movies that sound great I am happy.

I've just got the superbit deluxe of hollowman, I have the standard edition and the superbit now, but there are no more features on it than the standard, now I will probally buy the UK superbit, so I will have the same film 3 times.

In my opinion the UK superbit will be superior due to the PAL vs NTSC troubles.

How is Superbit a good thing?

They cost the same as a regular DVD. They look and sound the same as a regular DVD but have no extras.

Then at a later date they release a 2 disc version with the extras that should have been released in the first place.

It's a con to make people buy the same movie twice.
Nobody is forcing you to buy two versions Jonny.
If you think that you don't need another version of the movie then don't buy the Superbit release, it's that simple.

For me I love Superbit's and I have most US releases and I will keep on buying titles that are interesting to me even if I have another version already.
That's my choice.

There are three things Columbia needs to change about their
policy on Superbitdvd's,

1. They should release them as Deluxe editions with extra's.

2. Better titles than they have released now (like those crappy
movies Johnny Mnemonic and Gattaca)

3. They should give people the choice of a normal dvdrelease or
Superbit release at the same time of releasing the movie for
the first time.
Like Spider-Man for instance , then people can say hey I love
to have dts on it I'll buy it or they can say they don't care
about it and get the "normal" release.

That's what's wrong with Superbit in my opinion but it is NOT a
Well I bought "A Knight's Tale" region1 superbit and I must admit the transfer was refreshingly devoid of edge enhancement.

I do take the extra space argument with a pinch of salt as there is normally adequate space for a decent transfer on your average vanilla dvd anyway but if they ensure they use a decent master its worth it for that alone.

I totally agree with the two disc solution being a better bet but unfortunately most of the time we get edge enhancement as normal.

Of course they could just always ensure they use a decent master all the time on every version but hey that would be too easy...
Does any stores in London sell superbit DVDs...?
I beleive MVC nationwide sell them
The idea behind superbit DVDs is that by leaving off all the extras you allow a higher bit rate to be devoted to the sound and video - more Mega-Bytes Per Second for your money - theoretically giving a better quality disc.

Recent tests conducted by Total DVD confirm that the titles released so far in Columbia/Tristar's superbit range do exhibit a higher bit rate than their vanilla counterparts. For example:

(Superbit rate listed first, followed by standard bitrate)

Crouching Tiger... 7.16 MB/Sec - 5.14 MB/Sec
Godzilla 7.11 MB/Sec - 5.77 MB/Sec

All well and good. However...

The test compared the bit rates of these titles to two non-superbit titles from other distributors, namely the 2 disc versions of 'Moulin Rouge' and 'Se7en', both of which are packed with extras, boast DD and DTS soundtracks, interactive elements and audio commentaries. The bit rates on these two discs were, respectively, 7.90 and 7.89 MB/Sec, higher than all but two of Columbia/Tristar's entire superbit catalogue.

With these results, Columbia/Tristar's superbit collection seems nothing more than reissues of discs that could have been mastered to a higher standard on their original releases, but at inflated prices and devoid of the extras that Fox and EV seem quite capable of offering while maintaining comparable audio and video quality.

Anyone smell a marketing exercise?
Superbit is not really about higher bit rates, comparisons of bit rates with other DVDs is largely irrelevant. If you want to understand superbit read this.

Agreed, subjective testing is important too, and the Total DVD report tested in this area as well. But the Videophile article also bears out my point; Columbia Tristar weren't getting things right with their initial releases, so the Superbit titles are an improvement on their originals.

But other studios were - and are still - achieving equal or better picture quality without sacrificing the extras.

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