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Universal Soldier - Best Picture Quality On a Disc

Discussion in 'Movie Forum' started by FoxyMulder, May 3, 2005.

  1. FoxyMulder


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    I recently bought a Panasonic AE700 projector and a 106inch screen ( approx 8 feet wide by 4 and a half feet high looks spectacular with movies ) anyways just watched Universal Soldier Region 2 UK edition with the full bitrate DTS track on my 106inch screen.

    Good news: One of the very best discs available anywhere in the world, absolutely superb picture quality with zero edge enhancement and only a few cinema specks during the opening titles, very detailed and sharp cinematic image, to put its image into perspective lets look at a Columbia Superbit title, Lawrence of Arabia, classic film which was re-released with a new pristine print and given the superbit treatment, sadly it contains edge enhancement which is evident throughout its near 4 hour running time, now lets look at Universal Soldiers UK Edition, no edge enhancement and superb detail and thats on a 106inch screen where you would expect to be able to pick out faults, the bitrate for this edition stays at 10mb/s for 99% of the films running time which helps explain why its so razor sharp but bitrate alone does not mean great picture quality, Momentum have sourced a fine print for this dvd edition and it is just superbly detailed and cinematic, the only other film which even comes close to the detail on offer here is the region 3 edition of Tomb Raider 2 ( as far as films i have currently viewed goes )

    Everyone raved bigtime about the superb picture quality of the Lord Of The Rings extended editions and i have the region 1 versions but those films are filtered at the higher detail levels and those films also contain varying levels of edge enhancement, Universal Soldier isn't filtered and doesn't contain edge enhancement its just superbly detailed throughout its running time, first class picture quality.

    Bad News: The dts fullbitrate soundmix isn't that great, the split surround channels are mostly used for ambience and it sounds to me suspicously like mono surround sound ( meaning both channels get the same sound hence no split surround sound effects ) it also sounds like they used the same mix for the Dolby 5.1 track, the dts mix is louder and has a deeper bass response but other than that its merely louder than the dolby mix before you calibrate things, so i would say its more like a 4.1 mix as used on films like Point Break or Big Trouble in Little China, the bass does sound meaty during the end fight scene but at times i also thought the guns lacked real depth compared to the latest digital all singing all dancing soundtracks, basically the soundmix is average at best but then again it is just a remix of a Dolby 2 channel soundtrack so although i was hopeful for great things i never expected too much and indeed i didnt get too much, don't buy for the full bitrate dts track, buy it for the picture quality which is superb.

    On another note it should be mentioned that the onscreen menu says 2 channel dts, ignore this as my amp told me it was 5.1, its just a menu glitch with the disc and nothing to be concerned with.

    So to summarise it all up, the UK edition has possibly the best picture quality of any disc i have yet seen ( and i have seen loads ) its better than 99% of the films released on dvd and of those 99% many of them are rewarded 5/5 or 10/10 for picture quality despite the fact they contain edge enhancement and mosquito noise or blocking effects, another thing worth pointing out is that many people turn the sharpness control on their television or projector up, this often introduces edge enhancement especially on projectors.

    For fans of the film i would recommend the UK edition for its picture quality, i haven't seen the japanese or american versions but its possible those use different prints and might have edge enhancement and other picture defects etc etc, this version is just superb, sound is average but picture quality is superb, i highly recommend it.

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